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Old 05-25-2013, 02:33 AM   #1
mclarkson
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Default Dollar Tree foam board - catastrophic de-lamination

I took my wife's Nutball out for a flight this week, only to discover that something's gone horribly wrong. The Dollar Tree foam board it's made from has delaminated; the paper has completely detached from the foam. At first, I thought the problem was only with the elevator, but it turns out to extend all the way to the nose of the plane.

No way to fix this; we'll have to rebuild. My faith in Dollar Tree foam is more than a little shaken by this. :/ The plane wasn't wet. The foam/paper is completely covered by packing tape. The plane hangs on the wall, next to a dozen other planes. I have no idea what happened here.

This is my first $T + paper build. Is this ... common?


The paper has come completely loose inside the elevator.


The de-lamination continues into the fuselage/wing of the plane.


The wrinkles show the de-lamination process has reach nearly to the nose of the plane.

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Old 05-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post

This is my first $T + paper build. Is this ... common?

Yes, I paint with latex, water-based urethane, and craft paint they all cause it.

I've stopped using $T for anything other than a quick test plane. You can start by pulling the paper off before building, but the foam is wavy.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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To be fair, that happened with my Radian. The plastic skin did just what yours did on the leading edge (of course!) of the stabilizer. It's stiff enough that when the wind got under it the plastic just stuck about an inch straight up, blocking all wind from the elevator.

Do I need to say that the plane was a bit dicey to control? I verified that I still had rudder control and by carefully tweaking the rudder and throttle brought the plane around for a hand catch. An inexperience flier would have augered it in for sure.

I've never heard of that happening with another Radian. But your photos brought back some memories.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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Water is used to remove the paper on $ store foam, so the water in the water based paint is trying to remove it for you. It will cause it to delaminate. Bummer. I use the Laquor based Tamiya and Testors paint. They actually seal the surface from the water getting through.

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Old 05-25-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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Most who build with dollar tree foam are trying to get the paper off to begin with .MPF ( model plane foam) comes with no paper also to build planes with . The only ones i have seen build with the paper on are the two young guys doing videos for hobby king. My scratch build canard is built with dollar tree foam but with balsa strips in the wing and fuse to stiffen it up.


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Old 05-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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On some planes, I leave it on just for the strength/stiffness. The way I look at it, why take the paper off then add more weight to stiffen it ip. Some planes I take off only half, Say the back half of the wing.

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Old 05-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #7
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I still don't know what happened. It wasn't wet. It was just hangin' on the wall...

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Old 05-25-2013, 11:13 PM   #8
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I have seen alot of forums about how to get the paper off ,some spray water on it till it starts to come loose but it pulls off pretty good if you start in any corner. I use minwax hard wood water based arrylic and talk or baby powder mixed up to fill in the poors and then sand to a smooth finish and paint. This is called Freddie B 's secret sauce named after him. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=3295
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
I still don't know what happened. It wasn't wet. It was just hangin' on the wall...
That is weird that it just de-laminated like that. You sure your wife just didn't want a new plane , and sprayed some water on it.

I would peel the rest of the paper off, and use some colored packing tape where it needs some strength.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:37 AM   #10
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I think starting from scratch is my only option; naked foam is just too floppy at that scale, IMO.

Trying to decide if I wanna risk another de-lam, or go with a different material. The only place water could get in was around the elevator hinge, so I'm gonna do something about that this time.

:shrug:

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Old 05-26-2013, 01:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
I think starting from scratch is my only option; naked foam is just too floppy at that scale, IMO.

Trying to decide if I wanna risk another de-lam, or go with a different material. The only place water could get in was around the elevator hinge, so I'm gonna do something about that this time.

:shrug:
I dont know if this will help you but i use elmers rubber cement when i fold foam to build my wings .If you can get some stuffed in around the edges between the paper and foam it will hold well.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:52 AM   #12
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Another thing that works well on the bare foam is Doculam that you can pick up at Staples. Peel the back off, stick it on, and paint it. Takes paint without any preparation.

