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What clear coat to save old decals?


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#1 Green Duster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

I know it's been covered before, but I can't find it. I have a set of MPC decals from the 70's. I really
want to save them to use. What kind of clear should I use? Lacquer or enamel?
Thanks guys!

#2 Chief Joseph

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

Microscale Liquid Decal Film in the little frosty white bottle is the #1 solution. 2 coats applied by brush should be sufficient to save the decals. If that's not available, try Future floor wax, applied with a brush. If that's not available, try Testors Decal Bonder spray. Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic spray would be another choice if the Testors Decal Bonder isn't available. Hope this gives you some options!

#3 Chillyb1

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:03 PM

I'm going to second Chief Joseph's recommendation of Microscale's Liquid Decal Film. The best and most fool-proof solution to your old decal needs.

I've tried several clears and have not found any that really work perfectly every time. Liquid Decal Film does.

#4 Green Duster

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:14 AM

Thanks for the help guys. I'll order up some of Microscale's decal film.

#5 Chillyb1

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the help guys. I'll order up some of Microscale's decal film.

You'll be glad you did. I was trying to use an old sheet of Scale Motorsport carbon fiber decal yesterday and the first piece in the water just disintegrated. For the next piece, I coated it with the decal film and it was usable maybe ten minutes later. It went on in once piece and looks just perfect, and that's on a racing dashboard of some complex shapes. Awesome stuff. By the way, when you brush it on a decal don't be alarmed by how uneven and thick it looks. When it dries you won't even be able to detect it on the decals. it is some kind of magic fluid not of this Earth.

#6 hooterville75

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:48 PM

Microscale Liquid Decal Film in the little frosty white bottle is the #1 solution. 2 coats applied by brush should be sufficient to save the decals. If that's not available, try Future floor wax, applied with a brush. If that's not available, try Testors Decal Bonder spray. Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic spray would be another choice if the Testors Decal Bonder isn't available. Hope this gives you some options!


When you get the Liquid Decal Film, I'm assuming you brush it on the decals directly on the page of decals ten or so minutes before your ready to apply the decals to the body ? OR do you brush the liquid decal film on the decals BEFORE you start anything with the kit ? I guess my question is when do you brush the liquid decal film on the sheet of decals ?

#7 Chief Joseph

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

When you get the Liquid Decal Film, I'm assuming you brush it on the decals directly on the page of decals ten or so minutes before your ready to apply the decals to the body ? OR do you brush the liquid decal film on the decals BEFORE you start anything with the kit ? I guess my question is when do you brush the liquid decal film on the sheet of decals ?


It dries very fast; the instructions say allow it to dry 15 minutes before using the decals. For really old decals, I would apply two separate coats to the sheet and wait until the next day to apply them. No need to rush things.

#8 hooterville75

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:53 PM

It dries very fast; the instructions say allow it to dry 15 minutes before using the decals. For really old decals, I would apply two separate coats to the sheet and wait until the next day to apply them. No need to rush things.


Thank You Sir. A few of my older Nascar kits have yellowed decals. Will try the two coats process and see how it works.

#9 Chief Joseph

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:53 PM

Thank You Sir. A few of my older Nascar kits have yellowed decals. Will try the two coats process and see how it works.


Do you know of the window pane trick to make yellowed decals clear again? If not, then it goes like this: tape the sheet of yellowed decals to the inside of a window that gets sunlight during the day. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but the UV rays will remove the yellow discoloration. Obviously you don't want to do this on a window that sweats during the colder months. After the yellow fades, paint a coat of Liquid Decal Film on the decals and use them like normal.

#10 hooterville75

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:49 PM

Thank You, being the time of year it is, Ill stick to the two coats of liquid decal film from Microscale. May try the second technique during the summer months though when needed. Thanks again.