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Brittle Decals

5 replies
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  • Member since
    November 2005
Brittle Decals
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 2:25 PM
Please help me, I have become addicted to building Tamiya's 1/12 motorcycles, and the first couple gave me excellent results. But having just started the Honda NSR500 (1998) (Kit No.14071), I am at my wits end, any decal that has to go on a curved surface is breaking. The paint finish is glossy and I have tried painting both decal and surface with "Humbrol DecalFix" but they are no better. Is it because the kit is old? Any advise will be most welcome as I have another 2 "Oldish" kits to do and am now scared of attempting them.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by Matthew Usher on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 2:45 PM
It could be the age of the decals, and it could be that they were bad to begin with.

I'd try contacting Tamiya -- if the decals were bad when they left the factory, they may offer a replacement set through their customer service department. (They usually sell replacement sets, too.)

Failing that, you might coat the decal sheet with Microscale Liquid Decal Film. You brush the clear liquid over the decal sheet, and it acts as a new skin, strengthening the decals and preventing them from cracking as you apply them. Well-stocked hobby shops should carry this.

I hope this helps!

Matthew Usher @ FineScale Modeler
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 3:20 PM
Strange, I never had any problems with the Taniya decals on over 40+ Kits and some were way older than that kit.

Maybe the kit was stored badly and it caused it.

Try contactingTamiya, if you don't get any joy from them you can always look for AM decals.
Museum Collection makes some and I think that there might be more like Studio 27, Platz, etc.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Maine,USA
Posted by dubix88 on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 3:56 PM
I have also never had a problem with the tamiya decals, but it happens. Might have just been a bad batch.

THATS MY VOTE "If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base." -Dave Barry In the words of the great Larry the Cable Guy, "GIT-R-DONE!!!"
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: New Zealand
Posted by nicholma on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 4:41 PM
I've used many decals that are 20+ years old, very few have ever cracked. I always use a decal softener (Micro sol and set) and if that doesn't work then I try Mr Decal Softener which I've found to be quite ferocious on some decals. When a decal has to conform to complex curves I flood the decal with softener, leave it for a few minutes then apply heat from a hair drier and smooth with the fine bush I apply the softener with. Occassionally I will also use my finger tip to assist in getting it to conform (it has to be wet though with softener). So pressure and heat usually ensures the decal conforms without any breaking. It may take 15 - 20 inutes to do one decal at times as you need to take things slowly.

The only other suggestion is try another decal softener, maybe the Humbrol decal fix isn't strong enough for the Tamiya decals, I have found on odd occassions that the Micro products aren't strong enough, maybe the ink thickness on the Tamiya decals is thicker on occassions?

The liquid decal film suggested above is excellent and worth a try as well.
Kia ora, Mark "Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 18, 2003 10:25 AM
Thanks very much, I will contact Tamiya and have another go.

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