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Old 07-06-2014, 08:00 PM   #1
eagle33
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Default High Shrink Covering?

Can anyone recommend a good high-shrink covering material? I have a neat staggerwing beech I have finished and need to cover. It has a wingspan of 18 inches and will be an indoor flyer. I have tried both coverite and ultracote and I can't seem to get the wrinkles out after tacking around the edges. I'm now thinking about trying some light weight iron-on tissue using balsaloc. I'm sure open to any and all suggestions and/or recommendations.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #2
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What are you using to shrink. If a heat gun the air seems to push the covering so it doesn't shrink, but stretches and you end up with remaining wrinkles. You have to hit it at an angle. Ultracote parklite works fine for me.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:22 PM   #3
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You can try solar film, which is not solite, but a bit thicker.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:52 PM   #4
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On that small a model try the old "silkspan" and nitrate dope. Put the silkspan on wet (just damp, not wringing wet) and gently pull out any folds or wrinkles, let dry and then dope with thinned dope. You will wind up with a very taunt covering.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #5
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I've had good luck with the ultra light iron on coverings. SoLite, and/or Coverite Microlite.

http://www.towerhobbies.com/products.../covq0240.html

Even the "Opaques" are still a little transparent, but it shrinks well for me. It shrinks at a lower temp than the heaver coverings.

Steve

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Old 07-07-2014, 01:41 AM   #6
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I will never ever use Solite again. To hard to take the backing off, it doesn't adhere around edges well and like to creep. Never tried the Coverite stuff. Ultracote Parklite works well for me, but does show seams a bit.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:11 AM   #7
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Dare I say ... for an indoor model ... old fashioned Tissue and Dope ?

I certainly wouldn't use Solarfiilm or any other standard weight film. Solarfilm is one of the best films - but too heavy for indoor.

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Old 07-07-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
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The tissue/silkspan and dope is looking better and better.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:27 PM   #9
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If I use silkspan and dope, can I then paint it? If so, what paint would be recommended? Acrylic or something else? I want to end up with a yellow staggerwing. I plan to use an airbrush.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by eagle33 View Post
If I use silkspan and dope, can I then paint it? If so, what paint would be recommended? Acrylic or something else? I want to end up with a yellow staggerwing. I plan to use an airbrush.
Dope is a lacquer made up from nitrocellulose dissolved in a solvent, usually MEK or acetone. Any paint that will go over lacquer will work.

Aircraft spruce is a good mail order source and Randolph a good brand.

There are two types available and either will work for your application. Nitrate was the old free-flight favorite as it would shrink the covering slightly as it cured, then stop. It fell out of favor for a lot of reasons, not being hot fuel proof being one and being highly flammable is another. Butrate dope is fuel proof and shrinks, but it never stop shrinking and would eventually warp lightweight structures. We got around this by adding a few drops of glycerin to the container.

Clear dope and yellow tissue would look great on your staggering. I'd recommend a tautening nitrate but that is just personal preference.

Photos please when complete.

Silence is often misunderstood, but it is never misquoted.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #11
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Consider using Doculam for your project. It is a laminating film that works well as an iron-on covering. I find that it shrinks very well and does not loosen over time. It will add considerable strength to a structure. Because it is crystal-clear after application, it needs to be painted. It takes most acrylic, water-based paints very well, so you can avoid the fumes and need for a well ventilated work area. It is available online from many sources and can sometimes be found in office supply stores.

~Tim
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:17 PM   #12
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Japanese tissue. Comes in white, black, and many basic colors. You can put it on wet but dry is easier and it shrinks real well. So well on a lightweight frame it is advised to pre-shrink the Japanese tissue = brand name Esaki.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:53 PM   #13
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Whether you use silkspan or tissue, use Nitrate (not Butyrate) dope. You can not put any kind of paint over Butyrate other than more Butyrate. You can get both Nitrate or Butyrate in colors as well as clear. It is best to use clear to attach whichever of the coverings you choose. Either one (silkspan or tissue) requires that you coat them with dope after applying else they will soon tear or show wear at the slightest provocation. The lightest way is to use colored Japanese tissue attached and sealed with clear nitrate dope. Only use Butyrate as an over coat if you are using a glow or gasoline engine as nitrate is not fuel proof. The silkspan is slightly stronger than Japanese tissue if that needs to be a consideration and is slightly heavier but not usually enough to be of consideration.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rodneh View Post
Whether you use silkspan or tissue, use Nitrate (not Butyrate) dope. You can not put any kind of paint over Butyrate other than more Butyrate. You can get both Nitrate or Butyrate in colors as well as clear. It is best to use clear to attach whichever of the coverings you choose. Either one (silkspan or tissue) requires that you coat them with dope after applying else they will soon tear or show wear at the slightest provocation. The lightest way is to use colored Japanese tissue attached and sealed with clear nitrate dope. Only use Butyrate as an over coat if you are using a glow or gasoline engine as nitrate is not fuel proof. The silkspan is slightly stronger than Japanese tissue if that needs to be a consideration and is slightly heavier but not usually enough to be of consideration.
Good summation, Rodneh. I've used Easki and silkspan, prefer Esaki, but my new fav covering is silk. At least for park flying size models. I have dyed silk with Rit to get colors, and also used Design Master floral paint which is a lacquer and goes over nitrate dope just dandy.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by whitecrest View Post
Consider using Doculam for your project. It is a laminating film that works well as an iron-on covering. I find that it shrinks very well and does not loosen over time. It will add considerable strength to a structure. Because it is crystal-clear after application, it needs to be painted. It takes most acrylic, water-based paints very well, so you can avoid the fumes and need for a well ventilated work area. It is available online from many sources and can sometimes be found in office supply stores.
Tim

The Doculam I have is high gloss. Will the water based paint still stick
to it?? Man! This stuff goes on nice & it's tuff.

