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Balsa Baby Baron

Jackson T

Active member
#21
I went to cover it today with my hobbyking burnt orange covering film, but the adhesive didn't work! I tried both sides and different temperatures, but it simply wouldn't stick! I have done covering before, but the stuff I used last time was quality ultracote. I contacted hobbyking support, but they didn't have any ideas. Does anyone have any experience with hobbyking covering film or know what is wrong?
 

Jackson T

Active member
#23
You did take of the film that covers the adhesive? I used some yesterday.. worked fine with my clothes iron slightly above synthetic.
Thanks for that!!! I didn't think it had any, because on my last roll of shrink wrap it was white paper on green shrink wrap, which made it obvious. You've just saved a lot of time waiting for hobbyking to send me more! I think I've not quite got my brain turned on with this build, with this "issue" and gluing ribs before cutting the wing joiner slots!
 

Jackson T

Active member
#25
I just finished covering! IMG20181021205344.jpg
Thank goodness that's over, I don't enjoy covering! I didn't cut enough extra length on the bottom left panel, and it shrunk away from the leading edge. IMG20181021195938.jpg
The fix was sooooooo bodgy!!! I didn't want to replace the whole panel, and I don't think the cheap stuff's adhesive would be strong enough for patching the normal way, so I put a huge patch on top of the pull away section. IMG20181021205408.jpg
It's a good thing I'm not a perfectionist!

P.S. Sorry for the bad quality pics :)
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#26
Ah, covering. I feel your pain. I'm on my fourth balsa wood build and I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Is that Hobby King film? I used it on my first balsa build. The opaque white shrunk without a wrinkle. The transparent yellow gave me nightmares.
 
#27
Covering is an art that requires a lot practice. I get a little better with each plane and repair. My favorite covering, for heavier structured planes is econokote, it stretches and tightens really well.
I have been using the Hangar 9 ultracote parklite for lighter builds and it’s not terrible. SIG also makes a lightweight covering that’s very opaque, that’s pretty good to work with.
With a few more planes under your belt, it won’t seem so bad. Your plane looks great, and a little wrinkly covering won’t affect how it flies. You’ll still have the satisfaction of flying a plane you built from sticks!!
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#28
On your next balsa build before covering get some hair spray it is basically Laquer and spray down the balsa with a light coat, then light sand with a 400 paper. Do another coat and light sand wipe down with a damp rag. . It will make your covering adhere so much better and smoothes out the balsa for a better look with very little work
 

Jackson T

Active member
#29
Ah, covering. I feel your pain. I'm on my fourth balsa wood build and I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Is that Hobby King film? I used it on my first balsa build. The opaque white shrunk without a wrinkle. The transparent yellow gave me nightmares.
Yeah, I figured it all comes down to practice. Do you mean there might be something different about the transparent covering films compared to the non-transparent films?
 

Jackson T

Active member
#30
Covering is an art that requires a lot practice. I get a little better with each plane and repair. My favorite covering, for heavier structured planes is econokote, it stretches and tightens really well.
I have been using the Hangar 9 ultracote parklite for lighter builds and it’s not terrible. SIG also makes a lightweight covering that’s very opaque, that’s pretty good to work with.
How much is econocote? One of my fears with covering is if it pulls too hard on the top or bottom surface and bends the trailing edge, like it did on my first balsa build. To fix it I had to pull all the covering film off it, re-glue it, and try again.

With a few more planes under your belt, it won’t seem so bad. Your plane looks great, and a little wrinkly covering won’t affect how it flies. You’ll still have the satisfaction of flying a plane you built from sticks!!
Yeah, a few more planes should increase my skills and hopefully make it less of a chore. Thanks! I'm not particularly picky about looks, but obviously I want it to look okay. That's one of the things I like about building with balsa, I can say that plane right there used to look like a couple sheets of balsa and a roll of plastic!
 

Jackson T

Active member
#31
On your next balsa build before covering get some hair spray it is basically Laquer and spray down the balsa with a light coat, then light sand with a 400 paper. Do another coat and light sand wipe down with a damp rag. . It will make your covering adhere so much better and smoothes out the balsa for a better look with very little work
So it works like a filler?
 
#32
Unfortunately, it looks like econokote went the way of the dodo in the Hobbico bankruptcy.... the hangar 9 stuff isn’t bad, i don’t mind the parklite at all. I cover my Tritle builds with parklite. I’ve heard on this forum that the hobbyking stuff isn’t terrible for the money.

There’s definitely a difference between colors and transparent is quite a lot different. If it’s any solace, I’m really good at melting holes in transparent covering. It doesn’t change color when heated quite like opaque covering and I am really good at misjudging temp and melting it!!
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#33
Yeah, I figured it all comes down to practice. Do you mean there might be something different about the transparent covering films compared to the non-transparent films?
The adhesive on the Hobby King transparent yellow didn't hold well and it kept slipping when heating the film to shrink it. The opaque white film didn't have that problem.
 
#34
Slippage can also be a result of prep. I vacuum and the wipe all surfaces with a tack cloth before applying covering. Any balsa dust, left from sanding will affect adhesion. That’s why it was recommended to coat the surfaces. There are even prep coatings like balsa rite to help with adhesion.

After a few more planes, you’ll get the hang of it.
 

Jackson T

Active member
#37
Slippage can also be a result of prep. I vacuum and the wipe all surfaces with a tack cloth before applying covering. Any balsa dust, left from sanding will affect adhesion. That’s why it was recommended to coat the surfaces. There are even prep coatings like balsa rite to help with adhesion.

After a few more planes, you’ll get the hang of it.
Good point! I did sand the leading edge from square stock to get its shape, but not with a very fine grit. I will definitely make sure I do that next time, as well as a good wipe down to remove balsa dust.

Silly question, but you removed the backing before trying to iron it down didn't you? :)
Actually, that was the original problem! The only other shrink wrap I have used before was solid green ultracote that had a white paper-like backing. The hobbyking stuff was clear wrap with a clear plastic backing that is stuck on really well, so I assumed it wasn't there. Yes, it was a silly question, but you never know how I'm going to stuff something up :)
 
#38
I usually finish sand with 400 grit. The 400 makes it really smooth and when it’s vacuumed and cleaned with. Tack cloth, it usually sticks quite well.

Looking forward to the flight report.
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#39
Thumbs up on Ultracote, that stuff can take a beating while covering and shrinks and melts around corners great, plus it looks so nice when your done.
 

Jackson T

Active member
#40
I glued the horizontal stab onto the fuselage today, and finished the removable rudder mechanism! The small holes in the tabs are for a small piece of pushrod to hold it in. IMG20181031100117.jpg IMG20181031095948.jpg
The only thing left to do now is install servos, pushrods, and control horns!