Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

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Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby Coyote on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:06 pm

In anticipation of receiving my Multiplex FunCub, I purchased Murray's Multiplex EasyStar as a project (paint, increase engine, add landing gear, etc)

In reading numerous forums, there are numerous theories on how to paint ELAPOR (Multiplex's foam). The material is very flexible and apparently hard to paint. If you spray paint too close - foam will get wet and damage the foam (it will bubble up), other risk is that the paint job chips off easily due to either adherence problems (special coating used by Multiplex) or the flexibility of the foam itself versus flexibility or inflexibility of the paint itself.

For Multiplex fans - here is the official answer I received from Multiplex USA. Not really a solution but they did answer none the less. As a side-note most popular paint recommended in various forums was Krylon (not H2O version)

Hello Marc,

Thank you for choosing Hitec/Multiplex products. We are looking in to putting a FAQ on painting the Elapor Foam (NOTE: I suggested a painting FAQ in my email to Multiplex) . We have found that simple over the counter spray enamel like you would find at Home Depot, works just fine. Keep in mind that you are painting foam, and that the paint can easily be scratched off to a new layer of foam. Also, very intricate paint jobs are very tough, as masking over pre painted areas can peel up the paint underneath the masking. As for a primer, I would look to see what some of the guys are using on the forums as we do not use the primer in an effort not to weigh down the aircraft too much. Also, when spraying, be sure to keep the spray a good distance from the foam as the propellant can damage the foam


Thank you,

Billy Tompkins
Customer Service Rep.
Hitec RCD, LLC
Multiplex USA
Phone (858) 748- 8440
Fax (858) 859-2618
12115 Paine St.
Poway CA, 92064
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby Dirt Torpedo on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:09 pm

The Multiplex USA repsonse is kinda funny. Multiplex supposedly sells a "primer" that preps the polymer surface (as opposed to traditional primer basecoat) to allow paint to adhere to it. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=543197

All MIke Mayberry had to say on the subject is "It's not available in the US".

I may be able to pick up some Multiprimer the next time I go to Europe, but that might not be until next July/August.

E-Flite Z-foam is supposedly a close relative of Elapor, which some say are a blend of EPS & EPO - expanded polystyrene & expanded polyolefin.

I cleaned my Z-foam Stryker body with a quick wash/dry of pure acetone to clean off any teflon mould release residue and possibly release some surface tension from the outer surface of the foam. I have had pretty good (but not perfect) adherence with Rustoleum spray paint. It was sprayed from about 16" and there is no sign of chemical damage.

One of the little projects on my todo list is to try coating some z-foam & epo with a 50:1 dilution of acetone & contact cement, to see if it leaves a sticky residue. Contact cement seems to stick very well to these foams and a very thin coating might be the ticket. I'll post results if I can get a round tuit.

You can use stickers & tape for a splash of colour until you get a solid solution.
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby asif on Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:47 pm

Hi,

I had great success with my T-28 by giving it about 10 very thin coats of something called "flexible featherweight spackle" ( available at Rona ) === it only added a few decigrams to the weight --- and then used my airbrush with waterbased acrylics --- It's flown quite a few times with only a few little hairline paint cracks here and there --- and the cool thing is that you can then use a metal ruler on it's edge to depress scale panel lines that you can wet wash some diluted black paint and water to give you panel lines!!

All this being said -- you have to be pretty patient and a scale-geek like me....

Also -- I'm not sure if Elapor is the same as the T-28 Hobbyzone foam...

Hope it works out for ya!

cheers,

asif
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby asif on Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:50 pm

IMG_0157.jpg
IMG_0157.jpg (126.78 KiB) Viewed 2254 times
Here's a pic of the painted Hobbyzone foam using the above technique...

cheers!
Asif Illyas
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It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.

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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby Coyote on Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:42 pm

Tks to both of you

I specifically asked Multiplex USA if there was a "Multiplex primer" substitute available for Canada and the US but he somehow misunderstood my use of the word Primer (I too have hear that acetone (rubbing alcohol?) also works to a certain extent.

Great Hobbies just sent my Multiplex FunCub out today and I should get it next week. I think I'll initially use some tape to TRY (TRY key word here) to provide a colour scheme similar to attachment below

There is some tape out there that is suppposed to work great. http://www.fast-pack.com/colored_tape.html
I bought a few rolls to test it out on my Multiplex EasyStar.

I had not heard of "flexible featherweight spackle" - I gather you could also use this to fill in dents or cracks (as well as doing panel lines).. I'll have to give that a try

Tks again :mrgreen:
Attachments
Red 06s.jpg
Normal Cubs modified by a company called CubCrafters
Red 06s.jpg (27.31 KiB) Viewed 2183 times
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby Coyote on Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:45 pm

asif wrote:
IMG_0157.jpg
Here's a pic of the painted Hobbyzone foam using the above technique...

cheers!


PS: Asif - VERY NICE job on the T-28. The panel lines make the wing and the model stand out ;)
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby steve on Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:09 am

Marc,

If you do find out how to make paint stick to that stuff, we'll be looking for your formula !

I have tried a few things with mixed results, however at the end of the day, I cant get it to stick and that irritates me.

On my original stryker that came with the stock tiger paint job, I have even had a hard time removing it to re-paint. Whatever they use, elapor primer, or whatever....it works. It also looks to me like it has a craft paint like finish?????

Good luck !

Steve
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby Dirt Torpedo on Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:47 am

Marc,

Acetone is best known as nail polish remover. You can get a 473 ml bottle at Mall-Wart for a few dollars at the make-up department. It can be a pretty aggressive solvent but an acetone dampened paper towel didn't cause any damage to my stryker body. It can't hurt as a prep for the tape either.

I think folks also like isopropyl alcohol (a common form of rubbing alcohol) for cleaning these foams.

Oddly, according to wikipedia,the liver oxidizes isopropyl alcohol into acetone... and it's all toxic.

Coyote wrote:...I too have hear that acetone (rubbing alcohol?) also works to a certain extent...
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby Dirt Torpedo on Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:17 pm

Well, acetone and Alcool (94% ethyl alcohol) both reacted with my contact cement and caused it to congeal (3M 4693H).

Dirt Torpedo wrote:One of the little projects on my todo list is to try coating some z-foam & epo with a 50:1 dilution of acetone & contact cement, to see if it leaves a sticky residue. Contact cement seems to stick very well to these foams and a very thin coating might be the ticket. I'll post results if I can get a round tuit.
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Re: Painting ELAPOR (ie Multiplex foam)

New postby RocketManRC on Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:28 pm

With my Funjet I lightly sanded to get rid of the mold dimples and then washed the foam parts in warm water which I believe is enough to get rid of the mold release. I used Kyrlon paint after that and it has lasted quite well although it need a bit of work now (after many flights).

To get tape of any kind to stick to Elapor or EPP use 3M Super 77 spray first. In theory you can just spray it on the sticky side of the tape before applying but I have always masked off the area on the foam with masking tape and sprayed over that. In that case let it get really tacky before laying down the tape. A warning however is you will never get that tape off again without destroying the foam!

Rick
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