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Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

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Old 05-05-2010, 09:12 PM
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dvs1
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Default Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Hey guys, I'm in need of finishing my P-51 Mustang and would like some suggestions on which is better for an aluminum finish, Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Give me the pros and cons of either?

Which one has better adhesive abilities?

Which one is easier to apply?

Which do you prefer overall?

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:37 PM
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Warbird Man
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

I'm curious as to these questions also.

No one for rebuttal?
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:51 PM
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wulf190
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Having covered an 80" bird entirely in Flitemetal, and having used it extensively for panels and hatches on painted airframes, I'll share my 2 cents....

Bummers:

1. Go through Xacto blades like water.
2. Waste a ton of what you have in cutoff excess and from ripping up the panels that you botch with a small wrinkle in areas like fillets and cowl bends (no method I used, including following closest instructions yielded any greater efficiency in this process)
3. Takes a lot of time...and far more time depending on how many of these little wrinkles you might find "acceptable"
4. Durability of finish....the metal seems soft enough to get far more scratches, and hangar rash..my wing wasn't even fond of sitting on it's foam padded shelf rack over time.
5. Difficulty of achieving exactly the effect desired in either tinting panels to various metal shades and buffing.
6. Paint adhesion: encountered pulling up on stenciled or masked areas for markings and invasion stripes
7. Expensive
8. Sometimes trying to get what you order.

Positives:

1. Shine's good.
2. Great for panel hatches
3. Awesome on areas you might like to rub back some paint on to reveal a metal surface beneath..great weathering effects achieved through this.
4. Very thin....can kind of disappear when painting over it I found..so helped to 'highlight' the edges by taking some paint off, or carbon penciling the edges of hatches.
5. Adhesive is very stricky...but this can be a real drag when you botch a piece, pull it up and yank a bunch of primer up with it. [>:] Didn't have any issues with fuel proofing (glassed underneath).

Not sure there are any "reported" issues of using it and having problems with an internal rx antenna....but, I can tell you that mine didn't like that at ALL on 72mhz. When I put the antenna outside the fuse, it was perfectly normal again. I doubt there would be problems on 2.4.

Mike
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:02 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

I should be able to give some good insight here as I just finished covering my P51 in both flite metal and aerofoil. Adhesives seem identical and are very sticky. Flight metal is a bit heavier and thicker then aerofoil but that makes it a bit harder to work with. Flitemetal seems to be able to stretch a bit more then aerofoil. Aerofoil tends to tear on curves. Im about to prime and paint in the coming days so I will be able to talk more about that soon. Both have to be layed over fiberglass. They will not stick to balsa very well. Also I will say that you need ALOT more of the stuff then you think. I found to do a good job you waste alot on the edges. With both, use a good drafting tape it will save you time but not money. The flite metal definetly comes in a much better kit with instructions on how to get the right effect(no instructions for Aerofoil). Finally, you may ask why I used both. I ordered the flitemetal kit for a 30-40 size plane ( I covered a GP 40 size mustang) and it just about covered the wings. Having waited about 3 months for the stuff, I thought I would try aerofoil. Came very quick and finsihed the job. Make your own conclusions from that.

Im not sure if it was just me, but I ordered about 15 feet by 1 foot of aerofoil to cover my 40 size fuselage and I just barely covered it. I didnt waste any pieces either due to poor application, only cut off waste. Hope that helps.

For all the effort, it was well worth it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:12 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

My brother and I also have recently used both products. Same reason as dufault. Came up way short, and waited weeks to get the first shipment. Turned to Meister and Aero Foil, and had it the same week. Here is our 102" Meister P-47D Zombie. The wings and most of the tail are Flight Metal. All the rest is Aero Foil.

Here is some analysis, based on our experience. Prep for both products is as stated in other posts. Glassing, priming, pretty much ready for paint. I draw the panel lines on the plane with a fine line sharpie, and then your ready to start from the tail forward.

Flight Metal

[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- .003 thick
[sm=thumbs_down.gif]- way too slow in shipping after they have your money
[sm=thumbs_down.gif]- coverage was way overstated as noted. By accident, in another thread, the owner deduced that we had been short-shipped. As you don't unroll the stuff and measure it, no way of telling till you are running out.
He promised he would send us the 50' we were short. We are still waiting, just as before. That was a good month ago.
[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- adhesion is excellent
[sm=thumbs_down.gif][sm=thumbs_up.gif]- the thicker size works well on larger flat surfaces, for hatches and simulated panels, but is harder to form on compound curves, etc
[sm=thumbs_down.gif]- the install 'kit' is mostly things available at any good art supply store and the video he was including back then was useless (he is apparently reworking that)
[sm=thumbs_down.gif]- sold by the 'kit' or roll and not by the foot
[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- looks great on the plane

Aero Foil

[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- .002 thick (lighter)
[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- ships fast (usually the same week)
[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- is less expensive per sq. foot
[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- adheasion is excellant
[sm=thumbs_up.gif][sm=thumbs_down.gif]- not as tasty for large flat surfaces, but conforms nicely to compound curves and irregular shapes
[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- can be bought by the foot in 12" or 6" widths (we recommend the 12" size for economy and versatility)
[sm=thumbs_up.gif]- looks great on the plane

Both emboss well and it is easy to add other details like rivets and fasteners to the surface with out heat.
Both stand heat so you can set dry transfers and such with your heat gun on a moderate setting.
Both can be sanded with fine sandpaper, or etched with steel wool, panted, and other wise weathered, with wonderful results.
Nothing look more like paint chipped off of aluminum, that paint chipped off of aluminum.

