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covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

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Old 05-27-2010, 11:25 AM
  #26
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Anyone with experience with aluminum sheeting on model airplanes, please share your work and experiences. Carls models do look awesome. I love everything he has built. I have consulted him on using Dyna-Skin. It soulds like a great material but I havent seen a sample of it up close. It soulds like with some heat, it might be good for compound curves like wingtips and other places.
I do want to order a sample and compare it to Flite skin and other types of aluminum looking coverings. It seems things like using aluminum to cover flying models is on the fringes of what people consider to be practical to do. I have had far more comments on alternatives to using aluminum sheet that help on how to work with the sheeting. It seems there are many that have thought of it, but not really tried it. I want to leaarn and share how to do it so others might find it is a viable alternative on larger models. I do believe that aluminum sheeting becomes more practical, the bigger the airplane is. I am sure there are smaller ones that have flown with aluminum sheeting, but have the feeling that about 100 inch wingspan models are about the smallest that are practical. For a 60 or 90 size model, it might be harder to work with but still possible.
I appreciate the alternatives that people have discussed but I would like to steer the thread back to how to use and work with aluminum sheeting. I realize there are silver shrink covering, aluminum duct tape, flight metal, but would like to keep the threat about using aluminum sheeting. I am sure many people could benefit from our experiences. Maybe I should start another thread and try harder to keep it hust on using aluminum sheeting. Back to my original questions and purpose for the thread, anyone have any experience with attaching aluminum sheet to composite and built up structures? What adhesive have you tried and what was the result? I may post a video of making the fillets out of aluminum, that may be helpful to others.
Denny
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:33 PM
  #27
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

I loved that P51C. Even though it was covered with silver "Coverite" fabric, the aluminum detail added a wonderfull scale look. Here's the current version...same trim scheme. What'sup Brian?
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Denny,

I can only speak with respect to Flite-Metal. It is and will look like any degree of out the door factory fresh, polished to a mirror, or
rendered war weary you desire with little effort and minimum time required. With that said, the alloy permits easy application to
compound curves following the simple to follow suggested way of application. Typically a panel requires less than 40 seconds to
apply. Finishing can be on or off the airframe per the recommended method as well.

At a typical weight of .0022222 oz to the sq. inch there is little differential to that of a properly prepared and paint finished surface to
resemble metal. The aluminum has grain, as all aluminum has. The grain remains linear, though you can surface harden...compress
the alloy. During this, the surface takes on a completely different appearance, as does aluminum on any 1:1 aircraft. We recommend
and offer a cleaning cloth which will virtually stop oxidation when used once or twice a year...assuring a mirror finish stays looking like
a mirror

Weathering aka finishing is easily accomplished using the same time proven methods long established within the scale modeling hobby.
However, left uncoated aka sealed in clear top coat, Flite-Metal will take on the actual 1:1 patina and individual look of the real thing if
left alone and enjoyed as it does so.

The important thing is the alloy utilized in Flite-Metal has attributes permitting application and finishing quickly, easily, and the ability to
match whatever appearance you have documentation to replicate. For example a mirror finished F-100 capable of reflecting graphics on
another portion of the model...



Jerry Nelson has been designing, flying, and selling all aluminum radio control kits for nearly 20 years.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:38 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

An industrial mechanical supply house in Santa Ana, Ca. called Macmaster-Carr has self adhesive HVAC alum tape .006" in 6" wide rolls.

They have a web site.

Steve
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:53 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Denny the compound surfaces are always a challenge. I attached a picture of a scratch built 1/5 scale Northrop gamma that we aluminum plated a few years ago with our seamless plating process,,, not a flat surface on it

Good luck and have fun


Ron

Metal-Morphous Inc.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:24 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Hi fellows..

I used to build regular balsa frames and cover them with lithoplate and they turned out OK. Nowdays I build using real aluminum. Real Aluminum contruction is quite challenging due to the fact that aluminum working skills and special tooling are required.

I am currently working on an all aluminum BT 13, I will share some pictures later

I have found out that 2.4 radios work well .
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting


Quote:
ORIGINAL: allmetal plane

Hi fellows..

