Solartex or 21st Century fabric?????

I'm ready to cover my 1/4 Super Cub and want to use fabric.
Another club member recently finished a 1/3 plane with Solartex, and
said it was very easy to work with. It also costs less then 21st
fabric. However, matching paint is not offered (that I could find),
and I need it for the cowl, struts, and cabin trimming.
Coverite does offer matching paints for their 21st Century fabric,
which solves the painting problem. However, I do not know anyone in
my club who has used 21st fabrics so don't know about the workability.
I've also heard that Coverite and Monokote spray paints aren't all
that great.
Ssssoooooo, what to do ????? OR, does anyone in the group have actual
experience using Ceconite lite with Poly Fiber finishes????
Reply to
David AMA40795 / KC5UH
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I've used 21st Century Fabric once, and I won't again. It's heavy, doesn't shrink well, and is hard to handle, IMO. The glue is a "soft" adhesive. If you iron a seam and then hit it with a gun, it will relax and let go. It actually takes 3 different heats to properly apply it.
I've also used Coverite's paint. You have to spray it in many very light coats, and it takes a while to dry really hard.
I've used *tex many times and love it. It shrinks great, and stays glued down. It's light, too. With lighter colors, you can see through it if held in the sunlight.
For matching paint, I'd take a scrap to Lowe's or Home Depot, have them computer-match it, and brush it on.
Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
Reply to
I used the Stits system just to try it out for the first time on a 1/4 scale Citabria. I was at first a little intimidated by the way it works (like everybody, I was used to the plain and simple iron on coverings). But once I did the tail fins (and what a mess that was), I figured it out and the rest went great. In fact, it turned out to be quite a load of fun, and I really really liked the results. For paint, I then used a single coat of epoxy primer and automotive urethane, and yes, it looked GREAT! Having gotten the first Stits project behind me, I'll never cover a giant any other way. Try it, it's worth the (very short) learning curve, and be sure to buy the manual, read it, and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!!!
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Reply to
My recommendation would be to use Sig Koverall fabric and nitrate dope and paint everything! If you're going to go with a gas engine, you can even use latex house paint mixed to match the exact color you want with a polyurethane clear coat to protect the paint. I found that 21st Century Coverite has a very weak adhesive and did not stick well to the structure of the model, or to itself! Koverall is really robust and permanent!
Good Luck!
David AMA40795 / KC5UH wrote:
Reply to
John Morley
Solartex covers great. Very easy to use. However in my experience, it stains easily. It needs to be sealed with your favorite clear coat.
21st Century Fabric is indeed picky about temperatures during application, but is impervious to staining, for the most part anyway.
Depending on how many sealer coats are applied, I would venture to say in the end the two come out about even, weight wise.
Reply to
Coverite Super has better adhesive, is more docile, and just plain works better than the 21st Century variety.
It's also less expensive.
21st Century is 27" x 15' @ $39.99 Coverite Super is 45" x 15' @ $39.99
I use Coverite Super on open bay structures and .58 glass on sheeted structures. I coat both with epoxy thinned 50% with denatured alcohol. Seals in one coat, stabilizes the fabric yet leaves a visible weave, and takes any sort of paint you like. A second coat of thinned epoxy hides the weave leaving a near-glass smooth paint-ready surface.
Latex enamel can be had in any color under the sun, and you can spray the stuff without much effort. A fuel-proof clear coat and you're done.
FWIW. Cheers, Fred McClellan The House Of Balsa Dust
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Reply to
Fred McClellan
Personally, for the toughest, longest lasting covering for the least amount of work you cant beat the "Tex" fabrics. Could probably cover a bowling ball wrinkle free with the stuff, and one coat of clear to seal it if you want easier cleanup is all it needs.
Eric Kler FUBAR Hill -
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Reply to
On 1/15/2004 3:31 PM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
Definitely avoid 21st Century Fabric. It is quite heavy compared to Solartex and if you want it to stick (and stay stuck) you will need to coat the airframe in either Balsa Rite for Fabric (it is different than the one for film) or Sig's Stix-It.
I highly recommend Solartex. It is very easy to work with, a short learning curve (as with any covering you have not used before) and does not require anything on the airframe before applying.
Solartex does have one downside - you will need to clear coat the fabric to prevent staining.
For paint, I bring a sample to the local paint store and have them match it up in a latex. Then you can brush (best results are with a foam brush) or spray it on. I also suggest using "FloTrol" with the latex to allow better leveling. After you are done, let the paint "cure" for several days, preferably in the sun and then clear coat. There are several you can use - LusterKote, Ultracote clear or polyurethane. If you are going to use poly, I would suggest 2 or 3 SPRAYED coats of MinWax PolyCrylic or 1 - 2 coats brushed on. Again, use FloTrol to assist leveling, especially if brushing. The Polycrylic is resistant up to 10% nitro definitely - many report excellent resistance with 15% nitro.
Hope this helps.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
I used it on my Nosen Citabria. Goes on easy and tightens well. I have used stits and the Litefab is as good but easier to apply. I used the stits pinking tape and "the pink stuff" to stick the pinking tape down Regards
Tom Watson Sydney Australia
Reply to
If you like the system, then you can save a BUNCH of money by buying the supplies from a 'rider-scale' oriented company. I talked with a guy at a local distributor about the Poly-Fiber stuff. He said the guy at Stits buys gallons and repackages - and charges about 20% more for the stuff.
Example Stits Poly Tak pint = $10.20 Poly Tone blended ( pre-thinned) $17.60 distributor Poly Tak Quart = $16.31 Poly Tone straight $15.31 reducer is $9.65/qt
Reply to
David AMA40795 / KC5UH

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