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Scratch and Kit Built Aircraft Discuss and share your scratch built or kit built aircraft as well as building techniques, methods, mediums and resources.

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Old 11-04-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
Alaskan Flyer
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Default Ultrakote, Monokote or Econokote?

Hello All,
I am looking into covering a Hobby Zone Super Cub LP over the long cold winter here. I spoke with the local RC store and he was no help. Mainly because he sells RC cars and VERY FEW planes. I want to cover this plane. I am trying to avoid the packing tape look (most people in other forum sugjest this). I have seen the you tube videos about Econokote so I know that works but I don't know about Ultrakote. I have seen the application process for it. But it needs more heat to be applied and streched. I am wondering if it would warp the wings because of all the heating and stretching. And I know nothing about Monokote. Which should I use. Econokote is available on line as is Ultrakote. But there is MUCH more color choices using Ultrakote and Monokote.
So which one would work better? Please remember, I have never covered a plane before. And the local hobby shop has closed its doors. Obivously the local RC shop will be no help at all. So I am left to my own devises.

Thanks
Alaskan Flyer
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:12 AM   #2
tobydogs
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hello Alaskan flyer, i love building and covering can be very rewarding or pure torture.

econocoat....never used it.

monocoat....has changed over the years,and not for the better unfortunately. it requires a lot of heat to shrink and at the last moment before finishing touches shrinking ,it will burn through. its colors will also streak do to poor coloring. especially the cub yellow! i used monocoat on my sturdier builds and still do since its a heavier film.

ultracoat is awesome as it shrinks with less heat,re shrinks to get rid of wrinkles after a season of flying. the thing i don't like as much as monocoat is the seams don't look as nice as monocoat.

hope this helps,and i hope to try other coverings that don't break the bank. Stu

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:05 AM   #3
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If you've never used plastic covering before, use Ultracoat.
It is much easier to apply.

I have about a dozen rolls of Econokote left, and I think some are the "new" formulation. After applying the material to the frame and heat is applied to "shrink" the covering the new rolls relax first, sometimes adhering to the balsa and causing wrinkles. Not fun.

I've been trying to clear out my old Monokote and Econokote, but every time I get a nice airplane I use the Ultrcoat.

Just my $.02.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:06 AM   #4
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Being of economical nature, a lot of my models are covered in 'Towerkote' from Tower Hobbies and their cheapest covering material. Not a wide range of colours, but I'm bored by covering time and want to see if it flies - not flying is always a possibility with my own design models

Monokote has the greatest range of colours and is a good, reliable material, but for a small model or a light framework, it can shrink enough to distort an airframe - tail surfaces are especially vunerable on small models to this. Econokote is a better bet for a smaller model.

For a small, lightly built balsa model, 'SoLite' - 'Solarfilm Lite' for its full UK manufacturer's name - is ideal, weighing but 0.6oz per square yard - that's about a fifth at least of Monokote etc. weight. It is sold in the US under other names - Tower Hobbies sell it as '21st Century Microlite Film'. BUT - it does require careful sealing iron heat control - I use a separate thermometer to check iron temperature - and careful handling in cutting, unfolding and placement. If you hurry too much in handling, some folk have reported it has a habit of folding under on itself and the glue faces sticking together, for one. I've had trouble with this with some 'dark green' Solite, but the red and cream I lean to have given me no trouble - but I've had a little covering practice over the years

Hope that helps

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Old 11-05-2011, 03:46 AM   #5
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I would be careful about covering a foam plane with any of the covering films, especially the ones requiring a lot of heat for proper shrink. If you are very careful, the Solite would probably work, I have used it successfully on a foam wing. Check the forums, there are a lot of clever people out there. Somebody is sure to be an experienced expert.

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Old 11-05-2011, 04:43 AM   #6
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I would go with Econokote/ Towerkote (very close to the same thing)
I have covered hotwire cut blue and pink foam wings as well as bluecor without any issues.
Just sneak up on the temp you need, and you will be fine.

Fred
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:00 AM   #7
Bill G
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Monokote, and other brands work differently, depending on color. Silver and chrome are traditionally a real pain. Econokote is very workable and has high shrink capability, making it ideal for tough covering jobs. The only thing you have to watch, is that it will get rubbery when hot, and can tear if overworked. This is true to some extent with any covering however, and it not a problem once you get onto it. It is one of my favorites. I use the white for a number of things, and simply paint over it as desired. It will warp structures if shrunk hard, which is one of the reasons, along with light weight, that I use Microlite for much of my work now. For me, the only drawback is durability.

Microlite is one of those things that you will hate, until you get onto it, and then you will love it. It is thin enough that it will rarely warp structures, and can be shrunk to oblivion. I just used it for the entire covering job on my 36" HE51 scratch build below. It will loosen if painted, but usually will reshrink itself after drying. If not, a good hair dryer will usually shrink out any wrinkles. I use Microlite on models of all sizes now, as the weight loss is obviously greater, as the model size increases.


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