Glider Graphics Techniques

Graham Woods (1998)
"Panache Graphic"

IF LIKE ME you keep a watchful eye on what goes on on usenet rec.models.rc.air you may have seen this technique described by Colin Watters. I did and had a go at it... The technique is only suitable for wings covered with (or vacuum bagged) with with glass fibre. It's easy to do:

Method 1: Using an inkjet printer

Design your graphic using one of the many applications available - I used CorelDraw5.

Go to your local model shop and ask if he has some white model tissue. Remember the tissue and dope used in the days before plastic films? Carefully fix a piece of model tissue to a sheet of paper with masking tape. It only needs to be stuck at the top end of the page. If the tissue has wrinkles, use a domestic iron to remove them.

Print the design on the tissue with an inkjet printer. I've got an an HP500C. Some ink will find its way through the tissue to the paper below.

Lay up your glass on the Mylar sheet in the usual way when bagging wings.

On the last layer (the one closest to the foam core) lay down the design facing out.

Brush down the tissue in the usual way and bag the wing. Be sure not to move the design once it has touched the epoxy surface.

The colour of the tissue effectively disappears when wetted out. I've actually printed on a Kleenex tissue too. The photo is is of such a design on an HLG using this technique (the Panache is an interesting model in its own right - with moulded curved dihedral wings, and "lost foam" carbon fuselage - Ed)

Method 2: Using dry graphics

And here's an easy way to put Dry Print graphics on your model...

Find one of those clear, multipunched, A4 plastic sleeves for holding documents.

Insert a piece of white paper with a black line drawn on it.

Press down your Letraset (Dry Print) letters on to the outside of the plastic envelope with a pencil using the line on the paper inside as a guide.

Cut a piece Sellotape Diamond Crystal clear tape and place it over the dry print text.

Lift off the Diamond tape and transfer it to your model - the letters will come with it rather than stick to the plastic envelope.

This tape is waterproof and protects the print from rubbing off, the tape can be easily removed as well.


About Graham Woods