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Author Topic: My WWI era build...  (Read 1225 times)
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Pops
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« on: February 21, 2016, 01:38:54 PM »

Friends,

I've just started a new build and I'd like some input from you regarding this. I started with a plan for the Pfalz EII but as my own design and construction progresses I'm not sure it can be called a Pfalz anymore - at least as sure as heck it's no scale/museum piece! Also, I realize that many other fuselage designs from that era also used the same general outlines. Sooo, at least for now I'll just call it "my WWI era build". Smiley

A few specs:
WS: 1200mm (47.25")
Weight: Max. 1000 grams (35.25oz)
Guidance: 2xHS-55 servos connected to a Corona 4ch. synth. RX.
Propulsion: Hextronik DT750 motor, 10x8 SF prop, 18A ESC and 3S 2200mAh LiPo.


It will be a mid/shoulder-winged stick construction, with built-up wings and a lot of piano wire and rigging. The rigging will also be functional, since the wing joiners are made with 2mm piano wire - much too flimsy to handle the stress of the flight loads themselves. For now I plan on using braided fishing line for the rigging, dunno yet if it's solid enough but I'll find out.

Now, one thing I haven't figured out yet, is what covering to use; and here's where I'd like to ask for your help and wisdom. I realize that Monokote or Solarfilm will NOT be appropriate for a model like this, it should rather be covered with some kind of "fabric" to give it a little more credibility. But I also suspect that for example Solartex (my other fav. covering besides Solarfilm) will be both too heavy and too "coarse", giving the finished airplane an unnatural look. So what would YOU have used for covering if you were to build this model? I'm looking for (hopefully) an iron-on covering that looks good on this small airplane - and at least loosely - replicating the finish on the real Pfalz. Any constructive input is highly appreciated.

Why do I ask about this detail already now, before the airframe is ready? Well, I simply like to have as many parameters as possible sorted out in advance. For me this shortens the list of "Oooops-es" and "DANG!-s" that I have to deal with as the project progresses. Smiley
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2016, 02:20:43 PM »

Hi Pops,

Being a traditionalist I would go with silk over tissue, or if you prefer, silk over mylar.

I have a 44" APS Tiger Moth with RC covered in this manner. It weighs 20oz without motor.  Texture is very realistic.

If you haven't done this before it's very easy - tissue on first, water shrunk then 1 coat shrinking dope.

Silk applied wet over the top and doped just around the edges while the silk is still wet

Dope through when dry - 2 more coats of non-shrinking dope.

Colour spray as required

This method is very strong and light as well as looking right.   
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2016, 03:40:56 PM »

ZK,

Thanks a bunch for your input, I'm absolutely taking notes!

But please enlighten me: ('cuz I've never used silk before) What's the purpose of using both tissue and silk? Wouldn't it be enough with just the silk? And, with a model as big as this one, should I use heavier tissue than I'd normally use for a smaller model? I have built tissue-covered airplanes before but not this size...
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 04:03:07 PM »

You would use ordinary lightweight tissue because the strength will come from the silk.

Silk by itself takes a lot of dope to fill the weave but sitting on top of the paper layer it takes very little.

Also some times silk on its own can be very naughty.  It can water shrink nicely but then go slack once doped, never to return properly!  Other times it behaves properly and I have never really got to the bottom of why this is.

What I do know is that you never have this kind of problem if you lay it over the tissue - game over!

Another advantage of doing it this way is that because silk has a warp and weft it has to be put on straight - if you don't you risk the wing twisting as the silk shrinks up.

By putting the tissue on first you 'lock in' your wing (including any deliberate warps such as washout)  Then if you don't get your silk 100% straight it won't cause a problem.

One final thing - this is a great way to put silk on an undercambered wing.  The wet silk will suck down onto the tissue which in turn is stuck to the ribs.  paint a bead of dope over each rib to hold it and when dry dope through everywhere else.
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2016, 04:21:43 PM »

Here are a couple of my models covered in silk over tissue.  The Super Scorp is painted and the Playboy is just natural red silk from Wah Lee's Chinese emporium.  I didn't even bother with red tissue and it was still a nice rich red.
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2016, 05:12:42 PM »

Hello Mike
I changed my silk on tissue method some years ago after speaking to Pete McDermott (RC world champ). Cover with Esaki japanese tissue, two coats non shrinking, iron the creases out of the dry silk, lay it in place then brush through thick wallpaper paste from the middle out. Then dope. Perfect results. Wet silk is a pain to handle.
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2016, 05:49:27 PM »

Yes, so there are a couple of good ways to do silk over tissue.  In principle would you agree that silk over tissue would be the answer for Pops for this type of model?
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2016, 07:51:34 PM »

*taking notes as fast as I can...* Smiley

...then brush through thick wallpaper paste from the middle out...