Got it per your recommend on above post! It will be the trick if it paints well, & looks good after painting! So far I like it better than the other iron/ons I have used!! Very cost effective also!!

THANKS!

Regards
Jimmy
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
Tim

The Doculam I have is high gloss. Will the water based paint still stick
to it?? Man! This stuff goes on nice & it's tuff.

Got it per your recommend on above post! It will be the trick if it paints well, & looks good after painting! So far I like it better than the other iron/ons I have used!! Very cost effective also!!

THANKS!

Regards
Jimmy
I have found that painting Doculam (mine is glossy too) goes better if it is first scuffed with 000 steel wool. This works well with the water-based acrylics I have been using. Many paints have been used successfully, and a little experimentation and some practice will give you good results. I practiced on some old wing frames I had on hand.

~Tim
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:54 AM   #17
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Coverite Microlite is about the best shrinking covering known and my covering of choice. Wingtips are always difficult, since you can get the wrinkles out in one direction, but it tends to form "waves" in another direction as it bunches up. I've just had to experiment with technique, until you figure out how to work it, to defeat that. I know what you mean about wingtips, as I really had to work it on my last build to get all the wrinkles out of some wingtips that had an abrupt drop from the last former to the tip.

Microlite's become my covering of choice for workability and it paints fine, even though they don't recommend it. The covering wrinkles up like a prune after painting, but once dry it usually reshrinks 95%. If not, a high power hair dryer or careful heat gun app at a distance does the job. The Albatros DV I just finished is painted Microlite covered, probably still lighter after painting at 11.6oz AUW, versus using a dark colored, heavier covering. The other advantage is that you get to paint the exact color you want. With a standard covering, the plane would really weight if you painted it over. If they have an exact color I want, then I've become a Parklite fan, in a close tie to Ekonokote.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by whitecrest View Post
I have found that painting Doculam (mine is glossy too) goes better if it is first scuffed with 000 steel wool. This works well with the water-based acrylics I have been using. Many paints have been used successfully, and a little experimentation and some practice will give you good results. I practiced on some old wing frames I had on hand.
Tim

Thanks
I have enough Doculam on hand now to do a lot
of builds. I think it was $49 shipped.

Regards
Jimmy
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:19 PM   #19
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How good is the doculam. Sounds like it is easier to cover the hurri in doculam and use a flat paint.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by whitecrest View Post
Consider using Doculam for your project. It is a laminating film that works well as an iron-on covering. I find that it shrinks very well and does not loosen over time. It will add considerable strength to a structure. Because it is crystal-clear after application, it needs to be painted. It takes most acrylic, water-based paints very well, so you can avoid the fumes and need for a well ventilated work area. It is available online from many sources and can sometimes be found in office supply stores.
I am guessing that the 1.5 mil thickness is what you have used? I found a site that offers both gloss and matte finishes (matte is much more expensive, like double!) in 9" or 12" or 18" widths for a 500' roll in either nylon or Polyester. Looks like they only sell a minimum of 2 rolls per order. 9"x500' would run $27.95 for gloss and $51.61 for matte (shipping included). Looks like it would cover a LOT of planes with 1000 feet even @ 9" wide.

Still looking, that site just happened to be the first in my search results.

Tried Coverite Black Baron Film and Microlite. Neither would stick (except the Microlite sticks to itself VERY GOOD but not to my 18" ws balsa model. I had my iron at 180 degrees F and hotter when it wouldn't stick (IR sensor to check temps... used to use it to check tire temps when I was racing SCCA.) Never took the covering iron to a higher heat just to melt the stuff. Maybe I should have to see what REALLY it the temps the film works at. My IR sensor (non-contact) was never calibrated but I really was checking side to side of the tires and whether the headers had equal heat in them.

It has been 45+ years since I last worked on balsa models (or in the RC Airplane hobby - USAF, motorcycle and car racing kept me busy but is MUCH more expensive!) and although I am able to build, I can't seem to cover and that is frustrating.

All else fails, tissue and nitrate dope! I was hoping to avoid that since that will banish me to the shop to paint.

Thanks for any further info supplied!

Paul
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:31 PM   #21
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Microlite sticks fine, it's just not going to spoil a person like Parklite does, which sticks REALLY well to itself also. There's a trade off: You can't have lightweight, and also have a heavy, rubbery glue. Take one or the other. Certainly Microlite is a bit more tedious to work with than heavier coverings, so a person just has to work more intricately and put some effort into getting onto it. The lightweight is worth the effort, and a light coat of paint over a close color gives exactly what you want, versus having glossy WWI warbirds.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by PHerder View Post
I am guessing that the 1.5 mil thickness is what you have used? . . .
Yes, this thickness works well for park fliers. There are various thicknesses available.

Here's a link for USI Laminate:
https://www.usi-laminate.com/store/w...454&Level2=601

~Tim
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