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How long do unused decals last?

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  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: A Spartan in the Wolverine State
How long do unused decals last?
Posted by rjkplasticmod on Thursday, February 5, 2004 12:35 PM
Recently I pulled a decal sheet out of my stash when ready to finish a model AC and noticed the printing date of 1992. I tested with a non-essential graphic and it worked OK so I proceeded to decal the model. All went well, the decals were just like new and behaved perfectly. But I wondered, what is the archival life of a decal sheet, assuming proper storage? I find I have several sheets of about the same age. Should I panic, or just build like a mad man to use em up?

RICK At My Age, I've Seen It All, Done It All, But I Don't Remember It All...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 5, 2004 2:41 PM
I just built a Corsair that had the decals printed in the late 70's.
They had yellowed some so I put them in the window for about a week to bleach the yellow out and they worked just fine.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Maine,USA
Posted by dubix88 on Sunday, February 8, 2004 2:33 PM
I had decals from the early 80s and they were fine, but i also had a set that was only about two years old and they were cracked and such. I guess it all depends on the decals and how you store them.

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
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 9, 2004 5:07 AM
I think Randy's got it on the nose.....Personally, I store my decals in a plastic ziploc bag with the dessiccant??? I think that's how it's spelled. Anyways, you can find them usually in a box of new shoes!!! I'll let you know in 30 years if the decals are still good!!Tongue [:P]
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Monday, February 9, 2004 7:02 AM
I've used decals that I've had for almost 30 years, and they've worked just fine.
I just keep them loose in an old model box (Aurora's Creature from the Black Lagoon, to be precise!), and they've never yellowed or cracked or shown any other signs of aging.
Maybe it's the power of Aurora keeping them young and spry...
  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by ROBERT KLOPP on Thursday, October 27, 2022 4:49 PM

I've got a bunch of unused and unopened decals. All for aircraft. I've worked with the decals from the HS B-25J AND THEY fell apart with use.



  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, October 27, 2022 5:57 PM

Old zombie thread, but why not pitch in...

Ive had brand new kit decals self destruct as soon as they've hit water. I've had decades old Microscale decals work flawlessly. And I've had everything in between. It all depends upon the basic quality of the decals, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. Some brands have better consistent quality control than others, and how the decals are stored long term are both major factors in longevity.


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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: On my kitchen counter top somewhere in North Carolina.
Posted by disastermaster on Saturday, October 29, 2022 3:50 PM

I have decals from back in the 80's and onward. I use a couple of old cigar boxes to keep them in. Those boxes are stored in a drawer beneath my display cabinet in a dry and dark area (about knee high) in the living room.

It's the perfect environment for taking care of them. I'm always using various ones of 'em and only with a rare problem.





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