Jump to content


What is your method for good decal application?


  • You cannot reply to this topic
10 replies to this topic

#1 Modelbuilder Mark

Modelbuilder Mark

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,140 posts
  • Location:Phoenix
  • Full Name:Mark Hubbard

Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

I consider one of my biggest weaknesses as a modeler to be getting decals to look real.  Now, maybe I am doig something wrong, but here is what I do.

 

First soak the decal for onyl a short period of time, trying not to soak out the glue.

 

then I apply a little Solvaset by Micro Sol to the area the decal is going, then slide it on, then a little on top. On most flat surfaces, this sufices.

 

BUT...if there is much curvature, or any area the decal needs to conform to, I have heard that Micro-Sol really helps, but so far, for most any project I have ever done, it does not seem to do much. (this stuff really just smells like vinager to me). I have heard many times the decal should wrinkle up, then settle down, but I have never seen it to that extreme.

 

So, for those of you that apply large sections of decals, what solutions are you using to get them to REALLY settle down and look, well, real?

 



#2 Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Location:Alabamastan
  • Full Name:Joseph Osborn

Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:53 AM

First, is your surface to be decaled smooth and glossy?  Second, are you using Solvaset (by Walthers) or Micro-Sol (by Microscale)?   They do the same thing, but Solvaset is a lot more powerful.  Solvaset or Micro-Sol are meant to be applied on top of the decal after it is in place.  You can use a Microscale product called Micro-Set in the area the decal will go to help with adhesion.  Micro-Sol and Solvaset are meant to "melt" the decal onto the surface by softening them.  Micro-Sol is so weak that it hardly has any effect on most kit-supplied decals, and Solvaset is so strong it can ruin decals.  I personally use a 50%-50% mix of Solvaset and distilled water as my decal setting solution.

 

The surface is the key.  It needs to be smooth and slick for the decal to settle down.  When using the decal solvents, the "rule" is to put the decal down, wet it liberally with the solvent, and let the decal naturally pull itself down into the details.  I find that doesn't work so well at least half the time.  I do some gentle persuasion with a cotton bud to work out air bubbles and get the decal into the details.  You have to be careful, because the decal is soft and will wrinkle up or tear easily.



#3 Stuntman Mike

Stuntman Mike

    MCM Friend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 102 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Full Name:Kevin L.

Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:08 PM

I´m using Decal-Soft from Revell and it is great to work with. It is not agressive and effective. I did these white stripes with it:

 

6439333439663737.jpg

 

6166383833646137.jpg

 

3438663964613263.jpg

 

The area around the hot air outlet on the Shelby´s hood was the trickiest part. I had to apply the stuff severeal times to make the decal fully align to the curves. The Revell Decal Soft is the only stuff I use to apply decals. And some clear coat, of course. 



#4 cobraman

cobraman

    Crazy 'bout Cobras!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,695 posts
  • Location:Arizona
  • Full Name:Ray Kurn

Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:29 PM

Since I always clear after the decals I wet sand the body, apply the decals, use Solveaset only if needed for a curve or to set it into door gaps.



#5 Modelbuilder Mark

Modelbuilder Mark

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,140 posts
  • Location:Phoenix
  • Full Name:Mark Hubbard

Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:29 PM

OK, I have been using the Micro-Sol by Microscale, and from what I am seeing here, that may be why I am not seeing the "wrinkle" and adhession that others talk about. May have to pick up the other brand. Despite my attention to the surface quality, some decals were just fighting me. I know that not all decals are created equal, and while I am not horrible at it, I just have a lot of respect for the folks that do LOTS of them on a project, and they turn out great. 



#6 sportandmiah

sportandmiah

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 557 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Full Name:Arnold Jackson

Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:59 PM

Microset is applied on the body just prior to decal application. It helps the decal stick. Once decal is applied, I gently Qtip away any bubbles.

Microsol is now applied ONLY if the decal doesn't sit flat. Microsol is not weak, one just has to know how to use it. An extreme example would be if you wanted to decal a golf ball. The decal obviously won't just neatly wrap around it. Apply liberal amounts of Microsol on top of the decal after its applied, and let it sit. The decal will wrinkle and will appear to be ruined...its not. The decal will rip very easily so tread very very lightly. Patience is key. After an hour or so the decal will cover the golf ball and look like it was painted on. This can be sped up by using a hair dryer, add more microsol, more hair drier.

