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Spary painting balsa?

General discussion on any topic which doesn't have a natural home on any of the other boards.
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B Sharp
Posts: 856
Joined: 19 Mar 2015, 17:18
Location: Perthshire

Re: Spary painting balsa?

Post by B Sharp »

Hi John.
I have been following this thread for a while now and have resisted replying till now. Like Peter and Chris I come from a dope and tissue age and have seen and tried most finishes. If you go down the bare balsa and dope/sanding sealer route I guarantee that you will soon regret your decision. After a few slope landings the nicely finished balsa sheeting will be splitting among the grain as the structure flexes. It will also be covered in deep scrapes and scratches.
Balsa surfaces need something to toughen the surface, be it tissue, nylon, tex or glass cloth. No ifs, no buts! It would be best to bite the bullet and choose the most suitable option. Looking at your structure which is mixed open and sheeted construction I would have covered the whole model in tex or diocov. Alternatively cover the sheeted surfaces in 25gm/m glass cloth then cover the open sections with tex or diacov. It will be more satisfactory in the long run.
Best of luck.
Brian :)

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John Fairbairn
Posts: 19
Joined: 10 Apr 2021, 09:17
Location: NW Wiltshire

Re: Spary painting balsa?

Post by John Fairbairn »

I was going the 'feather' the edges of the Ceconite Peter, but ta for the reminder. Knowing my memory I would have probably forgotten :o

Brian, thank you for your input. It's too late now to cover the open areas with tex or the like as they are already
covered with the Ceconite, but the idea of tissue on all of the other surfaces, fuz included is what I think I will do. It should be a good and light solution, i hope!

My 5th scale Grunau Baby was originally covered completely in tissue/dope, but as you know, slope soaring isn't friendly to it so the open sections are covered with Ceconite, glued down with Balsalok, and dope. That was about 30 years back. My Minimoa also has Ceconite/dope for the open sections of the wings and tail feathers. the solid bit, sanding seal/paint. The fuz is balsa planked/sanding seal and painted white, again about 28 yeas old. They are both only ever flown on Selsey Common,Stroud and it's a very scale friendly site, so no problems there.

This is the Minimoa wing. I included spoilers as well, not on the plan, because the write up said that if you wanted to get it back down in lift they were a good idea. Rudder/elevator and I love flying it.
Minimoa stbd wing copy.jpg

The Habicht will almost certainly only be flown there too
My ambition is to grow old disgracefully. My wife tells me that I'm doing quite well so far.


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