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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 07-05-2013, 10:57 PM   #1
smokeyjoe71
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Default silk span and dope

I have been IN and out of this hobby several times and for many years.I got into electric awhile back then sold everything.I just started building some old timers and small park type light flyers , just like the building aspect more than flying any more. I started using silk span and nitrate dope for covering. I have used sig coverall and randolphs air plane paint along time ago on the gas models.Any one else here use the silk span any more? I want to know how to paint it or leave it clear.Will probably sell them for what I have in them no profit.Thanks Bob..
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:10 PM   #2
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I gave away all my left over packages of silkspan. I started using silk from Dharma Trading and will never use silkspan again.

http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3374-AA.shtml

I use the 5mm Habotai silk, it runs only about $3.00 a yard, it's very light, the weave fills quickly and it's stronger than silkspan by a lot.
It also does compound curves with ease.

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Old 07-06-2013, 02:37 AM   #3
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Love the old silk and dope or tissue (of assorted types) and dope finishes.

You just can't make iron-on plastic look as good.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:44 AM   #4
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If you want to get silkspan, make a search for; tea bag paper

Dave R, Proud PGR rider.
When you have flying skills like mine,
You become a master at repair.
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:43 AM   #5
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I've seen it in fabric shops as "pellon", but my 300 year supply ain't running out just yet...
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:39 PM   #6
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Default paint

What type paint do you guys use and how to you apply it?brush, air brush or what?
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by smokeyjoe71 View Post
What type paint do you guys use and how to you apply it?brush, air brush or what?
I still use dope to apply and seal the silk or silkspan. After a couple of coats are on I switch to MinWax Polyurethane.

Then spray cans of Kylon or Rustoleum paints work well.
The only caution is don't apply Krylon over Rustoleum primer, the paint reacts and you just ruined the finish.

For warbirds, I've had good luck with the water based acrylic craft paints sold at Wal Mart or the craft stores. Then a coat of Testors clear and it looks great.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
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Default trials and errors

My 5mm habotai silk from Dharma arrived a couple of days back, and I'm just about to try it out. I've used silkspan in the past ( and still have metres of it stored), so I'm keen to see how it compares. I'm going to apply the habotai silk over balsa sheeted wings, and EPS/EPO foam, using water based polyurethane. I'll also trial using it over traditional balsa frame work, that I would normally use tissue or silkspan over, using dope as a sealant. It will make an interesting diversion after the last few years of working with foam, although it is the middle of winter right now, and everything takes forever to dry
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