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Author Topic: Proper application of decals  (Read 90 times)

Offline Cpt-Spekkie

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Proper application of decals
« on: October 09, 2017, 07:10:21 am »
As some of you have seen in my Work in Progress topic i'm currently building my Voyager model and being the redshirt i am i want to make sure i don't mess up when i'm at the decal stage.

I have tried to read some / all of the previous topics on decals, but wanted to start this topic just to be absolutely sure i have the correct procedure in my head.

The model i'm working on is the Voyager from Revell and i user Revell paint to color the model. the base color is a matte light grey with a light grey/medium grey mixture for the darker area's also in matte.

As i read by LynnInDenver decals like to stick to a gloss paint. So this would mean i first need to apply a gloss clear coat to my model, correct?
Then i should apply the decals with the help of "warm" water to release them from the backing paper if i'm not mistaken.

But what is the next step? I have both a bottle of decal soft as i read somewhere that this helps in adhesion of the decals. But how to apply this?
Do i first need to wait until the decals are fully dry before applying the decal soft, or right after placing the decal on the model?

And as i read again by Lynn, after the application of the decals (and i guess after the decal soft is dry) i should use a matte clear coat to seal the decals into the model, and to restore the matte  / satin finish to the model?

Furthermore any tips on the decal procedure? I could use all the info i can get on this, because this will be the first time i use real decals and as stated i don't want to mess up the model now that i'm so far along the build.  :o

Offline LynnInDenver

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Re: Proper application of decals
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 08:18:24 am »
As i read by LynnInDenver decals like to stick to a gloss paint. So this would mean i first need to apply a gloss clear coat to my model, correct?

Correct. Decals prefer the smoothest of surfaces. Matte is actually by definition not a smooth surface.

Quote
Then i should apply the decals with the help of "warm" water to release them from the backing paper if i'm not mistaken.

Warm water works better than cold water; cold water will work, but it takes a LOT longer with some decals to get them to release from the backing. In some cases, it could lead to the decal tearing as it comes away unevenly.

Some modelers keep a small flat bottomed bowl and one of those electronic cup warmers on their workbench, so they can keep the water nice and warm while decaling.

Quote
But what is the next step? I have both a bottle of decal soft as i read somewhere that this helps in adhesion of the decals. But how to apply this?
Do i first need to wait until the decals are fully dry before applying the decal soft, or right after placing the decal on the model?

It can help with the adhesion. You typically use it after wicking away the remaining water. It won't take much for most surfaces. Any place where the decal has to lay into recesses will take a little more. Some people will even lay some down before putting the decal down.

Quote
And as i read again by Lynn, after the application of the decals (and i guess after the decal soft is dry) i should use a matte clear coat to seal the decals into the model, and to restore the matte  / satin finish to the model?

It's more for restoring finish, and sealing in weathering. It can help ruggedize decals in some circumstances.

Quote
Furthermore any tips on the decal procedure? I could use all the info i can get on this, because this will be the first time i use real decals and as stated i don't want to mess up the model now that i'm so far along the build.  :o

Handle one "side" of the model at a time, so you don't accidentally displace a decal when changing sides. Do one decal at a time when wetting and placing. Be gentle when sliding them off the backing.

Offline Cpt-Spekkie

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Re: Proper application of decals
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 08:29:23 am »
Thank you so much Lynn!

That makes it a lot clearer in my mind to do this. And indeed never thought of doing one side at a time. Thinking of starting with the bottom side, especially as to get used to doing this kind of thing.

Oh and PS: Yesterday i tried your tip of the dry brushing to get the copper color on the chiller grills and it worked! They are nice and lightly covered  ;D

 




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