Covering Tutorial for Beginning Builders - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Jul 31, 2007, 12:34 AM
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Chapter 16: Graphics using Trim Seets and Striping Tape

One of the easiest ways to decorate your plane is with trim sheets and striping tape. You can also use high-visibility fluorescent trim sheets to make your plane more visible. An amazing array of colors and patterns are available as trim sheets. The decorations cut from trim sheets do not add significant weight to your plane.

I tend to use TopFlite trim sheets. TopFlite trim sheets are available in a lot of colors, and cost only $2.50 to $3.00 for a 36" x 5" sheet. In the RC hobby any item that only costs $2.50 is practically free!
Link to TopFlite Trim Sheets

I also have a TopFlite star template that I use quite a bit.
Link to Star Template

In the attached photos, I am adding some yellow trim to my Dandy GT. Although I liked the original color scheme, I found that I needed more contrast between the top and bottom. I was pleasantly surprised to find my Dandy GT is a heck of a lot more aerobatic than I expected! The Dandy GT roll rate is unreal! Unfortunately my 50 year-old eyes can not see as fast as the plane can roll. I had too much red on both the upper and lower surfaces.

Some of the techniques for attaching trim should look familiar. The trim sheet adhesive is extremely sticky. To allow the trim to be easily positioned, I squirt my handy soapy water mixture on the plane prior to placing the trim. I use a credit card squeegee to work out any air bubbles, and a clean rag to blot up excess water. Once the water dries, the trim is very firmly attached. Another benefit of using the soapy water is that the trim will not wrinkle the underlying covering.

Thanks, Bruce
Last edited by brucea; Jul 31, 2007 at 02:59 AM.
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Aug 12, 2007, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by John Canfield
A little OT:

Flew my Stevens Aero Stik today for the very first time which was my first balsa build, my first covering job and my first aileron plane. The flying was great and the Stik is a wonderful aileron trainer. How good does it get??
Dear John,

I am happy for you. You now have the opportunity really improve your flying. I know your question "How good does it get?" was rhetorical. However, if you keep building your planes from kits, it does get better!

Thanks, Bruce
Last edited by brucea; Dec 02, 2007 at 02:21 PM.
Aug 13, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Here's the strange bird I was asking about earlier (with the plywood bottom.) The silver is definitely not perfect, some of those corners were really difficult. As John said, it's good at three feet.
Aug 19, 2007, 06:03 PM
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Well I went to paint program and colored up a few pictures of the MM eva Bipe to see what would look good to cover my Bipe in. The time I orderd my eva bipe they (Mountian Models) only had cream covering and were all out of white so that and red is the other color in this pattern. I dont know for sure if this is the route Im going with. Is their a website that has pictures of covering schemes, because I have just been looking at other peoples planes and random pictures on the internet to get ideas.
Aug 19, 2007, 06:24 PM
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I found this thread half way through my first covering job. It helped a lot, thanks!
I had a problem with the red trim on the outer wingtips bubbling. I used windex and an old hotel room key as a squeegee but did not get all the liquid out from between the films. I skipped the windex on the rest of the trim and got near perfect adhesion. I managed to get all the big bubbles out and most of the smaller ones by poking a hole in the middle of the bubble and shrinking it up with the iron. The iron sock came in handy for soaking up the trap windex as it came out of the bubble. The covering job isn't perfect but close enough to not need to be redone. I've learned enough from this plane to be confidant enough to move to my next project, SA 40 Cap 232.
Last edited by IH8VTEC; Aug 19, 2007 at 06:26 PM. Reason: very bad spelling :(
Sep 02, 2007, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by NoFlyZone
Hi Bruce,

Everything is cleaned off once again in preparation for Try #5. Are there any tricks you know for keeping opposite sides of the covering from touching each other? What about after the job is all done. Do you have to make sure you pick up the plane without touching these areas?

What about tacking down one side and applying something to take away the stickiness from the sticky covering so that even if it comes in contact with the second surface, it won't stick together?

Oh and by the way, I am having a BLAST, even making mistakes... because I'm learning something with every new mistake...

