Vintage Model AirplaneSnippet #1 - Fix Tissue Letters to a Model

Offer up the first letter to its correct location and using a very fine brush lightly loaded with neat cellulose thinner, just touch one end/corner of the letter to fix its position.

This enlivens the dope beneath the letter and it grabs almost instantly but there is no additional dope to blob around and make a mess. The thinner passes right through jap tissue whereas, using dope, this may not happen.

Add more thinner easing out any wrinkles that may develop until the letter lies nice and flat. It will be fixed in 10 seconds or less but there is enough time to move it if one is careless.

Now continue with all the letters in the set according to their correct locations.

If dis-satisfied with the position of any letter they can be flooded off and redone but using great care, its best to "get it right the first time".

When the thinner has evaporated, brush over the lettered area with a thin application of normal finishing coat. Eg - banana oil or what-ever?

No need to re-dope the whole component - it just adds weight.

Use exactly the same technique to fix name and address labels to each of the components so when/if models get lost this increases the chances of successful recovery.

As for name labels, print them out on a regular ink jet printer with the tissue taped to a sheet of A4 paper for stability. The ink, whilst affected by water, is stable under the affect of cellulose thinners.

The above processes work for jap tissue of all types and modelspan of course.

I can't say the same for any of the fancy new-fangled plastic coverings but being predjudiced, I don't go there anyway.

There are loads of other personal preference processes within the essays on this website. Have a browse around.

Feel free to comment on any errors and omissions. For more Model Airplane Snippets, click here

Click for more examples of name label location

Question: What is the proper way to fix tissue letters or labels to a model?

The short answer is, no glue or dope! It's messy stuff that comes with two other ingredients: Ugh! and Yuk!

The long answer? Cellulose Thinner which comes with no known vices.

With the letters cut out and checked for position, height, width and spacing, finish the doping of the component, wing, fuselage, tail, whatever?

Ramon Alban


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