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Das Mini Bipe...

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#1
So i had some money burning a hole in my pocket...bought a Radical RC Das Mini Bipe. laser cut kit.
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Pretty easy build. Only issue so far is the fusalage was a bit twisted, not a big deal, Recut the horizontab stab slot sqaure to the wings. Got the electronics ready..but I am stuck at covering. I know i do want to go with a curtis jn-4 theme...yellow us rondels, etc.

It's a pretty small plane, so I am looking for a lighweight coating....
Looking for some one to give me the pros and cons of these...

Tissue paper, solite, coverlite, or any thing else that will work. I have regular monokote, but feel it may be to heavy or warp the frame.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#2
Any iron on covering can warp. Shoot, I had a bad tissue covering job on my first free flight glider warp a wing. If you're careful, the iron on covering can be used to help straighten some warps by strategic shrinking.

A plane that small, any of the xxx-lite coverings will work. How much covering have you done with iron on?
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#3
I've done a bit of monokote...never had any warping issue, but they were on larger crafts...I like to look of the coverlite, but my concerns there are that is shrinks mostly in one direction and that I have never used balsaloc, though it seems straight forward.

Tissue, I would think would be great and light, but just fragile.

Solite would probably be great, but is only available in transparent I believe. It looks to be just like really thin monokote.

Silk and dope just seems like to much work.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#4
If you have done Monokote, you should be ok with the others. Coverlite is probably your best bet but like you said, attention must be paid to "grain" so the shrinkage is in one direction. Not hard to do, just an added thing to watch out for.
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#5
So I had a terribly odd thought at work today...What about the plastic shopping bags I hand out to every customer? The large bags are a bit thicker...I wonder if they will shrink when heated? I just might need to do an experiment...but first I need some type of glue..
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#6
So I had a terribly odd thought at work today...What about the plastic shopping bags I hand out to every customer? The large bags are a bit thicker...I wonder if they will shrink when heated? I just might need to do an experiment...but first I need some type of glue..
0.0005,

Try a produce bag -- you know, from the fresh vegetable aisle. Much lighter than the typical plastic bag but REALLY strong.
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#7
Well, tried the shopping back...used contact cement on a wooden frame, iron down the edges...could not get it to shrink completly wrinkle free...drum tight, but not enough strength to take out all the wrinkle. 5 tenthousandths is correct. We have a thicker bag, might try that, but I think I'm leaning toward the coverite coverlite. Now i just have to see if any LHS' have any or if I have to mailorder it.
 
#9
If you don't have a proper iron, believe I have seen some successful DIY heat gun diffusers in my perusing around the inter web. For whatever reason a link to share is eluding me tonight but thought I would mention.
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#10
I have the right iron...Just testing the material. Because I am cheap, I am trying to find alternative supplies to what has already been designed to do the job. Maybe I will find the next thing..like foamboard! Or maybe not.
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#11
Okay! So I got some thicker bags at work today! So..In the name of cheapness..here are some pics and process of what I've done!

These are the bags! They are 10 ten-thousandths of an inch rather than 5. It is probably not difficult to fire out where I work now...The hard part will still be finding them if you want yellow. Very few stores have any of these left as the have been deemed "too expensive". I stockpiled some at my old location before they went away because they are quite nice to have around Christmas time.
1107132205.jpg

So I then made a wing sample...It is a heavier wing than the plane I plan to cover, but I made it with a few features like large sheet areas, narrow ribs, height changes, to see what happens.
1107132206.jpg

I set my iron to 2 1/2. I don't know what temperature that would be.
1107132206a.jpg
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#12
This is the contact cement I used...I brushed it on every contact surface, then let it dry for 30-40 minutes.
1107132206b.jpg
Then I cut a piece of bag larger than what I needed. The bag has a grain to it, it looks streaky when held up to the light. I had the grain running for to aft.
1107132251.jpg

Then I just worked it as I would monokote. Tack it in the center of the LE, stretch it across and tack it at the center of the TE..and continue towards the end of the wings. Then iron all the ribs and other contact surface. It is not as easy to get wrinkles out of the sheet areas, it is so thin that it is easy to create wrinkles moving the iron. The bag does not shrink enough, like monokote, to just heat and remove the wrinkles. There were no bubbles to deal with.
1107132258.jpg
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
Mentor
#13
After finishing the iron down of the film, I trimmed it with a knife and finished the edges. It does not stretch as well, or as controllable as monokote and a heat gun. There are a couple wrinkles in the wingtip that I probably would have worked on more with monokote, but I left them be today.
1107132301.jpg

After a little heat work with the iron, I got most of the wrinkles out..There are still some at a height difference coming off the sheeting on the leading edge to a rib..but overall it turned out pretty well. Maybe tomorrow I will finish the bottom.
1107132302.jpg

But as for proof of concept...looks promising. The film is held very well by the contact cement, it seems pretty resilient, a bit more translucent than I had hoped, but cheap! I don't know that it would take paint well, it at all. Maybe I will cut out a section and see how it repairs as well.