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Posted (edited)

My wife and I have been discussing how best to apply nose art to our aircraft. Originally she was going to hand paint, then there was discussion of having vinyl transfers/ stickers printed. What have others done? Any examples of nose art of outstanding artistic merit, or just plain funny that you’d care to share?

 

Can’t show our design yet - because still awaiting return of the our aircraft after Lycoming transplant. It can only be seen on the aircraft, but it’s gonna be great! 

 

cheers 

 

Alan

Edited by NT5224
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Very much depends on the surface profile, flat, curved bi-curved. Vinyls can only be applied to a flat or single curved surface.  They woulds crinkle if applied to bi-curved. Professional seem to mask off parts and spray them individually.

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Deskpilot said:

Very much depends on the surface profile, flat, curved bi-curved. Vinyls can only be applied to a flat or single curved surface.  They woulds crinkle if applied to bi-curved. Professional seem to mask off parts and spray them individually.

Not sure where this idea comes from. 

But vinyl can be applied to any complex curve. Wrap techniques which involve heat gun application can be used on pretty much any shape. I’ve seen a video where it’s even applied to ball! I’ve wrapped a few less challenging shapes but definitely complex multi-plane curves. 

Edited by Jaba-who
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I'm lucky enough to live close to a very talented artist who has promised to do my nose art.

Can't wait to get to that stage!

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21 hours ago, Jaba-who said:

Not sure where this idea comes from. 

But vinyl can be applied to any complex curve. Wrap techniques which involve heat gun application can be used on pretty much any shape. I’ve seen a video where it’s even applied to ball! I’ve wrapped a few less challenging shapes but definitely complex multi-plane curves. 

There are two types of vinyl for graphics; standard vinyl and wraps. They are different products and applied in different ways.

 

Vinyl has a sticky backing and is usually applied (by us amateurs) by spraying soapy water on the surface and then after laying the graphic in place very carefully squeegeeing ALL of the water out from underneath. Vinyl will not do small radius compound curves.

 

Vinyl wrap has an adhesive that is only slightly sticky, enough to hold it in place, but can be placed and lifted without damage. The adhesive is heat activated and that is needed to make it stick properly. Wrap will conform to small radius compound curves.

Returning to the question, I would defintely do the nose art in stick on graphics. That way it can be repaired/replaced easily. Even shaded graphics can be done as some Vinyls can be printed on before application..

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Posted (edited)

My experience with decals on the aircraft and the courtesy vehicle that I used for my VFR charter company in the late nineties and the early noughties was the following:

 

Go to a reputable company who will cut 3M decals to your design. They provided me with a 3M branded hand squeegee and the method of applying which was this:

 

Cut a straight edge above your supplied decal and tape this upper edge securely to your aircraft paintwork in the required position with masking tape. Then lift it up and underneath, carefully and gradually pull the plastic sheet covering the glued surface away with one hand while in the other hand you smooth the decal down with the squeegee on the backing paper. Keep pulling away the plastic sheet and smoothing down the backing paper until the whole decal is in place. Smooth out any remaining bubbles, then carefully pull the backing paper off.

 

This method is best if you have a thin and delicate design which will not stand up to the soap water method above.

 

The 3M decals were guaranteed to last 5-7 years. This might have improved in recent years.

 

To get the decals off without lifting the paint, the best method is to borrow your wife's hair dryer, heat the decals and ease them off carefully with a razor blade. If you do it properly, there should be little if any remaining glue to clean up.

Edited by Possum1
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