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Solafilm and Alternatives

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Nigel Heather05/06/2020 20:19:35
242 forum posts
7 photos

Can't say I'm surprised but SolaFilm seems very hard to come by and/or expensive these days (and I'm talking about the days before Covid).

I guess ARTF and foamies has really taken a huge bite out of that market.

I live reasonably close to one of the largest RC model shops in the country and yet their stock of SolaFilm is minimal.

Are there any alternatives I should be looking at.

Cheers,

Nigel

Alan Gorham_05/06/2020 20:23:10
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

You'll find it pretty difficult to locate fresh stocks of Solarfilm anywhere since they ceased production permanently a few years ago. Their website st Solarfilm.co.uk is selling off remnants.

Other alternatives are Oracover, easycoat and films from Hobbyking and Aliexpress and banggood.

John Wagg05/06/2020 20:33:39
95 forum posts
16 photos

Just ordered a couple of sheets of Solarfilm but a lot "out of stock now".

Anyone know of an equivalent for Natural Solartex please.

Alan Gorham_05/06/2020 20:52:20
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

Yes Oratex make an equivalent no coloured tex. Also Sarik hobbies have begun to stock natural Diacov1000.

Nigel Heather05/06/2020 22:50:56
242 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by Alan Gorham_ on 05/06/2020 20:23:10:

You'll find it pretty difficult to locate fresh stocks of Solarfilm anywhere since they ceased production permanently a few years ago. Their website st Solarfilm.co.uk is selling off remnants.

Other alternatives are Oracover, easycoat and films from Hobbyking and Aliexpress and banggood.

That explains a lot - I’m clearly out of touch.

Will look at those that you suggest.

Cheers,

Nigel

Nigel R06/06/2020 08:31:55
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3916 forum posts
678 photos

Hobbyking film is very good. Seems to sell out quickly when it comes in stock.

leccyflyer06/06/2020 09:25:05
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1479 forum posts
324 photos

The Hobbyking covering film and Profilm/Oracover are both huge improvements on standard Solarfilm or the original Monokote.

ken anderson.06/06/2020 09:38:17
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8685 forum posts
808 photos

these people seem to have a good selection of covering....and sell it by the mtr...maybe worth a go..

ken anderson...ne..1..covering dept.

martin collins 106/06/2020 10:35:25
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421 forum posts
199 photos

Always used Profilm, doesn`t sag in hot weather like Solarfilm...........

Peter Miller06/06/2020 10:39:42
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11094 forum posts
1309 photos
10 articles

The Solarfilm Supershrink Polyester never sagged in hot weather.

The Hobbyking film seems very similar

Bob Cotsford06/06/2020 10:50:13
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8583 forum posts
477 photos

The RapidRC own-brand films in Ken's link are the same film (and colour descriptions) as the stuff sold by Hobbyking but sold by the metre rather than HK's 5M rolls. Excellent stuff.

Tosh McCaber06/06/2020 12:07:24
82 forum posts
14 photos

Does anyone know whether Monocote is still in production?

Robin Fowler06/06/2020 12:12:32
33 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by Alan Gorham_ on 05/06/2020 20:52:20:

Yes Oratex make an equivalent no coloured tex. Also Sarik hobbies have begun to stock natural Diacov1000.

Sounds as if Sarik have picked up on the availability of Diatex (produced in 1000, 1500 and 2000 grades for the light aircraft market (the 1000 grade was actually the base material for Solartex)). Is it actually Diatex - without glue backing or colour?

I have been using Diatex for several years now, for larger models. When I last checked it was about £5.25 a yard - but from the roll is 2 yards wide - so less than a quarter the price of Solartex... but you then have to glue it on and paint it.

Robin

Andy Stephenson06/06/2020 12:20:40
169 forum posts
28 photos

Once I had discovered Oracover AKA Profilm I never went back to Solarfilm. As hard as I tried to follow the instructions, Solarfilm eventually always sagged and not necessarily in hot weather, time also caused it to go slack. Applying it needed careful temperature control to prevent melting and trying to iron out creases never came out well. Oracover, on the other hand, had none of these problems. This is probably why Solarfilm as a company went the way they did.

Oracover is expensive but a good alternative is the Hobbyking film if you can get it. Easycote is cheapo Oracover and sometime sold as seconds with minor imperfections. It has the disadvantage of being not very opaque and covering a laser cut model with it will show all the black marks on the cut edges.

Andy.

Andy Stephenson06/06/2020 12:28:16
169 forum posts
28 photos
Posted by Tosh McCaber on 06/06/2020 12:07:24:

Does anyone know whether Monocote is still in production?

Tosh,

Monocote is very much an American product and it's availability in the UK seems to be limited at best. It may be because it's expensive plus all the cost of importing it makes it not particularly viable. I remember someone calling it "Moneycote" because it would have been cheaper to cover your model with fivers.

A.

Alan Gorham_06/06/2020 13:03:21
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1287 forum posts
145 photos
Posted by Robin Fowler on 06/06/2020 12:12:32:
Posted by Alan Gorham_ on 05/06/2020 20:52:20:

Yes Oratex make an equivalent no coloured tex. Also Sarik hobbies have begun to stock natural Diacov1000.

Sounds as if Sarik have picked up on the availability of Diatex (produced in 1000, 1500 and 2000 grades for the light aircraft market (the 1000 grade was actually the base material for Solartex)). Is it actually Diatex - without glue backing or colour?

I have been using Diatex for several years now, for larger models. When I last checked it was about £5.25 a yard - but from the roll is 2 yards wide - so less than a quarter the price of Solartex... but you then have to glue it on and paint it.

Robin

Just for clarity, Diacov is different to Diatex. Diacov is specifically aimed at models and does have a heat activated glue layer, unlike Diatex. Therefore Diacov can be considered a direct equivalent to Solartex, whereas Diatex isn't.

Lima Hotel Foxtrot06/06/2020 14:19:28
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391 forum posts

My LMS - Addlestone Model Centre - still seems to have a decent supply of Oracover, Oratex and Easycoat in stock, along with some of the more individual taste colours of solarfilm.

Alan Gorham_06/06/2020 14:27:13
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

No doubt they will have a good stock of "Ora" products as these are all in full production, unlike the Solarfilm produced items the OP was asking about.

Nigel R06/06/2020 15:00:01
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3916 forum posts
678 photos

Had anyone tried the diacov from sarik?

It'd be great to have a readily available tex again.

Alan Gorham_06/06/2020 15:02:23
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1287 forum posts
145 photos

I think Frank Skilbeck has used it but he sourced it from a French supplier. I was going to order some from there but now Sarik supply it I have ordered some to try. Note that Oratex is already readily available if pricy.

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