Products - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I remove Coverite?
Removing covering is a bit challenging. You'll want to cut into the covering in an open bay area, then using a heat gun and a flat, scraping blade, gradually peel up all the covering you can. Where you cannot remove it, you will need to sand through the covering to remove it from the aircraft. In some cases in small areas MonoKote trim solvent can help bring up edges to peel up small stuck pieces. Once the bulk of the covering is off, try using an air hose to blow off some of the leftover adhesive sections, then sand clean.
I heard about a new product which is not yet listed on your web site. How can I get more information?
If a product is not yet listed on our web site, chances are good that we do not yet have information on that newly released product. Please visit your favorite hobby shop and our web site regularly for new technical information as it becomes available.
Where can I find scale documentation to complete my model?
Coverite fabric products are PERFECT for getting that scale finish without hours and hours of work! To really make that model perfect, you'll want to have photo packs and scale documentation of your airplane's color scheme.
An excellent resource for scale documentation for your project is:
Bob Banka's Scale Model Research
This is Bob Banka's Scale Model Research, a huge scale modeling resource who sells photopacks and other documentation which is enormously helpful.
What are the advantages of fabric?
Either Super Coverite or pre-finished 21st Century fabric are usually used to obtain a natural or scale appearance on "classic" sport or scale models. Both materials employ a heat activated adhesive that bonds to Balsa and plywood. Although they weigh slightly more than film covering, the rich texture adds considerably to the finished appearance of a scale model. The main advantage of Super Coverite is that it can be painted with a variety of custom colors to match your desired color scheme. 21st Century Fabric is pre finished with a semi gloss fuelproof paint that has a very natural appearance and is available in a variety of popular colors. 21st Century paint is sold in matching colors and is packaged in aerosol spray cans. As with film covering materials, both types of fabric can be shrunk and tightened with a heat gun or iron.
When shouldn't I use fabric?
Fabric is great for all applications where scale looks and non stressful flying is being done. In the case of fabric covered wings and tail surfaces the scale struts and rigging (if used on the full scale plane) should also be used on the model. Fabric is a lot more flexible than film coverings and could cause flying surfaces to flutter under the right circumstances. Overpowered and acrobatic models subject to high flight loads are better covered in a film covering that is slightly more rigid.
Do I need to apply Balsarite before applying Fabric?
Balsarite is not needed unless you are recovering a model that may have fuel residue in the wood or covering an area that is predominantly made of plywood.
I am trying to re-cover a repaired model; what is the best way to remove fuel from wood?
Apply a liberal amount of K2R Spot Lifter to the area and allow it to dry. Brush and vacuum the dry powder off. Apply again as needed. Corn Starch rubbed into the area also works well but it take several applications to remove all of the oil. Clean the area with Laquer thinner. When dry, apply Balsarite over the area and then sand it smooth after it has dried.
My fabric won't stick to the bare wood...what's wrong?
Too much heat will cause the fabric to shrink as you are trying to apply it. Turn the heat setting down lower and allow the iron to cool off. Hold the edges in position after the application of heat to prevent the fabric from loosening. Once you overlap the seam with the next piece of fabric, the seam will be permanently bonded and fuelproof. The secret is to work slowly and with low heat.
Can I apply color trim accents over fabric?
You bet! It's actually much easier than with film covering to do a perfect, bubble free job. Apply your additional colors directly over the base color, once again using low heat. Seal the edges down well. Because the fabric "breathes" the expanding gasses can escape, thereby preventing bubbles. If the edges curl, your heat setting is too high.
How well does fabric cover compound curves?
Fabric is superior to film when you need to go around tight curves such as wingtips and nose blocks. Pull it around the curve as you apply heat from an iron. Allow it to cool before releasing the tension and move onto the next section.
When I wiped my 21st Century fabric to clean it, some of the color came off. What's going on?
This material is actually covered in fuelproof paint. If you used too much heat (especially from a heat gun that produces up to 450 degrees) you can scorch the surface and start the oxidation process. If you see a "bronzing" appearance as you apply the heat, you have probably damaged the surface. You can hide your mistake with a trim color or re-cover the affected area. Raw fuel with over 15% Nitro content can sometimes mar the surface if not wiped clean immediately.
What's the best way to shrink fabric?
The less shrinking you have to do, the better. Pull the fabric on tightly as you apply it to minimize wrinkles and sags. Try to get a nice smooth surface without having to rely on shrinking. If you do need to shrink it, hold your heat gun at least 2' away from the surface and work slowly.
I used to own product X. I can't find it on your web site now. Do you still make it? If not, will you produce it again?
If the product you are seeking is anything other than an accessory or repair parts for another item, then unless a product is brand new, if it is not listed on our web site then the product is no longer produced. Unfortunately, we cannot answer whether or not a product will be reproduced in the future.
I used to use Super Shrink Coverite. Now I can't find it any more. What can I use in its place?
Super Coverite is very similar to the older Super Shrink Coverite which used to be offered many years ago. Super Coverite is a slightly heavier denier, so it has more of a real aircraft fabric feel than the original Super Shrink had. Otherwise the two products are very similar, and are installed and used in the same fashion. We hope you enjoy working with Super Coverite!
I am looking for something to thin my Balsarite. What can I use?
The best choices are Coverite Ironex Cleaner (COVR2600), or Top Flite MonoKote Trim Solvent. Use sparingly, as this product will quickly thin out your drying Balsarite.
How do I apply fabric over fabric? How do I secure the seams to ensure no pulling away?
If you do not use a generous overlap of fabric over fabric, you may have problems with the covering not sealing/adhering to itself at seems where it is under great tension (such as around wingtips). To avoid this problem, you must use a generous overlap of, say, one-half inch. Also, once the covering has been applied, but before it has been tightened, use high heat using an iron with a covering sock to securely bond the covering to the structure and to itself. By high heat, I mean a 21st Century iron turned all the way up. Then, you may tighten the covering, avoiding heating seams. Keep this rule in mind; if the covering is hot, the adhesive is softened and the covering will tighten.
Is Coverite fabric fuelproof? Do I need to do anything to fuelproof the covering?
When Coverite 21st Century fabric is properly applied, it is 100% fuelproof. However, if you overheat it during application, the paint surface will pull too tight, opening up the weave and allowing fuel to stain the weave, leaving fuel stains on your model. Always be extremely careful with the temperature of your installation to avoid this problem.
What temperature should I use to apply my covering?
The temperature will depend upon the covering material you are using. Please see your covering material's instructions for guidelines. Please note, for example, clear and transparent MonoKotes have very different temp needs than opagues or flats.
For a chart on proper temperatures for popular coverings, please see:
For further information on working with covering materials, please visit:
Can I paint over 21st Century Fabric? Can I clear coat over my decals, graphics, etc?
21st Century fabric is pre-painted with Coverite 21st Century paint. Therefore you can comfortably and assuredly use 21st C paint over the fabric for trim, graphics, or use the clear for sealing. Additionally, the 21st C flat clear does a great job of creating a flat looking finish over your painted fabric.
21st C paint is not known to be compatible with any other brands of paint so we STRONGLY recommend against using other paints on your 21st Century fabric.
How can I clean my 21st Century Fabric finish?
If you're looking to clean the covering, you could try lightly 'washing' it in a 1:1 mix of rubbing alcohol and water that might lift up some of the grime and accumulated dirt/dust/etc.
Can I use a clothes iron to apply my covering?
While this is possible, and has definitely been done by some modelers in a pinch, it is not preferable. We really recommend the use of an iron specifically sized, shaped, and designed for use on model aircraft.
I did not find the answer to my question here. How do I get further assistance?
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