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Old decals- Decal film and Micro-Sol

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  • Member since
    June, 2018
Old decals- Decal film and Micro-Sol
Posted by SCmodeler on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:54 AM

First post here... I’ve been modeling on and off since a kid... probably not as precise as most on here. It’s something to take my mind off work/life, but I do put in some solid effort.

I’m doing an old Messerschmitt that my dad picked up at a flea market. I want to use the original and old decals. Can I/should I use decal film then use Micro Sol afterwards? I already have the Micro Sol and would need to purchase the decal film. I just want to make sure that whatever film I apply on the decal (if needed) isn’t affected by the Micro Sol and vice versa. I prefer not buying new decals, but will consider it if that’s the only viable option.

Thanks for any tips/tricks on the approach I plan to take.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted by tdwi66 on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 7:50 PM

What I recommend is that you try Microscale Liquid Decal Film by the same munufacturer. I used some on the brittle decals that come with the AMT Vulcan Shuttle and it worked great! It is manufactured specifically for bonding new decals and restoring old decals like the set you have. It costs just over $4 and it is worth every penny. I hope this helps.

Have a good evening!

Tom

 

  • Member since
    June, 2018
Posted by SCmodeler on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 9:37 PM
Thanks for the reply. The liquid decal film is what I planned to purchase on eBay, question now is can I/should I use the Micro Sol afterwards, or will it destroy an already fragile decal? If I gather what you’re recommending correctly, I can use the decal film to restore AND set the decal and forego the Micro Sol? My understanding of the directions for the decal film is to use prior to dipping the decal in water, so I imagine it’s acting as a “clear coat” for the decal. BUT, I assume new decals have this coating on them, and the Micro Sol even melts that away too despite being a new decal. Did I mention I really only do this casually? :) I finished an SBD-2 that’s currently hanging from the ceiling in my office, bomb ready to drop... it won’t be a coincidence the Messerschmitt is parked on a shelf as an unexpecting victim somewhere in the bomb’s path.
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:01 PM

AS SBD bombing a Messer. Novel concept...

I wouldn't risk the Micro Sol. I can't remember doing the combo of the two, but I don't like Micro Sol at all.

My preferred way to go is to scan the decal sheet and print a new one.

When you apply the micro film remember that you have to cut out the decals before you soak it. Whatever area you cut out is going to have the film, so cut closely.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted by tdwi66 on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:32 PM

If you use the liquid decal film it strengthens the decals by putting on a new film and also bonds them but, it is not a setting solution. You may still want to use Micro Sol to set them. I haven't tried yet but, it is my understanding that Micro Sol and Micro Set are compatible with this product since it is the same manufacturer. Here is an example of what I did tonight. The decal at the top my model was printed on my inkjet printer after work. I brushed on the liquid decal film and let dry for 30 minutes. Nice thing is that it dries smooth without any brush lines. After that, I dipped in water and applied it like normal and it worked great!

Actually, it set so well it may not need any solution. I do concur with GMorrison that you should scan the decal sheet so that if any problems arise you can always make another set. I hope I answered your questions.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:39 PM

I built an old Williams Bros. kit last month. When I put the decals (always test with one you don't plan to use) in water, I got this.

But, I had scanned the sheet before, as I always do. So I was able to print and use this:

Testor's makes a spray can decal bonder. That's a whole other can of worms- arriving at a paper/ inkjet/ bonder combo that works.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 8:33 AM

Decal film does a good job on repairing old decals, but, as mentioned you might do a test to see if you need it.  Most decal sheets have areas that are not needed by kit, yet are decals.  Typical are any product identifiers, copyright statements, etc.  I don't know why these things are actual decals, but they actually are.

As mentioned above, decal film is not a settting solution, but neither is Micro Sol.  Micro Sol is a decal solvent.  Setting solutions are wetting agents that allow decals to stick to surface better, aid in avoiding bubbles, etc.  Solvents actually soften decal films to allow them to bend better over curved surfaces and nestle down into panel lines and details.  Solvents can be tricky and cause problems.  I always use setting solutions first, but use solvents only when necessary.

Micro Set is Micro Scale's brand for a setting solution.  Micro Sol and Micro Set are not the same thing.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:27 PM

Hello!

Good thing you scanned the decals. My take on it is if the decals are old or there is something wrong with them I usually redraw 'em and have them printed by a specialized company here in Poland. That way I can correct any errors, have lots of spares ( I usually print them X2 right away - that reduces a lot of stress), and have decals that are very thin and react to the solvents like they are supposed to do. Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    June, 2018
Posted by SCmodeler on Friday, June 29, 2018 8:38 PM

Well it seems like I have a few options, best being scanning and printing myself. I’ll have to research materials needed/the process to do it, and costs.

Purchasing decals may be an option, but so far I haven’t been able to find a similar set.

I’m going to try using the decals I have and paint on the decal film in an attempt to use what I have. I’m sure I’m clutching to false hope, but I’d really like to use the old ones if possible. I’m going to take some of the decals I don’t want and test them on spare parts left over from other models to get any sort of technique down in handling these relics. The paper is slightly stuck to the sheet, so can see that being a bad sign already.

At a minimum, I’ll scan them so I at least have them on hand.

Thanks for all the tips.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, June 30, 2018 9:41 AM

SCmodeler

Well it seems like I have a few options, best being scanning and printing myself. I’ll have to research materials needed/the process to do it, and costs.

 

Inkjet decal making is not difficult for dark decals to be applied over a light to medium paint.  However, if the decals you need require light or white areas, and you are applying them over dark paint, it is a challenge.

I would recommend doing a few dark decals before you get into making light colored decals.  Of course, light colored decals require using white decal paper, but then you either need to cut out the decals precisely (the whole sheet of film is white), or else print with a background color matching the paint color, and the human eye is superb in noticing slight differences in color hue and saturation.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, June 30, 2018 10:09 AM

Or, and I try to do this with the commercially provided kit decals: after priming with white, mask the marking with tape before the final color coats. This is pretty straightforward for stuff like aircraft tail bands.

  • Member since
    June, 2018
Posted by SCmodeler on Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:55 PM

Don Stauffer

Micro Set is Micro Scale's brand for a setting solution.  Micro Sol and Micro Set are not the same thing.

 

I have the Micro Set as well. I don’t find it any more helpful than water, but that’s just me. I still use it since I have it on hand.

 

As a side note, I tried to post a picture of the SBD2 I did and the plane I’m building now to see where I stand as a very casual modeler, but it’s not working... maybe a restriction because I’m a new user...

  • Member since
    June, 2018
Posted by SCmodeler on Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:59 PM

GMorrison

Or, and I try to do this with the commercially provided kit decals: after priming with white, mask the marking with tape before the final color coats. This is pretty straightforward for stuff like aircraft tail bands.

 

Sadly, priming isn’t in my modeling vocabulary. I may be in over my head with these decals.

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