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Friday, 26 April 2013

Decal Tips

Our Staff has complied some Decal Setting Tips:

There are so many ways to decal, almost as many ways as there are decals!
Here is one of the easiest:
 - do a light spray coat of the same finish as the decal (gloss for glossed decal, matte for matte decal) let dry.
 - apply waterslide decal and position, let it dry then apply decal set to get the decal to snuggle into place.
 - when dry, clear cote with your desired look (matte, gloss, satin, etc.)
here is one recipe for getting a decal to lay down flat and stick.
1.  Use fresh decals.  After a year, or more, the film dries out and cracks and tears. 
2.  Apply over a good coat of paint. 
3.  While dry (before wetting)  cut the individual decals loose from the main sheet with a small pair of scissors.   Trim the decal closely, removing as much excess decal film as possible.  Trim all the corners round to prevent a loose corner from lifting up.
4.  Soak decals one by one in water, in a saucer.  The decal paper may curl, wait for it to flatten (after a few seconds),  lift decal and paper backing from the water. Carefully slide the decal off the backing paper and lay flat in the proper place.
The decal adhesive is water  soluble. If you leave the decal in the water too long the adhesive washes away and then the decal won't stick.  *
 The decal film may want to stick to your finger and wrap itself up like a pretzel.  Don't let it, you will never get it straightened out again.  Steer the 
decal film to the proper place and get it square and centered.  A small paint brush or a needle or the point of a #11 Xacto knife all work to steer the decal.  Blot up excess water with a Kleenex.  Too much water and the decal will swim away from it's proper spot.  Let it dry long enough to stick in place. 
5.  Apply decal setting solution.  We carry Walther's Solvaset  & Microscale's - Micro Sol.  The setting solution is mostly formaldehyde which softens the decal film and lets it settle down around
 surface details- like rivets.  DO NOT attempt to move a decal after applying the setting solution, the decal softens 
so much that it will tear.  Let dry over night.
6.  After decals are good and dry, spray a coat of DullCote over it to make the decal film blend in. (Testor's DullCote). 
These tips are our opinions and they work for us. They may or may not work to your satisfaction.

Product Tip:

Here is Microscale's description for each product:
"Micro Set is a very versatile decal setting solution that does several things to the Microscale Decals to improve application. Micro Set should be applied to the surface of the model where you will be sliding off the decal. This prepares the surface with special wetting agents that cuts the oils in new paint and converts the adhesive on the back of the decal to a stronger and more lasting one. And finally, Micro Set slightly softens the decals film to make it more flexible so that it can conform better 
to the model's surface. Better adhesion by the decal to the model prevents tiny air bells from occurring and results in an invisible carrier film or the so called 'painted on look'. "
"Micro Sol setting solution is for the most difficult irregular surfaces you find on models. It completely softens the  Decal allowing it to drape down onto the surface of the model conforming perfectly and without distortion. You can get the most amazing results in seemingly impossible places, because Micro Sol actually makes the decal part of the paint. For that reason you should coat Micro Sol on for only a few seconds and then leave it alone, it does the work. Do not touch until dry as the decal is very soft at this stage and could be easily damaged. "

~~There are many different products to use with decals, these are the ones our guys like to use. If you have a different suggestion or something to add, we would love to hear it!