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-   -   Covering material - the good and the not so good (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/kit-building-121/1886575-covering-material-good-not-so-good.html)

Spoiler 06-09-2004 06:36 AM

Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Had to use 3 different brands on my GP Cap - Oracover, Solarfilm and Monokote. You would not think that polyester film could differ so much. My favourite is the Oracover metallic gold - it does not melt but sticks and shrinks beautifully - any wrinkles are a cinch to remove. At the other end of the scale is Monokote - thick, heavy and insensitive to heat, almost like they designed it to require the TF heatgun to shrink it tight. Solarfilm is the opposite, low heat sensitivity but prone to burning and melting. At least its light. If I only ever used Oracover again I'd be happy. Anyone else have any opinions.

LSP972 06-09-2004 08:10 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Oracover is alledgely the same as UltraCote, now marketed here by Horizon Hobbies.

I find it far easier to use than MonoKote. There are some who can get excellent results with MonoKote; just not me...;)

.

dr_wogz 06-09-2004 08:11 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
There are many opinions, as this is a hot subject. Look around the other forums, and you'll find quite a few threads about coverings, and their properties, likes, dislikes, etc...

It does, afterall, boil down to personal prefrence.

and for the record, I don't care for MK either, for the reasons you've raised, plus 'off gassing' and 'bleeding' when you're covering..

leftnut 06-09-2004 03:16 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
the supermonocoat is a pain to put on ,easpecailly the matallic.
i've had the heat gun press againts it sometimes.. trying to get to
wrap around curves and it still won't stick or shrink.
but once you get it on...it's stronger, beautiful and won't wringle
at the flying field.
the econocoat is easier to work with.

the ultracoat is in the range of econocoat to me as far as
workablity

the tower hobbie's is real easy to work with.( low heat )
i use it for triming or designs. you can rub it on with your fingers
when applying on top of film. but it's not strong and will wringle
if used to cover the air frame. the color melts if nitro or oil gets
under.

RCPAUL 06-09-2004 06:20 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Towerkote sucks - big time! It delaminates with a minimal amount of fuel. OK for electrics but no wet stuff.

Paul

narpets 06-10-2004 10:03 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I used to use Super Monocote exclusivly. Found it the easiest to work with. Then I Started to have some issues with it shattering after a few years. Finally go so bad I quit using it all togeather. Been using Ultracote, and SoLite ( very lightweight covering for small models.) now with great results. After I finally read the directions that came with the Ultracote, I find it easier to use than Monocote ;)

See This thread for some pictures of a plane that I re-re-re-re-covered w/ Monocote less than 2 years before the pics were taken.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...monocote+kadet

Update to the above thread. My Kinfe is still going strong, my buddy had to re-recover his Big Boy wing as it got so bad, and the Monocote on his U-Can_Do ARF is starting to shatter in some places, and the top layer of film is speperating in others.

phread59 06-10-2004 08:16 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Here is where I am gonna get smoked big time. I love Solarfilm. It is fantastic stuff. Very light, low temp covering. You just cannot believe the way you can stretch and shrink it around the orneriest structures. I have no problems with sagging or bubbles. If I could find it again I would love to get some. It is fairly strong and is definately the easiest of the films to use in my opinion. It's biggest downfall is a lack of colours. Oh well you can't have everything. Anyway I currently use Ultracote mostly. But I have and still use some Monocote when I want some of the colours that you can only get in Monocote. They all will give good results if you use them properly. They each have thier own charicteristics and you need to be aware of them. Reading the instructions that comes with the covering is important. Good luck with your project.

Mark Shuman

Spoiler 06-11-2004 07:01 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I was just amazed at how hard to shrink the MK is. I'm sure it will last and is probably the strongest. Oracover just goes on, shrinks and sticks like crazy. S/film does the same but melts quite easily and the metallics are almost see thru. My problem was I had to buy 3 brands to get all the colours I wanted so its been an interesting covering job.

Bax 06-11-2004 10:12 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
This has been said in several different threads...If you have difficulty shrinking MonoKote, it's likely that your iron or heat gun isn't hot enough. An iron should be just below the melting point of the material...where it just stops dulling the finish. The heat gun should put out enough heat to hole the material at about one inch if you hold it there for a second or two.

MonoKote will relax a bit on intial heat application and then shrink. If it starts to look dull, you have too much heat. Some irons and heat guns just don't get hot enough.

SST 06-11-2004 10:52 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I use a lot of MK because it's what the LHS sells, but a few years ago I bought some stuff called Easy Cote on e-bay, and I hoard this stuff for special projects. It's light, low-temp and cheap, and shrinks beautifully, though the white is a bit less opaque than I wish it were. I haven't seen the stuff since, and I wish I could find more.

bojangle 06-11-2004 11:58 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I will probably get smoked too, but I have to add some comments. I think Bax hit the nail on the head. Monokote requires a lot of heat, and I like that. I have a 20 year old Top Flite iron (yeah I know, they are all made in Japan). I never worry about too much heat. I turn it to "3" for sealing edges, all the way up for shrinking.

