It is sometimes on Ebay etc as well, just make sure it is not the lightest grades, or you will need to laminate several layers.
They often do not specify Japanese, but list as craft types tissues some without reference to weight. Craft are heavier grade anyway.
SAMS should be able to sort out a heavy grade, (in aero terms).
If you buy craft tissue it should work fine any way, it is just the Japanese is top quality hand made.
For straight strips of paper that are heavier duty, thin brown manilla envelope paper is also excellent.
For the toughest folds, there is aeromodelling Nylon cloth, thicker than tissue, but indestructible. It is done in black, and the type to use is one that takes dope on it, some have no weave etc, like solar types, it must be a genuine woven nylon.
The most traditional repair inside used to be silk handkerchief material, but these are now expensive.
For reference, DOPE refers to a "shrinking clear cellulose varnish", designed to tighten up on drying, used traditionally to cover model planes with tissue or thin cloth. It is sold by SAMS etc.
There was someone at the Wolverhampton camera fair back in October who was selling all kinds of new bellows, in many different sizes and even colours. Sadly, I didn't pick up his card and he wasn't at the last fair so I don't know who it was. But maybe the camera fair organizers could tell you ?
Just as an aside, several of the aircraft on display at the museum here in Chico have fabric covering. Due to our lack of an indoor display area, these aircraft require constant attention to maintain them in good condition. Some were obtained in sad condition, needing extensive re-covering. Here is a shot of the work in progress.
The fabric used is a very light, but extremely strong synthetic, Dope is applied to the structure, then the fabric is stretched across it. Dope is then applied to the fabric. As it dries, the fabric tightens up Ike a drum head.
I don't recall from my model building days if the the tissue shrank during drying or not. I'm sure that the process used on bellows is very similar, albeit very miniaturized! ;D
Last Edit: Jan 4, 2013 12:27:05 GMT -5 by olroy2044
On the dope, for use on bellows the shrinking action is not needed as the old bellows is there as backing, but the point is some varnishes are not the same at all, it must be a cellulose type, with highly volatile thinners, which dries in minutes, and the best grade in the nitrated shrinking dope. It is the dope that is important, more so than the cloth, paper or tissue actually used.
The car cellulose paint will adhere perfectly, in the UK satin /matt black paint is available from Halfords. In the US and Canada, Floquil model paint can be used, it is xylene thinned cellulose, and dries matt and very quickly.
And of course this is all to do with repair and recovery of an original bellows to keep authenticity, and not replace the whole bellows.
The outside of the bellows can be painted in well thinned Gloss cellulose paint, it will adhere well, enamel may flake. The other popular outside finish is Button polish, which is a variety of French polish, which is shellac in methylated spirit (Wood Alcohol in the States), and is the classic wood finish for quality furniture.
It is very quick drying, and wiped on with a cloth, and restores the leatherette type bellows. Real leather bellows should be done with shoe restorer cream.