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 TER-OR » Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:41 pm

White glue can serve as a means to fill the area beneath the decal, helping to eliminate silvering, which is caused by air beneath the decal. It can also help make the decal more removable if there's a problem.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is the glossy surface. That's what the Future is for. Testor's gloss clear is fine. It can't be easily used as a setting solution, though.

Bear in mind, Future as a setting solution must be used quickly, as it begins to cure upon exposure to air.

Future can be found in your cleaning supply section at most grocery or similar stores.
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Post by Zatchmo » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:13 pm

what makes Future the preferred method of setting solution versus the testor's stuff you can get in a hobby store? i'm inclined to use the testor's stuff since it sounds easier to use, but the last time i used it (some seven years ago on a model of the Defiant) the decals came out looking brown and stained. maybe i didn't wipe it away well enough.

i have an AMT Ent-D kit that i am almost done with, just need to do the decals. its been a work in progress for many many years though (i dropped scale modeling in high school and just recently got back into it), and i really don't want another horrible decal job ruining otherwise great looking paint and details.

CaptainHawk1

Post by CaptainHawk1 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:34 pm

Because I didn't want to do the work twice this time, I used a can of glossy paint. This is just as good as using Future as a topcoat, correct?

-Shawn :smoke:

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Post by CaptainHawk1 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:43 pm

Zatchmo wrote:interesting, what function does the glue serve in the water?

and where does one get Future Floor Wax, your local WalMart or Home Depot?
i don't suppose testor's gloss clear coat works as well?
I got Future at my local Smith's Grocery Store. It is very cheap and very effective and smells nice too.

-Shawn :smoke:

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Post by TER-OR » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:01 pm

Future isn't a setting solution.

It is an acrylic coat. If you have to apply the decal over detailed surfaces, don't use Future as your setting coat. Use it only on flat or mildly curved areas.

There are two types of setting solutions - read my watchlist for a thorough description.
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Post by Zatchmo » Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:49 pm

ok, i bought a set of JT Graphics Galaxy class decals for my Ent-D kit and i am having a hell of a time putting these things on.

No matter what i do they rip and tear, it doesn't matter how gentle or careful i am. i am a little pissed off at the moment, just tore my fifth decal, is there something i am not doing correctly? the only recommendation from forum members i didn't do was the elmers glue mixed in the water.

What gives? i have a back up set of PNT Models decals, can i expect this from them as well?

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Post by justcrash » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:27 pm

Zatchmo wrote:ok, i bought a set of JT Graphics Galaxy class decals for my Ent-D kit and i am having a hell of a time putting these things on.

No matter what i do they rip and tear, it doesn't matter how gentle or careful i am. i am a little pissed off at the moment, just tore my fifth decal, is there something i am not doing correctly? the only recommendation from forum members i didn't do was the elmers glue mixed in the water.

What gives? i have a back up set of PNT Models decals, can i expect this from them as well?
Thats weird, I've never had an issue with either mfr's sets. :?

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Post by Zatchmo » Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:59 am

ok i tried out some of the PNT decals and they seem to be working much better.

i gave up on the JT Graphics set when one of them tore and fell apart as soon as i took it out of the water. has anyone else had this problem? the thing literally disintegrated as i tried to get into position to slide off

did i get a bad batch?

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Post by justcrash » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:56 am

Zatchmo wrote:ok i tried out some of the PNT decals and they seem to be working much better.

i gave up on the JT Graphics set when one of them tore and fell apart as soon as i took it out of the water. has anyone else had this problem? the thing literally disintegrated as i tried to get into position to slide off

did i get a bad batch?
More than likely. I would contact Jeff directly (I believe there is an email link for him on Federation Models). He has excellent customer service. :)

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Post by ThomasModels » Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:08 pm

Hey, we don't mess around. Since you've ordered the PNT set, you've probably seen the intro to the decal products on this page:
http://pntmodels.com/decals.html
If you like that, you may find this helpful:
http://pntmodels.com/guarantee.html

Since PNT decals are carried in the SSM store, if you have any application problem, John and Linda will stand behind the products sold thru the SSM store. From your own experience you found out like many others that all aftermarket decals are not the same.

Enjoy the rest of your decal application and I'm sorry about your experience with that other stuff. :D

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Post by TER-OR » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:04 pm

Thomas' decals have a decal film topcoat. Correct me if I'm wrong, Thomas.

JT uses a lacquer sealant.