Prepare to go through a lot of Exacto blades. We buy them in the 100 pack, and used maybe 70 on this plane. They tear the product after just a few cuts.
This is a great look for our aluminum planes and we wish you success.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:37 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Thanks guys,
Just by what has been said my decision will be to go with the Aero Foil for the simple reason that it ships immediately. I really like fast good customer service
so thats my choice.
If Flite metal shipped out within 48 hours I would go that route because it seems to be a little better. But I have heard from other people on other topics that sometimes your waiting months to receive it and that wont work for me.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:58 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Where does one get aero foil?
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:05 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

http://www.aero-accessories.com/Builders.html

from dino at the link above
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:15 PM
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Warbird Man
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Thankyou T_B
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

youre welcome. you will find Dino very easy to work
with
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

I will second that. Ed at Flight Metal seems nice as well, but Dino, being a Top Gun class builder himself, seems to appreciate our desire as builders to get what we order in a timely fashion so as not to hinder or stifle the flow of a build. Being held up for weeks or even months can really take the wind out of your sails. I appreciate all Dino, his companies, and his associates are doing for us builders.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:29 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Awesome job on that Jug[sm=thumbs_up.gif]
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:46 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

ORIGINAL: Warbird Man

Awesome job on that Jug[sm=thumbs_up.gif]
Thank you. Here is the first time she is under her own power. Please excuse the video mode. It makes her look like she is about 4 feet long. Maiden is tomorrow.

Again, Flight Metal wings and tail, Aero Foil fuselage.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3IwTIi8zGc
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Another option is the aluminum from SR Batteries. http://www.srbatteries.com/hrdcovr.htm
I have used this with success on several projects. I have also done a cowl using furnace tape from the hardware store but it was not so good.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Yes, HVAC (furnace tape) is about .005 - .007 thick. 2 to 3 times thicker.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

Here is the link for Aero Foil. www.aero-accessories.com/Builders.html

12" wide = $2.50 / ft
6" wide = $1.50 / ft

You can see how economical the 12" stuff is in the long run.

And it ships FAST!!!
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:44 AM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

So ram, how many feet of the 12" should I order to completely cover my 84" Top Flite Mustang? Keep in mind its my first attempt at this so allow
for some screw ups.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:17 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?


ORIGINAL: dvs1

So ram, how many feet of the 12'' should I order to completely cover my 84'' Top Flite Mustang? Keep in mind its my first attempt at this so allow
for some screw ups.
I would start with 40ft. You'll be able to tell where your at after that. Dino ships it so fast, that you can plan ahead and have it before you actually run out.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:18 AM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

thanks, appreciate the advice.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:19 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

ram3500,

Just wanted to say thanks, for the suggestions! I received my Aero Foil friday and spent some time on my mustang this weekend. Needless to say i will have to order more than 40 feet. I had a few mishaps in my learning process But now I got the hang of it I am way impressed. It is getting super easy to do the wing and control surfaces. I am having no problems applying the Aero Foil to flat surfaces. Its the fuselage that I have to take my time and go slow with the compound curves. But love the results! They are by no means as great as your P-47 turned out but I am happy as it is my first build. Thanks again!

Curt
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:23 AM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

I've completed my Top Flite Sea Fury using Aero Foil. Dino is great to deal with, and shipped my foil very quickly to me. It does take a lot of patients when using this material, and yes you do have to be very careful with the hangar rash, but the results are great!!
Here's my Top Flite Sea Fury finished in Cuban markings from the Batista era.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUa_6imef-c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CKsP...eature=related
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?


ORIGINAL: dvs1

ram3500,

Just wanted to say thanks, for the suggestions! I received my Aero Foil friday and spent some time on my mustang this weekend. Needless to say i will have to order more than 40 feet. I had a few mishaps in my learning process But now I got the hang of it I am way impressed. It is getting super easy to do the wing and control surfaces. I am having no problems applying the Aero Foil to flat surfaces. Its the fuselage that I have to take my time and go slow with the compound curves. But love the results! They are by no means as great as your P-47 turned out but I am happy as it is my first build. Thanks again!

Curt
Gotta love how fast Dino at Meister gets the stuff out to you.

Curt, it is looking great. The P-47 was our first experience with both Flight Metal and Aero Foil. First time jobs can be impressive. Just takes a lot of patience, and a little extra material. There is a learning curv with the stuff, but as you see, it doesn't take long to get the technique down. The results is so gratifying, you tend to forget the time it takes.

Hope you bought Exacto blades in the 100 pack. We did.

Did you get the burnishing tools from the local art shop? Here is a picture.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:44 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?


ORIGINAL: Corsair 29

I've completed my Top Flite Sea Fury using Aero Foil. Dino is great to deal with, and shipped my foil very quickly to me. It does take a lot of patients when using this material, and yes you do have to be very careful with the hangar rash, but the results are great!!
Here's my Top Flite Sea Fury finished in Cuban markings from the Batista era.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUa_6imef-c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CKsP...eature=related
Beautiful Plane.

We are of the mind that when hanger rash occurs, it is just more 'weathering', and we tend to say, cool, more wear.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:50 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

In fairness to the Flight Metal folks, they determined that we had been short-shipped on our original order, based on what we were able to cover. I have since been shipped another 50' roll of 6" material to complete the order. We will use it on future projects and appreciate that Flight Metal made this gesture.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:28 PM
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Default RE: Flite Metal or Aero Foil?

I did actually by blades in the 100 pack but I use regular razor blades, prefer them for some reason.

I havent purchased a burnishing tool yet, i need to. Ive just been using other means for the time being.
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