Gord.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by flypaper 2 View Post
Another thing that works well on the bare foam is Doculam that you can pick up at Staples. Peel the back off, stick it on, and paint it. Takes paint without any preparation.
I know people cover big planes with Doculam because its cheap but sturdy stuff. Gord Luke Z covered his solent in it. joe
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
I still don't know what happened. It wasn't wet. It was just hangin' on the wall...

There is no glue holding the paper on dollar tree foam. The paper is applied some where in its making process and it just adheres to the foam itself . Take the paper off first and add packing tape instead, Easy fix
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:47 PM   #15
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A few yrs ago you had to use water to peel the paper off as it was too well adhered with a different chemical. Now you can peel it off without water, but the water will still cause it to come loose.

Gord.

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Old 05-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #16
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Alot of dollar tree builders using packing tape of different kinds to finish a plane like Gramps has posted. http://www.fast-pack.com/ Alot of them buy different colors from here. joe
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:18 PM   #17
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Question Humidity

Down here on the Texas Gulf Coast we have a problem with Humidity. It causes the de-lamination like your experiencing if a plane or sheets of the foam is exposed to it all the time. Leaving a plane or the sheets of $Tree or any laminated foam in a garage or outdoor storage shed that's not sealed & humidity controlled will allow the de-lamination to occur over time as well. Once I noticed that during several days of basically 100% humidity one of my $Tree foam planes looked wet Sure enough the paper was soaked from absorbing the humidity & a week or so later I noticed that it had de-laminated
The NFS I recently built (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67791) has also started the process due to my shop not being sealed and not having a de-humidifier or AC yet. Not really sure what I'm gonna do about the NFS just yet as I've only got 2 very short flights on it and I'm not wanting to build another fuselage just yet but I may have to
Something else I noticed is that I wasn't able to apply any heat to areas with laminated foam while I was covering parts of the fuselage as it also cause the paper to de-laminate from the foam. Maybe if I had used a lighter, lower heat type of covering I could've gotten away with it.

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Old 05-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #18
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I've built several of these profile pusher parkjets and all I can say is I agree with Slow John. Humidity is not your friend. On my very first F-22, I went too strong on the spray paint and over a short time, it got soggy. Stopped painting them.

I do cover them with very thin mil colored packing tape. I get mine from Tapebrothers.com I have an F-22 that's lasted over 2 years now. Probably a 150 sorties. Some combat injuries and re-hot glued in places plus a some popsicle stick stengtheners along the fuse but she keeps coming back for more.

Aw shoot ! Just realized I left it in the back seat and it's been real humid up here in Dallas lately. Better go check.....

When you peel off the paper, you now have what amounts to about 3mm foam thickness. If I were you , I'd use the old one as a template to cut out a new airframe from some fresh sheets of $T.

Good luck !

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Old 05-27-2013, 12:23 AM   #19
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Hi Mark Pick up some Great Planes 6mm pro performance foam to build with, the Dollar tree foam is a PITA to work with and its heavy and its prone to problems, i dont use it anymore, Hope that helps, Chellie

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Old 05-27-2013, 01:10 AM   #20
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Sure enough, just sitting in a hot car will cause delamination. I've used 6mm depron on some models and while its nice to work with, I found that unlike $T, I needed CF in a lot of areas to stiffen. Okay, it comes with the territory but with the $T, I could whip up a plane in literally minutes(okay, 2 hours) with some hot glue, two htx900 servos, a couple of rods, etc and be off and flying.

There's a new hybrid foam board called MPF that's very promising: http://www.modelplanefoam.com/index.php/about-us/

All the good and none of the bad. But I think they only sell it by the bundle. I know a guy that has some where I can buy a few sheets.

I might go ahead and cut up a couple more F-22's. Maybe sell them as kits. Out of my entire squadron, the F-22 has probably been my best flyer. The $T version with light colored packing tape has lasted over 2 years and about 150 flights.


