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Covering with Solartex help.

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Old 10-02-2010, 01:59 PM
  #1
GaryHarris
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Default Covering with Solartex help.

I have used the search function here and pretty much only understand not to use a heat gun, use a little lower heat than you would using MonoKote and after the first shrinkage take the parts out into the sun and re-shrink when back indoors.

Ill be mostly using a regular clothes iron since the plane is so big. (BUSA Eindecker 90). This will also be my first time covering a fully built plane so am I to assume in the corners like the tail feathers, the 3/8" rule applies just like other plastic coverings?

Plus since this a Eindecker, I will be painting the maltese cross's. Is rattle can paint ok for this?

Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:05 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

I went ahead and gave a shot at covering one of the open bay ailerons just using the supplied instruction sheet.

Wow!

This stuff is incredible! Now I can toss out those third arm petri dishes that I have laying around that I was going to attach to my forehead.

I don't have a camera handy right now but will take pics on Monday.
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:06 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Even a caveman can do it. [X(]
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:46 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

SolarTex is spectacular. So easy to work with. I use a regular model covering iron on the recommended heat setting to seal the covering to edges and ribs.

I don't know about any issue using a heat gun. I do it all the time. I hold the gun a good foot away in one hand and the piece in the other. I keep the gun moving all the time. I just watch the covering, especially in the corners like where ribs meet spars. First you will see the slack be taken out and then the wrinkles. As soon as that happens, you're done.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:03 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: GaryHarris

Even a caveman can do it. [X(]
Hahaha. Yes, Solartex is easy to work with. I also use a regular heating iron set at a lower temp than monokote but also a heat gun without problems. And I've used Lustrecote from rattlecans with no problem. You can also cut simple graphics from solartex itself or coverite 21st Century fabric (which has a little shine to it) and adhere it right over the solartex. I made my iron crosses for my Eindecker using 21st century that way.

I've had planes out in bright sun without sagging but if you do get some just tighten it up with a heat gun.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:52 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Chevelle
That's a beauty

One more tip,,
Only thing to look out for with solortex and painting over it,, make sure the seams are sealed tight,, If the seams lift and you have to reseal them after it's painted they will shrink and the white will show a tiny bit. Of course I learned this te hard way,, Now once I'm done I'll go back over it with a hotter iron and double check all the seams before I start painting

Good luck

All Solartex,,, K&B epoxy paint
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Man you guys are good!
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:09 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

I just finished the other aileron and have Solartex figured out. I like it!

Unless I'm building a super light plane, no more plastic.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:42 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: GaryHarris

I just finished the other aileron and have Solartex figured out. I like it!

Unless I'm building a super light plane, no more plastic.
I haven't used plastic in years. And if I want a little shinier finish I use 21st Century. In fact I've used them in combination many times for a nice effect. Wrinkles ........ what are those!

Enjoy!
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:51 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

No wrinkles!
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:23 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Heat gun is no problem, like all coverings you just don't want to over heat or it too will pull away from the edges. It just goes on so easy you don't get a lot of wrinkles or sags so a lot often as not just an iron will do the trick. Wait until you paint!! This covering really looks good painted as long as you don't use more paint then you need to cover it. I use there colored TEX more often then painting. Not having the gloss shine you get with plastic coverings I can see the plane a lot better when it's in the air. Ultracote is almost as easy to use in the plastic coverings, just something to keep in mind.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:34 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Absolutely Gray Beard. For my sport planes I use Ultracote. Great to work with.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:35 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Chevelle

Absolutely Gray Beard. For my sport planes I use Ultracote. Great to work with.
I like the fact it is like the TEX coverings, after you let them sit in the sun a few times it doesn't sag or wrinkle like other coverings. I have planes that have been out in the hot desert sun for days without a wrinkle. Just another good product..
Gene
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:42 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

That's good news Gary!  Would it be OK to use Solartex on an LT-40 (weight wise) or should I look at using Ultracote or something else?  Do you have to paint over Solartex or can you leave it as is?
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:32 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

I am getting ready to cover a 33% J-3 with Solartex. I have a 10 meter roll of Cub Yellow. I will be giving it a coat of paint after the rib stitching and tapes are applied. This will be my 1st covering job with Solartex so I am a bit anxious. Up until this build I have been using Sig Koverall for a fabric finish.
Later!!
Anthony
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:34 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Anthony

After you try Solartex, I doubt that you'll go back to Koverall.

