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Jan 03, 2019, 09:18 AM
Registered User
Captain Dunsel's Avatar
Discussion

Shrink film for foam


There're several threads (some very long) dealing with paintable, heat-shrink laminating films for use on balsa models. For example, Doculam. I've had success with using that on wooden models, although it can be tricky to get the paint to stick.

The problem with Doculam on foam is that it requires too much heat and melts the foam. But, in a recent thread in the Electric Scale Builds forum, a new source of film was mentioned ('Soft Touch'). In looking at that web site, I noticed the company also sells pressure-sensitive, no-heat-needed films. What I'm asking is, has anyone tried this stuff on a foam build?

Here's a link to the stuff I'm asking about: https://www.mybinding.com/laminating...sensitive.html

Before tape is brought up, but tape falls short of what I want to do, both in looks and in performance.


CD
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Jan 03, 2019, 10:44 AM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
solentlife's Avatar
Standard Heat Shrink Film such as Solarfilm ... Oracover etc works fine on foam ...

You just have to make sure you do not keep iron on one place too long and also only just enough heat to activate the adhesive / shrink the film.

Nigel
Latest blog entry: Difference of Forums
Jan 03, 2019, 11:22 AM
treefinder
springer's Avatar
CD, looked at the site, and while a bit pricey, the matte 3 2mm PSA film is tempting to try. I suppose one of us will have to pop for a 15' roll just to evaluate!
Jan 04, 2019, 12:38 AM
Registered User
tspeer's Avatar
When I applied Doculam to a Foamular 150 fuselage (see picture), it seemed like it went on OK, but then it developed lots of wrinkles later, leaving an alligator-like finish.

However, I'm finding that if you put a paper covering on the foam using WBPU, ala this thread, there's no problem ironing Doculam over that. The thread talks about using newspaper or brown masking paper, but you can also use printed bond paper. Printed paper lets you do things you wouldn't do with paint, and saves the weight of paint.

The paper adds tremendously to the stiffness and hardness of the foam. Even if you could apply the film directly to the foam, it would still be easily dented. The paper is extra weight, of course, but I think it's worth it.
Jan 04, 2019, 03:47 AM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tspeer
When I applied Doculam to a Foamular 150 fuselage (see picture), it seemed like it went on OK, but then it developed lots of wrinkles later, leaving an alligator-like finish.

However, I'm finding that if you put a paper covering on the foam using WBPU, ala this thread, there's no problem ironing Doculam over that. The thread talks about using newspaper or brown masking paper, but you can also use printed bond paper. Printed paper lets you do things you wouldn't do with paint, and saves the weight of paint.

The paper adds tremendously to the stiffness and hardness of the foam. Even if you could apply the film directly to the foam, it would still be easily dented. The paper is extra weight, of course, but I think it's worth it.
Forgive me for missing something here ...

One of the advantages of foam models - is the lightweight. Surely adding paper / WBPU and then a plastic film is adding significant weight ?

If going to that extreme .. why not use the properties of the WBPU itself ?

I took a Baduis F3A model ... which previosuly had been covered in Hobby King Shrink Film and then covered in lightweight nylon 'silk' applied with 50:50 water / White PVA .... weight was similar to the shrink film and the skin formed is 'battle ready' ... once dry - it accepts paint or vinyl stickies ... whatever you want.

Attached are as original with film ... then stripped ... and stages through the covering - to the final sprayed paint results.

Just a suggestion if you are going to trouble of applying 'wet material' ...


Nigel
Latest blog entry: Difference of Forums
Jan 04, 2019, 11:19 AM
Registered User
I've had success covering foam with Doculam by first spraying a light coat of adhesive to the foam. I then stick down the Doculam and pull to get as many wrinkles out as possible. Then seal with low heat.
Jan 04, 2019, 01:30 PM
Registered User
Captain Dunsel's Avatar
I've used Solarfilm over ordinary white Styrofoam wings for many years, but it's a pain to paint (and has become unobtainable). I will give Tom Sawyer's method a try.

I know I can iron Ultracote/Profilm/Oracover on top of papered foam, but I was hoping to avoid having to paper the foam.

