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Coverings: not sure...

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911hillclimber04/04/2020 15:08:40
175 forum posts
50 photos

Hello again, in need of some more advice please. Building the Dumas Supermarine kit, a very fragile 24" span rubber FF I'm converting to 3 ch R/C.

The build is very very light and much is 1/16 sq stringer.

They supply some nice tissue for the covering which I think will not tolerate long dry grass landings, so while the dihedral glue is setting I wonder what to cover in.

My first feeling is tissue with thinned dope after water mist shrinking/dry. After 'raw' tissue, the lightest option maybe.

Any thoughts?

Second is Aero lite, iron glue/shrink but worried about the thin structure, also all glossy and glitzy, too much.

Any other coverings for this 140 gram (target) weight plane please?


Outrunner04/04/2020 16:10:48
84 forum posts
27 photos


Tissue over mylar, very light, strong and easy to put on. I believe it is lighter than doped tissue too as you don't have to keep putting dope on to fill the weave, I just do two coats of thinned water based varnish. Extremely ding proof too.


kc04/04/2020 17:13:24
6587 forum posts
173 photos

Phil, it would be nice if you could explain further - what thickness Mylar, where do you buy it from, how do you fix it on etc. ( all the info on this seems to have disappeared when the person who wrote it left the forum and all his postings went too. )

Dickw04/04/2020 17:28:49
737 forum posts
99 photos

Lots of light coveringl choices here, with How To do It links at bottom of the page.


911hillclimber04/04/2020 17:54:06
175 forum posts
50 photos

Thank you so far!

I looked at the FF site and got confused, so started this thread!

I'm mainly worried the tissue or other covering will warp the structure while shrinking.

The model is a complex shape, a zillion compound curves and I want it smooth as can be.

Also, really don't want a modern high gloss surface, good and matt preferred.

Like the iron-on route as it was really good on the Buccaneer but that is a gorilla of a plane in comparison.

Google pic:

Outrunner04/04/2020 18:23:38
84 forum posts
27 photos


I got my Mylar from Mike Woodhouse who runs Free Flight Supplies. I can't remember what thickness I used but Mike can advise. Brush on some thinned balsa lock to the frame, cut the mylar a little oversize and iron on and shrink like solarfilm. When the model is covered I laid on wet tissue then brushed on thinned varnish to stick the tissue down. When dry give another coat of thinned varnish.

When dry the model is now ready for decoration. You should not have any problems with the model warping like when using shrinking dope. Talking of dope some people recon that varnish does funny things in damp weather and they use dope instead. I've never had any problems with varnish, it's very cheap and doesn't pong.


PatMc04/04/2020 21:52:39
4433 forum posts
538 photos

I described using tissue over laminating film (AKA Doculam ) in this thread & also this one. There's also references in them to "Sundancer" (George Stringwell) who posts on RCG forum vintage section, he's a guru in using the technique. I believe George also posts in some FF forums.

In the past I've also tried tissue over mylar but not been happy with the results, I found laminating film much easier to use & like conventional model film it already has a heat activated adhesive.

911hillclimber04/04/2020 22:39:39
175 forum posts
50 photos

This is very good gents, thank you for taking the time for me.

I'll look at the threads tomorrow, but will also send an email to FF supplies and ask what they can offer.

Using the tissue over something far more robust sounds good as it keeps the 'rustic' surface finish of the tissue.

Engine Doctor05/04/2020 10:40:08
2538 forum posts
40 photos

You can buy a matt finish iron on laminating film in very thin gauges (microns)  I have some 32 micron but it's probably too thick for your model . Ask the control line combat flyers what they use.  10 micron stuff is available but getting difficult to find.

Edited By Engine Doctor on 05/04/2020 10:44:07

911hillclimber08/04/2020 22:30:15
175 forum posts
50 photos

Free Flight suggested the same today.

Laminating film seems to be too strong when shrunk, or won't go round radii is is perfect from what I've read today too!

Time to think it through,

911hillclimber25/04/2020 08:26:09
175 forum posts
50 photos

p1080337.jpgp1080338.jpgp1080356.jpgp1080357.jpgThought I would do a short up-date.

Not sure if this is the right section of the forum, ...

The build of the Dumas kit went well.

Building such a small light and frail model is much harder than the huge by comparison Buccaneer, 1/16" sq balsa needs a steady and light touch, and this model is full of stringers.

Built the frame during this lock-down on-n-off but it has been great.

I wanted in the end to go for micro conventional 3 ch r/c, so went to George at 4-Max for all the parts which came through bit by bit. He is really busy!

The access to the radio 'plate' was achieved by building the fuselage and then cutting the pilot are out and re-structuring the hole. This access canopy will be retained by 4 magnets or 2 if I can.

The servos are truly small! I'm waiting for the GPO to deliver the motor etc, maybe today. !st Class parcel is around 1 week at the moment.

As to covering?

I went for the kit's tissue and eze dope and humbrol paint for some brighter detail. Long way yet to go!


911hillclimber08/05/2020 16:31:41
175 forum posts
50 photos

p1080371.jpgp1080370.jpgThis plane is really frustrating to complete!


Everything is tissue covered and ese doped with some paint to highlight some details. Tissue has been much harder than I thought/remembered....

Installing the radio today with motor etc, but frustrated that the motor and esc wires are non-solderable. WHY do people use this type of wire? I guess they are crimp only (?)

Edited By 911hillclimber on 08/05/2020 16:36:17

911hillclimber11/05/2020 09:42:02
175 forum posts
50 photos

p1080378.jpgGot over the motor/esc with help on here and George at 4-Max.

Plane nearly all done now, everything works in the radio.

Had to make a special prop adaptor to get the 6" prop on the 2mm motor shaft which was hard to get straight, but got there in the end. A lathe made in 1945 does not help!

Motor cover next and a some paint touch-up and we are done.

Not been the satisfying build I was hoping for, just too small and tissue covering was a mistake.

I have found the float positioning to be really hard to get straight and have failed tbh.

Cost has been close to the cost of the buccaneer!


911hillclimber13/05/2020 13:01:20
175 forum posts
50 photos

All done!


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