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Jun 22, 2021, 06:57 AM
Tyro of the Hudson
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Discussion

Flat military plane covering source?


I picked up a Hobby King Sopwith balsa kit.

All I can seem to find in monocote type covering material is loud and shiny colors.

Where does one find non shiny earth tone covering material and hopefully not really more expensive than normal covering?

newb here fwiw.
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Jun 22, 2021, 07:16 AM
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perttime's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelonSteel
...

newb here fwiw.
Newb? In what sense?

(trying to make sure this is something you should try to build and fly now)
Jun 22, 2021, 07:52 AM
Tyro of the Hudson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perttime
Newb? In what sense?

(trying to make sure this is something you should try to build and fly now)

Third season flying foam, my planes so far are carbon cub, T28, eflite P39 air cobra, a Eflite PT17 Stearman. . Not the best pilot by any means. I fly circuits, do some looops and rolls, hammerheads, sloppy immelmans. I mostly fly scale not wild but some basic acrobatics are fun. Not a 3D flyer.

The short coupled Stearman PT17 with its overweight fake engine is a challenge on landing. I just did surgery and removed three ounces of factory steel weights from the engine jugs. Haven’t remaidened it due to weather yet. I realize the Sopwith will be more of that.

This would be the first stick built plane from a kit. Before it is done I will be flying a great planes balsa arf PT19 that is next on the work bench. Well I built a Guillows Hellcat in the Eighties but I never flew it. Was too broke as a teen to outfit it so I built it as a scale model.

The Sopwith will be a winter project.
Jun 22, 2021, 08:16 AM
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Stephen M's Avatar
I never thought of a Stearman as short coupled. It always looked like a long fuselage to me. In any case the weight in the fake motor was probably there to give nose weight to offset the short nose and you may want it back. Unless you can get other weight forward, like a heavier motor or battery packs very far forward. Please recheck the CG before flight.

Monokote was available in flat (dull) colours a while ago. I do not know if that is still the case. I built a couple WWI planes and covered in glossy Monokote, one because it was easy to work with and two I have seen pictures of WWI planes and when the angles are just right they are actually very glossy. They did get many layers of varnish as part of their protection which made them quite glossy. You could also just use regular covering then spray with a flattening agent like Testors dullcote or equivalent.
Jun 22, 2021, 08:21 AM
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Stephen M's Avatar
Missed the "earth tone" colours. Again some of the coverings came in olive which would work for the upper surfaces and I used cream for doped linen, which would be the underside. Not perfect but works well. You might have to search a little to find these colours. You may also find the matt or flat finish colours when you search.
Jun 22, 2021, 08:28 AM
Tyro of the Hudson
Thread OP
The Eflite PT17 came out in a version 1 that had no steel weights in the cowl. In the long thread on the plane guys were adding weight and a few pointed that it was to counteract a bad decalage issue between the wings and the horizontal stabilizer.

With my V2 The elevator was adjusted down about 4-5mm for “neutral” flight. Full up was barely above even with the horizontal stab. Yet it would still do a good loop in the vertical. When it was set up by the manual it climbed like crazy.

The V2 added 7 ounces of 1 oz steel weights in the fake engine jugs. It is a heavy pig that noses over every landing. I was flying mine with the 3s 2200 battery so far back on the battery tray that the battery was behind the front velcro strap and was held by just the rear strap. It was half off the battery tray........and still usually nosed over on rollout.

I am not the first to lighten up the V2 Eflite PT17. Hopefully it rectifies the issues. I have learned to land it quite flat and with speed and it cut down on the violence of the nose overs. I can get a 20 yard rollout and it will still flop over. The rudder has been getting the abuse from that.
Last edited by SteelonSteel; Jun 22, 2021 at 08:37 AM.
Jun 22, 2021, 08:30 AM
Tyro of the Hudson
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen M
Missed the "earth tone" colours. Again some of the coverings came in olive which would work for the upper surfaces and I used cream for doped linen, which would be the underside. Not perfect but works well. You might have to search a little to find these colours. You may also find the matt or flat finish colours when you search.

I am new to the ultracote and monocote thing.

I might just use the shiny earth tones like you did. I have used the Testors matt spray paint coating years ago on scale styrene models.
Jun 22, 2021, 08:49 AM
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Stephen M's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelonSteel
I am new to the ultracote and monocote thing.

I might just use the shiny earth tones like you did. I have used the Testors matt spray paint coating years ago on scale styrene models.
There are, and were, a variety of manufacturers. An old time hobby shop (if one can be found anymore) sometimes has "interesting" rolls. The alternative is eBay, or other on line sources. I know Hobby King sells covering, and I assume it is rebranded and sold elsewhere, but I have sufficient for my needs so never looked into their offerings. I believe Ultracote is still going strong from the maker, Oracover is the manufacturer's brand name, and I believe Solarfilm is still around. I think the company is called Solarfilm. In any case looking up that name should work as a start. Oracover is German and Solarfilm is British.

