Duct Tape on transports

Discussion in 'Research and Development' started by Kotori87, May 26, 2023.

  1. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    I've been playing around recently with duct tape sheeting on my transport Preussen. For the last year it's been a loaner boat, and I think it's been sunk more times than every other ship in the WCC combined. During its last refit, I decided to try out duct tape armor. I specifically used 3" white Gorilla Tape, and then painted on the red. The ship looked gorgeous as usual when going into battle. I loaned it out for two battle days, patching in between. Then I removed the tape. Here's my observations after these first few battles with the tape armor:

    1) unlike some other brands of tape, Gorilla brand duct tape is not self-sealing. It forms neat little rips that flood quite nicely. The damage is less visible than hits in balsa though, so I have to look very carefully when patching or I'll miss something.
    2) my paint did not stick effectively to the tape. While it didn't fall off en masse, it definitely was not properly adhering. Some of my silkspan patches also peeled off. So any repairs will need to be done with small bits of gorilla tape.
    3) the tape appeared to do a fine job of protecting the hull underneath from damage. What looked like significant dents in impenetrable areas proved to be nothing once I peeled the old tape off.
    4) as a loaner boat, the Preussen has been an ideal ship. It's simple to operate, reliable, and both sinkable and survivable depending on the captain. Its already-low maintenance is further reduced by the use of duct tape vice balsa.
    5) The duct tape looks very good on the Preussen thanks to its simple hull form. The duct tape is not suitable for more complex hull forms, casemates, torpedo bulges, or other shapes. It will wrinkle and crease and look terrible. I would not consider it for warships.
    6) The duct tape is not able to pass drop tests due to its different physical properties, although it is just as penetrable as balsa. Rather than drop-testing tape-sheeted boats, a simple verification that it's a single layer of a known good brand would be easier.

    Now that the sides are off, I plan to replace the tape every battle, and mark the waterline with a sharpie. It's just too simple.
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  2. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea, but the patching sounds like a pain.

    also, my duct tape lost adhesion to the boat after a few weeks.. you aren’t seeing that?
     
  3. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    My plan is to patch with small pieces of duct tape, then replace the entire side after a day (or two) of battling. Since the boat it's on is a veritable bb magnet, it's easier to replace the tape every battle than to resheet every couple of months.
    I have not had issues with losing adhesion. Not sure if that's due to tape brand, environmental factors, or something else. I've used the Gorilla brand tape as an under-layer on the frames of several ships while sheeting as well, to make preparations for resheeting easier. I did experience tape separation in a few highly stressed places after a few months, but by then it was time to resheet again anyway.
     
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  4. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    It's not big gun, but I put black gorilla tape on my hull and then put traditional sheeting over it. When time comes to reheat the boat you grab the side and rip the whole thing off basically. The annoyance is xacto knife cutting the windows out of the tape to not affect penetrability. Haven't had any tape -> hull adhesion issues.
     
  5. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    I’ve seen you mention this before. CA on plastic is a def’n no-go. I’ll probably follow your lead on this one.
     
  6. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    I don't use CA for sheeting. I use contact cement. I've used it on plastic hulls before, it's just annoying to get back off without a heat gun...and I didn't wanna risk warping the hull.
     
  7. TorpCruiser

    TorpCruiser Active Member

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    Thx again for allowing me to Captain the Preussen. It's been quite fun.

    Have you tried to spray/apply any etching primers before spraying on the red?

    If not, I'd try something with a lacquer base (certain Krylons and others), which usually bites into plastic very well and might do the same for the tape. Or some sort of metal etching primer. -The "all-in-one" paints have poor adhesion- In my experience, for adhesion "red oxide" primer is the worst I've ever used.

    The duct tape definitely maintains the aesthetics of the hull longer than balsa.