Covering the Twinstar II

by Piper Cub | May 12, 2013 | (8 Ratings) Posted in How To

Hey Flite Test!

So this is my journey (attempt?) to cover the infamous Twinstar II. I love the airplane and it is so beautiful aerodynamically, but I wanted to make it look really good in the air too. I didn't model it after any specific airplane but just chose a simple color scheme that made it pop in the sky. The colors are a dark blue and bright yellow on the control surfaces and engine pods. Even though I fly FPV mostly on it, my family made the point that it would be nice if they could see it, which was why I didn't go with a drone coloured grey. :P

1. Choosing the film - I was advised by my LHS to pick up a ParkLite by Ultracote as it is meant for parkflyer foamies and adheres at a lower temperature. The upside, safer on the foam. The downside, it is thinner and slightly translucent, so when two layers overlap there is a dark patch. 
 

 

2. Remove the foam dimples -  This step is crucial (unless you like the way they look). There are little foam dimples all over the airframe and they only way to get rid of them is to do the unthinkable, use sandpaper. It takes them away and you may scratch the foam ever so slightly, but it has no end affect as it is covered. Below are two pictures showing the difference before and after sanding. You can decide which you prefer.

 

3. The Fuselage - Break it down into sections with clean lines and cut big rectangles to wrap around the fuselage. It's essentially three sections, start with the middle (from just aft of the back window up until midway through the hatch) and use one big rectangle.

Next is the nose. This can be kinda tricky, the best way to do it would be to cut strips probably, but I just layered with scraps that I had and it fit together pretty well.

Finally there is the back part of the fuselage, just measure and cut out another rectange. Make sure to carve around the tips of the elevator.

 4. The Tail - It's pretty simple to cover the tail section, just cut out more rectangles and iron them on around the vertical and horizontal fins.

 

A couple of useful tips: 
-when covering the vertical fin cut two rectangles that are bigger than they need to be and are higher and go further out. Place them on either side and iron them onto the foam and then to each other where they are too big (kinda like vacuum sealing meat). Then cut away the excess with an x-acto knife and use a small strip down the middle on the leading edge to seal them together. See below.


-when covering the elevator cover it one half at a time. It is not actually a rectangle, but two that meet at a slight angle in the middle. By covering it twice you avoid any creases.

 

5. The Wings!!! 

  Arguably the most satisfying is covering the wings. Each half can be split into 5 simples sections. The outer half (top and bottom), the inner half on top, the inner half on bottom, the aileron and the engine pod.

The outer section is just one big rectangle, about 16" by 14".

 I next moved to the inner wing on the top, trace out the section that would cover the engine pod, it just has to be approximate as you can trim it later. Do the same for the top and the bottom of the inner wing.

 

6. The elevator! Super simple just a small rectangle.

 

7. Last but not least is the engine pod, this is kinda like the nose, it's awkward cause it's curved.  But just keep layering up :P

 

The final product!!! It looks really good with the blue yellow and white combination.

 

Thanks for reading and post any other suggestions or expreiences you've had in the comments!! It's not the best but I'm really excited about the final product! Good luck if you try it!!!

COMMENTS

FlyingMonkey on May 18, 2013
Fantastic job! That looks great.
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jaBdr on May 18, 2013
Very nice! Another covering option is Oracal 651, it is a heat set vinyl used by sign shops for lettering and graphics. I am using it on my Multiplex Mentor. If you google windrider 737 there are some incredibly well done planes covered in it.
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leadpipe58 on May 30, 2013
Just a few tips.When covering a fuse start from the rear so the edges overlap so no edges can catch the wind.Cover the bottom of the wing first and over lap the top for the same reason.
Great covering job
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JackJonesGT on June 8, 2015
It looks better but what is with the flight characteristics? Any changes?
A long time ago I read an article of somebody who wants to "optimize" his Styrofoam plane by removing all the small nobs. The result was that the flight characteristics has changed dramatically bad.

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