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gavino200

Decal (transfer) Technique

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gavino200

Overview

First clear coat the model surface with clear gloss varnish.

Then.

Microsol and microset help in applying the decal and getting it to smoothly follow all the surface details.

Finally.

You can then apply what ever finish clear coat you want.

 

 

 

 

Microset you paint on the surface you are applying the decal to.

This helps wet the surface well to prevent bubbles

and it also softens the drcal backing a tad

to help it shut down on the surface details better than just plopping the decal on.

 

Microsol you apply after the decal is on.

It basically softens the decal backing

so you can use the swabs and such

to stretch the decal over surface details better.

 

 

You can just paint it on the areas you want to work on

and then just tamp away carefully.

Let it dry and repeat if needed until its how you like it.

 

 

The Microsol can cause the decal to pucker some as well when working with it

(again not as much of this with the heavier coated inkjet decals)

but as it dries this goes away as the decal sucks back down onto the surface.

 

Pearls and pitfalls

 

Biggest issue with regular decals is applying a lot of microsol

and being too aggressive with your tamping and tearing the softened decal.

I’ve only ever done this once and it was my fault just slipping and pushing the decal instead of tamping.

 

with the big container ribs (the one I used only had these on the ends of the container with the little decals) 

makeup swabs I found tamping at an angle and rolling the tip thru the valley at the same time gave the best effect.

 

pretty cheap, like $5 at your LHS and it will last you for ever.

Does not seem to go bad, my current bottles have been in use for over 10 years! (sol and set, not the make up swabs right?)

 

 

usually best to apply the decal to a gloss, semi gloss, or satin coat

as a smooth surface for the decal to totally suck down onto.

 

On flat surfaces the decal can kind of give a foggy appearance

as it’s not totally sitting flat on the rougher, flat coat surface.

 

Microsol can help this, but never make it quite as good as going onto a smooth surface finish.

You can then apply what ever finish clear coat in the end.

 

For container cars flat/matte clear would probably be the most prototypical.

Weathering usually the best on the final surface

(some don’t apply well to glossier surfaces)

unless the weathering materials require a clear coat to seal them.

 

Many like doc O’Brien’s powders don’t require clear coating

but others like chalks, pastels, makeups do require clear coating or any handling can smear them.

 

decals are like soldering. They seem daunting,  but it’s mainly practice and a tiny bit of art, but you pick that up with practice.

 

Swabs and these makeup applicators work well.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/50Pcs-New-Disposable-Lip-Lipstick-Gloss-Applicator-Makeup-Tool-Brush-A39/282863972907?hash=item41dc01b22b%3Ag%3Ar9QAAOSwGG5aJ1VB&_nkw=applicator+50&_sacat=0&_from=R40&LH_BIN=1&rt=nc&_trksid=m570.l1313&LH_TitleDesc=0

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/50PC-Disposable-Eyeliner-Brush-Eyeshadow-Applicator-Eyes-Makeup-Cosmetic-Tool/113178687143?hash=item1a59f9b6a7%3Ag%3AFDcAAOSwQDhbYWbn&_nkw=applicator+50&_sacat=0&_from=R40&LH_BIN=1&rt=nc&_trksid=m570.l1313&LH_TitleDesc=0

 

You can probably get these at your local makeup supply place

 

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

I have a question about clear coating. I have Vallejo clear coat. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Vallejo-Acrylic-Paint-Gloss-Varnish/dp/B001JJZDSK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1535947338&sr=8-2&keywords=vallejo+clear+coat

 

Regular Vallejo paints are made to be airbrushed without needing to be thinned. Anyone know if this is also true of their clear coat (or clear coats in general)?

You you guys usually thin your clear coat? 

Do you use regular airbrush paint thinner?

How many coats do you use when clear coating for decal application? One, more? Until it's perfectly gloss? A bit shiny?

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gavino200

I took a look today at some decals I have for a current project. I'm a bit confused by them. The only experience I have with decals was with model airplanes as a kid. Those decals were pre cut to a tiny margin around the design. They just came loose in water and you floated them into place.

 

These decals don't look like they're pre-cut. Any advice about how to cut these? On the card? Just score the decal but not the paper? 

 

The instructions on the back are cut in half:

 

......damage with your laser printer

....before cutting

...around the printed image.

....into a bowl of water for 30 seconds.

....Decal onto Project

...and set for 24 hours.'

 

Any ideas or tips?

 

cz8JDVO.jpg

 

eZgC7wN.jpg

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

these look to be laserprinted, so yes you will need to cut them out. I usually trim the whole decal. Pair of fine castroviejo scissors are usually helpful with odder shapes or just cut with new xacto blade. Do need to be careful when things get thin like those strips if cutting with a knife to not tear a thin bit. Good thing about laser printed ones if they did not seal with a clear coat (toner stayed fused to the membrane unlike ink jet printing where the ink needs to be sealed to the membrane with a clear coat before hitting water) is that the edges will set down better with micro sol than with a clear coat on them.

