Letís Considering Finishing Right Now!

Letís stop a minute and talk about covering.  This is for those Hawk builders that are new to model building.  I realize that itís mid November and very few people have started their wings, and only a few people have completed their fuselage.  There are two things you should be aware of with regards to the covering and finishing the Hawk.  They are No. 1 Glue, and No. 2 Color.

                Lets take the glue first; itís a simple subject to get out of the way.  Simply put, donít leave any glue where you would expect the film covering to be adhered to the balsa wood.   CA glue spots will absolutely ruin a film-covering job.   The dry CA glue spot almost immediately sticks to the MonoKote film covering.  Perhaps welds would be a better word than sticks.   The spot where the glue is will wrinkle the MonoKote badly.  A good covering job requires a good bit of tugging and stretching of the film.   That particular spot where the CA glue has welded itself to the covering is not going to want to move.  As you build the balsa wing and tail sections be careful about where the excess glue ends up.  Clean it up as soon as possible.  If you do end up with a bad glue spot then you will have to sand it out and fill with ďHobbyLite Balsa Colored Filler.   HobbyLite comes in two colors; White and Balsa Color.  Be sure that you use the Balsa color as opposed to the White.   Regarding glues; I personally prefer the aliphatic resin glue, which does not react with the film covering as badly as the CA does.  If you use aliphatic resin glue be sure and leave the joints pinned or fixed for at least 8 hours.  The critical places to be concerned about glue spots are the wing leading and trailing edges and root and tip sections.  Dihedral breaks at the wing panels need to be watched as well, as those are points to adhere the film covering to.  Properly done the film covering is not adhered to the ribs themselves.  The film is adhered to the perimeter of the wing or tail and stretched across the ribs.  Watch where the glue is applied!  Nuff said!

Now lets talk about color.  When you show up a Don Clevelandís, he will expect you to bring a can of spray paint.  The paint will be sprayed inside the fuselage mould to give the finished fuselage its color.  If you want to use a basic white, blue, green, etc. thatís OK, itís your choice.  Don likes to use Krylon spray paint, which is available in a variety of colors and can be purchased almost anywhere.   Have you considered an exact match of the fuselage color to the film color to be used in the wing & tail sections?  MonoKote is a film covering material made by Top Flite.  Top Flite also supplies a spray paint with an exact color match to their MonoKote film.  The product is called LustreKote and is available in the most popular colors that MonoKote produces.  The Neon colors and some of the metallics and pearl colors I believe are the exception.   Most of the local hobby shops that sell MonoKote will probably have a few cans of LustreKote but generally only in the best selling colors.  Donít expect to find Metallic Platinum or Pearl Copper or Medium Purple LustreKote at the local hobby shop.  If you want to match film colors and you know what color you want use, then sit down and call Tower Hobbies and place an order for the paint now.   

Included in this section is a half plan view of the hawk with a side view as well.  The purpose of this is to help you sort out your color scheme.  If you know that you plane will be all red or all blue then donít bother with this exercise.  The sheet can be printed on an 8 ĹĒ x 11Ē standard paper.  Get your colored pencils, ink markers even the kiddoís crayolas and go for it.  I bought colored pencils and colored pens for less than $5.00 per set.  You can color in any scheme your heart desires.  Another option is to move this file to your paint, graphics or photo program and do your coloring there.  The last option is to actually cut out pieces of MonoKote and glue them into position.  It may sound like kindergarten but it works great.  Hopefully this will start you thinking about what your Hawk is going to look like.

When you are ready to cover your Houston Hawk I will be glad to help.  I have the necessary tools; all you need to bring is your plane and the MonoKote colors you wish to work with, as many as you like.   

Roland Beach
Houston Hawks

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