How to: Add Square Checkerboards

Sep 30, 2012 8 Comments by

In the January Electric Flight column “Custom Corner,” we show you how to make a curved checkerboard design that you can easily apply to your aircraft.  Here we show you how to add a standard checkerboard pattern to a wing. This design is a little simpler, but it still has a big impact on the color scheme. Enjoy.

We start the same way by spraying the glass with window cleaner, then removing the backing from the Ultracote and then pressing it down on the glass.  This will keep the covering in place while cutting out the checkerboard.

Lay down a ruler and start cutting out the strips going one way. Fortunately for me, the width of my  ruler was perfect for the size of the checkerboard I wanted to make.   After making one cut I would place the  opposite edge  of the ruler on the cut as a guide  to keep the ruler parallel to the previous cut. Then make another cut and move on down across the covering until all of my cuts going in that direction were finished.

Now, line up your ruler ninety degrees to the other cuts, you can use anything that is square for this, I used a CD case.  Then start making all your other cuts going ninety degrees from the previous cut across the covering.  (There is no photo showing this step.)

After you are done making all the cuts in both directions across the covering, start pulling off every other square until all you have left is a checkerboard design on the glass.

Now, laid down the Press-N-Seal over the checkerboard and press on all the squares so that they stick to the Press -N-Seal.  Remove them from the glass and place them in position on the wing.  Follow the same procedures outlined in the article about sealing them down onto the wing with a heat iron.

Here is the finished wing with the square checkerboard on it. As you can see this really does add to the color scheme of the aircraft.

Here are the two planes side-by-side and you can easily tell your plane from all the rest that are in the air.  The checkerboard design is a good color scheme for just about any aircraft (except maybe scale), to make it more visible in the sky. Be sure to try out this easy add-on to your next plane.

 

 

Featured News, From the Magazine, John Reid, Uncategorized

About the author

West Coast senior editor About me: I’ve been involved with RC aircraft since high school and have flown just about everything. I started my RC career with scratch-building, but now like many pilots I rely on ARFs to get me in the air. My main focus is on pylon racing, aerobats, combat and scale warbirds.

8 Responses to “How to: Add Square Checkerboards”

  1. Terry says:

    You’re so awesome! I want to be your groupie!

  2. Justin says:

    Thanks John. That looks great.
    What is the press-and-seal? It looks too opaque to be Glad press-and-seal : )
    My problem with cutting covering design is the transfering after you make all those beautiful cuts. That little trick makes it look much easier!

  3. John Reid says:

    No, it is Glad press-n-seal, I think I have an older roll of it; the newer stuff is not as opaque. Using it does make transferring designs much easier.

  4. Ken G. says:

    John,
    Could you provide a link to the article that you reference about curved checkerboard? Thanks

    • John Reid says:

      Actually Ken, there is no link to that article because it is not on the web. You can find it in the January Electric Flight Magazine and the column is called “Custom Corner”.

  5. Keith says:

    John, I am impressed how easy you make this look. I was wondering where I could find the original article you mentioned “In the January Electric Flight column “Custom Corner,” we show you how to . . .”

    • John Reid says:

      Thanks Keith,

      The article is in the January 2013 issue of Electric Fight Magazine, which will be on the newsstands within the next couple of weeks. Look for it at a hobby shop or bookstore near you.
      The new column “Custom Corner” will highlight a variety of easy-to-do makeovers and hop-up so that you will be able to apply them to your airplanes and make them stand out from the other ARFs at the field.

  6. John Reid says:

    btw guys, I am not making this look easy, it is that easy to do. Once you start using this for checkerboards you will find that you can apply any design to your airplane using this technique. Enjoy

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