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Cover and painting a plane

Cover and painting

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Mark Cooper 613/10/2019 17:13:47
8 forum posts

I’m new to building from kit form I’ve nearly built a Dave platt bucker Jungmeister but unsure what to cover it with and get a great paint finish can anyone advise me on what to use for the cover and what sort of paint would be suitable or is it best just to use the iron on cover

David Hall 915/10/2019 22:56:07
237 forum posts
15 photos

I'm surprised that there have been no answers to your question. I assumed that many of the experienced builders here would offer some advice.

From my limited experience.... I guess we could start with nylon/dope covering... this is messy and probably more work than you might want...... The almost modern finish might be the iron on Solartex fabric or similar. i don't know what is available these days. I recently wanted to cover a model in an easy to apply film that could be painted. Surprisingly, iron-on film takes a paint finish (I tried cellulose on some test bits). The opinions of those that offered advice was that a mat finish would key paint better.

For a more trad look, it was reported that tissue could be glued onto film with water based varnish..... a link to the thread is here...

cymaz16/10/2019 06:33:03
9175 forum posts
1180 photos

Iron on fabric, heat shrinkable is what I used to work with. Oracover is very expensive. Hobbyking might have something, I haven’t used any of their coverings.

You can get green nylon covering. I know a clubmate is covering a Giant Mannock in green nylon soon. I hope to go and have a lesson or two. I will report back.


I have used this with Solarlac paint and had some acceptable results

Edited By cymaz on 16/10/2019 06:36:11

DDH16/10/2019 06:53:11
35 forum posts
2 photos

Helpful info here...

DDH16/10/2019 08:47:39
35 forum posts
2 photos

Ah ha…two relevant articles in RCM&E 2019 Special Issue

- Tissue and Dope

- Your step-by-step guide to film covering


PeterF16/10/2019 10:04:09
520 forum posts
720 photos


I covered my 1/4 scale Tiger Moth with natural Solartex and painted it with solarlac. Posts on covering and painting run from page 16 of my build log onwards. I used the Solartex on both the sheeted fuselage and the open structure wings. I hand painted the solarlac on and it has come out very well.

With the closure of Solarfilm you are going to have to find equivalent products such as Oracover and a suitable paint. However, you should be able to achieve as good a finish.

Anthony Scott 216/10/2019 11:07:43
93 forum posts
12 photos

Oratex, as used on microlights, which is similar to Solartex, may be an alternative to smelly & expensive dope. I believe there are other Dacron like materials available for light a/c too.

Engine Doctor16/10/2019 12:02:19
2465 forum posts
39 photos

An alternative to the normal iron on materials is to use a mylar "laminating Film" It comes in various thicknesses/ weights and is iron on in a similar way to normal iron on covering but needs using higher temperatures than conventional covering. It very strong material and the matt version looks very like doped tissue when shrunk . It takes paint well . Overlaps stick far better than normal covering and it doesn't go saggy in hot sunshine as some coverings do . There are some videos of application on YouTube .. This guy is using the clear version and although the soundtrack is a bit dull you can get the idea.

Drawbacks are !, It doesn't shrink quite as much as dedicated model covering so needs being put on quite tight before ironing down and shrinking .2 Compound curves really need the use of a hot air gun (modelling variety) . 3. Finding it in small lengths /amounts. I had to buy a 100 meter roll .

I also bough a roll of 75 and a roll of 32 Micron in Matt when I wanted some covering after the retirement of Solar Film materials . The 75 micro is great for model of 50 inch span and above and the 32 micron ideal for smaller models . The 32 micron shrinks well but isn't quite as robust as the thicker version but that, I suppose is to be expected at less than half the thickness ; but still far stronger than an equivalent weight model covering. .

Alan Thorpe16/10/2019 15:25:39
224 forum posts
77 photos

Hi Mark,

Any of the iron on covering is excellent and if you want to do some designs, the Trim versions of the covering are great to apply also, as you can draw a shape on the reverse side, cut it out and apply to iron on covering.

Hobbyking covering is very reasonably priced and the rolls are generaly 5m long, so loads of covering!

The Trim stuff is basically a sticker to be made into any shape you like, Hobbyking do this also.

I used Solarfilm for a lot of covering, but as someone said here, harder to get now as ceased trading.

Let us know how you get on!

Frank Skilbeck16/10/2019 18:09:23
4666 forum posts
101 photos

I have recently covered a glider in Diacov, a version of Diatex with an adhesive backing, went on very well.

Hard to get in the UK, I got mine from Ronk Aviation in France.

Mark Cooper 616/10/2019 22:56:46
8 forum posts

Thanks to all you guys who helped me

Nigel R17/10/2019 09:58:10
3720 forum posts
582 photos

Alan - re: Hobbyking Trim, sadly this seems to be being discontinued.

The very similar looking PVC stick on film is, however, easily found on ebay, e.g. Self-Adhesive-PVC-Wall-Sticker-Waterproof-Kitchen

Hobbyking iron on film is excellent but never seems to be in stock!

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