This pic of a Porsche 934..the decal above the rear wheel...Microsol was used to soften the decal to properly take the shape of the fender. I used a hair drier to speed the process.

20130328_000937_zps72456670.jpg

Edited by sportandmiah, 23 April 2013 - 05:19 PM.


#7 935k3

935k3

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 840 posts
  • Location:Mechanicsburg, PA

Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:14 PM

Try a steaming hot damp cloth pressed over the decal or a hairdryer on low. A hot damp Q-Tip is good for smalla reas such as NACA duct on a race car. And if you have problems with decals not sticking Future makes a great decal glue. All of th red on the car below is decal done this way.

 

2pfa_afd_u9fk1.jpg


Edited by 935k3, 23 April 2013 - 05:19 PM.


#8 Modelbuilder Mark

Modelbuilder Mark

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,140 posts
  • Location:Phoenix
  • Full Name:Mark Hubbard

Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

ooohh, I like the additional tips with the heat, moist heat etc. 

 

I am curious, I wonder does the solution loose potency over time? I have had these bottles by Microscale for YEARS, maybe 10.



#9 CadillacPat

CadillacPat

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 771 posts
  • Location:Houston
  • Full Name:Pat Parker

Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:54 PM

Real nice Decals on that Canon car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I normally don't even use MicroSol, MicroSet or Walthers exept in extreme complex curves,

Like this,

TL-Pk-Pk.jpg

 

Aft-hrs-Grn-Yel-5.jpg

 

MicroSol will weaken after a few years, and Walthers is so strong I thin it with older MicroSol.

In most cases neither the Set or Sol is necessary.

 

Here's a link to my Decal Tools thread where you will see a 1/2" flat nylon artists brush.

PICT0004.jpg

 

A smooth surface is certainly better than a rough surface for Decal application, however Decals go down easier and less noticeably on top of a Colorcoat before the Clear.

The use of the flat nylon brush allow one to sweep the Decal flat, remove all air and water behind the Decal, and actually taper out the Decal edges flat.

This one tool of mine will change the way you apply Decals.

Just dampen the brush, tap out the excess water and use.

Don't use a dry Nylon brush on a Decal, it is stiff and can scratch the ink.

 

Q-Tips, Paper towels and other fibrous cotton textiles used on Decals are a no no.   I don't want any fibers that will later show up in the ClearCoat.

A sponge (different sizes) and brush are all you need.

 

Start at the beginning of your Decal application by using the right tools to cut out your Decals, in the right manner.

Fresh clean Titanium scissors or an x-acto knife (always used at a 45 degree angle to slice cleanly.

Clean cut edges on your Decals mean everything towards their final appearance.

 

When you are ready to lay down your Decal lay the entire Decal almost parallel to the surface you are applying it to.

Hold down one end and gently remove the paper from underneath the image.

This technique leaves less air under the Decal.

You can actually watch atmospheric pressure suck down the Decal image as you remove (slide) the paper from underneath.

Sponge, then Brush.

Solvents aren't always necessary.

 

CadillacPat

 

 

 

 

 

 



#10 Modelbuilder Mark

Modelbuilder Mark

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,140 posts
  • Location:Phoenix
  • Full Name:Mark Hubbard

Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:24 AM

Thanks Pat,

 

At some point I need to make up some decals, and have been reading the making decals thread. One of my upcoming projects may require more than a normal build for me.  

 

Also, I am surprised that with all of the 1:1 vehicles out there that are wrapped, there are not more scale trucks/vans etc with the same "look" of being wrapped.



#11 CadillacPat

CadillacPat

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 771 posts
  • Location:Houston
  • Full Name:Pat Parker

Posted 24 April 2013 - 10:26 AM

Mark there is so much MISinformation online about making Decals.

All it takes is for someone to follow one wrong step to goof up their project.

 

Doing a full size wrap on a car is probaly easier than doing a Decal wrap on a Model.

The film for a full size car is strong enough to be pulled, heated and squeeged into place while wrapping a Model with Decal film is a bit more tedious.

 

You're welcome,

 

CadillacPat