Really? Shocked (Or are you pulling my leg now, billdennis?) Smiley I DO know that some builders use one thin coat of gelatin as a paint primer, but wallpaper paste seems a wee bit over the top?
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2016, 07:56:52 PM »

No, Bill is on the level.  I haven't used that method myself but I have heard of it and you can't argue with Bill's results.  Being hydrous, the paste would dry out to nothing and then a coat or 2 of dope would seal it
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2016, 08:29:23 PM »

Okay, thanks! I stand (sit!) corrected! Cheesy

I searched my "local" supplier of balsa here in Sweden, and sure enough, they have silk! 20gr./sq.m (0.6oz/sq. yd). At 163SEK per sq.m, it's even less expensive than other coverings! (Yeah, you also need the extra paint and fillers but still!) Smiley - And it really surprises me that silk most probably is lighter than my favorite films! Shocked

Have I been wasting my time all these years with plastic films? Huh
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2016, 08:34:04 PM »

(BTW, ZK, your oldtimer models are just STUNNING!) *thumbsup!*
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2016, 08:53:50 PM »

Thanks - they fly really well too.  If you go down this track there are some subtleties to trimming the silk after covering so stay in touch if you get to that stage
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2016, 09:15:57 PM »

Calculating weights, I find that one layer of tissue and one layer of silk will add up to what one layer of SIG Koverall weighs!?!? And then you need dope as well on top of the silk? Does anyone here have experience with Koverall, pros and cons compared to tissue and silk?

Please forgive me for asking, this is a completely new "diamond" for me to look at, and I'd like to look at and understand as many different facets as possible!
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2016, 09:34:26 PM »

I don't know about weights but I wonder if Coverall might be a bit fierce on a 47" model.  I used it on a big RC Citabria once and it pulled really tight.  I think you dope Coverall as well if you want to fill the weave.  Sorry can't be more help.
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2016, 02:19:21 AM »

Okay, thanks! I stand (sit!) corrected! Cheesy

I searched my "local" supplier of balsa here in Sweden, and sure enough, they have silk! 20gr./sq.m (0.6oz/sq. yd). At 163SEK per sq.m, it's even less expensive than other coverings! (Yeah, you also need the extra paint and fillers but still!) Smiley - And it really surprises me that silk most probably is lighter than my favorite films! Shocked

Have I been wasting my time all these years with plastic films? Huh
That is very heavy - I use Esaki which is now 12g
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2016, 02:30:03 AM »

Yes, so there are a couple of good ways to do silk over tissue.  In principle would you agree that silk over tissue would be the answer for Pops for this type of model?
Ignoring issues of cost, and being able to get the lighter Esaki, then yes. But then I have no idea what modern coverings are like. To look for a 'realistic' fabric covering is really a bit of a red herring when you look closely at a full-size.
We use silk on tissue mainly because it is pretty tough for FF landings with big FF models.
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2016, 04:18:27 AM »

Quote from: billdennis747 link=topic=20458.msg183395#msg183395 date=1456125561
That is very heavy - I use Esaki which is now 12g[/quote

The lightest tissue I can find here in Sweden (at least from my "royal supplier") weighs in at 19gr/sq.m. (0.56oz/sq.yd) I'd never heard about Esaki before I joined HPA so I can't discuss that. And, I wouldn't be surprised if I get a "dropped jaw and a blank stare" when/if I ask for Esaki tissue at my LHS... Cheesy

But as far as I can find out, the combo of silk, tissue and layers of dope/paint will add up to the weight of my favorite covering method, Solarfilm, so I shouldn't complain! Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2016, 04:47:09 AM »

