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Covering fiberglass wing tips

Old 08-11-2020, 07:32 PM
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smilam
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Default Covering fiberglass wing tips

I am currently building a quarter scale Sig Spacewalker. The kit has plastic wing tips and cowl and I am not sure how well they will last. I debated making balsa wing tips but since I decided to order a fiberglass cowl I went ahead and ordered fiberglass wing tips too. The question is how to finish them.
I have never done a fabric covering before but I donít think the Spacewalker would look right with a plastic covering. I think a fabric covering will look more realistic. I have a few rolls of Coverite that I have picked up a various places that I am going to use. How should I go about covering the fiberglass wing tips? I even called Fiberglass Specialties and asked them about Coverite on fiberglass and he said he had know idea as he had never done that before. Where can I find out information about using fabric covering? Tips and tricks?
The rolls of Coverite that I have are different colors but I am planning on painting the plane and assuming after a priming coat the color should work out. Am I correct or way off in my assumptions?
I am looking forward to learning something new and hopefully have a plane that looks and flies good.
Steve
Old 08-11-2020, 07:41 PM
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speedracerntrixie
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After doing a post cure of the wingtips ( prior to installing them ) at 150 degrees for around 6 hours you should be able to apply the coverite on them as if they were wood. The post cure will raise the temp that you can expose them to without distorting their shape.
Old 08-11-2020, 08:00 PM
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smilam
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Is a post cure just placing the fiberglass parts in the oven at 150 degrees for six hours? Is this before doing anything to them or after sanding and cleaning any flashing? Should this be done to all fiberglass parts?
Sorry for all of the questions but fiberglass is another material that I have never used before.
Steve
Old 08-12-2020, 03:42 AM
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Post cure would be exposing the parts to 150 degrees for an expended period of time. I tend to even put parts in my car for a couple days to,post cure them. Not nessesary unless the parts will see a higher then normal temp while in use or in your case will see some heat during covering. Yes you would want to do the post cure prior to anything else. Without getting too technical the higher temp will result in a more complete crossslink of the two epoxy components making a stronger part that will withstand more heat before getting soft.
Old 08-12-2020, 03:54 AM
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If you are planning paint the model there is no need to cover the fiberglass parts.
Chuck
Old 08-12-2020, 05:24 AM
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smilam
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I thought it would look better with the same textured look on the wingtips as the rest of the plane. I know if you are ten feet away you will never notice that.
Steve
Old 08-12-2020, 10:22 AM
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Won't fiberglass wingtips look like the fiberglass nose? People look at the nose a lot more than the wingtips. Just my opinion.
Old 08-12-2020, 11:26 AM
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smilam
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You are right. I never thought about that. Come to think about it on the full scale the wingtips are fabric covered and the cowl is made out of metal.
Steve
Old 08-12-2020, 05:32 PM
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From my point of view almost all the full scale guys Iíve run with over the last 45 years try to fill the weave and get a glossy finish on their home built birds. So my cowlings, wheel pants, wing tips and fuse to wing fillet fairings if applicable always look the same, no matter if it is filled and clear gloss coated or filled and satin clear coated.

Bob
Old 08-15-2020, 05:42 PM
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DGrant
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I've got a few models with fiberglass wingtips. I just sand and cover them with the rest of the wing, all the same, as if they were wood. The film seems to form very nicely, and sticks like no other... better then on the wood in my experience, if that's possible. I've even covered fiberglass cowlings. They come out fine, and it's actually very easy. If you have some covering experience you'll do fine.

They're not a monster, don't be afraid.
Old 08-15-2020, 06:45 PM
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smilam
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Thanks for the information about your experience covering fiberglass wing tips. I am definitely going to go for it.
Steve
Old 08-16-2020, 02:43 AM
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In the end it will come down to your prime fill preparation work that will define the outcome of your overall finish, so just take your time.

Bob
Old 08-16-2020, 05:46 AM
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smilam
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That is one of my concerns. Since I have never finished one with a fabric covering I will need to do a lot of reading and watching videos on that part. The sanding between coats is what I am most worried about. I can see me sanding holes thru the covering at ribs and around corners.
Steve
Old 08-16-2020, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by sensei View Post
In the end it will come down to your prime fill preparation work that will define the outcome of your overall finish, so just take your time.

Bob
Exactly. If you have orangepeel or pinholes in your primer, then you will have the same in your finish coat(s). Make sure it is ultra clean (with denatured alcohol, acetone or lacquer thinner), and scuffed up nicely (with a Scotchbrite pad or fine sandpaper). It is all in the prep work, with anything involving chemicals.
Old 08-16-2020, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by smilam View Post
That is one of my concerns. Since I have never finished one with a fabric covering I will need to do a lot of reading and watching videos on that part. The sanding between coats is what I am most worried about. I can see me sanding holes thru the covering at ribs and around corners.
Steve
I will tell you this, I have covered and finished full scale and models countless times over the last 57 years, so when I say now to stay off any ribs, stringers or anything that is hard or has corners underneath the covering, you need to do so throughout your entire sanding operation until the very last prime fill application, then go light pressure, there should be enough primer to sand smooth, but go easy and read the surface closely as you go. If you think for a second your seeing the cloth, prime that area because it only takes a couple of abrasive passes and the covering is cut through. It can be repaired but what a PITA! So again take your time.

Bob

Last edited by sensei; 08-17-2020 at 04:44 AM.

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