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Covering a concave fillet

Old 11-10-2016, 02:52 PM
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jrf
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Default Covering a concave fillet

I am covering a Top Flight Giant Scale P-51 kit. Doing fine until I got to the wing fairings. I did not expect to cover them in one piece with the sides of the fuselage. Yesterday I tried cutting a piece of covering that would cover the fairing and extend half an inch or so up the sides of the fuselage. Total failure. The fairings are not only convex, but also compound curves. Clearly it is not feasible to stretch the covering over a convex surface, and the covering would not lay down over the compound curves without wrinkles.

Can anyone recommend a technique that will work?

TIA, Jim
Old 11-10-2016, 03:21 PM
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daveopam
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It's a tough spot. If you are using silver its even harder. The thing on a curve like that is to let the point of the iron push it down. Don't try and put it in place with the iron and then heat it with the gun. It's also better to have someone hold the fuse or use the belt through the table trick. Start at the crease/lowest point. Use the tip of the iron on almost the highest heat if using Monocote. Less for Ultracote, Tack down one end . Then pull the covering with one hand so the covering is about 1/8" off the surface. While holding tension hold the iron close to the covering. As the covering starts to get plyable push the covering into place along that crease with the iron point. Once you get the hang of it you will be able to feel when the covering is at the right point of being plyable and tell when the stretch is right. It's not easy and takes practice but as I said once you get the feel you will know when it's right. Also, don't use a trim iron. These are great for certain places but don't hold the heat for this situation. Finally don't be afraid to make the piece bigger than needed. You can always trim off the extra.

Hope that helps some but there is no easy way. Just don't be afraid to use higher heat settings. Monocote is forgiving and will stretch more than most people think.

David
Old 11-10-2016, 03:36 PM
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I realize I might have rushed the above description a bit. What I posted above will stick the center down along the fillet. Now you need to pull up/down on the covering using the same method described above to put the covering down front to back. This is where it helps to have the piece you are putting down oversized.

Belt method= cut two slots in your work surface 1/8" tall and 2" long. These slots should be about 6-8" apart. One on the edge of the table the second above it. Take an old belt that holds your pants up out of the closet. Run it up from the bottom through the slot you cut furthest from you on the table. The buckle should keep it from coming all the way through the slot. Now run the belt over the fuse and down through the second hole that is closest to you. This end of the belt should be hanging by the floor. Now take a board about 3"x8" and attach the end of the belt to it with a screw. Make sure the end of the board with the belt attached is a few inches off the floor. Now when you need to hold the fuse tight you can push on the board like a gas peddle on a car. The belt will tighten and hold the fuse in place. When you need to adjust the fuse just let off the gas and reposition.

David
Old 11-15-2016, 12:45 PM
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Jim,

One thing that I have learned over time and from the forums is to spray hairspray onto the area and let dry before covering. Aqua net is what I use. The alcohol in the hairspray / residue when dry reacts really well with the glue on the covering and bonds the covering to the wood / filler material like balsarite. Like the others said go slow, use the iron and follow with a damp / moist cloth following the iron for the best results. This is one of the primary reasons why I went to glassing / painting on the warbirds. The above trick worked for me. Hang in there and it will turn out perfect the way you want. Jeff

Last edited by Thunderbolt P47; 11-15-2016 at 12:52 PM.

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