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Solartex Linen and Oratex Antique - colour comparison

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GrahamWh24/12/2018 18:40:13
356 forum posts
53 photos

Does anyone know if solartex linen and oratex antique are the same colour - or near enough so that I could use one on the fuselage and the other on the wings for example without it being noticeable?

I have some solartex linen left over but not enough for a new project and am thinking I may need to get oratex to make up the shortfall.

I have scoured the webbernet but there seems to be no solartex in linen left.

Thanks guys.

Jim Carss24/12/2018 19:56:02
2066 forum posts
80 photos


two different colours,you know what Linen looks like,the Antique has a more yellowy tinge to it.


Falcon is covered with linen. the old timer is antique covered, hope this helps,please do not think the name of the model is bad taste,after losing two dear friends to it, this is a light hearted but grim reminder of a horrible condition

miss vintage.jpg

Edited By Jim Carss on 24/12/2018 19:57:20

Roger Marshall24/12/2018 20:15:01
41 forum posts
38 photos

Hi Graham,

I have to deal with the very same problem. The covering on the fuselage of a model I am rebuilding was lighter than Solartex Antigue so bought Solatex Linen to cover the wings I built, thinking is would match, it did not.

So my assumption now is that the model was orignally covered in Oratex Antigue, if that assumption is correct, then none of these tex coverings colour match.

I could cheat a bit by stripping the fuselage bear, its a Bleriot type model so I could do that, and hope the new material will match the tailplane/ rudder etc. That`s unlikely, new, matching the old coated dirtied material, so have decided the only way to go, and be sure now, is to cover the model with fresh covering material. I do have the advantage of covering the wings and empennage only and leaving the fuselage naked, saving material, for future patching and repairs perhaps.

I won`t be 100% sure on just how close the colours match until the new Oratex Antique gets here.

Of course someone is going to suggest painting! I do know that Humbrol Linen matches Solartex Antigue!

Regards Roger

David Davis24/12/2018 20:29:00
3399 forum posts
598 photos

Roger, there is also Solartex Natural which is a sort of transluscent white. This colour is still available. Perhaps your fuselage was originally covered in Solartex Natural.

GrahamWh24/12/2018 21:55:49
356 forum posts
53 photos

Well guys thank you for your reflections. Its a shame the colours are not the same. Thanks for posting the pics Jim.

Regarding Humbrol colours, I have tried to match some Humbrol enamel to solartex linen recently on my Bristol Scout to hide the linkage horns. I found that Humbrol linen was a greener shade than the solartex linen. Humbrol oak satin was closer, but too light. I ended up mixing about 2 parts oak satin with one of linen - still a bit greeny, and then a tiny drop of red and that about nailed it! A bit of a faff really. I did a bit of research on the interweb and found that batches of their paint may not always be consistent anyway!

Roger Marshall24/12/2018 22:48:10
41 forum posts
38 photos

This is the colour I was trying to match, thought it was yellowish rather than whiteish.



Could be Natural with a coating of something. Will see soon enough!

David Davis25/12/2018 05:58:07
3399 forum posts
598 photos

It looks like natural to me. Merry Christmas!

GrahamWh25/12/2018 08:02:42
356 forum posts
53 photos

Does anyone know how oratex cream compares with solartex linen or with oratex antique? Looks lighter that the antique in some pictures on line and close to solartex linen.

Roger Marshall09/01/2019 10:16:33
41 forum posts
38 photos

Hi Graham

Finally able to add photos showing the sutble differences of Solartex and Oratex antigue covering.

The reason that the coverings look different in photos on the net is, the backing materials of the different products, ie Solartex has a transparent film backing and Oratex has a glossy white paper backing. This makes comparing colours by photos very difficult, light also plays a very big part as well. I took many photos and they were very hard to tell apart in many of them. From 20 or so photos only 3 were able to demonstrate the colours effectively.

I also leant that the Solartex antigue and linen colours are much closer than I first thought. The now obvious difference is that antigue is opaque, you can see the structure beneath it, and linen is solid colour and no structure is visible through it.

The Oratex antigue is the lightest colour of them all, I`m now sure that my model above is covered with Oratex antigue. Laying them all out together on the same structure was the the only real way of being sure.

Hard to see which is which like this...


This is easier to show, Solartex antigue is on the left, Oratex antigue next, both opaque, then Solartex linen on the right, solid colour.


So I hope this helps identify the covering you`re dealing with.

Regards Roger

GrahamWh09/01/2019 18:41:19
356 forum posts
53 photos

Thank you very much Roger. It certainly would not be a good idea for me to get a load of Oratex antique to go with the Solartex linen that I have left over from the last project. That Oratex antique looks closer to Solartex natural.

Former Member09/01/2019 18:57:53

[This posting has been removed]

Percy Verance09/01/2019 19:20:34
8108 forum posts
155 photos

I may be wrong ( it's happened before ) but I think Derek Hardman at Solarfilm orginally produced the Linen shade of Solartex for Mick Reeves, whom needed vast quantities when he was initially producing his WW1 models. Then of course Mick marketed the kits commercially - and still does of course - and because of the relative popularity of the kits, LInen Tex continued to be supplied by Solarfilm and also stocked by Mick Reeves.

And don't bother checking the Mick Reeves site, as he's showing (unsurprisingly) no stock................

A great shame it's gone..........


Edited By Percy Verance on 09/01/2019 19:30:30

Roger Marshall09/01/2019 21:08:52
41 forum posts
38 photos

The middle colour of the lower photo is...


And looks more yellow than the photo suggests.

Solartex antique on a model looks likes this...

windows photo gallery wallpaper.jpg

I would imagine that Solartex linen would look the same but without seeing the ribs.

I`m now thinking that Oratex natural is white and opaque, and Oratex white is solid colour.

Nigel Dell09/01/2019 21:10:17
367 forum posts
27 photos

It is a pain that Solartex has gone, particularly the Linen as I have just picked up a virtually built DB 1/4 scale Se5a, now have the problem! I was going to cover it in Sig Coverall but might just experiment with fabric dyes to see if it will take although I expect I will be painting even if it just a wash.

We are now going backwards I think.

GrahamWh09/01/2019 21:36:54
356 forum posts
53 photos

Really nice Sopwith triplane Roger. On my Bristol Scout with Solartex Linen you cannot see the ribs- good job too as I went and put a big fat D Section in the wings for more rigidity which would not look scale at all but makes them really good and stiff!

Roger Marshall09/01/2019 22:10:13
41 forum posts
38 photos

With hindsight I wish I used linen to cover the wings, as you say the D section LE is obvious, It didn`t occur to me at the time. It was never meant to be scale so there`s no wire rigging to support the wings.

It is a shame Solartex has gone. I`ve not seen any mention anywhere as to why?

GrahamWh10/01/2019 17:24:17
356 forum posts
53 photos

Apologies Roger - I hadn't noticed the D section in your wings, I was commenting on mine which are about 2" across!

Former Member10/01/2019 17:58:19

[This posting has been removed]

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