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Decals Vs. Dry Transfers

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  • Member since
    August 2013
Decals Vs. Dry Transfers
Posted by Jay Jay on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 9:42 AM

Hi all,

As a kid in art class, I used dry transfers for lettering etc. and even tried them on a car model. The dry transfer lettering ( "Driver Me ") are still on the Corvette model after 35 years.

My question ;  why do all the modelers use decals with all their inherant                                     problems ?

                      (ie. too thick, too thin, too much carrier film,having to set them                             with solvaset/micro set etc. ) instead of dry transfers which have                         none of these problems ?

There must be a good reason decals are so popular and always win out over dry transfers.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 9:55 AM

For me, it boils down to price and availability. Dry transfers tend to be more expensive because of production costs and the subject matters tend to be limited. Decals come with the kit and the aftermarket is filled with a lot of options for nearly every subject you want to model. Every now and again, I'll splurge on a set of Archer transfers, but the wife frowns on the added expense.

  • Member since
    August 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 10:02 AM

I surely understand the wife frowning on the added expense KT  LOL.

What I don't understand is if dry transfers are better, how did the supposedly inferior decals ever take such a hold on the model industry?

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 10:42 AM

Jay Jay

I surely understand the wife frowning on the added expense KT  LOL.

What I don't understand is if dry transfers are better, how did the supposedly inferior decals ever take such a hold on the model industry?

 

I suspect many kit mfgs subcontract out the making of decals or dry transfer stuff. There are lots of people out there that make decals- not so many make the dry transfer stuff.  It apparently is somewhat harder to do.  I think that raises prices, and model kits are price sensitive.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 11:05 AM
My first model kit that included dry transfer was the Star Trek: The Motion Picture refit USS Enterprise kit. This was around 1978 or 79 and I messed them up quite well. With decals, you have some play to slide them around to position them. If the carrier is thick enough, the markings stay straight and aligned. They also conform to panel lines. Dry transfers once you rub it down, it is there for good and cannot be straightened out or stretched to fit into lines or contours. There are some spots that dry transfers are better, but overall decals are easier to use.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 11:30 AM

Well,I really have not had a lot of problems with decals,a few times I used dry transfers on armor and I wasn't enthralled with them.And I really wouldnt want to dry transfer an entire modern jet either.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:23 AM

Tojo72

Well,I really have not had a lot of problems with decals,a few times I used dry transfers on armor and I wasn't enthralled with them.And I really wouldnt want to dry transfer an entire modern jet either.

 

Likewise.  I find dry transfers great for very small areas, not so nice for large areas like stripes and such. I have a hard time making them conform if applied across a panel line.And, for text, they are fine for a few letters, but for very long words or phrases getting the spacing right becomes a pain.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:33 AM

Dry transfers are crazy expensive, and are actually more difficult than decals and more time consuming. What can be simpler than dipping in water and applying? I see HGW has a set of transfers available for Academy's 48 scale Phantom. I wonder what the reviews are?

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2006
Posted by daiguma on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 8:02 PM

There used to be a company that made decals that kinda' worked like dry transfers. You'd cut out the individual marking place it where you wanted it. The placed a couple of drops of water on the backing sheet. In a couple of seconds the backing paper would release and only the printed ink decal remained on the model. This was great for NMF. I still have a set lying around for 1/72 F-104s

I don't remember the name but they are out of business. To bad the concept was great.

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