Advanced. Decals

This is the place to get answers about painting, weathering and other aspects of finishing a model.

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Post by BERT aka MODEL MAKER » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:54 pm

Great advice. Do you happen to know what the tamiya fine white primer looks like ? flat, glossy ? I think the command module has a flat look to it from what i have seen in photos. I have both future & the bottle of clear enamel gloss, & have never used either one for decals so this will be a first & i want to do it right the 1st time. I guess i should top coat the decal with the same thing i used underneath ? i have dull cote & also clear lusterless flat, both lacquers, will either yellow over time ?
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Post by Kylwell » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:01 pm

Tamiya fine primer is flat. You'll need to gloss coat it before adding decals.
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Post by Joseph Osborn » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:07 am

BERT aka MODEL MAKER wrote:Great advice. Do you happen to know what the tamiya fine white primer looks like ? flat, glossy ? I think the command module has a flat look to it from what i have seen in photos. I have both future & the bottle of clear enamel gloss, & have never used either one for decals so this will be a first & i want to do it right the 1st time. I guess i should top coat the decal with the same thing i used underneath ? i have dull cote & also clear lusterless flat, both lacquers, will either yellow over time ?
Primers are (usually) always flat because they are intended to provide a solid foundation for the color coats to adhere. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to scrape acrylic paint when it's applied over bare plastic? If you first paint the bare plastic with a proper lacquer primer (like Mr Surfacer or Tamiya Primer) and then paint the acrylic over the primer, the color coat becomes much stronger and easier to apply.

You don't necessarily have to top coat the decal with the exact same thing you used under the decal, but it's always good to keep things simple. If I were in your shoes, I'd just use Future for all the glossy coats instead of the clear enamel gloss and eliminate any chance of the lacquer dull cote from causing problems over the enamel. The dull cote should be applied very thin from a distance; in fact, just spray some in the air and then move the model through the cloud. In the future (no pun intended), you may want to switch to using Tamiya primer as the base coat and then using acrylics for everything else up through color coats and clear coats. The acrylics will brush paint over the Tamiya Primer beautifully and are easier to manage indoors than enamels. And having an airbrush, even a simple cheap one like a Paasche H, will elevate your work to a level that is hard to match with rattle cans and hairy sticks (paintbrushes). Good luck, Bert, and keep us updated on your Apollo module!

edit: Neither of your lacquer clears should yellow over time, but keep the model out of direct sunlight to prevent the UV rays from doing odd things to the paint :)

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Post by BERT aka MODEL MAKER » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:41 pm

Thanks guys ! I see now that the tamiya fine white primer will look better than the bare white plastic even though thats how the show & direct it to be in the instructions. The command module is a flat white anyway for the apollo/skylab & apollo/soyuz. I see that in my stash i still have a partial can of testors flat white enamel. would it be a waste of the testors flat white if the tamiya white primer will provide the same color coverage ? i know the tamiya sprays are now synthetic laquer and since the tamiya primer is written in all japanese i don't know what it contains exactly. probably lacquer i am guessing.
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Post by BERT aka MODEL MAKER » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:58 pm

how does future hold up to the clear dullcote ?
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Post by TER-OR » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:26 pm

Don't use lacquer dullcoat. Use acrylic.

I prefer (by a wide margin) PolyScale Flat. You have to dilute it and apply it very gently with an airbrush. Make sure you are in an area with lighting you can use to judge when the sheen is dampened. Never over-apply any dullcoat.
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Post by BERT aka MODEL MAKER » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:17 pm

No airbrush, and i also worried what the dullcote would do & thought of a light brush of future over the top of the dried decals.
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Post by TazMan2000 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:13 am

Tell the printer driver the paper is transparency. This should lessen the ink flow. If transparency is not available, try premium photo paper or something that says "glossy".

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Post by BERT aka MODEL MAKER » Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:33 am

Thanks TazMan2000 :)
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Post by Apollo Adama » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:29 am

TazMan2000 wrote:Tell the printer driver the paper is transparency. This should lessen the ink flow. If transparency is not available, try premium photo paper or something that says "glossy".

TazMan2000

Depends on the printer. The two Epson printers (R200 and RX595) I have used have had heavier flows on transparency and all of the photo modes you've mentioned.

My Konica Minolta Magicolor 5430 DL does the exact opposite with its color toner to the point where it's nearly invisible on decal paper.

Unfortunately, the only thing you can do to be sure is trial and error and of course the downside is that it costs about $1 per sheet.

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Anyone ever used Future as a setting solution ???

Post by samusaran » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:54 pm

I've browsed through te DECALS topic and I was thinking about using Future as a setting solution. Is it a good Idea ???

Before applying my decals, I will put a coat of Future and let it dry. Then, after soaking my decal in water, just before to put it to my enterprise model, apply a fine coat of Future and then put the decal over it.

