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  • Applying decals

    This is the very last task I go into assuming. From now on I am posting before I start.
    Ok here is the decal stage so far. One instruction on applying simply says to
    slide off sheet once ready to come off.
    I am using tweezers. What do you do to take them off the sheet?
    Plus Im having a tough time positioning the model in fear of breaking parts.
    Do you decal as you build and paint sections?
    As you can see I am having a tough time, especially with these really thin lines. The wing is actually 6 separate decals!


  • #2
    That's some tricky looking decals.

    Stuff that size is usually troublesome at any skill level.

    Decals require warm water to dissolve the adhesive, but that never says much about how long it takes.
    Life is change. Built models for decades.
    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
    I didn't for a long time either.

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    • #3
      I decal just before I do final weathering and wash.... I cut them into the individual decals Then I soak em for a slow count to 10 in water remove and set them aside.... Then I put decal solvent on the area the decal goes on. I slide the decal off the sheet(Good Decals are usually ready to slide by now, if not soak again.) I slide em off with a finger and position with a Toothpick to the right spot CAREFULLY! Once they are where they go I dab up the solvent and water and (Use Care, sometimes decals stick to yer daubing cloth) Then I put the decal set on just the decal and let it set up...... Once dry still be careful where you handle the Model... I dont use any Coating or clear sprays myself and wash right over them with my washes but again use care....
      Now it's ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
      In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
      Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun and bought it

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      • #4
        Once you get an airbrush you can cut masks out of the decal sheet and spray your markings on. Stripes are even easier with the use of frisket or pin striping tape. I use decals as a last resort. Another option is the use of transfers that work just like temporary tattoos. Decals is one of the reasons I don't build aircraft...
        If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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        • #5
          I was thinking of mentioning tape, was wondering if that was an over board suggestion. I know my dad used the stuff considerably for trains.

          I guess it also depends on type of model, as you get a whole different experience decaling a tank or a car.

          Tank, it will be covered in crud, car, it needs to look better then perfect, plane, expect epic sized decals for large civilian airlines (still wearing the scars from doing one as a kid hehe).

          I don't normally do surface prep to make decals sit, too many tanks don't need it. But on a plane, I find a glass coat likely would have aided some of my creations of the past. And plane decals are probably the largest calibre decals in existence.

          Airbrushing markings is like a nice option sometimes. But it it's just lines, I think tape is hard to beat. Trick is finding situations that don't need totally parallel lines.
          Life is change. Built models for decades.
          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
          I didn't for a long time either.

          Comment


          • #6
            I like tweezers for moving decals either off the backing, or around the model. I've found the Micro Set and Sol products to be very helpful in keeping the surface wet enough to move a decal around after it's hit the surface of the model.
            Micro Set is a wetting agent that reduces any surface tention, and allows the decals to be easily moved. The Micro Sol softens the decal, and allows it to dry into complex surfaces. I also keep a bottle of Sova-set handy for really thik decals, or ones that need to conform to complex curves. It's a stronger product, and works very well.
            I like to apply decals after the first gloss coat, but before the first flat coat goes on, then do panel lines and weather over the top of everything. I wait for small parts that may in the area of the decals so as to avoid knocking anything off. Then flat coat everything again, before final weathering when all the parts have been installed to eliminate any shiny spots.
            I also cut the decals apart from the main sheet, trimming close to the image, and dip them one at a time, for a few seconds in warm water, then let the wet decal sit on the bench a few minutes to allow the adhesive to soften enough for it to slide easily. I'll do two or more at a time, if they have to meet somewhere, have to be symetrical, or are small, and I can whip through them.
            I really enjoy doing decal work as it makes the model look close to what the finished product will look like.
            Semper Fi
            Doug

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            • #7
              I cannot post about decals. The memories of the F-86 are still too fresh.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Duncan View Post
                I cannot post about decals. The memories of the F-86 are still too fresh.
                Me too brother. The silvering on my F4U really pushed me even more towards stenciling.
                If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                • #9
                  I agree that stencilling looks best but it's sometimes just not practical. Being mostly an aircraft modeller I refuse to let decals ( ) limit my choice of kits. The MicroSet/Sol combination is starting to work well for me.
                  The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
                  Sideshow Bob.

