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Fabric Covering Suggestions for Scale Finish

Old 07-18-2011, 12:55 AM
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Zocane
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Default Fabric Covering Suggestions for Scale Finish

I've been able to pick up bits and pieces from various threads on what might be better coverings for scale aircraft, but it's been harder to make sense of than I thought. It came to my attention on the last build (a Bristol Brownie) that silver glossy Monokote just doesn't cut it. I slowly realized the only way one is going to get a 'realistic' covering is to use fabric and paint.
But I'm still in the dark relatively speaking. I am aware of Sig's Koverall - a polyester fabric, Litespan, Super Coverite (which apparently is not made anymore?), Worldtex (Horizon Hobbies) and Ceconite. Is there a fabric covering most often appreciated by scale scratch builders? I am currently working on a 1/8th scale L-19 Bird Dog and want to try using a fabric rather than the only covering I've known since my Jap Tissue days as a kid.
Any tidbits of info will help immensely as I try to straighten this out in my mind.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:47 AM
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payne9999
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I am covering a Proctor Jenny with Carl Goldberg Colortex. However it seems that it is not available except for a few mail order hobby stores. Apparently it is now sold as World Tex. Colortex looks like aircraft silk. I don't know if Worldtex is good though since I have never used it. I have the Colortex around from when I first got the kit years ago.

I like the way Colortex goes on and it shrinks very nicely. Also, since it is woven it stretches well on the bias (diagonal to the weave) which can help it bend around curves. It paints well with enamels. I haven't tried acrylics but my guess is they would be fine. On a military subject an overcoat of flat clear would be nice.

Dave





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Old 07-18-2011, 02:34 PM
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Colortex, Worldtex and Solartex are all the same product. Solartex is available from BalsaUSA and is my favorite covering for large model aircraft. Ceconite is also very good but you need to supply the adhesive while all the tex's are Iron-on fabrics. One warning if using Ceconite, it will really shrink a lot under heat and will warp any weak structure when you heat shrink it.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:02 PM
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Thanks to you both. This clears it up a lot. There are so many names for the same material that it completely confuses the issue. I will give Solartex a try.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:05 PM
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Dave,

you mentioned using enamels on the Solartex. I have a bit of searching to do in that arena too. I haven't used paints in FOREVER and just picked up a jar of Brodak fuel proof colored dope to paint the interior of the bird dog. Man was that stuff thick, and I had to use the right thinner with it for the brush clean up. I notice your job in the pics you attached look great! What brand of enamel do you use, and what sort of thinner? (I at first used mineral spirits thinner for the Brodak, but the paint congealed on the brush until I used Aerogloss thinner on it).
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:17 PM
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I used Testors Model Master enamels. At the time I was going to finish it with clear (something fuel proof). However, I have abandoned the use of piston engines and only doing electric now so I only have to select a clear coat that will just keep the fabric clean.

The way I laid out the stars was with a template and pencil and then each time I masked I hit it with a light coat of clear to keep the paint from going under the tape line. After the clear dries I spray on the color and release the tape as soon as the paint sets but is not dry. This leaves the cleanest line possible.

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Old 08-25-2011, 07:56 PM
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Do you prime before you paint? I just picked up a two meter roll of natural Solartex and I didn't want to spring for a quart of their primer at 25 dollars or something. I wonder what your thoughts are in the priming area.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:05 PM
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payne9999
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Originally Posted by Zocane View Post
Do you prime before you paint? I just picked up a two meter roll of natural Solartex and I didn't want to spring for a quart of their primer at 25 dollars or something. I wonder what your thoughts are in the priming area.
I never used a primer but I did clear coat my masking lines and after all the colors were applied. If you are doing an electric model then I would suggest just using Testors glosscote or dullcote or a combination of the two if you want a semi-gloss finish.

However, recently I have used a simple hardware store lacquer to clear coat because the small bottles of Testors clear are so expensive for the large areas on RC models. The Watco clear lacquers seem to work great.

http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=163

Best wishes with your project.

Dave

Last edited by payne9999; 08-25-2011 at 08:31 PM.
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