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Laminating film - buying it and using it.


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I think that, as the 2 previous posts from @Outrunnerand @Don Fryhave suggested, the lam film has been hit with too much heat! Heat guns are great but must be used with caution always keeping the nozzle moving over the surface and not too close. If you have burnt a hole through the film then that is what has happened. You’ve also said that it damages easily and dents, imo these are signs of it being overheated. As the guys have said, try using a covering iron instead of the heat gun as you have much more control over it. To be fair I do use both covering irons and heat guns on all types of film coverings but with the latter I tend to hold it quite a way from the surface to start with, gradually bring it in closer until I can see the film go taught but I am constantly waving the nozzle back and forth to prevent any one area getting too hot, it’s a balancing act!

Regarding the strength of lam film on an open structure, I can honestly say that it is far less prone to punctures that ordinary film:

 

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  • 2 years later...

Resurrecting this thread.....

 

On my P47, I used laminating film, then light sanding, then primer, then paint. I did the base ciat of olive, then the invasion stripes. The masking tape fid lift some paint off, so it was never pristine. General use also chipped the paint revealing the film.

 

I managed to damage the model (broke one wing) so have taken the opportunity to re-cover both.  On mt SE5, I used lam film, then tissue, then paint, which worked well, apart from a few wrinkles in the tissue - added character and authenticity!

 

This time, I have made a better job of the covering and am ready to paint. My question is around the best ways to add the invasion stripes - I am concerned that masking tape will lift or tear the tissue.

 

What do you do? I'm useless at painting straight lines by hand...

 

I coukd experiment, but I'm more than happy to use other peoples experience 🙂

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The first time I used it was to recover the replacement tailplane on my Henschel HS129 refurb, using matt film supplied by Ron Gray of this parish and I was immediately impressed with the ease of application, added strength and base it provided for paint. I've since used it on a couple of other models and the paint adhesion is quite delicate with water based paints, requiring extreme care in masking, but still a super surface to paint on. Where the laminating film really comes into it's own is in concert with tissue, where it makes a superb finish, which can be left as essentially doped coloured tissue for sports models or then as a base for paint in scale models. It's been the best thing since sliced bread in the past couple of years for me.

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I just did a quick experiment.... i painted a segment of a flap white, ready for a black stripe, and masked off a section of the base grey paint, and painted it white. On the latter of these, I've applied 2 coats of cheap B&Q emulsion. On lifting the tape, I have a nice crisp line, with no damage to the tissue.  On the bevelled edge of the flap I am using, I must have missed a bit when adding the tissue, as the base paint has lifted, revealing the film.

 

When the larger area is dry , I'll mask off ready for a black stripe, but at the moment I'm happy it survives my ham-fisted efforts!

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I’ve just finished painting my 109 and found that electrical insulation tape worked well for use for masking. Not sure about using it on different coverings though, but it seems to have a low adherence factor.

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If your masking tape is too sticky stick it on your clothes first. It will pick up dust from your clothes which will reduce the stickiness of the tape. The added bonus is that you are getting cleaner clothes at the same time.

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I use a cheap car primer such as this and it works really well as long as I have rubbed the lam film down with a very fine sandpaper to key it. I know that others have used plastic primer (such as David has listed above) and have had success with that too.

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Hopefully I can get a bit of guidance. Where can I get laminating film from?

I have looked at the beginning of this thread and see 38 micron thickness and 615 mm wide roll with a length of 150m was the one to get. Is this still the recommendation?

Also, matt or gloss surface? After reading the thread, I think that perhaps gloss will work best for me as it can be prepared for painting or coloured tissue on top.

I don’t really need 150m length, but could share with club members. Hopefully it can still be sourced at a reasonable price.

 

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4 hours ago, GrumpyGnome said:

I'm using the blue 'frog tape' ..... I'll try some of the many rolls of insulating tape I have.

Tried some stripes on the white 'patch' I painted earlier.... the blue frog masking tape was fine, nice clean lines. The insulating tape pulled the tissue and paint off the film. I hadn't tried Rons trick of des-sticking the tape by adding fluff.

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2 hours ago, Robert Thompson 10 said:

Is this still the recommendation

Yes but I would go for the matt finish as it does save some work although you still need to give it the once over with fine grade sandpaper.

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I find the Frog tape to be just about the best for masking my models - I take the extra step of sealing the edge with a smear of WBPU to prevent any creep. Still need to be super careful taking the tape off to avoid liftin the paint though.

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To prevent paint lifting from laminating film Im wondering if plastic primer will help. It used as a primer when painting car bumpers . I have some eo worth a try on the next build. The paint I applied to my Elf Biplane seems pretty good but i did use the matt laminating film 

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  • 1 month later...

The Tamiya Lexan spray paints might be worth a shot as they are used on the inside of the clear RC car body shells and are designed to be a bit flexible. That said they aren't cheap, and result in a matt finish.

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If I were to build a Junior 60, which was my first successful r/c aircraft, and if I were to cover it in doculam and tissue using either dope or WBPV as the adhesive, what would you recommend I use to protect the finish against glow fuel?

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Personally I would use Clearcoat with a touch of matting agent. I still reckon it’s one of the best fuel proofers but the only problem is you have to collect it as Solarfilm Sales won’t deliver it, although they will have it ready for a courier collection (if you can get one to transport paint). Failing that 2K car lacquer is good but wear appropriate safety gear!

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23 minutes ago, David Davis said:

If I were to build a Junior 60, which was my first successful r/c aircraft, and if I were to cover it in doculam and tissue using either dope or WBPV as the adhesive, what would you recommend I use to protect the finish against glow fuel?

Converting it to electric 🤣

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