I used to build regular balsa frames and cover them with lithoplate and they turned out OK. Nowdays I build using real aluminum. Real Aluminum contruction is quite challenging due to the fact that aluminum working skills and special tooling are required.

I am currently working on an all aluminum BT 13, I will share some pictures later

I have found out that 2.4 radios work well .
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:42 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting


Quote:
ORIGINAL: allmetal plane


Quote:
ORIGINAL: allmetal plane

Hi fellows..

I used to build regular balsa frames and cover them with lithoplate and they turned out OK. Nowdays I build using real aluminum. Real Aluminum contruction is quite challenging due to the fact that aluminum working skills and special tooling are required.

I am currently working on an all aluminum BT 13, I will share some pictures later

I have found out that 2.4 radios work well .

This is not to negate the great results obtained with Flite Metal or Metal Morphous process but When properly done, REAL aluminum RC airplanes are hard to tell them apart from their full sized counterparts.

The down side of this technique is the trmendous amount of enginieering design and work involved
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:08 AM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Lithoplate works very well for covering models. The weight increase can certainly add up way too much if loads of adhesive is used to fix it. Heres a Junkers 52 and a Handley Page HP42 that are covered with corrugated aluminium sheet, formed into a simple press using a matching former and roller. Plus the rear end of a Hurricane I sold before completion, although I now have the job of finishing it for the new owner. This is to be lithoplated the same as a smaller Brian Taylor one I built a few years ago. The trick is to anneal the sheets. For small bits, a blow torch is fine, but for larger sheets, anneal it in an oven, the sheet won't buckle then. The blowtorch will buckle a sheet slightly sinc the heat sn't uniformly applied. Rub normal bar soap onto the sheets and heat til the soap blackens. This is a process that may need redoing since the ali will work harden as it is formed. The currugations just required one annealment, but the Hurricane fairings took three since the metal has to be stretched a fair bit in places.

Ian.
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:05 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Have a look at this link guys, it impressed the hell out of me !

http://hsfeatures.com/features04/spitfiremkidg_1.htm


Oh, any maybe this to power it ?

http://www.enginehistory.org/merlin_xx.htm

I feel like a fraud calling myself a modeler after looking at these.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:39 AM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

I have been thinking of adhesives to use to attach the aluminum and I think Canopy Glue might be ideal for adhering the aluminum to the cap strips on the flying surfaces. It might be good to adhere aluminum sheet to composite surfaces also. I was thinking a line of it under every rivet line and around the edges. That would allow for some expansion and the expansion would occur at places where it would seem appropriate. Since the sheeting is not structural, this may be plenty of adhesive for this. Roughing up the aluminum surface where the glue will contact might be a good idea too. Just enough to give the glue a bit of grip.
I have used this glue for many things and it works fantastic. I have even used it to coat the threads of screws to keep them from vibrating out, yet the screws can be removed without damage if need be. The stuff take a while to dry sometimes, but is really strong. I wanted to add this here so it might help others. I will test it to find out how it works.
Denny
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

I think I'd use contact cement to keep the panels fast.. just a thought.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:42 AM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Thanks for the input Bob, Why do you feel the contact cement would be better? What experiences have you had that you feel contact cement would be better than canopy glue? Any first hand experiences would be appreciated
Thanks, Denny
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:50 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting



You might try checking out www.whimsie.com .... They have a good selection of sheet aluminum and heavier foils at reasonable prices. I have used the 30-gauge, 36-gauge and heavier foils for building/ sheeting. I have used contact cement for attachment but on my next build, Beech 18, will try Duafix solder for at least some of the attachment..

I would.....will... attach photos of my current build, DouglasA-26, but I'm new to thissite and am still trying to fiqure out the photoupload option.. I have photos inPhoto Bucket but they don't want to upload????I'll try to figure it out...

