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are you gloss coating before decals or at all? Or have you given it up?

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  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
are you gloss coating before decals or at all? Or have you given it up?
Posted by jcfay on Friday, February 01, 2019 5:29 AM

I'm returning to modeling after a 10 year hiatus, and relearning and learning more and more about techniques as I trudge my way through each new model.  One of the newer techniques I found (from Phil Flory on youtube) was NOT gloss coating a model prior to decaling, or at all as a matter of fact.  It worked great for him and allowed him to weather the decals, sanding them down a bit, so that they blended in even better.

I tried this on my last model.  I think I've noticed that laying down decals is definitely harder without a gloss coat; the decals are harder to move around on the flat paint finish with it's increased surface resistance.  I ended up tearing some decals with this experiment, although they were salvageable.

I also noticed that some of the decals didn't go down as well, even with micro set and sol.  Again, I think the lack of gloss finish made it harder for the decals to slide down and adhere to a smooth under surface.  So I ended with some increased bubbling in some decals, but again this was salvageable.

The plusses: after drying I was able to sand the decals a bit and they seemed to blend in better with the paint so at the end of weathering they looked pretty darn good.  There were more blemishes in the decals but I found they blended into the whole finish better in other respects.  Another plus is it saves time, of course, and any potential issues with laying down imperfect gloss coats.

so what are you doing?  still gloss coating?  do you weather (e.g. sand down) your decals after laying them down?

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, February 01, 2019 7:23 AM

I've never had any trouble weathering decals laid down over a gloss finish. If you're into sanding decals, they'll 'hold on' better to a gloss finish beneath.

The big disadvantage to not using a gloss base coat is decal silvering from air bubbles beneath as the decal sets. If you can get around this to your satisfaction with setting solutions, then I wouldn't suppose the gloss base is necessary.

Just a matter of technique, personal experience and preference. Hope you're enjoying your return to the hobby! Big Smile

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Friday, February 01, 2019 8:03 AM

gregbale
If you can get around this to your satisfaction with setting solutions

Gunze's Mr Mark Setter seems to contain a small amount of adhesive which helps decal adhesion (if the decal's glue is ineffectual) and as a secondary benefit, fills the voids on a flat-painted surface which cause silvering. I think you could home-brew something similar by using a very diluted solution of white glue and applying to the surface before laying the decal down.

If you're using decal solvents, they work best on a slick gloss surface. When you apply a solvent like Microsol, it causes the decal to wrinkle up and then flatten out as it dries. If this is on a flat painted surface, there will be a greater tendency for the decal to not completely flatten out and it may dry with creases or wrinkles.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, February 01, 2019 9:10 AM

I have found neither decal set or even decal solvent adequately treats a silvered decal. So I always have a gloss coat under decals.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Currently in the Dallas area
Posted by modelcrazy on Friday, February 01, 2019 9:56 AM

I still occasionally have silvering even with a gloss coat.

Steve

ON THE BENCH

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  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, February 01, 2019 10:44 AM

There is just too much potential for slivering if you skip the gloss coat base. Especially for decals that have lots of carrier film such as aircraft stencils, code letters, or serial numbers. That being said, you can use gloss or semi gloss colors as your base coat and skip the gloss coat, as those paints will provide you with a smooth surface already. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, February 01, 2019 10:50 AM

Don Stauffer

I have found neither decal set or even decal solvent adequately treats a silvered decal. So I always have a gloss coat under decals.

 

 

I agree.

I haven't seen Mr. Flory's video, so it's hard to comment. And I don't sand decals.

He's the expert, but one problem I would have is that any decal that has white is going to be printed on white decal film, and how does the color get sanded down without exposing the white film under it?

Bill

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, February 01, 2019 11:20 AM
Yes,I glosscote before decaling,with armor,usually not the whole model,and yes I weather my decals

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, February 01, 2019 12:59 PM

Here is an example of silvering of the decal's carrier film. It is really nasty looking and ruins the look of the model. The decal was placed on Bare Metal Foil which is not as smooth as I thought.

I did not want this to happen on my next build (B-29) so I cut out each letter individually. I did the same thing for the decals on the tail. I know that this sounds crazy, but I did not want silvered decals to ruin a model that took over 100 hours to build and foil.

There is no silvering since there is no carrier film.

HOWEVER, some decals have a crystical clear carrier film and will not silver. The above decal is from Kits World. The quality of this decal is amazing. Deep, rich colors and the carrier film is as clear as water. There is no silvering.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, February 01, 2019 1:03 PM

Yes, I apply a gloss coat to reduce the chance of silvering.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, February 01, 2019 1:42 PM

Walk carefully there, John. The mods are watching...

I can see cutting out all of the letters.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, February 01, 2019 2:29 PM

Another option is to forgo decals and use masks like Montex for all your markings. In that case, you’re actually painting on all of your markings, just like the real thing!

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • From: The Deep Woods
Posted by Tickmagnet on Friday, February 01, 2019 3:21 PM

Ditto stikpushers suggestion.

I have recently started painting as many of the markings that I can. I have a cricut machine which allows me to make my own stencils. I find painting much more enjoyable than putting decals on. Unfortunately some of the smaller ones and the intricate ones like nose art have to be applied. Insignia, stripes, tail numbers, can all be painted on easily. I have never purchased stencils so I don't know exactly what all decals they provide stencils for.

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Friday, February 01, 2019 5:28 PM

I always spray a coat of gloss before dealing. Otherwise as others has mentioned, you’ll get silvering on flat coat. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Sunday, February 03, 2019 3:33 AM

Tickmagnet

I have recently started painting as many of the markings that I can. I have a cricut machine which allows me to make my own stencils. I find painting much more enjoyable than putting decals on. Unfortunately some of the smaller ones and the intricate ones like nose art have to be applied. Insignia, stripes, tail numbers, can all be painted on easily. I have never purchased stencils so I don't know exactly what all decals they provide stencils for.

