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How many decals is too many?

5 replies
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  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Vancouver, the "wet coast"
How many decals is too many?
Posted by castelnuovo on Saturday, July 08, 2017 12:53 AM

I am building F-86D in 1:48. It comes with more then 100 stencil decals. At first, the decals really made the model come to life, made it look real. But I am at the point where the number of decals is becoming too much. There is an area of about 3 sq inches with 18 decals on the bottom, on the side from the cockpit foreward there are 15 of them, on the mid side there are a bunch more...the plane starts to look like a flying pegboard of messages and I am starting not to like it. 

What to do? Keep decaling for the sake of accuracy or stop while I like it? Did I just answer my own question? Confused


  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Saturday, July 08, 2017 10:08 AM

You could donate to others that are interested in them. 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, July 08, 2017 10:17 AM

Use as many as you want.  This is especially true if the build is just for your own display.

You did not say if you enter contests.  If you do, and want to win awards, then it may be important to use all or most of the decals.

Some kits include decals for several prototype aircraft, but in that case the decal/painting/marking instructions usually point out which decals go on which aircraft.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Lacey, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Saturday, July 08, 2017 1:51 PM

I'm of the school that says YOU are the one who has to be happy with it, so if adding all of those stencils is in your opinion, just too much, then stop. 

I don't always use every decal on my builds. Just the ones I want.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, July 08, 2017 3:47 PM


It can get boring when the decal/stencil count is high. Just like pe you don't have to use all of it so it's what ever will meet your approval. 

The Academy 1/48 F4B has over 400 decals and stencils to apply. It took me several evening sessions to apply them. 



Too many models to build, not enough time in a day.

  • Member since
    August, 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Saturday, July 08, 2017 7:56 PM

I thought the pin  striping on a black trans am was bad but a navy phantom beats all 




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