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Old 06-09-2010, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

FLight metal also requires sanding and polishing to get rid of the orange peel that the adhesive produces when you burnish it down. From what I have read, you start off with 400, and then go up through the grits and polished to get the level of shine that you want. It will polish to a mirror finish, it is real aluminum.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Thanks for the information on flite metal. There are plenty of threads out there on Flite Metal. Please keep posts in the thread on the subject if aluminum sheeting, it would be nice to have one place for people to learn the techniques and materials. Heres a great link to a project with aluminum used on RC aircraft. This guy does some great work.





http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_75...22/key_/tm.htm
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:26 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Update on the aluminum covered BT-13. I did not have a good experience with Dynamic Decals, so their product will not be used anywhere on this project. The material I ordered was finally sent the day I sent Pay Pal a complaint that I had not yet recieved the item purchased. I know its not a full time job, but if youre gonna advertise a product and make promises, keep your promises or at least keep the customer informed as to the status when it takes so long to fill an order. Too bad, I was hoping to have them do the paint masks for this project, but I wont do business with them again. I did find that the foil disposable baking opans from teh grocery store are good for making compound curve parts if the foil is against a solid backing. It can be glued on with contact cement. Home Depot also sells small sheets of .020 thick aluminum that can be formed into compound curves. This is what I am using for my fillets and tips of the flying surfaces. Heres a link to the build thread in case anyone is interested. And with everything I have for the project included other than some glue and paint. The project is at 29 pounds without fuel and the cockpit interior. Not bad for a 103 inch scale aluminum covered warbird. Oh, and I tried the contact cement and the canopy glue, I think the canopy glue is far superior to the contact cement, it just takes a lot longer to dry.
Denny

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_89...tm.htm#8903372
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:09 PM
  #43
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

I found this thread again, seems like a long time ago that I started this project. I thought I would post the results. I did find the canopy glue was the best adhesive for the aluminum. Flite metal is great stuff, but since I was modeling a polished aluminum plane, in my opinion, nothing came close to the aluminum sheeting after it was polished. At Top Gun, there were some polished planes finished with flite metal, but up close observation to me, there was a big difference. I can only describe the difference with an anology that may not make much sense. The Flite metal looked and is aluminum, the sheeting looked different, the shine had the depth like a multi layered laquer finish compared to an enamel finish. The plane came out to be only 34 pounds. I used .020 thickness aluminum from home depot to make the compound curves, wing and tail fillets, etc. My son was invited to fly at Top Gun, so we flew in that event in Team Scale. The plane wasnt even finished, I had parts duct taped, packing tape landing light lenses and many missing items. We still competed and got a 94 point static. We didnt get the first flight in untill less than a week before the event began but I felt we did well. Anyway, aluminum sheeting is a viable option, canopy glue was the best adhesive I found and radio issues were not a problem. Thanks to all that offered insight.
Denny

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Old 05-11-2011, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

Hi Denny This 1/5th scale Airacobra is 75% covered with aluminum the balance is flte-metal. There is not much diffrence between the materials. McMaster Carr has rolls of shim stock aluminum from .001 to I believe .008 thickness. I use .005 and .003 for this project attaching the aluminum with contact cement.


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Old 05-11-2011, 07:23 PM
  #45
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Default RE: covering scale WW2 warbird with thin aluminum sheeting

I thought i saw this plane for sale a yr ago or so? anyways this is the very best aircobra i have ever seen..I would love to have it in my hangar
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:59 AM
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Default adhesive

I have used aluminum many times. I usually glue it over the fiberglassed wood, but it could be glued directly to the wood. I first tried it on a ziroli hellcat and was worried that the heat/direct sunlight would heat the metal, make it expand and break the glue lose, but I flew it for 9 years with no problems. It will rip the fiberglassing off the wood before it lets lose. I just buy the aluminum flashing rolls at home depot. You can buy cutting shears that cut it like paper. Here is how I glue it down...

Sand the side to be glued with 220 grit sand paper to roughen it up.
Use Medium CA applied to the metal and sometimes a LITTLE kicker sprayed to the wood if you can get it down with a rolling motion.

That's it. Works GREAT. If you dont belleive me, go buy a roll of flashing ($14 bucks, cut out some shapes and glue it to balsa wood. Then try to peel it off.). You wont be dissapointed.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:24 PM
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Now that's amazing stuff.. !!! you talk polished??? lol
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:51 PM
  #48
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Maybe you have seen Thomas' work with litho?

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