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Author Topic: Silk covering  (Read 420 times)
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union model
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« on: November 24, 2021, 01:34:37 PM »

I was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions on silk covering. I'm building a 40" Sopwith Pup and would like to cover it with silk.
I've never covered with silk before, I've covered lots of models in tissue and nylon and was wondering instead of covering the airframe in lightweight tissue first, could I use 5 micron mylar and then silk ontop?

Second question, I've seen on ebay in the UK, there are a few dress makers outlets that are selling 5 ponge weight silk. Would this be suitable for a model this size?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Mike.
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 01:45:21 PM »

Hi Mike

Mike Smith, who also posts here has an article on his website for silk over tissue which he does fantastically well using wallpaper paste

https://www.freeflightscale.co.uk/tech-tips

 That maybe able to be adapted to silk over mylar ...not sure how wallpaper paste on mylar would work Huh


 Personally I have never really got on with silk, though many on here have. If you are covering first in mylar why not just use tissue on top ? Given the size of our FF scale models it arguably gives a more scale surface and takes paint well. While probably being not as strong as silk over tissue it's certainly very close and also easily repaired

Edit - If a silk finish is what you are after then give it go, just suggesting an alternative - perhaps do a test piece first ?... just noticed the overlap with Bill
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 01:55:37 PM by Squirrelnet » Logged
billdennis747
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 01:50:52 PM »

Silk on tissue is the traditional method. I don't know of anyone who has done it on mylar but I don't see why not. We use wallpaper paste so I suggest you try that - put the silk on dry and brush through.
Yes you can get silk from various sources - the difficulty is getting the weight down to around 12g/sq m
Another method I've gone to for cheapness and light weight is modelspan on mylar or polyester tissue

Is it a FF model? Let us know how you get on

PS just noticed the overlap with Chris!
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Kevin M
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 02:09:06 PM »

Years ago I occasionally did silk on Modelspan as has been described, on reasonably large RC models (1/8 - 1/6 scale), using wallpaper paste to attach the silk on doped tissue. The results were pleasing and took paint well, but it wasn't cheap because I was buying silk sold for aeromodelling whereas I could have probably got suitable silk cheaper from other sources. 

This was about 25+ years ago, and I did it because of the writings of the likes of Eric Coates and Pete McDermott, whose models i admired.

Now I think I'd try silk over light Polyspan, attached as Bill describes, if I could source some decent silk at a reasonable price. Haven't done that experiment yet though.

Your suggested method seems intuitively feasible.
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cvasecuk
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2021, 02:25:00 PM »

I have used silk on mylar on slab sided 8oz Wakefields. The silk was lightweight Esaki. Put on with one coat o9f 25% shrinking dope. It worked well but I've never tried it on a curved surface.
Ron
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billdennis747
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2021, 02:54:54 PM »

Mike uses https://www.silkcraft.co.uk/
I don't know what a ponge is.
They say they supply samples but I'd email to ask weights
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ffkiwi
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 03:17:11 PM »

Yes silk over mylar works perfectly well-I've covered several vintage model fuselages this way. depending on what your final intent is-ie clear dope or painted, you may have to take a bit of care not to distort the weave if you apply it wet as i generally do....under a coat of paint such distortions are less noticeable. I tend to use 10um mylar on fuselages, 5um on flying surfaces...for the smallish stuff. I've never tried it with aluminised mylar though...I don't know what would be the point...when you do this with tissue over mylar, you get a lot of metallic style reflectance-but not a lot of colour effect...the colur tends to wash out visually, and I personally don't like the effect. mechanically and structurally of course it makes no difference whether the mylar is clear or aluminised.

One area I have yet to master though is when using different colours of silk-what to do about the overlap....applying wet on mylar does allow you to slide to material around a bit-in a similar way to waterslide decals-but with the weave, you tend to get a less than perfect matchup at the respective edges....there is also the problem of how you handle pieces of wet silk-it becomes quite challenging in large pieces when wet-so I generally keep them smallish and manageable I solve the overlap issues by using a tissue strip or trim piece to cover up the less than perfect coloured silk join lines..

 One of the benefits with silk over mylar of course is that you don't get the dope wash through effect you can get with silk on open areas-and you need a lot less dope to fill in any case-as it largely stays on the surface. I have never tried the variation that some people use of attaching the tissue/silk around the periphery of the mylar covered component, then water shrinking as a separate step, before doping. I can see that approach being problematic with silk in terms of wrinkling....