Tickmagnet (your screen name makes me think of lyme disease ;-) - can you tell me a bit more about your cricut setup and your process?  

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Sunday, February 03, 2019 8:37 AM
I started using Gunze paints, which usually dry semi gloss, negating the extra step of glossing. Otherwise, break out the Glosscote.
  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, February 03, 2019 8:53 AM

I'd be curious to see this video.

The technique being talked about here (glosscoat prior to decal application) is pretty much tried-and-true and I can't imagine Phil Flory all of a sudden stating it is unnecessary.

I wonder is it some sort of a special case, technique, or application he is talking about maybe???

-Greg

  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • From: The Deep Woods
Posted by Tickmagnet on Sunday, February 03, 2019 9:55 AM

@Jcfay

Just lucky I haven't acuired that disease yet. I think I get bit so much I have developed a resistance. Big Smile

I absolutely love my cricut. First it's the cricut explore one which I picked up on Walmart.com for 125.00 That's a good price I believe I saw it in the store for 180.00.

It comes with all you need except the stencil vinyl which to this point has not pulled up paint or had any bleeding. They have plans available at a cost to use their images. ***Don't do that it is not needed save your money***

Instructions are pretty limited and that leaves it to you to learn from on line tutorials etc. Believe me for me being more and more technically challenged as I age, that was frustration for me. But, what is available on line is very helpful. Their technical support was very helpful.

All you have to do is find images you want to use and upload them to your computer. So far I've had to use microsoft paint to edit images before I use them in the Cricut software. This has been challenging with some images but between the wife and I we have figured it out. There is lot's of resizing to get them right but you do that in the actual cricut software. Measuring the decal you are going to stencil helps with that. Once You have the operation down it's a breeze.

Now I am down to just having to apply the smaller decals and noseart type decals perhaps eventually I'll figure out how to do those. If you are wanting to paint your own markings and make your own stencils I highly recommend this.

Here are some photos of the painting I've done so far with stencils I've made.

It took some work but making the U.S. insignia stencyl was fun and rewarding as well. These are one time use stencils but the project used to make them is saved in the Cricut software and you can go back in and print more out anytime you want.

I think this one shows the best benefit of painting them on over decals, it is night and day. This is a WIP right now. The only decals I had to apply on this were 4 very small decals on the tail that say Navy and F4F-4.

If you can zoom in on this you can see the door panel in the middle of that insignia quite well. This model had very few decals and I was able to paint them all on which was cool.

This tail art is the coolest stencil I've been able to make. It doesn't have perfect straight lines like the decal but that is because of the photo I had to use to get this design in the system editing it in paint. Still though it's not really noticeable unless you zoom in.

Forgot to post the pic of the numbers. This just seems to add a bit more challenge and fun to the building process for me and I highly recommend trying it. As far as the Cricut goes, like I said I love it and highly recommend it if you have any desire to create your own stencils. I bought a circle cutter right before this that works well but that just limits you to circles, this does so much more. If you need anymore info let me know.

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, February 03, 2019 11:39 AM

Greg

I'd be curious to see this video.

The technique being talked about here (glosscoat prior to decal application) is pretty much tried-and-true and I can't imagine Phil Flory all of a sudden stating it is unnecessary.

I wonder is it some sort of a special case, technique, or application he is talking about maybe???

 

And does he top coat after doing whatever to his decals? The gloss coat helps adherence, and the top coat, gloss or flat, helps keep the decal down on the model. I have some older builds, armor, that have no gloss base coat or flat top coat. On those builds, many of those decals are pulling away from the model surface, curling up, and disintegrating. Especially when they are applied over a textured surface. I applied them with a set or solvent to help them conform. But time takes its toll on those decals applied in that manner.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Sunday, February 03, 2019 2:03 PM

thanks again all for the input.  And for those curious about the build videos, here's a link to his build series on the 1/32 Revell Me 262 - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlBGGXIDeprsLKc8OE2vsAjHJL9g7mx9C.  It's a good series and he's certainly a talented modeler, way more talented than I am, but I'm not at that level yet where I can get decals to behave enough without a gloss coat (doesn't mean I won't keep on trying).  He only uses a single, light gloss coat on the bottom of the model, after painting, and he does that because he knows the model will be spending a lot of time on it's bottom being moved around and weathered, and the paint would probably wear away otherwise.  But other than that no clear coats.  I was impressed with the build.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Sunday, February 03, 2019 4:59 PM

stikpusher

There is just too much potential for slivering if you skip the gloss coat base. Especially for decals that have lots of carrier film such as aircraft stencils, code letters, or serial numbers. That being said, you can use gloss or semi gloss colors as your base coat and skip the gloss coat, as those paints will provide you with a smooth surface already. 

 

Ditto  That may work on a model with limited number of decals as that 262 he is working on but I would love to see him try that on something like the 1/48 Academy F-4J I did that had way over 300 stencils and other markings. The propensity of silvering is VERY certain on this type of application involving hundreds of decals.

There are some decals that no matter how glossy the surface is the carrier film shows thru and then others just lay down as if being painted. 

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Currently in the Dallas area
Posted by modelcrazy on Sunday, February 03, 2019 5:12 PM

plasticjunkie
There are some decals that no matter how glossy the surface is the carrier film shows thru and then others just lay down as if being painted. 

Hasegawa vs the new Airfix.

Steve

ON THE BENCH

1/72 Revell Eurofighter Typhoon Twin Seater
1/350 Tamiya Prince of Wales

In Que

1/72 Airfix Dakota Mk. IV
1/72 Revell Mig 29

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