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Wings & Pilots

How to Cover with Iron-on Covering.

1) Tools:
Covering Iron with Protective Sock
Razor Blade or Hobby Knife
Aluminum or Steel Ruler
Heat Gun
Trim Sealing Iron
Hot Covering Glove

2)Unroll the covering film on a clean table. Lay your model part over it. Now cut a panel from the covering film, approximately 2"e; (50mm) larger than the part's width and 4"e; (100mm) or more than its length.

3)Separate the covering from its clear backing using two pieces of cellophane tape. Place the covering over the part to be covered, adhesive side down. This is the side from which you removed the backing, (you can also test which side of the covering film has the adhesive by touching the Covering Iron to a corner - it will stick only to the adhesive side). Allow at least 1"e; (25mm) of overlap all around, except at the wing tip, where you will need at least 3"e; (75mm).

4)For a wrinkle-free finish, follow this six-step procedure on each wing panel. When covering wings, horizontal stabilizers and elevators, start with the bottoms. Set your Covering Iron at about 275 degrees F (135 degrees C) to begin (best adhesive temperature may vary).
(1) Tack the covering film at the center end of the panel
(2) Pull the covering film tightly and tack at the trailing edge corner
(3) Then at the leading edge corner
(4) Pull the covering film tightly at the center of the tip and tack
(5) Pull diagonally across the wing and tack at the trailing edge of corner and leading edge corner
(6) The covering should now be relatively tight. If you see any severe wrinkles, you can still remove and reapply the covering. Small wrinkles will be shrunk out later.

5)Next, seal the covering film to the trailing edge. Start at the center and work out to one end and then the other, while pulling tightly with excess material. Repeat this process on the leading edge. Then seal along the tip and center. When covering over a solid surface, leave approximately 1"e; (25mm) unsealed at the center to allow air to escape when ironing or shrinking with the heat gun.

6)Finishing wing tips or compound curves:
A.Using the Heat Covering Iron: Pull the excess material tight while applying heat with the Covering Iron. The heat makes the covering film pliable, allowing it to be stretched over the tip. Work out any wrinkles by heating and stretching the covering film every inch or so until the tip has been covered 1/8"e; to 1/4"e; (3 to 6 mm) beyond the center line.

B.Using the Heat Gun: The Heat Gun makes covering wing tips much easier. Follow the basic instructions in 6A, but use caution not to burn a hole in the covering film or to burn your fingers. Wearing a Hot Covering Glove or leather glove is recommended to avoid burning your fingers.

7)Trim off all excess material just past the center line and iron down all the edges well (except for a vent for air to escape if applicable). Be sure to leave 1/8"e; to 1/4"e; (3 to 6 mm) overlap.

8A)To shrink covering tight, lightly set the iron on the surface of the material and glide it back and forth over the entire area. To shrink over a solid surface, work toward the air escape opening and then finally seal that area last.

8B)For the best and cleanest results use a Heat Gun to shrink covering over a solid surface, lightly press the heated covering to the model part using Hot Covering Glove. Start at the tip and work toward the center where you have left an unsealed opening. If you do not use this method to lightly press covering film to the surface, your covering may eventually come loose and wrinkle.

9)When covering a fuselage with the stabilizer and fin attached, the fillet (right angle or rounded) should be covered first with a 1/2"e; to 3/4"e; (13 to 19 mm) strip as shown. Then cover the stabilizer and fin. The stabilizer and fin should be covered before hinges are installed. A typical fuselage is covered in four pieces; bottom first, then the two sides, and finally the top. Overlap each piece by 1/8"e; to 1/4"e; (3 to 6 mm).

10)Fiberglass parts may also be covered with covering film. Use as much heat as possible without deforming the part. Work slowly, ironing the covering film down with Covering Iron while pulling the excess covering tight. Slowly work around the curves.
Excess heat may permanently deform some fiberglass parts.

11)Trim designs may be cut from covering film and ironed over film-covered surfaces. Use a low temperature (225 degrees F, 107 degrees C) to prevent air bubbles from being trapped between the layers of covering. Work slowly from the center of the stripe toward the edges to remove all trapped air. When finished, seal all edges down securely with the point of the heat sealing tool, using high heat.

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