Solartex does not require the paint prep that Koverall does. It does not require dope to seal. Many of us spray on the color coats without the use of primer.

In my opinion, Solartex is an easier product to use, than Koverall. The fact that Pink-it sells rib tapes, made from it, makes finishing a scale model a relative breeze.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:37 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: GaryHarris
Plus since this a Eindecker, I will be painting the maltese cross's. Is rattle can paint ok for this?
Thanks.
Just wanted to add a couple more things,

When you paint your masked off areas use very light coats, Just dust it on and let dry/set between dustings,
The covering is fabric, and has weaves, if you apply the paint too thick it will travel under the tape/masking and not have nice crisp lines
Just build it up with Light Light coats.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: wazzbat

,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Do you have to paint over Solartex or can you leave it as is?
Also,
If you are leaving the rest of the covering "Natural" I recommend a clear sealer coat. Even though they say it's fuel proof, it's not getting dirty proof.
I had a good friend make this mistake with a Bipe. The plane was Beautiful, the guy is a real craftsmen. The plane was set up on floats, we went to Lake Elsinore for a float fly and the Algae on the lake splashed up on the covering,, that Green never came off. He ended up stripping and recovering the whole plane.

I personally had a p-39 and used the Olive Drab Sloartex, it was fine but after 60-70 flights it was getting pretty oil soaked and nasty looking

I always seal it

good luck
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:15 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Just to round out the opinions, you can leave Solartex as it is. I find that, especially with rib stitching, as long as you clean up after each day, after a while it takes on a weathered appearance from the grime accumulated in the cracks and crannies. I actually like it. And it's never truly oil-soaked if you don't put it away dirty. Can't speak for algae though!

I have a BUSA 1/4 scale Cub on floats that I've been flying since 2001. Over 300 flites. Looks like new with a little 'character'.

Solartex is a great product when you want that fabric look.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:25 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: wazzbat

That's good news Gary! Would it be OK to use Solartex on an LT-40 (weight wise) or should I look at using Ultracote or something else? Do you have to paint over Solartex or can you leave it as is?

I would definintly use Solartex on the LT 40. It has so much wing area that an extra ounce ot two wont make any difference. This stuff is great!
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

OK.  Thanks.  I think I might just go for the Solartex covering?  Sounds like it might add a little bit of strength to the plane too?  But the best thing is - It sounds like it is real easy to apply!  Well.. Compared to the other covering options anyway.  And this being my first covering job - the easier the better!
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:23 PM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Thanks Tom,
I just received my order of tapes from Gary at Pink-It.net and they look great. Luckily I over ordered my rib stitching from scale rib stitch when I did my 33% Waco and I have plenty of rib stitching for the Cub. After spending 90+hrs painting the Waco I am looking forward to an easy finish on the Cub.

For those who have not tried Gary's tapes they are excellent and the customer service you receive from Gary is 2nd to none.
Later!!
Anthony
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:30 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Here is my friends BUSA Eindecker covered in Solartex. Was his first attempt at Solartex and it came out perfect. The maiden voyage for his plane was yesterday. Flies perfect with no issues.

SunDevilPilot
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Wow.  That's an awesome looking plane.  Hopefully I can build something like that down the track.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Chevelle

SolarTex is spectacular. So easy to work with. I use a regular model covering iron on the recommended heat setting to seal the covering to edges and ribs.

I don't know about any issue using a heat gun. I do it all the time. I hold the gun a good foot away in one hand and the piece in the other. I keep the gun moving all the time. I just watch the covering, especially in the corners like where ribs meet spars. First you will see the slack be taken out and then the wrinkles. As soon as that happens, you're done.
Nice Fokker! AZM arf reworked, some?
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:09 PM
  #25
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Default RE: Covering with Solartex help.

Update on using a heat gun on Solartex. It works great!

Ill post some pics this weekend after I finish the wing. 80" wingspan with all the weirdness of the BUSA Eindecker 90 takes some time.

I love this stuff!
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