 ChrisM
 'ffkiwi'

 I've also tried nylon over mylar-but am not yet convinced that this is a workable option-I found air bubbles and wrinkles a problem-though if you can overcome this, as with silk you would get a very strong covering using a lot less dope than covering with either fabric material alone
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faif2d
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 05:07:51 PM »

The only way I have ever had success covering with silk is to spray the clear.  That is the only method that I have ever used that did not have drips when done.  I never thought of covering with Mylar or silkspan prior to the silk.
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I used to like painting with dope but now I can't remember why!    Steve Fauble
Richard Hewitt
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2021, 03:15:27 AM »

I have always used silk doped onto modelspan, using thinned dope, brushed "through" the silk. I have never understood why anyone wants to bother with wallpaper paste - horrible lumpy stuff, and your wallpaper falls off anyway, once some damp comes through the roof  Grin. But each to his own. I am facing up to having to abandon silk because of the lack of supply, or at least, cost; Esaki was bad enough at £18 per metre, but I was quoted 150 Euro a metre for some 5g silk from a theatrical supplier. (I think they use it for making water effects on stage, by having fans at the side blow across it so it ripples). No wonder West End shows are so expensive to get into. I also recently tried 17g glasscloth (readily available at around £6 per metre) with acceptable results, although the technique requires some adjusting from the silk method - see my recent posts an the Eaglerock thread. The extra weight of the material is offset by it needing much less dope. Good luck, and please keep us posted...
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billdennis747
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 03:56:29 AM »

Wallpaper paste doesn't smell, it's cheap, weighs nothing, isn't lumpy, very easy to apply,allows you to move the silk around, gives a perfect finish and if you get it wrong you wet it and peel it off. Silk at around 12g (same as Esaki) is available off the roll at around £5 a metre. I think the method was first used by Pete McDermott, World RC scale champion some decades ago
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union model
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 06:11:34 AM »

Thanks very much for everyone's help. I will send off for some test samples and give them a try over mylar and see if I get on with it.

Cheers Mike.
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packardpursuit
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2021, 10:30:20 AM »

I've used silk over tissue but never on heavily under-cambered scale ribs. Was wondering about possible detachment issues?  Yes, I'm probably over thinking this! But visions of the covering pulling away from thin sheet stock ribs is worrying.
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cvasecuk
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2021, 10:49:50 AM »

Silk at around 12g (same as Esaki) is available off the roll at around £5 a metre.
Please tell us where, I can't find it1
Ron
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billdennis747
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2021, 11:08:48 AM »

Silk at around 12g (same as Esaki) is available off the roll at around £5 a metre.
Please tell us where, I can't find it1
Ron

Hello Ron. I haven't tried this supplier but they send samples. Mike Smith uses them. I have got 12g silk elsewhere but can't remember where. It was just as good as Esaki. Sorry, it's £5.49!
https://www.silkcraft.co.uk/ponge-5-white-silk-90cm-wide
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union model
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2021, 01:27:05 PM »

This morning, I spoke to the very nice lady at silk craft. She said they have supplied aeromodellers with silk in the past.
5 ponge silk is the lightest silk they supply, which weighs 20 gram/m2. Like Bill says, you can order a 90x20cm sample for £1.20 which will give a good idea if it's suitable. They also sell Chiffon too.
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cvasecuk
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2021, 01:36:19 PM »

Looking at other sites, I think the 3.5 Chiffon is 15gsm.
Ron
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billdennis747
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2021, 01:57:14 PM »

Looking at other sites, I think the 3.5 Chiffon is 15gsm.
Ron

15g is more acceptable, although given the area used on a model, it's only a few grams. A close weave is more important. To be honest I thought very few people still cover with silk. I stopped when I stopped building bigger scale models. I used to think that the texture was realistic but of course it isn't. Much more commonly now I use modelspan over mylar or polyester which has a better finish at smaller scales. Lighter and just as strong.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 02:16:48 PM by billdennis747 » Logged
USch
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2021, 05:57:07 PM »

Just for fun, I left covering with silk many years ago to other's, I searched the web for silk and found a reasonable source in Spain at
https://www.sodintex.com/it/
They offer also the aforementioned Chiffon 3,5 at 16g/m2. But to me it looks as a very open weave, for sure you need to place it over something else (jap, mylar).
But there is a Ponge 4,5 with 18g/m2 which looks much more usable.

Just my 2-pence or cents...

Urs
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Kiwi
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2021, 07:23:53 PM »

Don't forget that silk can be available cheaply from charity shops in the form of grannies old petticoats and nighties.
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2021, 10:56:25 PM »

Good source of lightweight deep red and white silk at Wah Lee’s in Auckland. I buy heaps by the metre
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ffkiwi
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« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2021, 04:59:39 PM »

Good source of lightweight deep red and white silk at Wah Lee’s in Auckland. I buy heaps by the metre

Mike-can you be a bit more specific regarding address details for the rest of us kiwi traditionalists-I wouldn't mind investigating further....

 ChrisM
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