Covering Types

Although most plans are detailed about the type of wood, sizes etc, to be used for each component, they are often vague about the type of covering to be used. Yet the covering should be matched to the structure, to the type of model and to the size of the model. This is why Solarfilm make a range of covering materials which vary in weight, strength and appearance. For each model there will be one or maybe two coverings that are most suitable. There are three films, which have a smooth glossy surface, two fabrics which show the textured surface of a woven fabric, and the two lightweight materials. Their main features are as follows:-

SOLARFILM: Iron-on film with a high gloss surface in a huge range of solid, transparent, metallic and fluorescent colours. Very easy to apply and can be contoured around shapes, like wing tips, just by heating and stretching. Weight about 55 g.s.m. (grammes per square metre), 2 ounces per square yard. The most widely used coverings for sport and fly-for-fun models.

SOLARSPAN: A stronger, thicker version of Solarfilm. Especially good on veneered foam wings. 12 colours including glittery metal flakes. About 70 g.s.m. Should not be used on diesel or petrol powered models.

SOLARKOTE: A polyester iron-on film. Has extra hardness, stiffness and heat resistance, but not as easy to apply as Solarfilm. Resists diesel and petrol as well as glow fuel. About 75 g.s.m.

SOLARTEX: An iron-on fabric. Strong and tough covering – has even been used to cover a commercial single seat microlight. Very easy to apply. The fabric surface is protected by a coat of two pack resin so it is resistant to all fuels. Has a matt finish, 13 solid colours, 2 fluorescent, and 5 'Vintage colours that are transparent like coloured silks. Weight about 90 g.s.m., 3 1/2 oz per sq. yd.

GLOSSTEX: The ultimate iron-on fabric. Made from the same fabric as Solartex but given a coat of high gloss two pack paint at the factory. It is fully fuelproof and can be trimmed by itself, with Solartrim or paint. More economical than painting Solartex yourself – and a gloss finish to beat the experts, 125 g.s.m., 4 1/2 oz. per sq. yd.

SOLARTRIM: A self adhesive film for cutting to shape and applying to any smooth glossy surface to produce designs, insignia, lettering etc. Colours are same as iron-on films. Just cut and smooth on – does not need heat to apply.

FIBAFILM: A fibre reinforced polyester film. A lightweight but stiff covering for sail planes, vintage models. Looks like heavy tissue with a glossy finish. Very good for stiffening flexible framework without adding too much weight. 5 colours and Aluminium that is just like polished alloy sheet 42 g.s.m.

LITESPAN: A strong tissue made from polyester fibres. Has been factory doped with a fuelproof resin so does not need doping. Much stronger and more puncture resistant than normal tissue/dope. Also used on balsa instead of tissue/dope/sanding sealer as a base for paint. 4 tissue colours and 5 scale colours including silver, 30 g.s.m. 1oz. per sq. yd.

Some Solarfilm materials are especially useful to scale modellers because they represent the appearance of the full size aircraft in colour and surface appearance.

SILVER SOLARTEX: A superb reproduction of the silver doped fabric used on many aircraft in the 1930's e.g. R A F biplanes such as Hawker Hart, Gloster Gladiator etc. The material should be just ironed on, it must not be varnished or fuelproofed.

DARKGREEN (PC10) SOLARTEX: This colour is made to a 1915 recipe for PC10 dope so it is very authentic. It has a matt surface like the dope made to the PC 10 recipe. For a matching paint consult the SOLARLAC recipe sheet, which provides recipes for may other Military and Camouflage colours.

LINEN SOLARTEX: A creamy beige iron-on fabric to simulate the doped linen used on the under surfaces of many World War 1 aircraft. It is practically opaque so the structure cannot be seen through the fabric. Complements the Dark Green PC 10.

ANTIQUE SOLARTEX: A creamy beige translucent fabric for use on models of veteran aircraft such as Bleriot, Antoinette, Avro Triplane, where the structure can be seen beneath the covering.

ALUMINIUM FIBAFILM: An aluminised film with a fibre reinforcement. An excellent reproduction for the polished metal sheet used on engine cowlings of fabric covered biplanes, and the alloy skinning on Mustangs, Thunderbolts, etc, during W.W. 2.

LITESPAN SCALE COLOURS: Silver, Dark Green, Cream, Black and White are all suitable for small scale models that need a very lightweight covering. They are fuelproof as ironed on.