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Striping and designs with ultracote question.

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Striping and designs with ultracote question.

Old 10-29-2013, 07:53 AM
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Default Striping and designs with ultracote question.

I am building a plane that has stripes and designs that need to go on the plane. I have never had any luck covering Ultracote on itself. I see some ARFs that are covered with designs and wonder how it's done. Anybody out there knows how, please tell me. Every time I do it I get bubbles even with low heat.Is it possible to paint over Ultracote?
Old 10-29-2013, 09:49 AM
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Every roll of Ultracote comes with an instruction sheet and the most important thing on that sheet is the application temperatures. When applying trim, you want a temperature that will fully activate the adhesive yet will not cause the material to shrink. This lower heat setting also reduces or even eliminates the tendancy of the covering to bubble as it is applied over itself. Also, iron from one direction to another and try not to trap air under the covering as you go as any heat will cause that air to expand causing grief. You can ***** the covering with the point of a new #11 blade to release the air from those bubbles that do occur. Re-iron these spots any you won't see the ***** mark.

Ultracote adhesive activates at 220 degrees F. and the material starts to shrink at 300 degrees so for trim application, you want a temperature between these two

This brings us to covering irons. Hobby covering irons vary quite a bit in their ability to maintain temperature even within the same mfgr. and model number. You have to measure the temperature of your iron using one of the small Coverite temp gauges or something similar and watch it over a period of time to see if it is stable or whether it drifts. In my collection of irons, I have (2) irons that I bought at the same time. One will hold temperature within a few degrees where the other one is lucky to stay within a 75 degree range. Needless to say, the stable one is the only one I would apply trim with! My favorite iron is a "Seal" brand and was bought back in the 70's. Very stable temperature and I think it will outlive me. Another favorite iron is from Hobbico and is one of the two bought together. I also have an expensive Coverite iron that holds temperature better than any other I own but the shoe has a worthless shape so it seldom if ever comes out of the drawer. I usually cover my iron's shoe with Sig Coverall for trim applicaion as this seems to soften the heat or something that makes trim application easier.

This probably seems like too much information but with the right iron set at the right temperature using the right technique, you should have no problems applying Ultracote over Ultracote for trim.

Last edited by Truckracer; 10-29-2013 at 10:32 AM.
Old 10-29-2013, 03:46 PM
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Thanks, Is it possible to paint over this film?
Old 10-29-2013, 04:04 PM
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Ultracote accepts paint quite well. Scuff it up with something like a Scotchbrite pad, prime, sand and add the final finish coat. Some of the best paints would include many automotive paints, Epoxy, Urethane or any kind enamel. Lacquer based paints might be too brittle and crack or fall off over time.
Old 10-29-2013, 04:35 PM
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As an ultra user everything Truck said is very true. I lay it on with low heat until it sticks down without bubbles or shrinkage then put down the big iron and pick up my small trim iron. On high heat with the flat shoe I go around the edges about 1/4 inch around the trim colors and they never fall off after that. Another thing to do is buy mono for your trim work and use water and ammonia or just windex with ammonia to glue it down with, spray the covering then lay down the trim then use an old plastic card and squeegee out the air bubbles. 24 hours later I use the trim iron around the edges just like with ultra. If you try to iron on mono it will bubble, it takes a higher heat for mono to activate but the glue activates with the ammonia very well.
Old 10-29-2013, 09:02 PM
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I would add that using Monokote over Ultracote for the trims works well if done with the "Windex method"
Old 10-29-2013, 09:23 PM
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I have a thread going here in kit building, covering a new plane with Chinakote. The covering from Hobby King is pretty much the same thing as Ultra. All of the base coat is finished and I will be doing the trim pretty soon, well, as soon as I have an idea of what I want to do. Covering for me is very easy but I haven't got an artistic bone in my body. I know I have to put the name of the plane on the wings first and the bottom will have wide stripes so I may get to those tomorrow??
Today I had to use aluminum mono to show a canopy and it was hell to work with after the Chinakote. It wanted to wrinkle then where it went over the base covering it wanted to bubble really bad. There was bare wood under most of it so I couldn't just use ammonia and water. Even with a very low heat it was bubbling/gassing. To hold down the big bubbles I used a very small pin that I have even sharpened the point more then it was, I poked some holes into the bubbles and they went flat, well, for the most part.
Old 10-30-2013, 02:17 AM
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After reading these comments I think I will trim with the Monokote and ammonia method. Thanks for the great info. Skip

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