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Vintage airframe coverings.

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David Hall 901/04/2019 12:27:03
148 forum posts
11 photos

After coming back to RC modelling in my retirement, trying several foamies, I'm beginning to fancy a vintage airframe. The Quaker Flash or the Astro Viking look attractive (maybe it's an age thing?)...

If I build one of these open framed airframes, would a heat shrink covering (Solarfilm) be suitable to cover it? (Just wondering if they must be done in nylon/dope)..

Stearman6501/04/2019 14:59:27
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769 forum posts
893 photos

I have a Keil Kraft Outlaw on my to do list. I collected some transparent coloured film from Solarfilm's sales office near Wigan a couple of weeks ago. It's called Solite & available in lots of colours, transparent or opaque.

**LINK**

Robert Welford01/04/2019 15:06:07
160 forum posts
4 photos

In my opinion vintage models do not look right covered in film.

Natural or vintage Solartex (or Oratex equivalent) is suitable on larger models and is a good substitute for doped nylon.

On smaller models Polyspan is definitely worth considering. It is a heat shrink polymer and is much more puncture resistance than tissue, but the finish looks like tissue.

**LINK**

It also adds torsional strength to wings/tailplanes - unlike Litespan.

Edited By Robert Welford on 01/04/2019 15:07:05

Don Fry01/04/2019 16:12:13
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3814 forum posts
42 photos

Quaker Flash is too big for Solite. After that, aesthetics come into play. Regular weight Film or Tex. or there is a thred by David Mellor for a double size junior 60, using laminating film. This stuff is also available in a Matt finish which takes paint. That would be different.

Edited By Don Fry on 01/04/2019 16:12:45

Former Member01/04/2019 17:12:05
1322 forum posts

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Former Member01/04/2019 18:03:29
1322 forum posts

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Braddock, VC01/04/2019 19:52:57
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1626 forum posts
76 photos

Heat shrink film is fine, it was developed in the usa before ww2 so meets any vintage requirement by many years.

It's your model and should you choose to use film and one of the vintage police criticises you, advise them to remove themselves in short, jerky movements.

Keep in mind that brushless motors and lipo batteries don't have the same history.

If you can get it, fibafilm is a fantastic material to cover with as is coverite's (unfortunately discontinued)micafilm. Both really strong and very light compared to the tex coverings.

Impex HT 1780 adhesive is better than balsaloc as a heat activated glue for fixing the covering.

Just my 2ps worth.

Former Member01/04/2019 20:34:26
1322 forum posts

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David Hall 902/04/2019 09:48:26
148 forum posts
11 photos

Thanks for the suggestions.. I was concerned that a heat shrink covering might be too flexible for the structure, but I've seen lots of photos and videos of vintage models covered in (transparent) film. (They might not look quite right, but have an appeal as an easy to apply covering).

David Davis02/04/2019 10:18:30
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3368 forum posts
591 photos

The Quaker Flash could accept Solartex as a covering but be careful not to shrink it too much. In the Vintage range of colours offered by Solarfilm it could look quite authenic but only Vintage Orange or Vintage Yellow are now available.

Don Fry02/04/2019 11:11:11
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3814 forum posts
42 photos

Query, attaching tissue to Doculam, I assume non shrinking dope is the glue of choice?

And, if I were to use this technique, where do you get tissue from in this day and age, to cover an 8 foot Keil Kraft Falcon? From memory, the wings are about 15 inches in chord.

Why do I revert to Imperial when I think of these things?

John Laird02/04/2019 11:27:04
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427 forum posts
46 photos

vagabond finished march 2017 (8).jpgvagabond overhead snapshot.jpgGeorge Stringwell ( Sundancer) has written some guidelines on tissue over mylar in the RCgroups vintage forum.

Dope is used as the adhesive. Most models flown at vintage flyins in this country are covered with tissue or tissue lookalikes such polyspan. My Debutantes have been covered with tissue/mylar. My Vagabond is covered with doped Chiffon over Mylar. The chiffon provides the colour and the mylar reduces the dope needed to fill the weave. Both contribute to tightening and the strength. Buildlog of the Vagabond with more photos are in RCgroups here

**LINK**

debutante maiden flight day 5 jul 2013 (6).jpg

Former Member02/04/2019 11:28:47
1322 forum posts

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Mike T02/04/2019 12:21:16
410 forum posts
28 photos

As an alternative to the above films/tex's, you could use Sig Koverall (aka Dacron). On an open structure it would save the weight of redundant adhesive you'd get with Solartex and similar. You'd need a dope or equivalent finish after heat-shrinking it.

My only experience of laminating film is using it to cover a 'Genesis' (Zagi) flying wing. I think it was either the 20 or 30 micron stuff. It was very reluctant to attach itself to the (admittedly, painted) polyprop foam and even when I thought I had a good bond, it lifted within a few days. Negotiating compound curves was out of the question.

So, when covering a 'trad' model, how do you ease it around cowlings and wingtips, etc. and does it stick to balsa any better than foam? Are you using much thinner stuff?

Former Member02/04/2019 13:06:13
1322 forum posts

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Mike T02/04/2019 13:33:40
410 forum posts
28 photos

Thanks David, for that excellent mini tutorial yes. I must give it a go again!

What thickness film were/are you using? (As I said, I suspect the stuff I was supplied with was thicker for 'structural' reasons!)

David Hall 902/04/2019 14:47:36
148 forum posts
11 photos

It just happens that i have a roll of 30micron laminating film (possibly hundreds of metres) that I used for some Depron models and to cover plans when building... multi-purpose stuff.

If it takes dope well, then will it take spray cellulose paint just as well?

Is the application of tissue necessary for strength, or will the film alone be good enough?

Former Member02/04/2019 14:59:54
1322 forum posts

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Don Fry02/04/2019 16:22:46
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3814 forum posts
42 photos

Is there a source of coloured tissue, a bit bigger than the Jap tissue?

David Hall 902/04/2019 16:59:27
148 forum posts
11 photos

Solarfilm did a clear, mat version... is that an opaque finish, or one intended to take paint?

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