Instructables

Covering

I am building a Sig Tiger rubber band-powered model. I know it's wimpy, but I don't have a budget for anything larger, or a place to fly it. My question is if anyone has experience with model airplane covering. Specifically, I read an article in an old RC Modeler magazine that said plastic wrap, attached with a glue stick, made excellent covering for light models, but that Monokote and Ultrakote will crush light balsa models when it shrinks. Has anyone ever tried this? I'm supposed to use tissue, according to the plans, but ew.

Also, I have an ancient U-Control Waco SRE biplane that my uncle built when he was deployed to Korea. It has an old O.S. Max III 35 that has no hope of running again, but I want to at least recover it. Any suggestions for removing old covering? It seems to be Monokote-type stuff.

stuffman3665 years ago
to remoye the monokote take an x-acto or razor blade and carefulpunch through were you can tell there is no balsa frame to accidently cut. then carefuly cut out that section. repeat with other sections. once you have all the sections cut out, lightly sand the monokote left on the frame with 400-4000 grit sandpaper. one bare frame!
CameronSS (author) 5 years ago
Instructable up! I'm on summer vacation now, and there's at least one more in the works. Ah...no homework...
CameronSS (author) 6 years ago
Okay, here it is! Yes, I edited the background to get rid of some clutter, and I tweaked the color balance because the wings looked a lot greener in the picture than they really do. I haven't flown it yet, but a few test glides seem like it should fly decently. Even my way-too-artistic sister thought it looked great, so I'm proud of it. That's another project completed!
Sig Tiger.JPG
Looks really nice. Hows the flying characteristics?
CameronSS (author) 6 years ago
It's been a while, but I finally got around to covering the plane. I ended up using tissue to cover the fuselage, and blue plastic wrap on the wings and tail feathers. I just need to assemble the parts, and add a few other little pieces. I just smeared the balsa with a glue stick, stuck on plastic wrap, pulled semi-taut, and shrunk it with a heat gun. Even easier than tissue. Anyone want an Instructable?
Yes please!
Ohm CameronSS6 years ago
Yes :D I didn't even know there was a aircraft building group. Thanks for adding me if it was you, I well post my model related instructables here too. Your Sig tiger looks good, have you flown it yet?
CameronSS (author)  Ohm6 years ago
Yup, I added it...I'm the group admin, and I think I put all but one in there. I STILL haven't flown it yet, I haven't had the essential combination of dry grass, no wind, and free time since September.
bigpinecone6 years ago
monokote won't shrink it... i've cover a guillows cessna 175 with it and it's holding up great
Kira_Koenig6 years ago
since it will be a light weight RB powered plane, I would use Polycover from Hobby Lobby. Or if you want cheap use the food wrap like Westfw said although that said it still is tricky to do without blowing a blood vessel!!!
westfw7 years ago
The ultralight people over at RC groups use a lot of plastics including the food wrap/glue stick method you mention; you might want to check there. They're F'ing crazy; complete remote control planes with motor and battery weighing in at less than 1 gram. Check out the "Indoor and Micro Models" forum. There's also a freeflight forum...
trebuchet037 years ago
You could use monokote without shinking it :p Just apply with cyanacrylic glue or even a glue stick as mentioned :p This way you have a skin that's a little more rigid than plastic wrap... Or just give the plastic wrap a shot - if it doesn't work, it should just peel right off :p
CameronSS (author)  trebuchet037 years ago
Is there such thing as a CA decelerator? All I have is thin CA.
There is :) It might be called retarder and I don't know if a hobby shop will have it. But, it won't make thing CA thicker -- it just slows down the cure time ;)
CameronSS (author) 7 years ago
Well, I just finished the frame, and I'm ready to cover it. I think I'll do the wings with boring ol' tissue, and I'm going to make a test box to try plastic wrap/tissue combos.
HamO7 years ago
Great thread, thanks for starting it. I've already learned a few new tips. Man this place is great!
KentsOkay7 years ago
I've built tons of rubber powered planes, and I've found that the best covering is good old tissue paper. When properly done, its quite tough and is easy to repair.
CameronSS (author)  KentsOkay7 years ago
Well, that's what I thought, but it sure ain't pretty. I was actually thinking of a combination white tissue/blue plastic wrap, like the beautiful Sig Rascal, though it doesn't use tissue.
I heard you cna use plastic wrap, just use a hair drier to shrink it.
CameronSS (author)  KentsOkay7 years ago
I know you can, there was once a construction project in RC Modeler Magazine called the Food Wrap 2000 (July 2003, pg 100, plan #1325-I'm holding the issue right now) that was an electric 3-channel park flyer. He covered it in red and yellow Reynolds Crystal Wrap, and it looked pretty nice. However, he simply said "attached with a UHU glue stick" and a Google search said to spray adhesive into a container and brush it on, then apply plastic wrap
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