Clear-Gloss Painted my Foam EDF F-86 Jet to get reduced drag in flight!

Nice clear gloss spray-paint on my foam F-86 EDF jet... Nice!

Clear-Gloss Painted my Foam EDF F-86 Jet to get reduced drag in flight!

This Freewing 80mm F-86 “Performance” EDF jet is my first experience with an EDF model. I am the second owner of this ship… and I find that it is a solid performer… stable and predictable in flight. I am flying it with 6S 4500Mah 60C batteries and… giving it all of that power… she sounds great with a jet-like Whooooooosh!… it makes a strong take-off, can fly large loops… but doesn’t have “thrilling” speed! … I have no solution to the speed issue. I mean, it does fly well and look cool! … just a nice flying airplane.

Last November I attended the “Aviation Nation” airshow at Nellis AFB, near Las Vegas. They flew a brightly polished, bare-metal/bright-metal F-86 jet with the same yellow banding that I see on my model. Bare-metal and shiny… so I figured it would be prototypical for me to paint MY model with a clear gloss paint, too.

Bright-metal F-86 seen at Nellis AFB "Aviation Nation" in 2019

New gloss-finish paint…
… makes the model… slipperier??

Now, I knew that my painted model would in no way look like the flashy-chrome beauty I had seen at the show. But my ulterior motive was to lose the matte-finish/raw-painted foam of my model and so gain a hard-smooth surface… maybe it would be more “slippery” at 50 mph than the original matte foam. I figured the softness and gentle pitting of the original surface would be filled-in with a crispy layer of gloss paint.

NOW… I needed paint!

I stopped-in at WalMart, hoping to find cheap clear acrylic spray paint… but… nope. So I went across the street to the True-Value Hardware store… and, again didn’t see what I was looking for… so, despite being “a real man”, I asked for help. I described my F-86 to this infidel as “I have a craft project that is made of painted styrofoam, has some bare areas, some painted hard plastics and some decals on it.”… He pointed at the Rust-Oleum aisle and I said that in my experience, Rust-Oleum might be too aggressive for my delicate project. … We approached the Krylon aisle and discovered that they were out of stock on Krylon Clear Gloss… My guide went back to the Rust-Oleums and selected for me a can of Rust-Oleum “Painter’s Touch” Gloss Clear, saying “I believe this will work well for your project.” … Well… it was my only choice… so I took it!


The TEST of the paint…

When I got home, I flipped the model onto its back and chose an area near one of the wing pylons that included a bit of a decal… and I painted-on a light coat… saw no adverse effects… and so gave it a second-shot to yield one generous coat of paint. I saw no issues… I waited for an hour… the paint was dry to the touch and still looked just fine. … So… I went for it! I painted the entire top surface of the model with a generous coat of paint. … I saw no issues and decided I could stop holding my breath. After an hour I flipped the model over and painted the servo/hinges side of the ship with a lighter coat of paint. … The very next morning… it looked great! No issues with sticking servos or links.

This F-86 “foamie” gleams in the morning sun!

I painted my Freewing F-86 80mm EDF with Rust-Oleum "Painter's Touch" Gloss Clear spray-paint.

It looks nice… Flies better??

Flies better… ? … well… probably not. I mean, maybe! … I couldn’t really tell any difference. But I DO like the look of the F-86 with the gloss.

This model is VERY Photogenic… romantic!

I gloss-painted my Freewing F-86 fighter jet... and it look great!  My clear gloss painted F-86 is very photogenic!

My gloss-painted Freewing F-86 EDF jet returning to the hanger after yet another successful series of flights.

2 thoughts on “Clear-Gloss Painted my Foam EDF F-86 Jet to get reduced drag in flight!”

  1. Nice job. Glad to hear you found CLEAR. Just a reminder metallic paints and metallic coatings often create RX range problems as they can shield the radio TX signal from the onboard RX. Multiple outside antennas in various directions are often needed. As always, keep the last inch of exposed antenna away from any metal or electronics and attached not to move or vibrate during flight.

    1. Thank you for that! Actually, There is such a wad of wires under the hatch, I position the ends of the two antenna-leads so that they extend a fat inch-and-a-half outside the ship… left-side and right, just below the cockpit.

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