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Tips on applying water slide decals ? Boondocker Blazer

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Having ruined 3 of the side window decals for a vintage Boondocker blazer😖, I would certainly appreciate any tips on applying the rest of the feathers decals. The body is already painted but nod cleared. Can I spray clear over the the decals after they dry ? Also, Anybody have any extra side window feather decals that they aren't going to use. lots of stuff to trade.

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i use Micro Set Solution from Microscale. most hobby shops have it or u can google it and buy it on line..of course first thing u do is soak your decal in warm water a few seconds till it slides on the paper backing . with a paint brush dab a little Micro Set where the decal goes and slide it on. brush more on to the top of the decal. let set a minuet or so . u may see bubbles or curling around the edges. now take the brush and dip it in water and go over the decal...now get u a parer towel and lightly press down on the decal soaking up the water. by now the decal should be setting..but i always like to brush more Micro Set and press the decal a few more time to make sure using water in between also..let set 24 hrs then u can take a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe all the excess  Micro Set off before u clear coat . and remember if u do clear coat make sure the body is clean. i use air in a can or a tack cloth



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How were they ruined? Typically, old AMT decals shatter when put into water and used.

If this is what happened, try spraying the decals with clear to seal them before using them on the car. 

You will then have to cut the decals close to the image before dipping them in water.

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I ruined them when they tore apart when I tried to blot the excess water off them with a piece of paper towel. You would think these windows would be easy to do given that they are flat and supper smooth. I was terrified to try the body graphics because these are curved and not as smooth. I used the testors decal set (its a 2 part deal) The first part is supposed to aid in the initiaI application of the decal and the second part seems to sort of set it after you have applied the decal. I have heard good things about that other decal set. I went on youtube and watched several videos for this. I'm using room temp water with a tiny drop of clear dish detergent in it, soaking it for a minute and letting it sit on a clean paper towel for another minute, wetting the surface down and sliding it on. That part seems to go smoothly. I, being as delicate blotting it so why am I destroying so many decals  . At first I thought maybe the decal sheet was too old from the vintage kit but I took the third decal from the re-release kit that came out a few years back and it was just as brittle.😖

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Since the decals are intact when applied (they are not disintegrating when you put them in water), then the blotting seems to be your problem.  Normally you apply the setting solutions over the decal and they will soften the decal film, and as the liquid (water and/or setting solution) evaporates the decal is supposed to snuggle over the surface all by itself.

Sometimes using a hair dryer to warm up and shrink the decal film can help (Scale Motorsports recommends that technique for their carbon fiber decals which are applied to large surfaces with complex curves, but I haven't had a chance to try that).  You should not have to do any blotting. If you really need to, use Q-tips, not paper towel, to gently soak up liquid.

If you are fairly new to applying waterside decals, I recommend that you practice on models which have simpler decals to get the feel of how to do it.

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I did countless decals when I was a kid and I don't seem to remember ruining too many. I was alot more ham fisted back then 😆 . I haven't heard of the hair drier tip but now I will have to try that. Thanks.

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The tricks I have used for decals are as follows.

Freshly printed or very old decals use Testors 9200 spray decal bonder.

One mist coat then 10 minutes later a medium wet coat and let cure at least 24 hours. It makes them tough and flexible.

Trim decals right up as close to the artwork as your dexterity and eyesight will allow.

soak in warm water with one drop of Dawn dish soap.

Leave the decal in the water and just jostle it occasionally with a toothpick until it just releases from the backing paper.

When it is ready, move it directly to the surface with your fingers or a Q-tip.

The dish soap allows you to move the decal around quite a bit until it is perfectly placed.

Before laying, use a Q-tip to apply decal set (or plain white vinegar) to wet the paint surface.

Use Q-tips, not paper towels to soak up excess water.

Use additional Q-tips to GENTLY dab the center of the decal and get it to adhere from the center outward.

I have had 100% success using these methods.


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