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Old 05-27-2013, 01:22 AM   #21
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I think MPF is 65 bucks delivered here in the states but i cant remember how many sheets come in the box.I know its better and cheaper than depron and i need to order myself some but iam back on a balsa building kick again now .I enjoy switching back and forth so i dont get burnt out building with one material all the time. MPF is also selling carbon fiber rods for a good price and they can ship those free inside the foam box. joe
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:11 PM   #22
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Im on my second box of MPF its great stuff . your get 16 24"x48" sheets for $50 plus $15 shipping in the lower states. Shipping to Canada is $40 and well worth it. Much cheaper then the foam you linked to Chellie. developed by and sold for RC planes through RLadam . So its a US made product as well. It cuts better then dollar tree foam and is more durable. Ive also sold 8 sheets of mine to a fellow local flier. almost ready for my third box
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Wilfor View Post
Im on my second box of MPF its great stuff . your get 16 24"x48" sheets for $50 plus $15 shipping in the lower states. Shipping to Canada is $40 and well worth it. Much cheaper then the foam you linked to Chellie. developed by and sold for RC planes through RLadam . So its a US made product as well. It cuts better then dollar tree foam and is more durable. Ive also sold 8 sheets of mine to a fellow local flier. almost ready for my third box
Thanks for posting. When I take a breather from the ARF mode( addiction problem) and get back into building these foamies, I'm going with MPF. Want to build the Mermaid M6 and a replacement F-22. Too late for next Sunday's float fly. Maybe even another Convair SeaDart. Have a drawer full of Grayson V-2's, htx 900 servos, etc.

I would never dis Chellie's advice. She's one of the best builders on the planet. In fact, if you guys ever need custom made aluminum LG for your models, Chellie makes the best ! But maybe she's not yet up on this new foam. It's the rave.

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Old 05-27-2013, 03:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Thanks for posting. When I take a breather from the ARF mode( addiction problem) and get back into building these foamies, I'm going with MPF. Want to build the Mermaid M6 and a replacement F-22. Too late for next Sunday's float fly. Maybe even another Convair SeaDart. Have a drawer full of Grayson V-2's, htx 900 servos, etc.

I would never dis Chellie's advice. She's one of the best builders on the planet. In fact, if you guys ever need custom made aluminum LG for your models, Chellie makes the best ! But maybe she's not yet up on this new foam. It's the rave.
Chellie got me hooked on foam building for over a year now . lol She is a great builder and i have seen her home made landing gear . I have learned alot watching her build some of her foam scratch built planes and she knows about motor and esc sizes also . joe
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Wilfor View Post
Im on my second box of MPF its great stuff . your get 16 24"x48" sheets for $50 plus $15 shipping in the lower states. Shipping to Canada is $40 and well worth it. Much cheaper then the foam you linked to Chellie. developed by and sold for RC planes through RLadam . So its a US made product as well. It cuts better then dollar tree foam and is more durable. Ive also sold 8 sheets of mine to a fellow local flier. almost ready for my third box
I Have not tried the MPF foam yet, But i will soon for small projects, the GP Pro Foam Works great, and is cheap enough, but if your going to be building a lot of planes, Yes get the MPF for sure fore sure

Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Thanks for posting. When I take a breather from the ARF mode( addiction problem) and get back into building these foamies, I'm going with MPF. Want to build the Mermaid M6 and a replacement F-22. Too late for next Sunday's float fly. Maybe even another Convair SeaDart. Have a drawer full of Grayson V-2's, htx 900 servos, etc.

I would never dis Chellie's advice. She's one of the best builders on the planet. In fact, if you guys ever need custom made aluminum LG for your models, Chellie makes the best ! But maybe she's not yet up on this new foam. It's the rave.
I Have Got to try that Foam After I get the IRS off my Back, I will be able to do more projects, Dang IRS, all they want is Money

Originally Posted by road king 97 View Post
Chellie got me hooked on foam building for over a year now . lol She is a great builder and i have seen her home made landing gear . I have learned alot watching her build some of her foam scratch built planes and she knows about motor and esc sizes also . joe
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