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Covering Materials Availability-Alternatives

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Tosh McCaber11/11/2020 12:57:16
235 forum posts
28 photos

Just done a run through of available iron on covering materials. Here's a list of my results:

Solarfilm, Solartex- Discontinued: Oratex- Available- Expensive!: Easycoat- Mainly available in10m lengths- available@ £50.00: Monocote Limited Availability- Expensive- future uncertain.

In the USA- Coverite, 21st Century Pre-painted Fabric, Sig Coverall all discontinued. Only Ultracoat seems available

I guess that the ready-built market has diminished the requirements for iron on films?

There are some of the alternative vinyl films being used for logos on vans etc. I wondered how they would compare with some of the above- weight, shrinkabilrty etc?

Anyone had any experience with any other than our (previous) mainstream modelling films?

Edited By Tosh McCaber on 11/11/2020 12:58:06

Capt Kremen11/11/2020 13:11:07
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449 forum posts
190 photos

Although I have not had occasion to try, laminating film e.g. 'Doculam', (various thickness available), may be a way forward. For traditional fans, tissue may be applied over this for a robust and more durable finish.

This requires paint application in a colour of your choice plus the adhesive e.g. 'Cover Grip'. How this compares weight wise v purpose made model coverings I don't know.

Stephen Smith 1411/11/2020 13:22:32
273 forum posts

Hobbyking film is spot on if they dont have it in stock rapid rc carry it in stock

Tosh McCaber11/11/2020 14:13:30
235 forum posts
28 photos

Didn't remember |HK in my trawling through!

Bob Cotsford11/11/2020 14:34:50
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8945 forum posts
498 photos
Posted by Capt Kremen on 11/11/2020 13:11:07:

Although I have not had occasion to try, laminating film e.g. 'Doculam', (various thickness available), may be a way forward. For traditional fans, tissue may be applied over this for a robust and more durable finish.

This requires paint application in a colour of your choice plus the adhesive e.g. 'Cover Grip'. How this compares weight wise v purpose made model coverings I don't know.

Do laminating films need an adhesive? I was under the impression that they came coated with heat sensitive adhesive but I've not tried them myself - yet!

Geoff S11/11/2020 14:40:54
4033 forum posts
68 photos

I've sent off for a couple of metres of Diacov 1000 from Sarik Hobbies to see what it's like as a substitute for Solartex. It will need to be painted but that may not be a bad thing.

HobbyKing film is excellent - when you can get it!

Geoff

Tosh McCaber11/11/2020 15:09:59
235 forum posts
28 photos

How about the vinyl films being used for logos on vans etc. How they would compare with some of the above- weight, shrinkabilrty etc?

Has anyone had any experience with them?

Edited By Tosh McCaber on 11/11/2020 15:10:40

Ernie11/11/2020 15:35:36
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2550 forum posts
24 photos

Hi Guys, Yes Diacov is excellent, very close to solartex It does need to be painted. The only colour, I suppose would be called natural

ernie

Nigel R11/11/2020 15:47:58
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4406 forum posts
717 photos

HK film is good and decent value - if you can get it. As noted rapidrc (and a number of ebay outlets) carry it for around double the price - but almost always available.

Andy Stephenson11/11/2020 15:54:41
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344 forum posts
46 photos

As far as I know, Oracover = Ultracote = Profilm, it just depends where you buy it from but it always says the original German name "Oracover" on the backing sheet.

and

Hobbyking film = Chinacote?

A.

Frank Skilbeck11/11/2020 16:17:14
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4926 forum posts
114 photos

Haven't used it myself, But Roo Hawkins has had good results using vinyl https://scalesoaring.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2155&hilit=vinyl&start=50

Engine Doctor11/11/2020 16:33:24
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2717 forum posts
44 photos
Posted by Capt Kremen on 11/11/2020 13:11:07:

Although I have not had occasion to try, laminating film e.g. 'Doculam', (various thickness available), may be a way forward. For traditional fans, tissue may be applied over this for a robust and more durable finish.

This requires paint application in a colour of your choice plus the adhesive e.g. 'Cover Grip'. How this compares weight wise v purpose made model coverings I don't know.

Hi I have tried the laminating film in the matt finish for covering and that has adhesive already applied it looks like a tissue covering but is tremendously strong by comparison . The thinnest I found in matt is 30 microns .Just iron on as usual. Well not quite as usual. It doesn't shrink quite as much as normal coverings so needs tacking on reasonably smooth and then needs higher heat to shrink it. It can take a very high heat compared to our usual coverings. Also any overlaps or repair patches will stick down and NEVER come unstuck even after sustained attack with a fingernail ! Compound curves need a robust approach to stretch it around edges without any crinkly bits but with practice its very doable especially with a hot air gun . One downside is I could only find the 30 micron in 300 mm x 100 m rolls and the 70 micron ideal for medium sized models on 600 mm x 100 m rolls so have loads to play with but its a lot cheaper than conventional films It needs painting but takes paint very well unless you like that just doped tissue finish. Both water based acrylic and Humbrol enamel tested on it and adheres well as the surface is matt the paint keys very well and doesn't peel or scratch off. I would think the gloss variety might have difficulty getting paint to adhere but not tried it . It definitely doesn't sag if left in the sun .