Over the years, I have used Solarfilm (still have 10 rolls left), Litefilm, Monokote, and recently Ultracote. (Ultracote is great over Monokote for trimming) They are ALL great coverings, each for different applications and preferences. I am surprised when someone says Monokote is inferior, or that the white doesn't shrink, or it shatters or sags with age. I have never experienced any of those problems, nor do I expect to.

An old saying goes "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen". Many of my friends use Ultracote, and love it because of the lower heat. Does that aspect alone make it superior, or others inferior? Companies do appreciate positive feedback about their products, but you better believe they are constantly making their own tests for quality control.

For those who prefer Ultracote, that's good. It's a great product. It must be, or it wouldn't be selling so well. I just don't think Monokote deserves all the bad reviews seen on this forum. If you don't like Monokote, don't use it. But when you criticize a particular product, you are also criticizing those who use it. My advice to newbies, try a roll of each brand, work with them then decide which you prefer.

A guy who owns a Chevy truck once told me that all Fords are junk, and that anyone would have to be crazy or stupid to buy a Ford. I happen to have a fleet of Fords. Enough said.
Bob

JohnVH 06-11-2004 02:42 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Im an ultracote fan.. easy to work, shrinks awesome.

push rodz 06-11-2004 04:11 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I'm with dr-_wogz - everone has their own opinion and preferences. Alot of it depends on what you start out using when you first start learning and get used to applying. I think most of us are probably guilty of this - we get comfortable with something and that's what we always use unless we are FORCED to use something else.

All films are either lousy or they're great - depends on who ya ask.......

Personally, I like the MonoKote or Ultracote coverings. They work great for my applications - and yes - these are what I learned to cover with......they are what I am most comfortable with....and no matter what you say - you'll play hell trying to get me to change.......

By the way leftnut -
depending on the amount of curvature you're trying to cover - you'll ger 'er done a lot easier with using a heat gun instead of the iron on curves when using MonoKote or Ultracote....:D

narpets 06-11-2004 04:32 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 

ORIGINAL: bojangle
I am surprised when someone says Monokote is inferior, or that the white doesn't shrink, or it shatters or sags with age. I have never experienced any of those problems, nor do I expect to.

I just don't think Monokote deserves all the bad reviews seen on this forum. If you don't like Monokote, don't use it. But when you criticize a particular product, you are also criticizing those who use it. My advice to newbies, try a roll of each brand, work with them then decide which you prefer.
Sorry, but I don't think critizing a product is criticizong those who use it. What seems to be your secrete to keeping the Monocote from shattering? Just about every plane that is covered with it at the filed that is about 2 years old has this problem . I'm sure it's the UV as the bottoms are less effected. Actually I'v had palces shatter on the bottom right under where the top blew off and I was too lazy to fix.

I will say that the older ( >6-8 or so years) stuff seems to be holding up just fine.

Personally I like the way Monocote goes on, and I never had a problem shrinking it,and I like the colors. I just refuse to put up with the shattering, and felt like sharing my experience with others. Or is this like a hard copy magazine where everything is perfect.? :roll:

BTW, I did speak with a rep from Great Pains, and as I started to ask him about the shattering issue, he proceded to pick up the "Story" and tell me about all the issues I was having. I didn't need to explain further, he filled in all the blanks just fine. ;) His answer....re-cover every year. The guy I asked before did the old duck and cover routine...i.e he told me to hold on for a sec and dissapeared never to bee seen again. So I guess I'm not the only one who is experiencing this.

Problem is that a newbie will not likely see this issue as it takes a few years to show. It is unlikely that their first or second plane will last that long.

Patriot 06-11-2004 04:56 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Has anyone here tried Solartex? I have heard that for an iron on covering it is one of the nicest finishes and most scale and realistic looking out there, along with strength and reliablity.

But of course, my favorite is Sig Koverall. Nothing like a super strong, and easy to use fabric.

Patriot

TNRabbit 06-11-2004 05:30 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I've HEARD that cleaning Monokote with anything containing AMMONIA will cause it to become brittle; does anyone know if there's any truth to this?? What do you use to clean your planes, narpets??

bojangle 06-11-2004 07:59 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Narpets, I have no idea of any "secret" I have regarding Monokote. (or any other brands I have used) I simply said I have never experienced any of the problems posted here. At the moment I am looking at a wing that was covered 15 years ago. The film is still as "rubbery" as original, and drum tight. I have no reason to suspect that newer production runs would react differently. Perhaps a secret to the longevity is that it only got shrunk one time. I have never had to re-shrink my planes. If someone is experiencing sagging Monokote (or any other film) , it probably was not properly applied. I have said many times that the key is having the film (any film) pulled as tight as possible before shrinking. The shrink coefficient is limited, if the film is not shrunk properly on the first application, there will always be a problem. When I work, I am theorizing that the heat does not shrink film, it relaxes the molecules from their locked state, then the shrinking takes place as it cools, thereby locked in its new state. If I were to apply heat again to this wing, the film would sag or bubble up, then shrink back again as it cooled. Now, someone could say I'm all wet, but the theory works fine for me. If one has to constantly "re-shrink", it's possible that all that reheating could be causing brittleness.

