These planes are all over 25 yeas old, but still in excellent structural condition. I've never actually removed dope and fabric from an aircraft to recover it. Is it difficult? Is there any other suggestions?
If the covered parts are small enough to put in a plastic bag, if they arenâ€™t colour doped, if you used dope to attach the covering, AND if you didnÂ´t use balsa cement to build the part â€“ you can try this:
Put this piece in the plastic bag, pour in a couple of tablespoons of thinner or acetone, and then tie up the bag. Leave it overnight and the covering will detach itself.
No need to fill the bag with solvent, the concentrated vapour is usually enough to do the job.
If you have used coloured dope you will get a real mess, and if you built with balsa cement you will get a new kit.
If the above doesnâ€™t work, or if the planes are simply too big, you must do it the hard way. Slice the open areas in a criss-cross fashion and the pull the pieces of covering towards the outer edges. Usually the covering comes off the ribs and cross pieces very easily. When you get to the outer edges; the front & leading edges, longerons & wing tips, the covering will stick tighter. Fold the covering back on itself and see if you can carefully pull it off. If the wood comes with it, you will need to dissolve locally with thinners or carefully sand it down with fine sand paper and a block.
ItÂ´s a lot of work, but not nearly as much as building a new model. If you like your old models â€“ go for it.
Itâ€™ll give you a great feeling of accomplishment to have resurrected old projects.