I've had luck with JT's if I brush some Microscale Liquid Decal Film over them first. Still, I prefer not to have that dullcoat lacquer at all. The film makes them easier to handle, with a bit more structure.
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Post by Feyman Shipyards » Wed May 30, 2007 9:00 pm

Alright, what recommendation do any of you have for inkjet decal paper...as far as durability, ease of use, etc? I'm debating starting to make my own for ship naming and numbering and would appreciate some of your wisdom.

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Post by bluesman » Wed May 30, 2007 10:14 pm

Once the inkjet decals are completely dry would the microscale decal film work?
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Post by mech » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:02 am

Quick question for the decal masters..

I am having trouble getting the decals to appear as though they are painted on. Odd, the first few models I did came out extremely well with little or no edges noticable.

These last few though, the decals seem as though they are very thick. (both aftermarket and manufacturer decals used) Any suggestions.

1. I do apply a gloss coat.
2. I do use Microsol and set
3. I seal with gloss, then when set finish with dull coat
4. I like pie.

j

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Post by justcrash » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:11 am

mech wrote: 4. I like pie.
See? There's your problem. CAKE. The answer is ALWAYS CAKE!


:wink:

Seriously, it sounds like you do everything I do. :? Have you tried using pastels chalk to blend the edges in a little bit? :idea:

Dunno man, I am sure one of these other cats could help a lot more. :)

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Post by Chief 400 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:15 am

Query....I'm using the decal Film Avlible from Micromark for the Inkjet, and I'm liking it pretty good. BUT, I would like to find something with a bit thinner carrier material for 1:144 aircraft use....I need both clear and white carriers, any suggestions?
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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:23 am

mech wrote:Quick question for the decal masters..

I am having trouble getting the decals to appear as though they are painted on. Odd, the first few models I did came out extremely well with little or no edges noticable.

These last few though, the decals seem as though they are very thick. (both aftermarket and manufacturer decals used) Any suggestions.

1. I do apply a gloss coat.
2. I do use Microsol and set
3. I seal with gloss, then when set finish with dull coat
4. I like pie.

j
What's your gloss coat? I gloss coat with Future.

For my initial decal soaking water, I never use straight tap water. I add white glue; there's just enough to make the water look milky like a cereal bowl you've just run water in under the faucet after breakfast. Also, I add a drop of Future to the location where the decal is being placed (over top of the existing Future gloss coat), in addition to the decal setting solution. Future's self-leveling propertie will help it draw down the decal even better as it dries. The only DOWN side is you have a limited amount of time (less than five minutes) before the decal absolutely cannot be adjusted any more. But, the results you have will make you want to perfect this technique. :)

I hope this helps.

Kenny

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Post by mech » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 am

Thanks Kenny! I will give that a try. I have future and white glue along with spare decals and some styrene. Practice make perfect as they say.
Much appreciated.
:8)
j

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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:00 am

mech wrote:Thanks Kenny! I will give that a try. I have future and white glue along with spare decals and some styrene. Practice make perfect as they say.
Much appreciated.
:8)
j
No sweat! One thing I forgot to mention. It's a lot easier to mix the white glue into the water if the water's warm. MAy seem like common sense, but I figured I'd mention it just the same.

Kenny

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Post by Thomas E. Johnson » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:21 am

I'm having trouble printing some decals. They are rendered in grey, which is correct, and print grey when I print them on normal white copy paper. However when I print them on clear ink jet Decal paper they print out in a brown color Whats going on here??????
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Post by TER-OR » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:10 pm

There's a thread for homemade decals.
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Post by DasPhule » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:45 am

I know it's late, but about the brown looing grey decals:
My guess is that the reason they come out brown is because the printer is "building" the grey out of all four colors using the four color process. Without white behind them, the inks don't get the required reflectivity, causing them to look brown. Or, maybe the blue decal paper is changing the amount of blue in the art and eliminating the white it needs to make the colors blend and appear bright. Add in that black inkjet ink isn't ever true black, but instead a dark brown or blue, and the problem becomes more apparent. Let them dry and apply them to white styrene and see if that doesn't make them look correct. If not, I'm outta guesses!

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Thanks for contributing

Post by Paul Muad Dib » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:51 pm

I would just like to thank everyone who has contributed their advice to the discussion on decals. I had several questions, but by reading through all the posts, they have all been answered. You guys have probably saved me a lot of headaches already, and saved me several years of trial and error. Thank Leto for the internet, and especially for Starship Modeler. :D

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Post by jimboh1 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:05 am

Sorry, I haven't had a chance to read through all this thread, so it may have already been answered.

I'm decaling the FM Jedi Starfighter's hyperspace ring. It was painted w/ Tamiya flat white then glosscoated w/ Testors Glosscote.

