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Dumb questions about applying decals

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  • Member since
    February 2021
Dumb questions about applying decals
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Sunday, June 27, 2021 4:52 AM

Hello folks. I'm applying decals for the first time ever in my model building (on my Tamiya Sherman). I notice that there are two of each kind of decal on the sheet. I am wondering if this is so that I can apply the decals symmetrically (i.e.- a star on each side of the tank hull, etc.). In looking at the instruction diagrams, I only see a star decal placed on the left side of the hull and turret, but there is no picture of the right side of the tank. Is it just common sense that one is supposed to similarly place stars on the right side, too? Is that the reason doubles of each decal are included? Or do you just receive extra decals in case you err?

I wish that I had first read some of the tips by experienced modelers on decaling. I used red Microsol, but applied too much pressure brushing it on. And it caused part of a star decal to rip. Now, after reading, I know better (that it is not really needed for flat surfaces (just use the blue bottle). This is a great, helpful forum. Thanks for advising.

 

  • Member since
    April 2004
Posted by Jon_a_its on Sunday, June 27, 2021 5:13 AM

Broadly speaking, you are correct. US Armour would have markings on both sides.

USAF aircraft of the time wouldn't have symetrical markings on the top & underneath of the wings.

Traditionally, Decalling is: paint model, apply gloss*, then decals, use Microscale Sol/Set as per instructions, cleanup, and gloss again, then mat or satin finish.

*Gloss where decals go or whole model.

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  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, June 27, 2021 5:30 AM

Microsol can be used on any surface.  The key is to apply it to the decal quickly and gently, and then leave the decal alone while the Microsol works.  You don't want to keep dabbing at it or trying to smooth out the wrinkles that form.  The wrinkles go away on their own.

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

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Sunday, June 27, 2021 9:08 AM

I only apply decal solvent if setting solution is not enough.  Take the term solvent literally.  Use as a last resort and work very gently.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, June 27, 2021 10:07 AM

As far as locating decals and selecting colors, if you have any doubts about what the kit instructions show, do a little research. Tou'll be surprised by some details.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, June 27, 2021 10:48 AM

GMorrison

As far as locating decals and selecting colors, if you have any doubts about what the kit instructions show, do a little research. Tou'll be surprised by some details.

Bill

With armored vehicles in particular, markings may often be assymmetric from side to side due to projections or equipment stowage. As Bill said, a little research or something like a Google image search will often turn up views or at least diagrams showing useful markings placement.

Cheers

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Sunday, June 27, 2021 5:24 PM

Decals can be very difficult to apply. I think I was better at it as a beginner than I am now! Large ones or very small ones are the worst — I've ruined more decals than I care to count. Now, before applying any decals, I first scan the sheets of decals at high resolution and a 1:1 ratio. If you have either an ink jet printer or a colour laser printer, you can print them on decal stock, available from many different companies. I use Experts Choice, and I have a pack of sheets by Kodiak that I haven't yet tried.

To prevent the ink from running while the decals soak, you have to thoroughly pre-coat them with clear acrylic or lacquer spray.

The only real problem with DIY decals is that you have to use white decal sheets on dark surfaces. If you use clear decal sheets, the dark surface beneath will mute the colours of the decal. But using white decal paper means that you have to trim the decal carefully to avoid having the white substrate show on the model. I've had reasonably good luck painting over the remaining white part of the decal with paint matching the colour of the model.

Bob

 

 

 

On the bench: 1/500 Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962 (I'm using Minicraft's 1/48 model of the Mentor). 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, June 28, 2021 1:08 PM

rocketman2000

I only apply decal solvent if setting solution is not enough.  Take the term solvent literally.  Use as a last resort and work very gently.

 

 

I agree 100% Decal sovents are very aggressive and will literally melt the decals. Do not touch the decals after solvent is applied. I did that once and the decal fell apart.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, June 28, 2021 1:27 PM

This Tamyia car kit has numerous decals simulating carbon fiber. First I tried MicroSet to help the decals conform the the curved surfaces. That didn't work. Next I tried Tamyia's Mark Fit which soltened the decals enough the conform to the curved surfaces. The Mark Fit is not as aggressive as MicroSol.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    April 2016
  • From: N. Burbs of ChiKawgo
Posted by GlennH on Monday, June 28, 2021 5:36 PM

Curious. When you say gloss again before mat or satin or dull coat in my case, is there some benefit involved by going over them with gloss again?

Jon_a_its

Broadly speaking, you are correct. US Armour would have markings on both sides.

USAF aircraft of the time wouldn't have symetrical markings on the top & underneath of the wings.

Traditionally, Decalling is: paint model, apply gloss*, then decals, use Microscale Sol/Set as per instructions, cleanup, and gloss again, then mat or satin finish.

*Gloss where decals go or whole model.

 

A number Army Viet Nam scans from hundreds yet to be done:

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Have had the great fortune to be on every side of the howitzers.

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