Back when I was a kid, tape was a major
structural component of any project. This was before duct
tape hit the open market; I tried to make do with scotch tape or
masking tape. Neither of them worked very well.
Now that I'm older... well, tape *still* wafts around the
construction-portion of my brain. Surprisingly, I just had
a case where it *wasn't* the first thing I thought of. But
it should have been!
When I modified my cockpit coaming a couple of years back, I
re-used my nearly-new vinyl snap-on-coaming cover. The
trouble was, the change in the coaming lengthened the distance
the cover had to run. It left a ~5" gap at the front of
I'm not much for aesthetics, but that gap bugged me. It
was bright beige, same color as the airplane, while the coaming
cover was black. The gap was QUITE obvious.
What I needed was a new coaming cover. But the one I had
was new...hated the idea of just throwing it out. Yeah, it
didn't fit that great, but like I tell my wife, wrinkles just
In art, there's a technique called "Trompe-l'oeil". It
means, "Deceive the Eye," by using techniques that make
something look like it's not. The artist might simulate
3D, fake foregrounds or frames, etc. I needed to
Trompe-l'oeil (or "Trump the oil," as us midwesterners pronounce
it) my cockpit.
Initially, I was just going paint the gap area a semi-gloss
black to match the vinyl cover. But the gap area is part
of the airframe, not the removable turtledeck. I would
have had to mask off a wide area, with the risk of overspray or
My childhood construction background finally stepped up:
Tape! Find some wide black tape and cover the bad area.
Found some black duct tape at the hardware store today. It
was perfect...its amount of gloss almost perfectly matches the
vinyl cover. I had some un-used snaps in the way, but I
just covered around them. After all, if it's a bit wrinkled...it
just looks even MORE like the coaming cover.
This picture show before and after....
"Fools the eye" pretty good, I think.