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Schoolgirl biplane DT foam board maiden flight

kacknor

Build another!
#41
Here is a test, lightweight adhesive backed sign vinyl from the local sign shop stuck to foamboard and then glued with hot glue, I added another hot strip to the face of the vinyl. Should be fine I think.

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Something new to try... So little time! ;)

Still busy with the 'Free' Cub. That will fly soon. There there is the Gloster Gladiator thing that Locafiend did that grabbed my eye, and a Schoolgirl of course.. Who knows what I'll read about later today and have to build!

Going to have to find a bigger place to live.

JD
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#42
I applied it to the foam, I am going to try some other glues as well. This will work great on balsa models also, and be much easier than foam. I did one coat but had to glue twice, once for the first piece then another to overlap. You can spray the wrap but it leaves it cloudy in the open areas.
Do you mask off so you don't get the spray glue where it isn't wanted? How did you "glue twice" to stick the overlap on the edges without getting the glue on the outside of the wrap? Hope I'm not being too nosy but I've seen other airplanes covered with DT gift wrap and I've wanted to do it myself. Colors are very limited but the results look as nice as Monokote at a tiny fraction of the cost.
 
#43
Do you mask off so you don't get the spray glue where it isn't wanted? How did you "glue twice" to stick the overlap on the edges without getting the glue on the outside of the wrap? Hope I'm not being too nosy but I've seen other airplanes covered with DT gift wrap and I've wanted to do it myself. Colors are very limited but the results look as nice as Monokote at a tiny fraction of the cost.
This is my first attempt so I am not sure if I am even doing it right, but it seemed to work. It would probably be easier if I did a quick set of pics. I tried hot glue first, but it didn't stick well so I went to super 77, I am going to try gorilla glue also, not sure what else to try.

I didn't mask anything, I sprayed as straight on as possible to the edge. I cut a piece of wrap to size and then held the foam piece and sprayed the very outside edge/end..not the face/surface of the part..just the edge. I let the glue set a bit then laid the wrap down, folded over the ends, then tacked it down with an iron on low heat. I want the whole part covered and sealed so it is folded over the ends of the part.

Since now the previously glued edges are covered, you have to re-spray the edges and basically repeat the process for the other side. It really is no different then using adhesive backed covering film (Monokote) other than you have to first apply the glue. It could be glued right to the face of the part if you can get the wrinkles out, they won't shrink out with a heat gun after being glued down. By glueing just the edges (and hinge line) the wrap is free to shrink with a heat gun just like covering film and the wrinkles come out. It would be easier to spray the backside of the wrap but it clouds it in the open areas, if it were a solid part the cloudiness wouldn't affect the outcome enough to notice. It is still shiny trans blue on the outside.

The flat tail pieces are hardest, the wings and fuse will be easy to do. If I need to explain something better just ask.

The wrap at $1 a roll (8 feet) compared to ~$15 a roll (6 feet) for covering film is looking pretty good to me, as I mentioned before balsa planes would be really easy to cover with this stuff and at the price very well worth the hassle.

The only thing I have to do now is figure out a cool retro coloring scheme.
 
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#44
Ok..forget the previous technique I went on to the bottom wing and found it easier and works much better putting glue on the wrap first, I took a few pics. First one is my favorite tool for covering..my ingeniously put together "hot knife" lol that I made many years ago with the intention of actually purchasing a real one, but it worked so well I never bothered buying one, the ol girl has seen a lot of airplanes in its time. It works great for trimming excess covering, just quickly slide it along the edge of the part and the excess covering material zips right off with no jagged edges. It also works great to cut foamboard.

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Anyway, moving on, I laid out wax paper and cut a piece of wrap a little bigger than a wing panel and glued Super 77 around the outside of the piece and not the center. This kept the center from getting cloudy over the open airframe. I usually like to cover the whole top or bottom of a wing in one piece but did this in four pieces.

