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cub fabric covering

Old 09-09-2002, 10:06 AM
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Default cub fabric covering

Does anyone have a good link, or helpful tips on 'dope & silk' fabric covering?

Any recomandations for 'fabric' type covering?

Yiou know, to get that 'fabric look for a large-ish cub..

(Would using iron on polyester film be taboo?!)
Old 09-09-2002, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: cub fabric covering

Originally posted by dr_wogz
Does anyone have a good link, or helpful tips on 'dope & silk' fabric covering?

Any recomandations for 'fabric' type covering?

Yiou know, to get that 'fabric look for a large-ish cub..

(Would using iron on polyester film be taboo?!)
Any of the tex's work well; Solartex, Worldtex, Colortex etc.
Old 09-10-2002, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: cub fabric covering

(Would using iron on polyester film be taboo?!)
Depends on the circles you travel in... look at a real rag-wing plane, and from the distance at which the real plane appears the same viewing size as a model plane, you cannot see fabric weave in a good finish. For an extreme case, visit the Air Force Museum and you'll see at least one fabric covered plane that looks like monocote, even close up. (And yes, it is fabric and dope... and more dope and more dope and...)

So realism is not the issue. Film covers are realistic. The issue is perception. And that being the case, you have to decide what look you like, how much you like it, how much extra work it takes to go one way or the other, what the fellas are going to think, and how much you care.
Old 09-22-2002, 03:23 PM
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Default cub fabric covering

Cloth and Dope! Ahhhhhhhhh...

The traditional method of covering a vintage aircraft! I have plenty of experience in doing this, and in short...the final result is determined by practice, and effort. There are simply no shortcuts with this method. Conversely, there are NO iron on coverings that will give the seamlessness that a doped fabric can yield.

Contrary to one post...Monokote is NOT remotely "scale". As a commercial pilot, and exposed to a variety of aircraft...I've never seen one that looked like a pound of shrink wrapped hamburger. Some wonderful examples, but not the plastic-ky look of monokote.

Typically in an r/c model...you'd use a polyester/dacron material. SIG "Koverall" is one that comes to mind. The model is prepped first with LOADS of sandpaper. Sand with progressively finer and finer grits until the surface is flawless. Think it's good? It isn't...sand it again!

It is imperative to remove ALL imperfections.

Clean the surface well, and apply several coats of unthinned NITRATE dope. Nitrate is an excellent surface prep. It has little "shrink" and adheres to the surface well, and provides a base for the subsequent coats of dope to stick to.

Apply your covering (if it's Koverall..it's applied dry). Spend the time to lay the covering out smoothly and eliminate wrinkles and puckers by not having them in the first place.

Using nitrate dope diluted 50/50 with thinner, attach the covering around the edges by brushing with dope and rubbing it in with your finger. Work slowly and be patient. Do all components of the plane in this fashion.

When the doped edges are dry,
use a heat gun (if necessary) to tighten up the material and then using a large BRUSH, apply several coats of thinned dope to the entire cloth surface. We are trying to fill the weave somewhat at this time. Each coat should be brushed on at right angles to the previous coat to avoid brush marks. NOTE: On the open areas of the model, it may be helpful to hold the part upside down and brush from underneath so as to keep the dope from running through the weave, puddling inside and leaving a "scarred" spot in the finish.

From here...we decide just how much of a "finish" we want. We could go to the dozens of coats of sanding sealer (talc/dope) wet sanded in between (for a contest finish) or go straight to the butyrate color coats. If you've ever seen a "Full size" cub...the finish quality is pathetic. Looks like they were finished with a mallet and a roller.

Apply your color coats (sprayed with a compressor is best) and then seal them with a few coats of clear.

It's a lot of work, but...the finish will last as long as you don't crash the plane.

Good Luck! (It's worth the effort...it really is!)
Old 09-23-2002, 05:38 AM
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Default cub fabric covering

niteflyer --
sorry if I offended you, but I didn't say scale, I said realistic. Personally, I love fabric and dope and Monocote is one of my least favorite coverings. But SOMETIMES it's still the way to go.

I recently spotted a Dodge from the late '20s or eary '30s at a restaurant and went to get a close look at it because the body looked so good, even under its very dark blue paint. Up close, it turned out that the car was refinished in enamel. (Know what I mean?) The thing is, from a row away, it looked like the real thing... and its visual appearance from a row away was more detailed than any model could expect to be... so any model presenting the same appearance would be very realistic regardless of the incorrect finish material.

My point was that esthetics are in the eye of the beholder and in the budget of the purveyor. And, how you achieve the final esthetic and final cost (especially cost in terms of effort invested) is ALWAYS a balance between the how much you want the look (and authenticity) you're after and how much it costs to get it. One of my first trainers was a Cub, and I would have liked fabric covering on it a lot... but the work required to aqpply it and maintain it a frequently bumped airplane just wouldn't be justified by my desire to get the added beauty it would provide.

Fact is, if it ain't built of steel tubing, it ain't a scale Cub anyway!
Old 09-23-2002, 07:44 AM
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...Not to mention the hassle of welding all those little pipes together on the workbench...

I'm just a "rag/dope" freak. It is the most monumental pain in the *** ever conceived, but as a die hard....I try to go that way wherever practical.

It's only a hobby...sometimes.

Have fun all!
Old 09-23-2002, 07:50 AM
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I need to make one more comment...

If anyone is considering going this route with their finishing...

Keep in mind that Dope and Lacquer thinners are EXTREMELY flammable and should not be done in an area where accidental ignition is possible. Further, the vapors are strong and plenty of ventilation is needed.

It is a very satisfying means of putting an "authentic" finish (it even smells real) on a model...just take adequate fire/health precautions.
Old 09-23-2002, 08:22 AM
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One thing for sure, you can't replace the aroma of a REAL airplane. (As opposed to the smell of Monocote, which actually upsets my stomach.)
Old 09-23-2002, 09:02 AM
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Hey Al...

Where in PA is Johnstown? East? West? Can't seem to place it...

Do they still do the HUGE swap meet in Lebanon PA in the spring?

gads...that thing was neat.
Old 09-23-2002, 02:36 PM
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Default cub fabric covering

Thanks guys!

I'm sure you can all agree, that monokote is the easiest to apply. No fuss, no mess, and clean up is fairly simple. No extras need in the application, etc..

I do know that some people do consider the 'easy' way taboo, as not 'autentic.' especially for a Cub / Scale Project..

But also, when you're paid to do a job, you should be paid accordingly...

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