How to Cover a Model Airplane With Tissue

There are two main types of flyable aeroplane models, and they differ greatly from each other. Radio controlled aeroplanes are coated with monokote; a rubberised covering that is shrunk to fit the wooden body of the plane. Radio controlled planes are complex and take practice to fly. On the simpler side, there are planes that are powered by a wound rubber band and a single propeller. These planes are coated in tissue paper, which is lighter. They are easier to fly and build.

Pour a small amount of clear dope into an aluminium tin or pie pan. You need just enough to cover the bottom of the tin.

Paint the dope on the frame of the aeroplane, covering it thoroughly with a thin layer. Do not allow it to dry before proceeding.

Lay some tissue over the front of the fuselage. Trim off the excess with the X-Acto knife. Paint a small bead of dope over the edges of the tissue so that it adheres to the plane, stretching the tissue as you go. Continue until the entire fuselage is covered with tissue, including the tail.

Cover the wing with tissue, using the same method as above. Start with the top centre of the wing and work your way out to the tips. Once the entire top of the wing is finished, coat the bottom of it with tissue too.


If your aeroplane is designed to have windows, they must be glued onto the plane before you start coating it with tissue.


Work in a well-ventilated room in order to avoid being overwhelmed by fumes from the dope.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear dope
  • Aluminium pan
  • Paintbrush
  • Tissue paper
  • X-Acto knife
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About the Author

Amanda Hevener has been a freelance writer and photographer since 2006. She is a member of the Akron Press Club. Her writing has appeared on SeededBuzz,, Baseball Fandom and Deep Left Field. She reviews restaurants for AltOhio and other websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Ashland University.