Ron Gray11/11/2020 17:00:41
2520 forum posts
1009 photos

I've been using lam film for a while now and it is my 'go to' covering material for warbirds. As ED says, you have to use more heat than normal covering film, circa 150 degrees but it does stretch enough to cover most curvey bits such as wing tips and rounded fuselages. Overlaps are not that pronounced and can be rubbed down to feather the edges, which, after prime and topcoats are barely noticeable. I've only used the gloss type but will try the ultra matt when I eventually get through this roll in a couple of years time! In fact that is the biggest disadvantage with lam film, it tends to come in large (100m+) rolls. I use the 38 micron thickness which is a good all round thickness, I've tried thicker but didn't get on as well with it, and the other thing I will get is a wider roll, mine is approx 300mm but next time I will get 600. It also covers open structures really well and can be used on foamies, just be careful about the amount of heat used unless you like the 'gator skin look!

Regarding painting, it takes paint really well and I haven't had any lifting or peeling of paint, I do prepare the film by keying it with very fine sandpaper (I guess ScotchBrite would do the same job). If you need holes for control wires etc to pass through then just heat up a length of metal tube and push it through, it melts the film to form nice round holes which won't tear or split.

I can also vouch for its strength when there is an impact (crash), quite remarkable!

Ace12/11/2020 15:48:53
384 forum posts
23 photos

+1 for laminating film thumbs up

I have the 38 micron gloss x 600mm and when the surface is scotchbrited then a plastic primer applied you can't scrape the paint off with a fingernail. Paint then PV67 - job done.

Lima Hotel Foxtrot13/11/2020 14:28:25
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422 forum posts
Posted by Tosh McCaber on 11/11/2020 12:57:16:

Just done a run through of available iron on covering materials. Here's a list of my results:

Solarfilm, Solartex- Discontinued: Oratex- Available- Expensive!: Easycoat- Mainly available in10m lengths- available@ £50.00: Monocote Limited Availability- Expensive- future uncertain.

My LMS - Addlestone Models - have was coat in 2m rolls for £12.

John3816/11/2020 12:06:29
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466 forum posts
61 photos

I have been trying various coverings over mylar or Doculam since solartex went out of production.

My models are vintage style built from plans and usually bigger than 72” span.

Apart from tissue I have tried polyester based chiffon – very light with an open weave – but over doculam. The Doculam is given a coating of dope to prime it before applying the chiffon which is applied with thinned dope and then 1 or 2 coats of 50/50 dope/thinners to weather seal the chiffon. Not much dope is needed as the Doculam seals the airframe against the weather. The combined coats stiffen up the airframe but any wrinkles induced by the doped chiffon mostly shrink out with the covering iron.

I am now trial-ling polyester based satin habitae faux silk over Doculam. The colours are denser and the weave tighter than chiffon. I glue the material to the air frame using fabric glue – Impex Original Hi Tack glue. When glue is dry I lay material on stretching it and use sealing iron to activate glue and fix the silk to the frame, pulling tight as you would do with solartex. On corners, you chase the wrinkles round just as solartex to smooth down and fix.. I then apply thinners with about 10% dope to fix the silk to the underlying doped Doculam. Any wrinkles at this stage can be taken out with the covering iron. Another coat of 50/50 dope is then applied to weather seal the silk. The finished covering hardly shows any weave and is fairly light, the combined dope, doculam and silk coming out about 0.15 oz/sqft – I think solartex is about 0.25 oz/sqft (?)

The trial model is the Keilkraft Outlaw scaled up to 72” span and I should finish and maiden it when we come out of lockdown. The finished doped white silk looks very good and very similar to semi translucent doped tissue.

.The “silk” cost £1.10 per running meter 44” wide at Fabricland. Mylar is limited in width and I use doculam which is 12” wide and rolls of 250 ft which cost about £30 but will see me and my modelling days out! Impex fabric glue is about £4 and appears similar to balsaloc but easier to apply as it comes in a plastic bottle with a thin nozzle and is more controllable to apply. Still have to smooth the small bead down to spread it.

I think covering the Outlaw would cost about £4 total.

Waterbased floor varnish is also being suggested instead of dope as it is more friendly to the other halves sense of smell.

 

Edited By John Laird on 16/11/2020 12:07:42

Former Member16/11/2020 12:17:14
1020 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Bob Cotsford16/11/2020 12:22:18
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8945 forum posts
498 photos

Solartex is listed as being 85-90 gm/sq.m, whats that - about 10gm/sq.ft or .3oz/sq.ft? Your figure will need adjusting for solid colours which will need a paint allowance adding but should still compare favourably. It certainly merits consideration for fabric covered models, though I suspect many will still opt for Oratex or Diacov for convenience.

I have a Curtis P-6E kit tucked away, I'll certainly consider silk over laminating film when/if I get around to it.

Richard Acland16/11/2020 13:17:20
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149 forum posts
72 photos

Keep checking the Hobbyking site. Their film is brillant and comes in 5 metre lengths for 10 or 12 quid.

I have covered my last three builds with it. As previously stated Rapid R C carry it but it will be more expensive

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