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Decal application

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  • Member since
    April 2020
Decal application
Posted by 58volvoV8 on Friday, April 17, 2020 1:57 AM

hi new here. Got a question on decals. I have a heck of a time with decals and pretty much avoid them other small than contingency decals. Seems every time I apply them they stick immediately once slid off the backing and if they are crooked I either have to live with it or scrape them off quick. I've seen video of guys moving decals into position...but not for me. What's the trick?? I soak them in warm water(tried adding drops of dawn also) then when they start to slide I place the thing on paper towel for a few seconds then slide off onto the car....but that's it I can't maneuver them into place they don't budge with out ruining them. Most of my kits I plan on tossing the decals but I do have a couple I want to do like the boxes.

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Friday, April 17, 2020 6:44 AM

If you will take a small paint brush and "paint" some water on the area you are putting the decal it will allow you to move it.  You could also some use some Microsol solution rather than the water, which actually works better.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by Painted Black on Friday, April 17, 2020 7:56 AM

Like he said, keep the surface wet and the decal wet, as long as you keep everything wet you can work the decal for as long as it takes.  I use a long hair paint brush to help move the decal around along with tooth picks ,Be patient.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: West Bloomfield, MI
Posted by steveracer on Friday, April 17, 2020 8:10 AM

VolvoV8, Another piece to this is that a smooth surface seems to allow movement easily and without breaking the decal better than a rough surface.  Matte surfaces are difficult to get a decal to stick and lay down on as well.

steelies, dog dishes and poker chips

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by 58volvoV8 on Friday, April 17, 2020 8:31 AM

makes sense....ill have to take a scrap painted part and try applying some decals for practice...think I got a whole painted body I can decal the heck out of to hone my skills....(or lack ofConfused thanks guys.....is it worth it to try micro sol/set for someone who really don't do much decals??

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, April 17, 2020 7:37 PM

For what it's worth, I never blot on paper towel first (do you guys do this step?). I like to keep the decal wet until it is slid off the backing and in position. Once it is where I want it, I carefully blot away the water by touching the corner of a tissue to the bead of water to draw it up. 

Microset and the like provide extra wetness if needed during positioning of large or complex decals. On complicated decaling jobs, the time spent positioning the decal can be lengthy. 

Microsol is a decal solvent. Use a decal solvent when applying a decal over a compound curve, a sharp edge, or an irregular surface. It softens the decal to allow it to conform to the surface. Apply it with a soft brush over the applied decal. Repeat application as needed, and if needed, gently work the decal into the surface contours with a soft brush, but beware the softened decal becomes weaker and can tear easily. Go carefully. All decals are not created equal and some may react differently or badly to solvents, so test with a spare decal if you can. The softened decal will sometimes swell and wrinkle a bit. This is normal. Be sure it's in position, then leave it be. In the morning it will be snuggled down tight to the surface contours.

Tamiya and Walthers among others also offer decal solvents, Tamiya in two different strengths. Also, I have noticed Microsol etching Tamiya acrylic paint job, so beware of this. Don't know how other solvents or acrylic brands behave. 

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by 58volvoV8 on Saturday, April 25, 2020 12:47 AM

well I slapped together a nascar model to practice decals on. Simply to practice on I robbed parts off it befor it Evan came outta the box. Paid $5 on eBay for it so didn't care. Anyways wetting the body works for being able to position them.. I gotta admit I did my classic throw out decals that go over contours trick lol mainly practiced on flat surfaces....as a builder all my builds are 1 tone painted drag cars with a hand full of contingency decals and maybe a door sponsor or name( if it fits on the door and not over the panel lines) 90% I don't care about box art I build my own look based on how I'd like to own the real thing.prolly allot because I've all ways found decals tedious and just not fun and 2 tone paint forget it I'll leave that to chip foose .allthough I will be building grumpys 1966 766 nova and a dragon lady 67 cornet...but I will prolly scours ebay for a couple extra decal sheets to allow for screw ups...and both are 1 tone painted cars with only a handful of decals.....one thing will that micro sol stuff help to blend the edge of the decal into the paint??

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Saturday, April 25, 2020 7:55 AM

"one thing will that micro sol stuff help to blend the edge of the decal into the paint??"

If applied properly and the decal is thin enough the decal will look like it has been painted on.  Some decals are a bit thick, but even those will look much better when treated with micro-sol.

 
 

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by 58volvoV8 on Sunday, April 26, 2020 1:36 AM

Sounds like I may give micro sol a try here eventually......should last me awhile with the little bit I need it for......gotta also say there is a special place in heaven for you nascar builders...thats allot of decals...and more patience than I have.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: West Bloomfield, MI
Posted by steveracer on Saturday, May 2, 2020 7:42 AM

58VolvoV8, usually the Nascar cars decals are grouped together and are easy to position.  Anyway, how about posting a photo of your successful practice session on the decals.  Surprised you didn't try a compound surface on the $5 model as it was a throwaway anyway....we ain't gonna learn if we don't make mistakes.  And we ALL have made mistakes in this hobby for sure!

One decal question that I have for the crowd.  And I experienced this just yesterday.

I am building the Folgers T bird. Beautiful paint finally, after TWO tries. When I went to install the first large side decal grouping, using the ORIGINAL Monogram decals, they went on fine, but the glue/adhesive behind the decal was very milky. 

I added additional water and messed around with it before I pulled it off and threw it in the trash.  So now I have to source another hopefully aftermarket set of decals. 

I am very disappointed as like 58VolvoV8, I bought the Folgers kit for $5 as a donor of tires/wheels, but liked the kit so much now I decided to build it!

So to the milky decals question, would the decals have dried clear?  Or did I do the right thing and pull them off and save the body for some aftermarket decals?  

Thanks in advance!

steelies, dog dishes and poker chips

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Saturday, May 2, 2020 4:13 PM

steveracer

So to the milky decals question, would the decals have dried clear?  Or did I do the right thing and pull them off and save the body for some aftermarket decals?  

Thanks in advance!

 

Very interesting. As a kid in the 70s, I found the decals in many Monogram kits of the time did this. It annoyed me. I didn't have the benefit of Microset or Microsol back then, so don't know if that would be effective. Adding more water didn't work. I'd try wiping it from behind with a wet brush, but couldn't get make that stuff go away.

It did effect the look when the decal was dry. The carrier remained a little cloudy, and sometimes little spots of congealed whiteness remained visible under the decal. 

Some kits were worse than others. I remember all those Monogram 1/32 funny car snap kits were particularly bad. I had built several and ended up scrapping the decals on every one. 

Your experience is curious as I haven't seen this problem in a kit marketed since the beginning of the 80s. 

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by ambman on Sunday, May 3, 2020 7:11 PM

THE BEST WAY IS TO GET SOME DECAL PAPER AND RUN IT THROUGH THE COPY MACHINE IT WORKS GREAT...

  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by BUGATTI FAN on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 2:00 PM

Remember those truly awful AMT decals back in the day that were translucent no matter what colour they were printed in? The white bits were the worst as you could always see the body colour underneath. Have the improved at all? Not bought an AMT kit for many a year now, that is if they still exist?

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