BTW, papered foam is still much lighter than built-up balsa structures covered with shrinkfilms. For example, I built a 360 sq. in., all papered & painted foam model and compared it with my wife's same-sized E-Flite Cub. With identical power systems & batteries, her ARF Cub was 6 oz. heavier (27 oz. vice 33 oz.).

CD
Jan 06, 2019, 04:44 AM
flyin' fool
goldguy's Avatar
It always amazes me at the trouble some go through to make their models heavy.
Jan 09, 2019, 08:19 AM
Warbirds Lover
Dreamcatcher's Avatar
Hi,

Laminating film and Oracover works on EPP / Foam / Depron.

It just need a little practice to find the good temperature settings and to be carreful when using shrink film not to bend the foam parts while covering them...
Jan 09, 2019, 12:44 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldguy
It always amazes me at the trouble some go through to make their models heavy.
+1 I thought the entire point of a foamie wa;s easy to build disposable airframes.
Break it.. ? Darn... just slap together another ..quickly.
Once one starts to view their Foamies as 'precious' then it's a whole other adventure.
Jan 09, 2019, 01:27 PM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
solentlife's Avatar
Each to their own ... I hate breaking even the cheapest foamie job ...

But this paper before film - I really do not understand. i have covered numerous foam based with Hobby King film ... Solarfilm ... Oracover .... without any need for a barrier paper. The secret to success is to move quickly with the iron and only just enough heat to activate the adhesive.
When shrinking - I wave the heat gun around over it so again not having heat in one place more than a second ... AND careful not to overshrink ... just enough to tighten and NO MORE.

Anyone who claims paper and paste is lighter than film is having a laugh !!

Nigel
Latest blog entry: Difference of Forums
Jan 09, 2019, 01:41 PM
Warbirds Lover
Dreamcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare
+1 I thought the entire point of a foamie wa;s easy to build disposable airframes.
Break it.. ? Darn... just slap together another ..quickly.
Once one starts to view their Foamies as 'precious' then it's a whole other adventure.
That's your point of view, i respect it but i don't 100% agree.
I have basic foamies that are used as you describe and that i don't really care to fly/crash/repair/refly.
But i also love to design and build my own scale models and as the Balsa wood, here, is very expensive nowaday, i also build them from foam and even if their cost is low in monney, they took me some monthes of work and so... i fly them often but i take care of them and don't consider them as "consumable"
Jan 09, 2019, 01:52 PM
Warbirds Lover
Dreamcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by solentlife

Anyone who claims paper and paste is lighter than film is having a laugh !!

Nigel
What's the weight per sq.ft. of the shrink film you use ?

The covering with thin brown kraft paper + airbrush paint + waterslide decals + 2 acrylic varnish coats (one sprayed before applyinh the decals, the second sprayed after to seal them) was lighter than the same foam wing covered with oracover and the paper covered don't flex at all.
Jan 09, 2019, 02:59 PM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
solentlife's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher
What's the weight per sq.ft. of the shrink film you use ?

The covering with thin brown kraft paper + airbrush paint + waterslide decals + 2 acrylic varnish coats (one sprayed before applyinh the decals, the second sprayed after to seal them) was lighter than the same foam wing covered with oracover and the paper covered don't flex at all.
I am sure you can google that for yourself ...


I use :

Solarfilm (sadly now out of production)

Hobby King Film - which is same as Oracover

Oracover

and of course Solartex - but that is not in this issue.

i have grown up through tisue (lightspan ... standard ... literally all forms of) ... nylon and dope .... paper and white glue .... nysilk and white glue ... and all manner of films / tex ... and I will not agree paper and glue is lighter ...

I agree that flex is less - that is why I used nysilk and white glue on my Badius patternship.

Each to their own ... we will just agree to disagree ...

Nigel
Latest blog entry: Difference of Forums
Jan 09, 2019, 03:02 PM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
solentlife's Avatar
Quote:
But i also love to design and build my own scale models and as the Balsa wood, here, is very expensive nowaday, i also build them from foam and even if their cost is low in monney, they took me some monthes of work and so... i fly them often but i take care of them and don't consider them as "consumable"
Its same here in Latvia .... Balsa is too expensive ... so I also build in foam ...

In fact many large models that I have donated to me when crashed - I replace wing ribs with foam and various formers backed up by foam instead of replacing with wood. They fly and are just as good.

Nigel
Latest blog entry: Difference of Forums


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