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Somehow when I cut the foamboard I ended up with a bit of a funky bottom trailing edge on the bottom wing which started looking like a real covering pain, but the wrap shrunk nicely and formed nice and tight to everything, in these pictures you can see the cloudyness I was talking about from the glue. I covered the bottom first then the top just like if it were regular film, overlapped and sealed completely. The fourth picture looking down the wing shows no warping that I can see from shrinking the wrap.

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And here is the covered wing which I feel doesn't look terrible at all, the color isn't as even as regular film but for the cost I have no complaints, it shrinks beautifully. The cutouts are done with the TLAR (that looks about right) method, nothing really planned out just trying to lose some weight, I really have no idea which way the cut-outs should go, I know how to build strength in balsa but I really don't feel there is any direction to worry about here, I did do zig-zag on top to match the stab then chord-wise on the bottom with the thought of the pattern working against each other possibly. I am surprised with how much material I did remove it really doesn't feel like it weakened the wing much at all. I did leave the paper on for this build, I didn't want all the strength in the covering until I have more experience with it.

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BTW, the light colored areas that show in the last picture isn't to do with the wrap at all. My three year old nephew was helping me and decided when I wasn't looking he should paint the wing..I am glad he used white paint and did it before I covered it :)
 
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TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#46
Bob, the wing looks amazing. I wouldn't have thought the wrap would have enough shrink to smooth out over the wing tips like that but it did. It's making me wish I didn't use felt tip markers to color my airplane. I suppose I'll have to build another airplane and cover it with gift wrap. Dang :D

Jon
 
#49
Bob, the wing looks amazing. I wouldn't have thought the wrap would have enough shrink to smooth out over the wing tips like that but it did. It's making me wish I didn't use felt tip markers to color my airplane. I suppose I'll have to build another airplane and cover it with gift wrap. Dang :D

Jon
Thanks, it does shrink surprisingly well and will shrink more yet, the key is to use low heat and take your time or it will melt through. I used an iron on the edges but honestly I don't think it needs ironing, just pull out as many wrinkles and as tight as you can..fold over the edge and trim, I would wait for the glue to dry some before shrinking if you don't use an iron, seemed the iron fastened it down permantly right away without waiting.

A friend said I should do this with the color of blue I have lol

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#50
Would love to see a video of that skinning process Bobk.
I will see what I can do, my GoPro is broken and I don't really have a decent camera that works for video. I am basically doing it the same way a balsa plane is covered with Monokote or other plastic film..the only difference really is I have to get the glue in there since the wrap does not have an adhesive side like regular film.

look around at some of these videos, I am basically doing the same thing with only two differences, 1.I have to add the adhesive and 2. this wrap is $1 for a 30"x8' roll where regular covering film is ~$15 for 6'. So far 3M Super 77 spray glue works great but be careful with it on bare foam it WILL eat foam, spray on bare foam lightly.

http://https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=covering+rc+airplanes
 
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#51
I read an article about airplane color schemes that enhance visibility. It recommended a stripe pattern for the top and solid colors for the bottom. I decided to try felt tip markers. Meh, it's impossible to apply an even color. The paper absorbs ink while tape doesn't. It looks pretty good in the air and I have to confirm the color pattern makes the airplane's orientation in the air much easier to see. I used aluminum duct tape to simulate glass.

Jon

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You could always use the clear wrap on your plane to "seal" it, I think that color scheme is great. Or you could go over the marker with lightweight adhesive vinyl then clear wrap it..all kinds of options :)
 
#52
Well here is a helpful hint, if you are going to try the gift wrap make sure you buy enough..I was just at my Dollar Tree and they are completely out of any cellophane wrap, I only bought one roll of blue to try it now I don't think I have enough to finish the plane. :(
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#53
Well here is a helpful hint, if you are going to try the gift wrap make sure you buy enough..I was just at my Dollar Tree and they are completely out of any cellophane wrap, I only bought one roll of blue to try it now I don't think I have enough to finish the plane. :(
I'll keep that in mind. Dollar Tree isn't the only store that sells cellophane gift wrap. You'll pay a bit more but have more reliable supply. I've seen Adams foam board in stores other than Dollar Tree, for more money. Good luck, I hope you find an alternate source soon.

