Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wrap scheme - Not as easy as one would think

I ordered 75 feet of 1080 white gloss 3M vinyl as I know (for the moment) that most of the airplane will be white; wings, under belly, fuselage side, gear legs and wheel pants. The top will be blue to match the propeller tip but beyond that I am more than a little vague as to what I want.

I know most have spent hours, days, and years, thinking about their 'paint' scheme. Me? It's been pretty much a 'I'll think about it when I get there'. Yes I have burned up enough hours going through the images on line and walking the flight line at air shows, but to actually have in my head exactly what I want and what I am going to do? No.

I guess I didn't want to jinx my completing the RV8 by giving it a paint scheme. That thinking worked as I now have a completed RV8 but no clue as to what wrap (paint) scheme I want.

The complication now is that I am not going to paint but wrap my RV8. This means a design that works with the vinyl's strengths and weaknesses. It means a design that makes use of the natural breaks on the plane to hide the seams and a layout procedure that has the forward vinyl pieces overlapping the aft ones.

I downloaded the Van's drawings but without the rivet and panel lines, these drawings are of limited use.

So, I wheeled my RV8 out into the gray overcast day and tried to shoot as best I could, the three profile views I would need. I have PhotoShop Elements which came with a scanner I purchased and used it to layer color ideas over these pictures. Another thought I had was to use Autodesk's 123D picture program to create a 3D model of my RV8. One that I could rotate and see my mostly copied scheme from all directions. But I for now consider that to be a project in itself and I just want to get this done.  If you decide to do this please let me or us ( and/or know how it goes.

For the pictures included in this post I show the side view with no colors; faded colors, and full color respectively. The tail section is proving to be a problem and these pictures show that. Any thoughts would be appreciated as I do not like the way the yellow an white just ends at the aft fuselage. But I don't know just yet how to cleanly end it.
 Notice how I use the natural breaks in the airplane (split in cowl, top deck to side panels, etc.) as end lines for the vinyl. A these points I will have my seems. Notice too, I have minimized fancy curves and swirls as remember, I will be using cutting tape and exacto knives.

My N-number has an 'X' in it so that I do not have to put and 'EXPERIMENTAL' decal on the plane. At least I think I can do that.

This is a work in progjess meaning it could all change in a heart beat.

Vansaircraft rv7 vinyl wrap see
 This is the top view in progress.

This last picture is from Vans Aircraft and shows a vinyl wrapped RV7.

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