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Photo etch decals

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  • Member since
    April 2020
Photo etch decals
Posted by Foxy on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 5:03 PM

So I'm currently building a Honda cb400 super four motorcycle.. I decided to jazz it up a bit as well as try my hand at PE.. The problem I face is all the tank and panel decals are to be replaced with photo etch badges.. So my first issue is fitting them as painfully as possible and without unnecessary glue all over my panels whilst trying to place them.. So i was thinking  white glue as this would probably be most forgiving whilst placing? Or maybe even trying clear lacquer?... Then my second question is.. Do you clear coat over PE?.. I assume it would help adhere the PE decals at the very least.. Or is it not a good idea.. Any help advice appreciated. 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 6:48 PM

The most forgiving adhesive I have used for attaching PE parts is Future.  Keep in mind though that Future is really only good for PE that is attaching on one of its surfaces.  It isn't good for PE that attaches on its edges.  For edge attachment, CA is really the best...but CA is very unforgiving of anything but exact placement of the part.  If you accidentally get even the tiniest particle of CA on some other part near where you were intending to place it, its going to stick out like a sore thumb.  If you're placing PE badges though, they should have enough surface area to make Future a good choice.  Its completely forgiving of mistakes because when it dries, especially on a gloss surface, it is 100% invisible.  Even white glue which dries "clear" will show up in the form of a slight film or difference in sheen.  It can be washed off with soap and water, of course, but that will often remove the PE with it.

I'm sure you'll get lots of different suggestions, so experiment and figure out what works best for you.  I'm still fairly new to PE usage myself, so I love using Future because it doesn't show my numerous mistakes in getting it placed correctly.  After its all placed, you can put a clear coat over the top of it to help seal it in and protect it.  In the case of military aircraft like what I build, I use a flat clear coat over it and it evens it all out to a nice, flat finish where my mistakes in placement still are invisible.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 7:24 PM

Ive never heard of that assembly- decal on PE- before but it sounds good. I've done a similar thing with decals on thin styrene, but it really works best when the badge is simple.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 8:09 PM
Take a look at Gator Grip Glue for attaching PE,good stuff.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Foxy on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 6:43 AM

Thank you for the suggestions...

I have a bottle of mig ultra glue.. Which says it's for PE parts but it just looks like a white pva glue... anyone had any experience with this glue? 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 7:07 AM

Hi;

         For Photo-Etched badges and such I use Clear enamel or lacquer to mount them.  It depends on what you painted with, But I find that the best way. A shaved off needle Eye is my friend here. One small drop speaks volums for neatness.    

     Then Overspray with Clear Gloss or Semi-Gloss to lock it in place permanently. But a very thin coat! The only time I use C.A is if it is say a cockpit for a plane, and I just leave the backing paper on the Decal because they're usually black anyway. Then Brush a Semi-Gloss coat of paint between the guages!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 7:15 AM

E.C.867;

      I don't use Future because it can be knocked loose as it ages. For most, I just use C.A. in Little Bitty Drops on edge glued P.E.

    I find that Aleens ( Copper Bottle Craft Glue) is a good stabilizer for when you put on the C.A.later. Why? Well the C.A. works better in a Capillary action. Aleens does not. So a tiny drop to hold the part will not be affected by the C.A. Aleens also has a Clear Craft glue that's a wee bit stickier and dries clear as well.

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Sunday, November 15, 2020 11:53 AM

The most forgiving adhesive I have used for attaching PE parts is Future.  Keep in mind though that Future is really only good for PE that is attaching on one of its surfaces.  It isn't good for PE that attaches on its edges.  For edge attachment, CA is really the best...but CA is very unforgiving of anything but exact placement of the part.  If you accidentally get even the tiniest particle of CA on some other part near where you were intending to place it, its going to stick out like a sore thumb.  If you're placing PE badges though, they should have enough surface area to make Future a good choice.  Its completely forgiving of mistakes because when it dries, especially on a gloss surface, it is 100% invisible.  Even white glue which dries "clear" will show up in the form of a slight film or difference in sheen.  It can be washed off with soap and water, of course, but that will often remove the PE with it.

I'm sure you'll get lots of different suggestions, so experiment and figure out what works best for you.  I'm still fairly new to PE usage myself, so I love using Future because it doesn't show my numerous mistakes in getting it placed correctly.  After its all placed, you can put a clear coat over the top of it to help seal it in and protect it.  In the case of military aircraft like what I build, I use a flat clear coat over it and it evens it all out to a nice, flat finish where my mistakes in placement still are invisible.

 

What a great tip.  I always struggle with PE.  CA like mentioned already isn't very forgiving and I find PVA doesn't always hold well.  I just used future to join 2 flat surface area PE parts together. Looks like it worked really well.  Easy to align and it looks strong.  I'll spray flat clear over it too.  I'm glad I found a use for future (or whatever its called) I really don't use it much for anything else.

  • Member since
    December 2020
  • From: Clermont, Fl
Posted by Ed Geary on Sunday, December 27, 2020 8:00 AM

hate to butt in here, but I have a question....the Tamiya model I bought has the photo etched decals.  Never heard of them  what are they and how do they differ from the decals you have to submerge in water?

 

Sorry for asking dumb questions but my last model build was in 1983 and I really want to get back into it properly

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by Mike F on Saturday, January 30, 2021 10:27 AM
I also have to ask a dumb question. Is the "future" mentioned a glue brand?

Mike

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, January 30, 2021 10:58 AM

Hi Mike F,

"Future" is the old brand name of what is now called Pledge Floor Care...at least that was its name when I bought my last bottle of it.  Aside from epoxy, it is the only truly clear-drying adhesive for PE parts that aren't being attached on their edges.  I compared it to the other "clear-drying" adhesives on the market, including a well-known one made specifically for PE, and the Future won, hands down.  Next to it, the other stuff wasn't quite clear.  That particular comparison was made when attaching PE seatbelts to 6 1/72 scale Weber ejection seats for a B-52G.  4 were done with Future, 2 done with the other stuff.  The 2 done with the other stuff looked good...but awful when compared to the seatbelts done with Future.  They looked bad enough that I completely re-did both seats, this time using Future.  Future isn't good for edge-attached PE though, since it needs some surface area to do its job.  For edge-attached PE, I've been happy with VMS Flexy 5K for its ability to get a quick bond, while still giving you enough working time to get exact placement of the part before it completely cures.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by Mike F on Sunday, January 31, 2021 6:29 AM
Thanks Eagle. I wish I knew about it before I ruined a few attempts to glue on some photoetched decals. How do you use it? Brush on surface or on the piece itself?

Mike

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, January 31, 2021 7:24 AM

I put a little dab of it on the surface of what I'm attaching the part to.  Sometimes, like with seatbelts, I'll come back later and brush a little on top of the photoetched part too, just to get everything sealed in.  Afterward, spraying on whatever clearcoat you prefer evens out the sheen.  Did that on this F-16 ACESII seat to attach the PE seatbelts.  Incidentally, I also used Future to attach the HUD glass to the frame...its also a great adhesive for small clear parts.

 

 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by Mike F on Monday, February 1, 2021 7:15 AM
Thanks for the tips. Now I'm thinking I might use it to cement windshields and windows in place on auto builds. I hate when a small bit of glue finds it's way onto the clear plastic. I do shake a bit.

Mike

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, February 1, 2021 7:56 AM

Clear epoxy is another good option for large clear parts like windshields and windows.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

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