Quote from: billdennis747 link=topic=20458.msg183395#msg183395 date=1456125561
That is very heavy - I use Esaki which is now 12g[/quote

The lightest tissue I can find here in Sweden (at least from my "royal supplier") weighs in at 19gr/sq.m. (0.56oz/sq.yd) I'd never heard about Esaki before I joined HPA so I can't discuss that. And, I wouldn't be surprised if I get a "dropped jaw and a blank stare" when/if I ask for Esaki tissue at my LHS... Cheesy

But as far as I can find out, the combo of silk, tissue and layers of dope/paint will add up to the weight of my favorite covering method, Solarfilm, so I shouldn't complain! Smiley
Can Solarfilm be painted? If so, I would use that. It sounds like you are building a semi scale model. You can get Esaki silk and tissue from Freeflightsupplies in the UK. I only use s and t on 'proper' scale models because a) it is costly and b) white is no longer available in the UK. Apparently for some reason Esaki will only supply to FFS in uneconomically large quantities.. As I said, a 'fabric' finish is non-scale at our sizes. However if Solarfilm is too smooth, an alternative might be mylar (it drives me insane) or polyester tissue with modelspan-type tissue doped on top. Or even heavyweight Esaki tissue would simplify even more, and is very tough.
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2016, 01:25:14 PM »

*taking even more notes...* Smiley

Yes, they say that Solarfilm can be painted as long as you use their etching primer but I don't know if I'd recomend it, exept for trim. I even have a hard time getting CA to stick to Solarfilm... Smiley

The FFS homepage is now bookmarked and he really has a lot of good stuff! Doesn't seem to be THAT expensive either?

One of the purposes with this build is to explore new techniques, so as long as I learn something new I'm happy! To many others out there using T&S may be like a walk in the park but I've never done it before so now's probably a time as good as ever to try it!

Like I said in my first post; this is no scale- or museum model and I can only dream about being in the same league as for example Tommy Wee when it comes to detailing an airplane. Then again, I'd like SOME standard on my builds, and you never see a WWI airplane with a mirror finish like Solarfilm or Monokote can give. My initial choice of covering for this model was Linen Solartex, but like I said, it won't look right and also be too heavy. So I'll process the input I've got here while I build the rest, and come to a final conclusion then. But so far the T&S solution seems to be the right one.

I'd like to thank you all for both the knowledge you've shared with me and also the patience answering and explaining it all to me. I've taken notes and will put them to good use in the future. THANK YOU!
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2016, 02:00:42 PM »

Come back before you start covering!
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« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2016, 02:50:43 PM »

A slight case of irritation... Angry

After almost finishing the fuselage, it suddenly struck me that I ought to test if things will fit and be accessible before going way too far beyond the point of no return. So I tried to strap in the battery through the cockpit opening, securing it with a velcro strap as intended.

No.

The opening is too small for my hands and I'd need fingers twice as long to reach the strap. And now it's too late to correct, so I'll just have to build another fuselage. Oh well, I still have a lumberyard's worth of balsa and plywood, so it just takes time to do it. You might see it as progress anyway, since I now have found a way that doesn't work... Smiley

Yes, I can use velcro glued to both the battery pack and shelf, but I don't have any of that stuff at home now. And, using the straps have become a "standard" to me, as well as the shelves for keeping both electronics (servos, RX and ESC) and the battery in place.

But a quick redesign of the front fuselage, lifting the battery shelf to the middle of the firewall and creating a hatch on the underside oughta do the trick.

I hope... Grin
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« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2016, 03:44:07 PM »

Just put a hatch in the bottom. No need to rebuild another fuselage.

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« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2016, 04:02:24 PM »

Sorry boss, no go. There's even less room for the battery under the battery shelf as it's made now. But the good news is that I got a new decoration for the wall! Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2019, 09:10:13 AM »

Hey, Pops!

Almost three years has passed since your last post in this thread.
You already have all the stuff required, git yer butt in gear and do some BUILDING, goddammit! Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2019, 01:26:24 PM »

Oookayy, some progress.

Here's the new subfreame for my design, hopefully my sausage fingers will fit inside the new hatch under the fuselage, (instead through the cockpit opening) to replace batteries. The hardest part now is to remember how I thought it should be put together in back in '16, but it's slowly coming back to me. Smiley
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