Jon
 
#54
I'll keep that in mind. Dollar Tree isn't the only store that sells cellophane gift wrap. You'll pay a bit more but have more reliable supply. I've seen Adams foam board in stores other than Dollar Tree, for more money. Good luck, I hope you find an alternate source soon.

Jon
I did find other wrap but the color wasn't quite a match, tmrw I have a business trip and after a quick search I found three other stores along the way so I should be golden lol. The problem with a Dollar Tree store is when they are out of something they can not just order it in to thier store, the main outlet just randomly sends stuff out to different locations so you never know when it will be back in stock. I learned this the hard way because they have a lighted kids ball that my dog absolutely loves and can't destroy (huge dog too), tried to get more and couldn't, finally they got more and I bought a dozen..you can order directly from thier website but you have to buy a case and I didn't need 48 balls lol. A case of foam shipped is still $25, so it is cool to always be able to order your own sealed case of brand new foamboard whenever you want. :)
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#55
Observations

After flying the Schoolgirl several times I made a couple of notes for the next build.

1 - It doesn't need any right trim angle to the motor. The rudder is trimmed left to compensate for the 4 degrees right I put on the first firewall. 4 degrees down, the same as the Cox .020 firewall in the original plans seems about right.
2 - Remove the paper on both sides of the foam for the concave curve on the fuselage behind the top wing otherwise the paper will wrinkle.
3 - Doubling the foam in the nose helps to get the CG right and adds strength where it's needed. Use the CG shown in the plans. A little nose heavy for the first flights won't hurt.

Jon
 
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TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#58
I was looking at that glue at Walmart and wondering if it would work for the wrap. The can says "allows for repositioning" and "dries permanent". Does that mean you have time to futz with getting the wrinkles out and when it dries it's permanent?
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#59
New colors, self stick vinyl sheet

I went to a sign shop and asked the owner if he had any left over scraps. I showed him a wing and what I wanted the vinyl for. He gave me a few pieces about a yard each. I didn't have a choice of color, I took what he was willing to give away. While watching the NASCAR Can-Am Duels I covered up the sharpie ink. Now I'm happy with the way it looks.

Jon

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#60
That looks great! :) I think I like those colors even better, almost an odd combination. Yeah sometimes you have to be willing to take what they have if you are asking for it free vinyl. Depends on the person, if he had his morning coffee or not might even make the difference, one place I asked wouldn't even think about letting me have anything so I asked another place and there I usually stop every month to pick up a box they fill especially for me..even gave me permission to dumpster dive if I want but I haven't resorted to that yet lol. Works out though, I have given and steered business their way so it works out well.

Does that mean you have time to futz with getting the wrinkles out and when it dries it's permanent?
I have yet to try the Elmers I just did some quick testing last night so I can't answer that, it does look promising though. I am hoping after the wrinkles are out and it dries permanent it is a done deal. I will try it tonight, I did start another thread because I didn't want to keep filling your thread up with my trials/errors.

My Schoolgirl is getting closer, Motor is in, I trial fit some LG on last night that are too tall for it..it makes it look like a mean Schoolgirl lol. The LG doesn't look completely terrible, I might use it after I drill some lightening holes. Still contemplating ailerons on the top wing, been waiting to see where the weight is before I decide. Should lose another 1.5oz when I remove material from the top wing. My planned battery/ESC shelf is right behind the firewall but I might have to do some changes since it is coming out very nose-heavy right now.

Top wing: 45"/9" chord
Bottom wing:37"/7.75" chord
Fuse: 36.5"
Weight as it sits: 693 g

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