View Full Version : Taping and Color striping

12-19-2009, 03:06 PM
It's been some time since I've taped off an entire airplane and prepared it for color. Looking for any advice "don't forgets" and the what have you. using Fine Line ,good mask and paper. Wonder when the best time or how much time befor I pull tape on Aerothane? Preping with 400 and green scotch bright. So far so good. What is the legal size and placement location of Experimental N numbers?

12-19-2009, 05:47 PM
Find someone who makes graphics or signs for vehicles and have him make your numbers in vinyl. Peel off the inside, place the strip and peel off the outside. They are all in line and look good. We have a fellow here locally that makes an awesome lightning bolt per the drawing. When you get done it looks the same on both sides of the airplane. Jim

mike mcs repair
12-19-2009, 10:20 PM
if you wish to do REAL strait lines.. i use 4" mask tape to tape where the line will be(area you will paint) and then lay my fine line tape along its edge using wide tape as a guide, then remove that 4"....

also use same trick to make stripes 3" mask tape, fineline both edges then remove the 3" mask tape

probably overkill for most designs but a MUST if you will be doing thin pinstripes, as any tiny variation is a HUGE ugly wiggly......


use string to ruff layout lines


also before you paint your stripe color, do first coat in the base color you are painting on... like if a red strip on white fuselage, your first coat you paint white, then however many coats of red.... this way any creeps under tape are same color as base.... never skip this step it only take a few minutes more, you could also use clear for that first coat, but you usually already have the base color handy.......


both sides of the airplane are usually not the same size.... don't get caught up worrying about it.... you will have to fudge some.....


if no door on left, do left side first....


Do NOT let anyone help do the masking off, the time saved will be lost redoing where they missed taping down the paper right....


do not overlap the paper holding piece of tape completly on the fine line tape, no more than 2/3 overlaped, the paint needs to have some fineline to stick to, or it may not cut a sharp line when you pull the fine line..

thats a start....

12-19-2009, 11:22 PM
Sometimes I've laid out the stripe and then put the paper and tape on close enough to where your stripe will be so the fine line will cover from the paper/tape to the edge of your stripe. Then put the fine line down last.
This way you can pull the fine line ASAP and let it tack off before pulling the rest of the tapes. I've found that if you leave it dry before pulling the tape you may get a rough edge.

Also if you have parts of the scheme that require some vertical pieces of tape and horizontals lay all the verticals first, then the horizontals or vise versa this way you have an order to pull the tapes off. This mainly helps when doing N numbers.

Rick Papp
12-20-2009, 08:39 PM
I plan to take the cub to Alva Fl. this comming week then come back down the first part of Jan. till mid April. We'll have to get together for some Flying. Rick :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

King Brown
12-20-2009, 08:59 PM
Cruiser's approach worked perfectly for me: a local guy who does this kind of thing every day. Vinyl does a good job. I think cost of striping and letters was around $CAN400.

12-21-2009, 09:09 AM
Wow Rick,the thriving metropolis of Alva. Very Cool. I should have the new one (X18) in the air by mid jan,but one way or the other, 12 or 400 we will have some fun. Lots of places to go. Talk to you then.

R. Johnson, I thought about that approach early on but decided too much work. But really the smart way to go. I am going to go back and expose as much of the fine line to insure a clean pull, that's a good suggestion.

Vinyl was a thought but after all this work I'm going for paint. Using the vinyle lettering procedure for the N numbers and detailed lettering.

12-21-2009, 09:35 AM
What is the legal size and placement location of Experimental N numbers?

If you're talking about a full-size Cub "replica" you can use 2 inch high N numbers. You can also use "NX" as the prefix and thus eliminate the "EXPERIMENTAL" lettering near the entrance.

The N number itself must be either on the vertical tail (fin or rudder) or on the fuselage between the trailing edge of the wing and the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer.

You can also put large N numbers on the wings if you want, but that does not alter or replace the size and location requirements of the N number on the fuselage/tail.

If your aircraft is NOT a full-scale replica of a Cub (or some other aircraft that was originally built at least 30 years ago), you need to go with 3 inch minimum height for the N number and cannot use the "NX" prefix. Location is the same - vertical tail or fuselage as described above.

12-21-2009, 12:30 PM
Hey Joe,

I was hoping I'd hear from you. It is what I would call a "full size replica".
That's interesting news about the NX, but I've already registered the aircraft as N427SC,would I have to reregister under the new number with the X ?


12-21-2009, 01:41 PM
Don't re-register. Just add the "NX" when you put your numbers on.

12-21-2009, 02:49 PM
That's interesting news about the NX, but I've already registered the aircraft as N427SC,would I have to reregister under the new number with the X ?


The "X" doesn't show up on any of the aircraft paperwork. As far as the FAA is concerned your plane will always be N427SC. The only place the "X" will appear is when you mark the aircraft itself (if you choose to use "NX427SC"). No change in registration or other paperwork is necesary or allowed.

12-23-2009, 06:51 AM
Do I have to call in as November Xray 427SC?

12-23-2009, 08:46 AM
Do I have to call in as November Xray 427SC?

No. That wouldn't mean anything to ATC. This is no different than the antique restorations you see with "NC" at the beginning of their N number. They just call (for example) "Waco 39748" on radio calls. Nobody ever says "November Charlie". It's just for marking the plane. Has nothing to do with registration, radio station license, or any other paperwork.

12-23-2009, 09:18 AM
Great News.