 

if you have any extra try some tests as always before diving in the deep end!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
On 10/12/2018 at 1:54 PM, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

these look to be laserprinted, so yes you will need to cut them out. I usually trim the whole decal. Pair of fine castroviejo scissors are usually helpful with odder shapes or just cut with new xacto blade. Do need to be careful when things get thin like those strips if cutting with a knife to not tear a thin bit. Good thing about laser printed ones if they did not seal with a clear coat (toner stayed fused to the membrane unlike ink jet printing where the ink needs to be sealed to the membrane with a clear coat before hitting water) is that the edges will set down better with micro sol than with a clear coat on them.

 

if you have any extra try some tests as always before diving in the deep end!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Thanks Jeff,

 

I have two questions:

 

1. The long black line in the middle goes across multiple windos. ie. it breaks - stops and starts etc. Do you recommend putting it on as one piece by draping it across the length of the car and then cutting the windows out later? This seems like the obvious choice but I'm a bit concerned about damaging the paint as I cut. Any tips?

 

2. How close to the decal design do you think I need to cut? If I leave a little margin will it be very noticeable?  Or should I try to get really close to the design? 

 

Also how easy is it to float these things into place? The old airplane ones I worked with were very movable and floaty. Would you try to place the large black pinstripe decal in one piece, or would you make cuts to make it more manageable?

 

 

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cteno4

Give a bit extra as you don’t want to carve into the printed bits at all. The clear edges should disappear quite a bit once on. The microsol helps make these edges really dissolve down quite well. Another reason to go a bit wide on the edges is to make the long skinny pieces be more tear resistant.

 

thats a tough call on the long strip. While cutting it up will help prevent tearing, finding the exact cut points and getting all the pieces in good alignment is really a pain. I hate these kinds of wrapping decals as they are a challenge in a number of ways like this. I only laserprinted a few decals a number of years ago (color laserprinted has since died and not replaced it) but my memory of them was they behaved about the same as silk screen printed ones you get in model kits. One thing is the good make your own decal membrane is a tad heavier than the production ones (usually silk screened with solvent based inks), which is good and bad. Good as it’s tougher for a long skinny decal in handling, but bad as the thicker membrane rides above the surface more and does not bend around details as well. But this is what the microsol is for, it softens the membrane up, so it will flow over details better and even slightly dissolve the edges in to slopes some (with a lot of tamping with the eye brow brushes) so they are not so noticeable. The nice thing about laserprinted decals is you don’t have to seal them with a clear coat before application so the membrane is much more flexible and accessible to the microsol. With inkjet you have to seal before applying to not have the water solvable ink run and then it takes a lot of applications and tamping to get it to conform.

 

you are gunna hate me but my path would be to get some laserprinter decal paper and then scan or xerox your decal sheet and practice on your spare shell until you get it right. If you don’t have a laserprinter then see if the local copy shop will do it for you. Some won’t let you use specialty papers like this in their for fear of melting to the fuser rollers (they us hot!) even though the paper is made for it. Maybe a friend has a laser printer? Black is fine to just try some tests. I have a b/w laserprinter but don’t think I have laserprinter decal paper anymore I’ll look.

 

gordon May have some tips as he’s done quite a few train decal wrappings with a lot of decal coverage over windows.

 

decals are one of those things like soldering where a lot of it is just practice and getting familiarity with how things move and behave. You can keep moistening the decal to keep working on position, then once set you can use the edge of a piece of Kleenex to wick away excess moisture to make it stick in place well while it drys. Soft brushes and some fine ones are good to move them around and those eyebrow brushes also are handy to poke and tamp, especially in the microsol steps after application.

 

to fish a long slender decal out of the water a fine comb works well to lift the decal out of the water and slide off onto the car.

 

lots of videos on decal application on YouTube to see how it’s done then I would just practice on your old shell.

 

cheers

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4
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gavino200

I worked on the decals shown above. Here is what I learned.

 

There is zero benefit in trying to place a large delicate decal like the black pin striping in one piece. It's extremely difficult to handle. In this case it didn't actually fit perfectly and had to be adjusted anyway. Lastly it's very easy to bring the decals together in a visually seamless manner.

 

Also, be careful with microsol. It seemed to work fine with the logo decals. But it very easily dissolved the black pin striping. In this case I was better off without it.  In future I plan on testing it on a scrap before applying it to a specific decal.  

Edited by gavino200
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cteno4

They came out great! Yes always test decal with microsol (i sound like a broken record of test, test test!)! It also looks bad for a bit and then backs off as well, it can be scary. Also is dependent on the type of printing, coatings, etc.

 

kudos!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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