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Covering - how long does it take you?

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Nigel R26/11/2020 16:05:29
4428 forum posts
717 photos

Love it or hate it unless you have just ARTF'd then it must be done.

Just wondering how long us forumites spend on an average covering job?

Seems to take me about 10 hours even for a fairly basic box sport model, just to get film all over the airframe!

Any speedy workers here?

Craig Carr26/11/2020 16:13:23
754 forum posts
525 photos

It seems to take me ages as well Nigel.   Probably a day or so

I tend to faff on making templates from the film backing for the different sections which adds to the time ..:. Then if I’m not 100% happy with the piece ... It comes off and is done again

But, If a jobs worth doing etc etc

Edited By Craig Carr on 26/11/2020 16:14:37

Ray Wood 426/11/2020 16:13:56
269 forum posts
44 photos


How long is piece of string ??

Somewhere between 5 hours to 9 Months in my experience.

Regards Ray

Geoff S26/11/2020 16:21:09
4046 forum posts
68 photos

Ages - especially if, like a lot of my builds, it's a biplane and I elect to try rib tapes and stitching (though I usually opt just for tapes). But I've never measured the time as I don't think I've ever covered a model in one session.


J D 826/11/2020 16:27:31
1769 forum posts
88 photos

To long, every time. There is always a bit that's a right faff.frown

Nigel R26/11/2020 16:54:49
4428 forum posts
717 photos
Posted by Ray Wood 4 on 26/11/2020 16:13:56:


How long is piece of string ??

Somewhere between 5 hours to 9 Months in my experience.

Regards Ray

Half as long as a long piece!

Glyn4426/11/2020 17:11:58
739 forum posts
93 photos

18 months and counting! New model all fitted out only needs the heat shrink popping on. It’s the wing tips, always make a pigs ear of it. Can’t face it. Upside, there’s always tomorrow!

Richard Acland26/11/2020 17:19:03
150 forum posts
72 photos

I build all my models from plans. When it comes to the covering stage I for some reason make a hash of it. It is possibly because I am at that stage when I just want to finish it and get it in the air. On my last build I was determiined to take my time and get it right. I didnt, and ended up wasting a load of film again.

Rod Parsons 126/11/2020 17:24:04
27 forum posts

Not too long,

About a year for the fuselage and rudder, then a quick pause of 15 years to do the wings and tailplane. The wings only only took about 3 nights to do once I got down to it.

i just need to hinge it all now.

planning to have it in the air in the Spring

I’d put it off so long, as I wasn’t sure how to put a small curve in the scheme and had talked myself out of it. In the end I cut around a dinner plate!


David Hazell 126/11/2020 17:25:16
133 forum posts
3 photos

I have a model with all the moving surfaces covered. I now need to go at the wing and fus. I reckon the whole job for me is about 12 hours, but spans over many sessions!

Former Member26/11/2020 17:38:15
1016 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Cuban826/11/2020 17:50:21
3169 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Doc Marten on 26/11/2020 17:38:15:

Is it just me or does anyone else fit the control surfaces before they cover the model?

No, always cover first and then finally attach surfaces - film covering or glass and paint. Sounds like a nightmare to cover with control surfaces fixed, but whatever works I suppose.

NigelS26/11/2020 18:36:53
47 forum posts
166 photos

I cover the hinge line first, then install hinges. I peg them so they don't pull out, sand the pegs flush with the surfaces then cover the rest.

I do the Fin/Rudder and Tail/Elevators with one piece of film top/bottom and after tacking in place slit the hinge line and iron down.I find with care it makes very tidy joins.

When I do the ailerons I prefer to use live film hinges again doing the faces first. then cover whole bottom/followed by the upper. Slitting the ends and ironing to trim.

After that its applying trim etc. This biplane took me about 20 hours to cover over a week in July admittedly I had time to kill but it has a busy scheme in four colours with individual checker squares on underside of tail and both wings.

Wing Tips - lots and lots of heat (I did say lots of heat) in the iron and keep pulling hard -start a few mm away from the suface with the heat s you are pulling and you can get very smooth compound curves (and occasionally scorched fingers). After the old Solarfilm....I found Oracover is not too good for this but Hobby King stuff is brilliant at it.

Personally I find the covering the best bit it is when the plane comes to light but plan the sequence and take your time.


Peter Miller26/11/2020 18:45:55
11780 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

It depends on the color scheme


Pretty quick


A bit longer


A lot longer


Avery long time

And my current one wil take a long time toosad

gangster26/11/2020 19:10:23
1084 forum posts
29 photos

There a video on you tube of a lady covering an artf. Now that is fast

leccyflyer26/11/2020 19:18:07
1762 forum posts
349 photos
Posted by Doc Marten on 26/11/2020 17:38:15:

Is it just me or does anyone else fit the control surfaces before they cover the model?

Personally I cover the model and control surfaces first, then fit the control surfaces.

Mike Etheridge 126/11/2020 19:51:35
1677 forum posts
481 photos

In the early days when I was about 12, I had a couple of mates Chas Moody and David Murray who very good builders. David used to set the trends even at that age with doped tissue covered planes. He used a spray gun and thinned clear dope so we naturally followed suit. I was the first to used doped nylon (At this stage both mates had given up Aeromodelling) on my KK New Junior 60 and a control line Peacemaker, both powered by an ED Racer bought in a Junk shop originally by mate Dave for thirty shillings. The mistake I made with the nylon was doping it indoors on the Junior 60 during the really cold winter of 1963. The nylon finished up nice and tight but had white blotches where condensation had occurred So I stripped the nylon off and recovered it with new nylon and used a one bar electric fire trained on the doped areas to prevent the condensation issue. The nylon rotted on the plane in a garden shed and lasted until 1976 when I had to replace it. Recently I had to replace the nylon again on the fuselage with Oratex which was brilliant to apply and of course no dope was necessary and the time taken for the work was much reduced. I have retained the nylon on the wings even though it looks tatty.


Richard Acland26/11/2020 21:54:00
150 forum posts
72 photos

When I finished building this I honestly thought twice about covering it.Lady Eowyn Two

fly boy326/11/2020 22:15:31
3804 forum posts
22 photos

It has to be done. The more you do the better the finished article, and we do get it done a little quicker.

Bob Cotsford26/11/2020 23:11:24
8948 forum posts
498 photos
Posted by Ray Wood 4 on 26/11/2020 16:13:56:


How long is piece of string ??

Somewhere between 5 hours to 9 Months in my experience.

Regards Ray

+1 yes

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