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Light weight covering materials


New member
I am building a 36 inch version of Peter Rake's eindecker from magazine plans. There are no instructions. Is there any recommendations for covering? Is there a iron on system available for light weight models?


Elite member
It's been so long since I bought lightweight covering... I think I went with MicroLite iron-on covering last time, but it is no longer being produced. AeroLITE and So-Lite are similar products. Stevensaero carries the AeroLITE. So-lite probably has to be ordered in from the UK.

For more vintage covering materials, SIG makes Silkspan tissue though it seems a bit expensive to me at $2.68 for a 2'x3' sheet. There's also Japanese tissue; I know Brodak sells some, but there are probably other suppliers as well.
Some people have been using laminating films, but I have no experience with that.


Master member
If you're a dinosaur like me, you can do dacron fabric from a fabric store in very light weights. Heat shrinks but has to be painted preferably with a solvent based shellac or lacquer. Nitrate/butyrate dopes were traditional, and I have used latex house paint.
Here's a thread on doculam: (GO HERE)

I've not used it yet, but plan to give it a try. Folks that have used it report that its light, durable and best of all, cheap. YMMV.
There are five that I have used that are still available (when in stock).

Ultracote makes 2 versions; one is Parklite, the other is Ultracote Lite. They feel and weigh about the same. Parklite is opaque colors, while Ultracote Lite are transparents. Unfortunately, I have been watching their stock levels lately as I would like to use some on an upcoming project and many of the colors seem to be perpetually on backorder :-(.

I used Parklite to cover my Stevensaero 4charlie.

My Diana glider has Ultracote Lite for the transparent purple. The fuse was covered with another option, DocuLam. Doculam works very much like the Parklite/ Ultracote Lite. I scuffed it and sprayed it with Rustoleum 2X spray paint after and it seems to hold up ok.

Tench mentioned Aero-Lite from Stevensaero. I used it on their Ring-Rat and S-Pou kits. It feels very similar to the Parklite/Ultracote Lite and works quite well.


WillyNillies sells what they call Willykote. It is a lighter-weight version of the Chinakote that is available from Hobbyking and Value Hobby. It works well, but I found it to shrink with more force so you have to be careful not to warp your airframe. Now I was working on a 28" span model versus your larger Eindecker, so you may not have the same issue. It isn't quite as lightweight as the other options, but would still be fine for a 36" model.