Hope that helps and welcome to the world of Balsa building.

Oh, and the generally accepted attitude is unless you are building 1/4 scale or larger the fabric coverings are too heavy. The only fabric covered plane I had was 1/4 scale.
Jun 22, 2021, 08:50 AM
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Stephen M's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelonSteel
The Eflite PT17 came out in a version 1 that had no steel weights in the cowl. In the long thread on the plane guys were adding weight and a few pointed that it was to counteract a bad decalage issue between the wings and the horizontal stabilizer.

With my V2 The elevator was adjusted down about 4-5mm for “neutral” flight. Full up was barely above even with the horizontal stab. Yet it would still do a good loop in the vertical. When it was set up by the manual it climbed like crazy.

The V2 added 7 ounces of 1 oz steel weights in the fake engine jugs. It is a heavy pig that noses over every landing. I was flying mine with the 3s 2200 battery so far back on the battery tray that the battery was behind the front velcro strap and was held by just the rear strap. It was half off the battery tray........and still usually nosed over on rollout.

I am not the first to lighten up the V2 Eflite PT17. Hopefully it rectifies the issues. I have learned to land it quite flat and with speed and it cut down on the violence of the nose overs. I can get a 20 yard rollout and it will still flop over. The rudder has been getting the abuse from that.
No experience with it so I will keep my mouth (typing fingers) shut.
Jun 22, 2021, 08:56 AM
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Stephen M's Avatar
Just looked up "HK Sopwith balsa kit" and got a 1.5m Camel. Is that what you have? Looks like not a bad build for someone who already has Bipe flying experience.
Jun 22, 2021, 09:21 AM
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Coupez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen M
Oh, and the generally accepted attitude is unless you are building 1/4 scale or larger the fabric coverings are too heavy.
I have to disagree. These four planes are all 1/6 scale, and are covered with the Oratex fabric Balsa USA carries. This is a lighter weight version of a full scale aircraft fabric with a heat sensitive adhesive backing. It's very easy to use (more forgiving than Monokote) and shrinks extremely well with heat. I've painted it with both Rustoleum spray paint and Tamiya acrylics. It's heavier than Monokote, but also more durable. Of the four planes shown, the Hanriot is lightest at 6 lb; the D.VII is heaviest at 8 lb.

Oratex is a bit expensive, since it's only sold in 5 meter rolls. But that's enough for two planes!

Stick with the "Antique" or "Antique White" colors. The pre-painted colors are heavier, shiny finish and can stick to your iron.
Jun 22, 2021, 09:38 AM
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Stephen M's Avatar
Frankly the 1/4 D.VII I had was covered with lozenge fabric from Wildmann. IIRC it was natural (no colour) Solartex which he ran through a sign printer so the colour seemed more like an ink. It felt pretty light. I had a little spare (for repairs) and it seemed light but no experience and didn't weigh it for comparison.

In my case I am looking at trying covering my next project with laminating film (supposed to be very light), covering that with tissue and colouring the tissue (maybe coloured dope or thinned enamel). I have no experience with acrylic or latex paints and like the colour selections I have in my enamel collection. I did use a few colours of rattle can on the Fokker as it's original colours were far off on the cowling, wheel airfoil and struts. I don't remember the manufacturer but the camouflage and satin colors were pretty good matches for the OAW colours.
Jun 22, 2021, 12:01 PM
Tyro of the Hudson
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen M
No experience with it so I will keep my mouth (typing fingers) shut.


No worries,.......its expiration date could be its next flying date,
Jun 22, 2021, 12:05 PM
Tyro of the Hudson
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen M
Just looked up "HK Sopwith balsa kit" and got a 1.5m Camel. Is that what you have? Looks like not a bad build for someone who already has Bipe flying experience.

That is the plane.

I plan to take my time during the winter. I am retiring this summer so I should have some free time.

I might pickup something to work two or three days a week though........pocket money for hobbies
Jun 22, 2021, 12:06 PM
Tyro of the Hudson
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coupez


I have to disagree. These four planes are all 1/6 scale, and are covered with the Oratex fabric Balsa USA carries. This is a lighter weight version of a full scale aircraft fabric with a heat sensitive adhesive backing. It's very easy to use (more forgiving than Monokote) and shrinks extremely well with heat. I've painted it with both Rustoleum spray paint and Tamiya acrylics. It's heavier than Monokote, but also more durable. Of the four planes shown, the Hanriot is lightest at 6 lb; the D.VII is heaviest at 8 lb.

Oratex is a bit expensive, since it's only sold in 5 meter rolls. But that's enough for two planes!

Stick with the "Antique" or "Antique White" colors. The pre-painted colors are heavier, shiny finish and can stick to your iron.
They look great.

I wasn’t sure how the films hold up to painting.


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