I've applied the decals then applied Solvaset; some decals are fine but most are crazing horribly! Would I be better off using Microset and Microsol together, or nothing @ all but water?! Really frustruated by this....


TIA,

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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:41 am

jimboh1 wrote:Sorry, I haven't had a chance to read through all this thread, so it may have already been answered.

I'm decaling the FM Jedi Starfighter's hyperspace ring. It was painted w/ Tamiya flat white then glosscoated w/ Testors Glosscote.

I've applied the decals then applied Solvaset; some decals are fine but most are crazing horribly! Would I be better off using Microset and Microsol together, or nothing @ all but water?! Really frustruated by this....


TIA,

Jim
For clarification, are they crazing after they're applied or as the ? If so, it the %#@!$%@!$ Glosscote and Solvaset reacting. That stuff's bad for that. I ruined an X-Wing that way once. Switch to Future or Johnson's Kleer if that's what your local store stocks. Not to mention, the Glosscote will yellow over time, sunlight or no sunlight, especially over white.


Here's how I apply decals:

Glosscoat in Future. Mix white glue into warm water until it is milky. You want it like the water remaining in a cereal bowl that's just been rinsed
out.

Dip decals in the water for 10 seconds and set them on clean cloth to dry and soften.

Pick the decal and backing up with decal tweezers, and get it started against the towel just a little bit. You want the decal to just begin "wiggling," and not off the backing.

On the model surface, JUST A FEW SECONDS BEFORE, apply a bit of Future and a bit of the water/glue mixture using separate brushes, taking care to rinse each brush after every application.

Holding the backing with the decal tweezers, slide it off using a wet cotton swab or a long bristled, soft brush. Use the same tools to eliminate all bubbles.

You only have five minutes this way per decal, BUT the Future as a setting solution sucks the decal down as it dries. The combination of a Future glosscoat and a Future setting solution means silvering is basically eliminated. On the rare occasion you can't get a decal to settle down, allow the Future to dry. Poke _t_i_n_y_ holes in the decal with a straight pin and apply decal softener sparingly.

I hope this helps.

Kenny

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Post by MillenniumFalsehood » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:18 am

Got a big problem.

Okay, maybe a bit of back-story couldn't hurt here:

I'm working on a Finemolds 1:48 X-wing kit, and originally I was going to build it stock, using the Red Five decals. I had no Future on the wings I was decaling because I thought it may turn out to be too obvious and I didn't want it to stick too bad. I then brushed Solvaset on the decals to get them to snuggle around the bumps and panel lines, which worked marvelously on the panel lines but no so much on the bumps. I made multiple applications, but no dice.

But that's not my problem. From what I've read, a matte surface will cause a decal to be less likely to stick, and it was as matte as you get. But I just can't get these things off!! I tried using hot water and a dish cloth to soften them up, but no go. Then recently I tried packing tape to lift them off, the strongest I have in the house besides duck tape(which I'm afraid will lift off the paint with the decal). Still no luck! All it did was take off maybe 40% of the decal. The rest is stuck like white on rice.

I don't understand, are these decals magic or something? Or is there a way to remove them I'm not trying that'll work better? I need to hurry, as I'm trying to get ready for a contest which is on Saturday, and I need to do a complex paint job on this ship.
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Post by TER-OR » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:37 pm

I've never had the warm water soak not work. Usually I use a cloth with warm water, not a full soak - but most of my models tend to be hollow...
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Post by MillenniumFalsehood » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:32 am

Believe me, I tried warm water first, then I tried the hottest water I'd dare to without risking the wing warping. Nothing touches it! The corners lifted a bit, but I still can't get the majority off.
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Post by TER-OR » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:54 pm

How about solvaset - will it soften the decals again?
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Post by Ionflyer » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:54 pm

Ok, a couple questions from someone who is re-teaching himself the finer points of modeling.

I'm currently working on my ERTL Reliant kit, working all the way up to the decal stage, and I'm trying MicroSol for the first time. So far, it seems to be having a sort of hit or miss effect, as with some decals it's working great, to the point where you really have to be looking for the edges of the decal to see them, and, conversely, one some pieces (especially the multitude of red trim stripes) it doesn't seem to be having any effect, and even causing some wrinkles to form along the edges of the decal... I've read some guides that say this is normal, and that the wrinkles will fade out as the solvent dries, but in some places this does not seem to be the case.

Also, any tips on getting the decal to conform to the little grooves beween hull plates? I keep getting instances where the decal will bridge the gap rather than settle down into it.

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