Applying lettering, etc. over Monocote - RC Groups
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Jan 30, 2003, 05:51 PM
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Applying lettering, etc. over Monocote

I'm working on an Extra 300L, which I have covered in Monocote. I modeled the color scheme after an airshow plane I liked, and would like to add some of the sponsorship lettering to the wings, etc. What's the best way to add these over Monocote? I was thinking that I would carefully cut out Monocote letters and apply them, but it seems that might lead to wrinkles in the covering. I need some suggestions from the masters.
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Jan 30, 2003, 08:27 PM
Registered User
Jim Ryan's Avatar
Don't know that I'm a master with film, but here's my .02:

1. Yes, you can apply graphics with the film covering, and this is generally what I do when I'm working with film. Attached is a shot of my "Rare Bear"; the numbers and color accents were hand-cut from Ultracoat. The key to doing this and getting it to come out well is to work with a BARELY warm iron. You want it just warm enough to activate the adhesive, but not warm enough to make the covering shrink or bubble. If you use too much heat, you'll tend to trap air bubbles, and you'll drive yourself nuts puncturing them and sealing them. Cover the airframe, shut off your iron, cut the markings, and then turn your iron on at REALLY low heat. Apply the markings working from one edge to the other, being really careful not to trap air bubbles. Once you have all the markings applied, you can increase the heat and go back over the markings to make sure they're really sealed down.

2. If you want to work at room temperature, you can cut the markings from self-adhesive "trim sheets". Here I recommend spraying the surface with Windex of detergent solution so that you can squeegee out trapped air bubbles before letting the markings dry.

3. CNC-cut vinyl graphics from outfits like "Vinyl Graphics by Greg" are also popular. Here, the pre-cut graphics are mounted on transfer tape, so you can peel off the backing, position the marking, rub it down, peel off the transfer tape, and you're done. These of course cost more, but they look really nice.

Jan 31, 2003, 09:22 AM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar
Most definitely not a master but I've made and added a few home made trim letter sections to models. I've tended to use the self adhesive trim (such as Solartrim or Protrim) or Profilm (Oracover) letters using very similar methods to Jim's . I use the soapy water technique for adding the self adhesive lettering or logos to the covered model, then squeegee off the excess water and leave to dry overnight.

To make the letters I do the artwork on the computer at full size, print out onto paper and then using a child's glue stick (Pritt) and tape I stick the paper template to the backed self-adhesive trim. The letters are cut out using a matte-knife (the ones with a rotatable blade) a metal straight edge and some patience. That will give you trim letters with a paper covering. Depending on the lettering I might leave small connecting pieces between the letters which can be snipped off later but usually I join them together with a length of masking tape to get the correct spacing before removing them from the template.

Using a plant sprayer with some warm water and a little added washing up liquid I spray the surface of the model, remove the backing paper from the rear of the letters and slide them into place. Another little spray dampens off the paper and after ensuring everything is in place you can then peel away the wet paper, squeegee out the excess water and wash away any excess adhesive left on the surface of the film.


Jan 31, 2003, 11:42 AM
Registered User
Monokote trim can be applied by the Windex method. Spray Windex on the area to be applied to, then lay the trim on the area, then squeegee out all the liquid you can using a small piece of balsa sheet. Let it set for 24 hours. I usually then seal the edges with a trim iron, but I don't think it's necessary for electric powered planes. You could also seal the edges with "No Heat" liquid.

This method will not work using Ultracote trim, though you can put Monokote trim over Ultracoat with this method.


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