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? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

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? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

Old 03-26-2013, 04:08 AM
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Mikie 1
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Default ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

Again, I am at the place, in building an RC Airplane, I fuss over the most... The final covering job. Once it's done - it's done!!
OH I guess in the future I could go back and remove all the covering, if I don't like it, and do the job all over again..., but I really don't want to.

So, I'm turning to you guys to ask - Has anyone ever heard of covering a whole airplane with clear Monokote? Yep, that's what I'm thinking of doing. Oh, I'll not leave the plane without its coloring. I'm thinking of using a translucent spray paint on the "bones" themselves.
My intended procedure will be to use Balsarite on the balsa ribs, spacers, spanners, support pieces, fins and other control surfaces to "prep" the balsa-wood. Then lightly (!!!) spray-paint the preped "bones" with a chosen color (here again I'm at a loss to pick out a color - yet). As with the usual procedure of finishing a covering job, I intend to use one color from the top and a different color as viewed from the bottom. Then cover the whole plane with clear Monokote.

I want to try something different in the finishing steps of this airplane and also want to get comments about it from the guys at the field. Below is the plane I plan to cover. It's a 1960s Delta Hustler.

So, what do you think? Have you known anyone to do this before? PLEASE!! I need lots of comments and ideas before I maybe really screw thit up!! THANKS!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:21 AM
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DavidAgar
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

I have never heard of it before, but it will work. The down side is that it will show everyone what kind of builder you are as the clear shows all your mistakes. Might be kinda hard on the eyes in the sky but other than that, show us the finished project when you are done. Good Luck, Dave
Old 03-26-2013, 04:39 AM
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RCKen
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

I've always had a huge fascination for clear and translucent coverings, don't ask me why. Anyway, like David said above the downside of using clear monokote is that the whole world can see your build underneath, and I know that in my past the Monokote has hidden many mistakes that the world would never see. But I have also used it on several projects where I wanted to be able to show the structure underneath so that people could see what makes an airplane "tick". It will work just as well as any other Monokote, with one exception. I have noticed that when covering large areas with it more heat and time working was required when compared to other colors of Monokote. But once it was on it works just as well.

I'm currently doing a build review of the Balsa USA Student Trainer and I am planning on covering a large part of the wings with clear Monokote, and a translucent color on the fuselage. I want to do this for two reasons. First, I want to show off the structure as I stated above. And second, I want to put LED lighting in the wing and fuselage and make a night flyer out of the plane and I think having the lighting inside the wing and fuselage will make for a really cool effect.

Hope this helps

Ken
Old 03-26-2013, 05:47 AM
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Top_Gunn
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

An alternative to painting the structure, at least for the wing and the stab, is to put the clear covering on the bottom, then give the inside a light coat of color spray paint, then cover the top. This will get you a translucent color that looks great when the sun shines through it. Half-A Texaco people do this for visibility (orange is best), though with mylar rather than Monokote because of the weight. Since the paint is inside, it doesn't have to be fuel resistant.
Old 03-26-2013, 05:48 AM
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jester_s1
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

The big negative I see is that in flight most of your plane is going to be invisible. You won't see the color at distance so you'll be depending on just the shape for orientation. I have an Ultra Stick that's done in transparent colors and even it is hard to see in flight. If you're wanting to show off your building job, what would you think about putting a standard opaque color on the bottom and then a transparent color on top? That would take several steps out of your building process and still let the wood show everywhere that others will ever see it while still giving you a plane that is easy to see in flight.
Old 03-26-2013, 07:41 AM
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JohnBuckner
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

I truly love the 'clears' and have done many variations in all the Monocoat clears and also have thought of doing one in all clear with no color and my do that just yet so I say go for it.

The really hugh down side of course is orientation as already noted but this is really bad with your unfortunate choice of airplanes as a subject. A more conventional airframe would certainly be a better choice for all clear. I have no idea how painting the airframe would work out but suspect that would not serve much purpose and look pretty, well ugly!

Historically fast deltas are absolutely the most difficult configuration of all others to maintain orientation now compound the added difficulty by using all clear and this is of course makes that airplane a poor choice of subject. Lovely little airplane by the way with what appears to be one a very nice Jett all piped up.

John
Old 03-26-2013, 09:55 AM
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

Shades of Wonder Woman's "Invisible Plane"

Ken
Old 03-26-2013, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

I have seen it, just not with the paint. Cool idea.
Old 03-26-2013, 04:21 PM
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ZAGNUT
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

there used to be translucent rattle can paint that was meant to look like anodizing when used on metals...would look very nice under clear covering.
Old 03-26-2013, 08:17 PM
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

Mikie 1,

I did exactly what you are thinking. I spray painted the wood with various colored paints and then covered the whole thing with clear Monokote. I did not like it for one reason: The Monokote adhesive ruined it - you could see the smudges of the adhesive everywhere it was in contact with the wood. It was like spraying a clear coat on top and then smearing it all over the place. I did not anticipate this and would not recommend the procedure.

Kurt
Old 03-27-2013, 11:53 AM
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

There is quite a bit of doculam in various thicknesses used as you are proposing to use clear monocoat. I believe there are some tutorials on this and the other site for doculam. You have to kind of scuff it to get paint to take, but it is very inexpensive. As has been pointed out, your building needs to be very fine or appearance suffers. Every flaw in the frame shows.
Old 03-27-2013, 12:28 PM
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Strat2003
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

A guy in our club did a 4-20 all in clear several years ago and orientation in the air was a problem.
Having said that, your delta has a lot of solid structure so it might be OK.

BTW, what size is your Jett? I used to fly a .35 in a SAM old-timer and loved it.
Old 03-28-2013, 04:14 PM
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Roary m
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

I did a plane in clear Mono. It was like the 'Visible V-8' model, all see thru like. Transparent colors might be a good bet for orientation for the delta; you know he's going to move out.
Old 03-28-2013, 05:31 PM
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ARUP
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

There are water based wood stains and tints you could use. They will have no effect whatsoever concerning covering with film. The only downside is that the stain won't penetrate the adhesives in the wood joints and will take on a 'pox' appearance. I used Behrens wood stain on the lumber for two large scale sailplanes prior to building. I'm biased but they look absolutely FABULOUS!
Old 03-29-2013, 03:10 AM
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Mikie 1
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Default RE: ? Clear Monokote Covering a Whole Airplane?

Thanks to everyone who responded!!

I've finally decided to not go through with this idea, for several reasons. First, I can see how, as others have suggested orientation might be a problem while in the air. And secondly, in the end it will take several extra steps to finally get this buile off the table and into the air.

I do tend to procrastinate sometimes with planes I build from scratch - because I know the moment I put it in the air, at great speeds, I could destroy it completely. So, sometimes, keeping it on the bench, in good health, this helps keep it mine, and in one peace - a little longer...

Anyway, I've decided to cover it in a neon yellow / with black stripes on the bottom and flames on the top, coming from the leading edge... Then I'll go fly it!!



Mikie1

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