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I'm currently in limbo with a balsa wood plane I have just completed (just the frame) The kit is from Guillow's they say I can mix my own dope,but i'll be damned if I know how. can anyone out there help?
 

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never heard of mixing your own dope, but any hobby shop should carry the stuff, even hobby lobby carries it. they might have meant thinning the dope, since the stuff can be pretty thick. otherwise, in the early days of balsa modeling, bannana oil was used. but i have no idea where you would come up with that. I've had good results with a rattle can of clear spray after the water shrinking is finished, picked that tip up from a rubber modeling site....what kit are you building?
 

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The model I'm building is a Guillow's Grumman f6f Hellcat,With a 16 1/2 wingspan.It is my very first balsa wood kit. Took me a while but I finally got the frame built. I read for the mixing of the dope it was half and half of regular elmers glue and water.So I experimented and thank god I had an extra model hanging around.The first attempt was destroyed by my stupid cat.
 

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Ok, thats for attaching the tissue to the frame, not for shrinking or finishing. Elmers will do the trick, but be careful not to get too much glue on things. Years ago, when I built my first balsa kit with my dad, we glued the tissue down with regular testors plastic model cement. I still do this. It works well, (believe it or not), is easy to control from the tube and gives enough working time..and sticks like glue!.I have actually gotten the covering so tight with this stuff that the tissue ripped when I sprayed the water.
 

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Mars - 1 said:
Ok, thats for attaching the tissue to the frame, not for shrinking or finishing. Elmers will do the trick, but be careful not to get too much glue on things. Years ago, when I built my first balsa kit with my dad, we glued the tissue down with regular testors plastic model cement. I still do this. It works well, (believe it or not), is easy to control from the tube and gives enough working time..and sticks like glue!.I have actually gotten the covering so tight with this stuff that the tissue ripped when I sprayed the water.
along with the leading and trailing edge , do you also apply the cement to the wing ribs , and also is plastic cement glue heavy ? white glue always sag in soe unexpected spots, even when i thought i had all the edges of tissue attached, guess it was becoming unglue with water spay on tissue ,
 

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I used to build outdoor scale rubber powered models so I'll tell you...
1. get Pactra aerogloss lacquer/dope paints and a big bottle of thinner and 2 bottles of clear.

2. paint the leading edges and fuse with 2-3 coats of clear dope. cover the model with the tissue - or switch to japanese paper for lighter weight. use thinner THROUGH THE TISSUE with the addition of a little dope to 'stick' the paper to the frame. start at the leading edges for the wings and tail surfaces. use a hardwood dowel to help round the trailing edge paper around the tight angles. let it dry for 2-3 DAYS. paint the second colored layer of dope/lacquer paint on after you have made sure the parts are still true, with main wings still flat, and same for the tail. the paper should be tight on the wings and do the bottoms first with ONE piece of tissue, and then the top, folding a little of the paper under the wing for more strength. don't overdo the paint unless it's to be a static display model. I used colored japanese tissue for my Peck Polymers Piper Cubs, and red tissue for the 10-15 Sig FF-25 Monocoupes. use a little baby oil on the rubberband so it won't snap so easily while winding it up. make sure your first flights are GLIDING tests. Balance is more important than you would ever imagine in models of THAT size.
 

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ah ok , i'll try the dope again, i've tryed it before but i did only one coat and it wasn't a full doping,the thinner didn't help the tissue glue to the edges , but must be cause of only one not so good coating, are there electric motors i can use in place of rubber motors now a days . Thanks for the help
 

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You can actually add an electric motor with gearbox, and 2 RC servos (ailerons and elevator) to have a great little backyard model. I have doubled the size of a 2 foot model Monocoupe, my particular favorite 1930's era plane and had a 4 foot 4 channel electric powered airplane. Electric means you can fly quietly in a small field, and If your careful, never have repair the model. I slip mine in and fly inverted with it, and since I used to fly a quarter scale version, I know all the bad habits of the Monocoupe. You can fly a 2 foot model with a powerful rubberband motor with gearbox, and 2 sub-micro servos for even more fun! the small servos and powerful motors and latest generation of electronic speed controls make flying small models a blast. The tiny servos could even be used on the 1 foot jupiter 2 model to retract the gear!
 
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