Some recent posts claim that ammonia will attack Monokote. I have used Windex (ammonia based) and 409 for years. More recently have been using a foaming glass cleaner with a John Deere label. It says "no ammonia", but I like it because it foams instead of running all over. I also use Turtle Wax, which as I understand, offers some UV protection.

I don't know if any of the coverings have a "UV stabilized" feature. But any plastic subjected to extreme temperature changes could have premature failure. I keep my planes at "room" temperature year around. At the field, planes I'm not flying stay in the shade, out of direct sun. So maybe I have not subjected my planes to the supreme test, but then I don't intend to take any chances.

A friend got an ARF that was Ultracote covered. It was tight when he got it in the summer. But everytime he flew in the winter, the covering sagged badly. This blew my mind, as it contradicts my theories about covering. Once the plane was back in a warm room, it shrunk tight again. I had no answer for him, except to remove the film and redo. I advised him to use Ultracote again, as he likes to work with it. It was either a bad batch or improperly applied.

I'm not going to waste my time promoting MK or any other covering, not my purpose. The reason I spend so much time on the forum is because I like to help people, and I learn something new along the way. I learn from others' successes, but not necessarily from their "failures", at least not until I have done some testing. I have done some custom building, all with MK and guaranteed. After 20+ years experience with it, of course I'm hesitant to change to something I am not as familiar with. But if a customer prefers , Ultracote has some unique colors, for example the transparent red that "Goboto" used on his Seniorita. Then I would gladly use Ultracote, and give the same guarantee. I guess confidence comes from experience.

Bob...........Thank goodness we have the freedom of choices....

jdwardus 06-12-2004 02:01 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
well im not knocking any ones favoiret covering but to me monokote sucks i hate the the stuff .i use ultracote it just makes my life easer

TNRabbit 06-12-2004 02:38 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
...well said, bojangle...

enahs 06-13-2004 10:13 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I've never had a problem with my monokote becoming brittle. I use water mixed with ammonia to clean my planes with no problems at all.
Shane

phread59 06-13-2004 05:50 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I believe Bob may have it. There are basicly 2 types of plastics, Thermo and thermosetting. Thermosetting plastics once heated and formed cannot be heated again. They will not return to thier original state. Basicly a 1 use plastic. It is very strong. Thermoplastics can be reheated and reworked. They also are not very strong. Lastly all plastics will work harden.

I think Bob is right. Reshrinking would work harden it and make it brittle. It may also be a mix of both types of plastic. I just do not know. It would make sense, thermo for pliability and setting for strength. If this is so reheating can cause internal stress and cause the fracturing. None of my Monocote has shattered. The only time I have seen it is in accidents. There I have seen a lot of it. But I have also seen other brands shatter in accidents as well. I know that Monocote is the strongest film out there. And I have used it with good results. I have said it before and will say it again. Read the instructions that comes with the covering. There is a lot of great info in there. It will help you do a good job. I will now get off the soapbox.

Mark Shuman

newbieT 06-14-2004 10:26 AM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Man, there should be a sticky about coverings in the Kit Building forum! I posted recently asking for advice on which covering to use, and heard nothing of any types other then MK and UC! I have yet to cover my plane and still plan to try a little of both MK and UC to help decide what to do on my next plane. I used MK in the past for small patches, but never had a problem with it sagging, shattering or anything, it stuck perfectly and shrank down easily. Browse around a bit in the building forum and you'll find plenty of oppinions :-)

Mechanos 06-14-2004 01:15 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
I used Ultracote to cover my very first RTC trainer (I still have that plane, although I've lost many after it). Shortly after covering mine, I helped a friend cover the very same RTC plane when he bought his trainer. He used Monokote and I did not like how it applied. He switched to Ultracote on his next plane and said it was MUCH easier to use than the Monokote. I've used nothing but UC on my planes that get a film covering, but I must say, the covering I've been the most impressed with using has to 21st Century fabric. Neat stuff!!!

PlaneKrazee 06-14-2004 01:24 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
Monokote is a pain to use!, Ultracoat, Solartex and others are much easier to work with. I have never had a Monokote covered plane shatter like that unless it hit the ground[sm=tongue.gif]

Over the years Monokote has changed as did Coverite and Super Coverite.

21st Century Fabric, at least the rolls I bought sucked. Wouldn't stick or shrink well but would sag real bad and never got tight. I did you a thermometer and the see the stuff curl test.

Mechanos 06-14-2004 03:00 PM

RE: Covering material - the good and the not so good
 
On the 21st Century fabric.... the stuff I used was the "pre-colored" fabric. The also have a plain white non-colored fabric that is intended for painting. I used a thermometer to set the temp on my iron, used the iron and trim iron to seal/stick down the edges, used the heat gun and "cover-tuggers" to pull/shrink the fabric around curves, etc. I then shrunk the whole thing with the heat gun and then followed up the iron. The iron really helps with adhesion since it's heat with pressure and not just heat. The iron also really tightened up the covering over open bays between wing ribs. I found that the weave of the fabric allowed it to distort bi-axially around compound curves which really helped in the covering of my Corsair. I also like the satin, matt finish on a warbird as opposed to the high gloss finish of UC or MK.


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