I waat to do that because I've heard some people having problem with the MicroSet solution attacking the Future coat and whitening it.

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Re: Anyone ever used Future as a setting solution ???

Post by Apollo Adama » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:53 pm

samusaran wrote:I've browsed through te DECALS topic and I was thinking about using Future as a setting solution. Is it a good Idea ???

Before applying my decals, I will put a coat of Future and let it dry. Then, after soaking my decal in water, just before to put it to my enterprise model, apply a fine coat of Future and then put the decal over it.

I waat to do that because I've heard some people having problem with the MicroSet solution attacking the Future coat and whitening it.
It all depends on what you mean by "setting solution." If you are talking about using it on the location where you are going to apply your decal as opposed to using a little puddle of water, I do it sometimes, depending on how irregular the surface of the kit (and if I didn't use enough Future to prep the model for decals to begin with). IMHO, you're going a little light with the one coat of Future in prep of decaling. I've never been able to get a high gloss finish by spraying one coat. I basically spray multiple coats until I get that glass-like finish. Then I use a water or Future (if necessary) applied to the surface and then apply the decal on the wet surface. If you use Future, yes, it will help your decals conform better to irregular surfaces, cracks and crevices but it does not replace the need to apply a decal softener and a setting solution like SolvaSet (I can't speak for MicroSet as I've never used it) on top of the decal after it has dried.

If you're talking about applying Future on top of a decal after it's dried, I don't see the point of doing this as an alternative to softener or setting solution. It doesn't do the same the thing. Give me a bottle of softener and Solvaset and I can decal a marble and with no creases or bubbles. You can't do that with Future.

As to the "hazing" or "whitening" I've only had it happen once and that was when I didn't let the Future cure long enough. If you want to be safe, let it cure 24 - 48 hours depending on the humidity where you live.

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Setting solution

Post by samusaran » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:37 pm

Thank you Apollo Adama. If I understand correctly, as long as the surface is too irregular, I can use Future or water to help the decals conform to the surface. But if there is some irregularities, like panneling lines, a setting solution would be better.

By the way, is it absolutely necessary to apply a decal softener ??? Won't a setting solution be enough ??

Are these solutions safe around acrylic paints ??

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Re: Setting solution

Post by Kylwell » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:45 pm

samusaran wrote:By the way, is it absolutely necessary to apply a decal softener ??? Won't a setting solution be enough ??

Are these solutions safe around acrylic paints ??
Depends on the decal and surface.

The more convoluted the surface, the more help a decal needs to settle into the various bumps and grooves. And some decals need even more help, being rather thick and non-conforming.

Yes, I've use both MicroSol & MicroSet directly on acrylic paints (Tamiya to be exact).
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Re: Setting solution

Post by Apollo Adama » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:54 pm

samusaran wrote:Thank you Apollo Adama. If I understand correctly, as long as the surface is too irregular, I can use Future or water to help the decals conform to the surface. But if there is some irregularities, like panneling lines, a setting solution would be better.

By the way, is it absolutely necessary to apply a decal softener ??? Won't a setting solution be enough ??

Are these solutions safe around acrylic paints ??
I think what you meant was "as long as the surface isn't too irregular" and if that's so then, yes, you are correct. Future is a great kickstart initially underneath a decal for when you are applying them to heavily recessed areas, curved areas or areas, as we discussed, very irregular surfaces.

The fact is that, yes, you can really use it any time you want instead of water but I personally only use it as necessary because frankly, Future can get very messy and if you aren't careful, you can wind up with it causing more problems than it solves by caking up.

I use both a softener and a set because it's more effective for those tough areas than a set alone. If you've prepared your decals correctly by sealing them before applying them, it won't hurt them or the color. But I will tell you that when your surface is flat or has no obnoxious curves, you don't need either a softener or a set.

From what I can tell, there's really not a whole lot of difference between acrylic paints and Future when it really comes down to it. I always do all of my base colors in Acrylics anyway (and all of my detail in enamels) and I've been using this stuff for years and I've never had problem with paints. As I said, the only problem I ever had with Future was when I didn't let it cure long enough.

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Water for decals...

Post by samusaran » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:21 pm

Is it OK to use regular water from the faucet (tap) to soak the decals ??
Some people are talking about distilled water for thinning acrylic paints, but also to avoid any silvering or bad reaction to setting solutions (decals turning brownish).

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Post by MillenniumFalsehood » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:34 pm

Since silvering is caused by air getting trapped under the decal, the type of water used shouldn't matter. Of course, if you live in an area with hard or acidic water, you need to use distilled water.


