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Paint or colored packing tape? Which one do you use and which one is better?

Paint or colored packing tape?

  • Paint?

    Votes: 8 53.3%
  • Colored packing tape?

    Votes: 7 46.7%

  • Total voters
Hey everyone!

I am starting this thread to get your opinion about whether you think painting airplanes or using colored packing tape is better! Where do you get your paint or tape from? What are the pros and cons of both?

Leave a comment! Tell everyone which one you think is better and why.



Master member
I use packing tape all the time. Doesn't really seem to effect how my birds perform. To me it's much easier than masking and painting and then having it not turn out good. I am thinking of getting an airbrush for painting planes tho, I think that would be much easier then spray cans. Cheaper too.


Master member
Tape will generally add some surface strength and puncture resistance. OTOH, I added 5 lbs a paint coat on my full size 1950 piper pacer, ended up losing 100lbs useful getting a legal covering.

So: at these scales, probably minor weight differences, (couple of grams) more changes due to build techniques. Building really light is an art form hard learned.


Knower of useless information
I think I like paint better. Packing tape is great if you're trying to do straight lines, but it can take FOREVER to put down. Paint is relatively quick and easy by comparison.

That said, I found an option that I'm going to try again - Monokote. I had some scrap left from a balsa repair I made on my Gentle Lady, and so I figured I'd take the scrap and use it to make some patterns on a Baby Blender. It actually adhered fairly well, and I just used a bit of low heat with my iron to get it to tack onto the foamboard. DEFINITELY want to use low heat; a test with higher heat caused it to melt the foam board scrap I tested it on first.

I don't know if I'll use it to completely cover a plane, but for things like a Spitfire "bullseye" marking, the stars on the bottom of a MiG-3, or even doing a pattern similar to the vinyl wraps that other people have done, I might be willing to try it out of scrap Monokote. :)


Legendary member
I use colored packing tape.

Regarding weight, it all depends on the kind of tape you use, If you use duct tape or electrical tape, weight could be an issue. I doubt packing tape is heaver than paint. If there is a weight difference, it is minimal. The amount of hot glue you use will have a far greater impact on final weight than packing tape vs paint. Packing tape is going to weight about the same as monokote.

Here are the tapes I use, both suppluers have a good variety of colors.
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Legendary member
by vinyl wrap for cars, its different types. The "normal" cheaper ones, who is a bit thick, and shrinks over time because it has memory.
You also can find a thinner, very stretchable who has no memory (dont shrink over time) but to a much higher cost.
Weight on the last one, is not higher than packing tape or paint.


Legendary member
There's no right or wrong answer, try some stuff while making sure not to add excessive weight, and see what you like best. I'm not the best at painting either brush or spray and I always fear warping so I rarely use paint, except some cheap acrylic on strong pieces of FT brown foam kits like the box fuselage and nose sections that won't warp easily. I use thin sheets of vinyl sticker paper you can get at Joann's, Michaels, etc. quite often, it's extremely light and looks nice, though it isn't the cheapest option if you use a lot of it, like papering a whole plane or something. I've actually never used colored packing tape. Didn't find it in those stores, and haven't ordered any, but I'll give it a try some time and compare to the vinyl sheets.


Master member
I've actually never used colored packing tape. Didn't find it in those stores, and haven't ordered any, but I'll give it a try some time and compare to the vinyl sheets.
Only place I've ever seen colored package tape is online. Or a place that sells ZAGI's @Vimana89 , pretty sure there's nowhere near you that has it. I do like the vinyl sheet trick however. It laser prints?