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                  • #10
                    I put on the decals just before I'm finished. The Leopard I'm doing has all the decals on right now, and only needs the tools and windows put in.
                    And I use a brush to slide them off the sheet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by usaalways View Post
                      This is the very last task I go into assuming. From now on I am posting before I start.
                      Ok here is the decal stage so far. One instruction on applying simply says to
                      slide off sheet once ready to come off.
                      I am using tweezers. What do you do to take them off the sheet?
                      Plus Im having a tough time positioning the model in fear of breaking parts.
                      Do you decal as you build and paint sections?
                      As you can see I am having a tough time, especially with these really thin lines. The wing is actually 6 separate decals!

                      First off, before applying the decals coat the model with gloss coat, this provides a smooth surface that will allow the decal to stick better to the model. Give it a day to dry thoroughly.

                      Afterwards, cut the section of the sheet with the decal that you want to use.

                      Use tweezers (I would recommend surgical tweezers) and soak it in cool or lukewarm water.

                      Use a Q-Tip and periodically test if the decal is loose enough to apply (it tends to slide around the decal sheet). If it is, carefully lift it out of the water.

                      Get a sheet of extra abosrbent paper towel and use one of the tips to dry the decal sheet. don't pat it dry, rather carefully stick one of the tips into a sizeable glob of water in the decal sheet and let the capilary action suck the excess water from it.

                      There are 2 chems that you would want to use which are available from your hobby shop, one is a decal setting solution which provides a good surface for the decal to stick to the other is a decal solvent solution which actually melts the decal a bit and helps give the decal a more painted on look.

                      Apply the decal setting solution to the surface you want to apply the decal to. Use Q-Tips to slide the decal onto the model (Do not ever try to remove the decal from the decal sheet and apply it like a sticker, it must slide on to prevent air bubbles and to prevent the decal from accidentally being ruined). For small decals I tend to use an exacto knife (though you really shouldn't or be very very careful if you are) but a mechanical pencil with a 0.25 lead could work too.

                      Once it's set, apply the decal solvent to it. Remember that this melts the decal slightly, so it is important to not touch or move the decal after applying this chem.

                      Once all the decals are set, I tend to recoat with gloss coat again. This extra coat helps seal in the decals. Gloss coat also melts the decals further helping them to blend in with the rest of the model. Remember not to touch the model, particularly the areas with the decals after doing this also until the coat is completely dry (around a day or two.)
                      -----------------------------------
                      Sings we a song of wolves.
                      Who smells fear and slays the coward.
                      Sings we a song of man.
                      Who smells gold and slays his brother
                      .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wolfleader View Post
                        First off, before applying the decals coat the model with gloss coat, this provides a smooth surface that will allow the decal to stick better to the model. Give it a day to dry thoroughly.

                        Afterwards, cut the section of the sheet with the decal that you want to use.

                        Use tweezers (I would recommend surgical tweezers) and soak it in cool or lukewarm water.

                        Use a Q-Tip and periodically test if the decal is loose enough to apply (it tends to slide around the decal sheet). If it is, carefully lift it out of the water.

                        Get a sheet of extra abosrbent paper towel and use one of the tips to dry the decal sheet. don't pat it dry, rather carefully stick one of the tips into a sizeable glob of water in the decal sheet and let the capilary action suck the excess water from it.

                        There are 2 chems that you would want to use which are available from your hobby shop, one is a decal setting solution which provides a good surface for the decal to stick to the other is a decal solvent solution which actually melts the decal a bit and helps give the decal a more painted on look.

                        Apply the decal setting solution to the surface you want to apply the decal to. Use Q-Tips to slide the decal onto the model (Do not ever try to remove the decal from the decal sheet and apply it like a sticker, it must slide on to prevent air bubbles and to prevent the decal from accidentally being ruined). For small decals I tend to use an exacto knife (though you really shouldn't or be very very careful if you are) but a mechanical pencil with a 0.25 lead could work too.

                        Once it's set, apply the decal solvent to it. Remember that this melts the decal slightly, so it is important to not touch or move the decal after applying this chem.

                        Once all the decals are set, I tend to recoat with gloss coat again. This extra coat helps seal in the decals. Gloss coat also melts the decals further helping them to blend in with the rest of the model. Remember not to touch the model, particularly the areas with the decals after doing this also until the coat is completely dry (around a day or two.)
                        Almost exactly my method...the gloss coats before and after applying the decals is a very good tip and the chemicals...solvent and setting solution are excellent things to have too. Very cheap at the hobby shop.
                        The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
                        Sideshow Bob.

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