I have a question: what is the best thing to use to seal the decals after I print them from an inkjet printer?
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Post by Kylwell » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:10 pm

I swear by Krylon UV-Resistant Matte finish #1309.
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Post by starmanmm » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:51 pm

Kylwell wrote:
I swear by Krylon UV-Resistant Matte finish #1309.
Meaning??? That it will help the silvering issue that samusaran is having?
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Post by Kylwell » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:07 pm

Sealer for sealing decals after printing.
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Post by starmanmm » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:17 pm

Ok, I see. Once you print them, you use the krylon to seal them. Does that work well for regular decals as well as the home made jobs?
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Post by Kylwell » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:47 pm

Weeeelllll.... it should... I use it to seal stuff from laser printers & Alps.
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Post by BERT aka MODEL MAKER » Sun May 16, 2010 10:54 am

I have a decal question, I was gifted 5 models from a friend that said he would never get around to building them. When i recieved the package I was very surprised at what was inside, 3 of the models are vintage space models from 1969, the 1/96 apollo 11 columbia & eagle complete with the iron on patches, the 1/72 sea king helicopter #66 and the mercury atlas that sits on the launch platform the raises the rocket strait up from a prone position, this kit is the one with the fuel tankers on the roadway & elevated platform. the other kits were the man in space rocket collection & the astronaut with the MMU back pack. The decals all look good EXCEPT the helicopter, those decals have a yellowish tint on the carrier film & they are not clear at all. Is there any hope for these decals because they are in otherwise great shape.
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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Sun May 16, 2010 12:06 pm

BERT aka MODEL MAKER wrote:I have a decal question, I was gifted 5 models from a friend that said he would never get around to building them. When i recieved the package I was very surprised at what was inside, 3 of the models are vintage space models from 1969, the 1/96 apollo 11 columbia & eagle complete with the iron on patches, the 1/72 sea king helicopter #66 and the mercury atlas that sits on the launch platform the raises the rocket strait up from a prone position, this kit is the one with the fuel tankers on the roadway & elevated platform. the other kits were the man in space rocket collection & the astronaut with the MMU back pack. The decals all look good EXCEPT the helicopter, those decals have a yellowish tint on the carrier film & they are not clear at all. Is there any hope for these decals because they are in otherwise great shape.
You could try what I read in FSM and here. Tape the decal sheet to the window for a week or two and see of the sun bleaches the film clear again. Don't go any longer or two things will occur:

1.) The colored areas will begin to fade.
2.) The backing will begin to break down from the UV exposure.

I hope this helps.

Kenny

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Post by BERT aka MODEL MAKER » Tue May 18, 2010 1:57 am

Thanks kenny
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Post by seam-filler » Wed May 19, 2010 3:21 am

BERT aka MODEL MAKER wrote:I have a decal question, I was gifted 5 models from a friend that said he would never get around to building them. When i recieved the package I was very surprised at what was inside, 3 of the models are vintage space models from 1969, the 1/96 apollo 11 columbia & eagle complete with the iron on patches, the 1/72 sea king helicopter #66 and the mercury atlas that sits on the launch platform the raises the rocket strait up from a prone position, this kit is the one with the fuel tankers on the roadway & elevated platform. the other kits were the man in space rocket collection & the astronaut with the MMU back pack. The decals all look good EXCEPT the helicopter, those decals have a yellowish tint on the carrier film & they are not clear at all. Is there any hope for these decals because they are in otherwise great shape.
Microscale set 72-120 has full & stencil markings for #66. I don't know if it's still being printed, but they show up regularly on evilbay. Also, the Airfix kit is still in production - Airfix (in the UK at least) are very good about replacement parts and decals, so it might do you no harm getting in touch with them (the kit is #3010).
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Post by cmacbrian » Fri May 21, 2010 9:28 pm

I'd like to know if any1 has successfully made large decals, and have been able to get them on the model with relative/ minimum fuss.

I'm planning on making decals for my V2 CC Incom T-65, and the largest and longest decals will be on the sides of the fuselage and of course all four wings. I'm estimating decals around 2"x3" for the wings, and 4"-5" long for the sides of the fuselage.

Any experience on successful models, minus all the other suggestions here, would be great. I'm leaning more towards simply masking and painting the largest ones instead, and making decals for the smaller details.

PS - I'm using photochop cs2 and the FM X-wing decals, blown up 3X their size for it.

Thanks in advance :)

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Post by Thomas E. Johnson » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:00 am

Is there a decal setting solution available that is stronger than Microsol and Solvoset?
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Post by TER-OR » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:28 pm

Solvaset is pretty darn strong, but I have found some decals resist it.
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Post by Thomas E. Johnson » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:44 pm

TER-OR wrote:Solvaset is pretty darn strong, but I have found some decals resist it.
The decals that come with the Round 2 Star Trek kits are pretty resistant to Microsol. Has anyone else tried Solvaset on them? I tried Solvaset on the aztecs for the 1/350 Enterprise kit and got no better results than with Microsol.
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