Dear Chuck,

You can use talcum powder to "take away the stickiness from the sticky covering". You also want to be sure that the covering is fairly tight as you tack it in place. Tight covering minimizes the "stick to the other side".

When you shrink the covering, you shrink a bit on one side then you shrink a bit on the other side.

Thanks, Bruce
Last edited by brucea; Sep 02, 2007 at 09:06 AM.
Sep 08, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Hi Bruce,

Here's the final tally:

- 73... "Dammit"
- 12... "That can't be right."
- 28... "Oh no's"
- 37... "I can't believe I did that AGAIN!"
- 15... "Wellllll, that's certainly interesting."

As well as a whole host of other thoughts and phrases, here's she is. My very first balsa plane. A 50" wingspan and an AUW of only 6.8 ounces! I can not wait to maiden this tonight. The Mountain Models DuskStick.

You were right, I'm hooked on this...

Thank you so much for this tutorial!!!!!

Sep 08, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BD Flyer
Wow, GREAT job Chuck!
Thanks, Bill...

I wanted to build the DuskStick first, so I could learn the techniques, and then gradually work into my other Mountain Models planes I bought. The tail section is where I started and with each little mistake I made, I learned something from it. By the time I got to the wing, I was really confidant and scared at the same time... lol

But it came out great! In fact, just now, I noticed that the wing was slightly warped, and I was a little hesitant about trying to take the warp out, but figured "What the heck, I'll give it a try."

It took all of about a minute to take out the warp... EASY as Pie!

I'm heading to the school yard right now to maiden it...

Sep 08, 2007, 05:36 PM
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Hi Spackles,

Thank you for the nice compliment! I just got back from the field, 'skeeters were eating me up so I came home early.

That DuskStick just doesn't want to come down... I have a GWS Pico Tiger Moth that up until now was the slowest plane I had. The DuskStick flies as slow as the Moth, and even at 1/3 throttle on the little IPS motor I'm using, the thing just wants to stay up forever. It'll take a little experimenting to get it set up the way I like, but man that thing floats nice!

Old Sep 09, 2007, 12:24 AM
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Sep 18, 2007, 08:41 AM
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Washing Socks

Originally Posted by david212
How often do you change socks on your iron? Is it me or do those socks get dirty real fast. Especially when I go over red covering it always seems to get on the sock and dirty it up so I keep switching sides of socks one side for white covering and one side for Red covering. I am already on my second sock because the first one got so messed up but luckily I am just about done with my covering.
Dear David,

I seem to change socks about every other model. However, I have reused old socks just by throwing the socks in the washer with white clothes. I machine dry and the socks are almost as good as new.

Thanks, Bruce
Last edited by brucea; Jan 17, 2008 at 09:38 AM.
Sep 20, 2007, 12:25 AM
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Fix one mistake, cause another...

Hi Bruce,

Maybe you can use this question in your tutorial. After reading your reply and learning that So-Lite should not be applied two layers thick, I decided to cut away the white covering where I wanted the red to go.

I made a perfectly straight line from stab to cowl and was able to remove the white from the lower fuse sides. Unfortunately, in admiring my handiwork (and I use the term loosely), I discovered that I made the cut exactly where I wanted the border to be, and now I don't have any white covering to overlap the red onto! If I move the red higher, it won't look right, because I wanted the red to be dead even with the rear horizontal stabilizer.

Will it be ok if I am able to butt the red against the white? If it will work like this, I can apply a really thin strip of pressure sensitive striping to cover any minor misalignment between the red and the white.


EDIT: I couldn't wait any longer. I went ahead and butted the red up against the white. I got lucky because there's no gaps or misalignments. Here's a pic of it. I shouldn't need any trim tape to hide the joint... it's pretty straight.
Last edited by NoFlyZone; Sep 20, 2007 at 01:20 AM.
Sep 27, 2007, 08:30 PM
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My Eva Bipe

I finally got the chance to take some pictures of my eva bipe, not great quality they were just taken in my room.
Sep 28, 2007, 12:16 PM
Registered User
here is the bottom of my eva

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