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Decals that just won't slide?

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  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Decals that just won't slide?
Posted by Brhino on Thursday, July 21, 2022 9:59 PM

I just completed ICM's 1/72 MiG-29 "Ghost of Kyiv" and I encountered a situation with the decals that I've never dealt with before.

My decal technique is by no means advanced - microset goes on, then the decal, then more microset, followed by microsol as needed - but it's gotten me results I've been happy with.

With this particular model, as soon as I touched the decal on to the model, it stayed right where it fell.  Getting it to slide any amount was nearly impossible, even with very aggressive application of microset.  My hands aren't steady enough to always get the decal in the right spot, so normally I relay on the ability to gently slide or nudge the decals from where they landed to where I actually wanted them... but for this model I simply could not do that at all. Creases couldn't be straighted out either - the best I could do was dump on the microsol and flatten them out a bit.

The end result is an okay model that looks good under casual operation but is nowhere up to my usual standards.

Has anyone had a set of decals do this before? Any idea what caused it? I'd certainly like to know so I can avoid it in the future.

 

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, July 22, 2022 2:19 AM

Could have been bad decals,but when my decal doesn't move I will add some water with a small brush,that usually does the trick beaking the tension and allowing me to place the decal correctly blot it gently,and a drop or two of Sol.

I find that in most cases,Microset isn't needed,just a little water,when in place blot,and a drop or two of Sol or Solvaset does the trick.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, July 22, 2022 6:23 AM

I do the same as Tojo with the small brush, and if you can get the brush to lift the edges of the perimeter of the decal, that will put a nice layer of water underneath it so you can slide it into position.  I don't like using Microset either for this purpose, because it too has a tendancy to soften the decal a little bit, and that can be a bad thing when you're fighting to get it into the right place.

Also, not sure how you're wetting your decals, but I recently started placing my cut decals on top of a wet sponge that I have in a shallow Gladware container, with a little bit of water standing in the bottom of it.  Seems to make the decals slide off the paper onto the model a little easier so I don't have to move them around as much when they get on it.  It also gives me pretty much as much time as I want to complete a decaling session.  If other stuff comes up (which it usually does), I can leave the remaining decals on the wet sponge and come back hours later if need be...the decals will still be ready to go so I can pick right back up where I left off.  Even if it ends up being days and the sponge dries out, a little water, and the decals come right back to life.

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

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 22, 2022 9:02 AM

Let's start with the basics. Are you applying your decals onto a glossy surface? You did not mention that point. Decals snuggle down and move around best on a gloss painted or gloss coated surface. Decals do not slide as easily across a flat painted surface due to the rougher texture. If you wet the glossy surface area before the decal is applied, you ought to be able to move it into position easily enough.
One other thing you may want to add to your decaling tools is a small make up applicator sponge. One of the guys at AMPS brought some in to a club meeting years ago for a demonstration on applying decals. They work better than a finger tip or paint brush for moving the decals. They are sold in packs for quite cheap.

 

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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Friday, July 22, 2022 9:45 AM

I add just a small drop of hand detergent to my decal water to make the decals slide more easily.

 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, July 22, 2022 11:30 AM

I use a drop or two of dishwashing detergent in my decal water.

I find that Tamiya MarkFit decal solution works better that MicroSet. It stays wet longer and is more slippery. I use a brush to help move the decals around.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Friday, July 22, 2022 7:16 PM

Lots of good general tips from everyone on applying decals.  Some of the techniques suggested here I'm familiar with, some of them are new to me.  Mostly at this point I'm just trying to figure out why I had such an unusally hard time with this particular model.

stikpusher
Let's start with the basics. Are you applying your decals onto a glossy surface? You did not mention that point. Decals snuggle down and move around best on a gloss painted or gloss coated surface. Decals do not slide as easily across a flat painted surface due to the rougher texture.

This is an interesting point. For this particular model, I spent a lot of time searching for the specific shade of "off white" called out in the instructions for the top surface of the aircraft. I eventually found a vallejo shade that matched although to be honest it just looks white to me.  This is the first time I've used vallejo paints, I normally use my dwindling supply of model masters oils, or humbrol oils, or tamiya acrylics. So if there's something about the vallejo paint that makes it particularly grabby for decals that may have been the problem.

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, July 23, 2022 2:59 PM

I just tried the decal positioning tool I bought from Squadron in their previous life to position a long, skinny decal for the scoreboard on my F-4B and it worked like a champ.  Looks like the new Squadron sells the tool also.  It has kind of a soft rubber chisel on the end of it that does a good job gripping the decal just hard enough to make it slide easily.  I tried my usual water and brush method on this decal, and I just couldn't get it to move.  The Squadron thingie got it into position in seconds.  Heh...had the thing for years and just now tried it out of frustration.  I'm sold.  Cool

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

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