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Fabric Covering for Scale RC Airplanes — Video How To

Fabric Covering for Scale RC Airplanes — Video How To

We’ve received several emails asking about covering scale models. While I was building my the 1/4-scale Sopwith Camel project, I wrote this post that goes into detail about what required. Your response was impressive and many of you asked about Scale Stits Fabric and Poly Tak adhesive. So, I broke out the video camera in the workshop and I made this 2-part How To Video presentation. Included are all the steps and techniques I used to cover one of the ailerons highlighting several useful tips and tricks. Personally, I think it is very easy and the polyester fabric and the heat activated adhesive used to attach the cloth to the wood structure are simple to apply. Here ya go. Enjoy

Fabric Covering for RC Airplanes -- Video How To Stits Lite Radio Control Scale

Sitis Lite and the Poly Fiber covering system is designed to work together to produce an easy to apply and durable fabric covered finish.

Fabric Covering for RC Airplanes -- Video How To Stits Lite Radio Control Scale

The most important things for a great finish a clean work surface and sharp X-Acto blades.

Fabric Covering for RC Airplanes -- Video How To Stits Lite Radio Control Scale

See the How To videos below.

Video How To Part 1.

Video How To Part 2


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  1. MEK and other solvents are highly toxic. Invisible Glove may protect your skin, but what about your lungs and the rest of your body?

    1. Bob Balsie, MEK also causes immediate and irreversible blindness if you splash some in an eye. Safety glasses are a must with this stuff.

  2. Gerry…any updates coming on painting etc.? Also, how is the odor with these products; are there dangerous vapors present? I want to know if I could use them in my basement shop. Thanks.

    1. Hi Tom. I do not have any updates on painting with Poly Tone Paint, but you can see some posts of my painting technique for my 1/3-scale Fokker Triplane covered with Stits. I just finished the 1/4-scale Sopwith Camel project and it will be a while before I start on a new project. I don’t very much like putting my video gear into the workshop when I am spraying paint. But we will see what I can come up with. Stay tuned.

  3. Great videos, really useful.
    Just wondering if you need to do anything further to make the part fuel-proof?
    Since there is exposed balsa, I’m assuming that there may be some follow-up steps to seal the covering and part as a whole.

    1. Hi Shane. Actually this is just the first step in the Scale Stits process. I will produce more video showing the sealing and painting of the fabric. The cloth by itself is open weave so grease and oil would soak in. Poly Brush is the next step (2 coats minimum), then a coat or two of Poly Spray (silver undercoat) is applied. Finally the Poly Tone paint is applied. all exactly like the full size airplanes using the same process. Stay tuned!

  4. PolyFiber also has available an illustrated, comprehensive manual on covering full scale aircraft, the procedures found in which are applicable to large models.

  5. Great video. I have been really toying with the idea of covering with fabric. I thought about using it on an SE5a I will be covering this summer but ventilation is an issue in my home.

    I know you have a lot of experience but is it actually easier to work with than film coverings.
    Second question how would you work with an undercambered wing ?

  6. where do i bay Poly Fiber covering system

    1. Hi Robbin, The Poly Fiber covering system for models is available from Chip Mull at F&M Enterprises. here’s his web link: http://www.stits.com/


  8. Hi ! very instructional, as well as, good techniques and the audio is clear and audible.
    Once again, thanks for a very precise detail instructional video.

  9. Outstanding i use DOPE and SILK

  10. My covering kit (F&M) arrived today. I’m going to start covering in a week or so.
    First time.

  11. Do you plan to use the Poly Spray. This is used for full scale to provide UV protection for the fabric. This is achieved by using aluminum powder in Poly Spray. Have there been any problems noted with 2.4g radios and internal antennas?

  12. Gerry,

    First of all, thanks a bunch for these great tips!
    I haven’t used Stits Lite covering myself but it seems like the process is a mix between using silk or Japan paper and a regular iron-on covering.

    Because I haven’t used these products yet, there are some questions I hope you can give me an answer to:

    * Is it possible to use for example Balsaloc instead of Poly Tak?
    Balsaloc should be easier on both your respiratory system and your skin, since it’s less harmful to your body. It also uses water as a solvent, so no use for MEK anymore either.

    * Are there any advantages to using the Stits Lite covering instead of, let’s say, a more “regular” iron-on product, (Solartex?) other than the “scale factor”?

    * How well will the Stits Lite covering conform to complex curves, like rounded wingtips and fillets? Can it be stretched with heat?

    Thank you in advance, you and the others at MAN really do a great job helping us to make better models! Please keep these videos coming, they are highly appreciated!

  13. Could you make up a video of the best way to paint the ribs inside a plastic canopy.

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