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Is it me, or is there no margin for error using Revell decals?


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Are Revell decals rubbish, or do they expect you to lay the decals down perfectly every single time? Every Revell kit I've built, which is about three or four now, the decals lay down ok if you get it positioned perfectly first time, but any attempt to adjust or remove air bubbles results in them taring and even loses it's tac. Accidently touching them days later will have a piece sticking to your thumb. They remind me of trying use decals from a vintage kit, they can work if you are extremely careful, but you better make darn sure they are in the right place and laid down first attempt, and even then, they can still fail miserably. I can mess around with AMT and MPC decals all day, even vintage ones sometimes, but Revell? Pfff!! anything that has a curvature or fine area where the decal is pinstripe like, forget it. 

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What I do. Use one of those decal setting liquids on the body first. The setting solution and water makes the decal very slippery. Once I get into in to position, I will use a Q Tip or paper towel to suck up the extra water and work out any bubbles

Good Luck

Mike 

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I haven't built a lot of Revell lately, but the seat decals for the 57 Chevy snapper were absolutely like that. Water, setting solution didn't help.

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The decals in the '68 Chevelle were like that. I used setting solution on the body and they still didn't want to slide into position. Luckily, I rarely use decals. Like you, I have an easier time with vintage decals.

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hmm, seems like there is an issue with them then. I have used decal solvent which does help a bit to move them around and suck them down a bit, but the window for adjustment is very small before they stick and go soft. They still tare very easily when trying to line up around hood vent cut-outs and such.

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I too had trouble with the Revell ‘68 Chevelle decals. I may have had the water too warm?….but some of them floated right up off the paper and became horribly twisted. I managed to cut some replacements out of some un-needed decals in the kit. Others were wrinkled like crazy but smoothed themselves out once dried. I did cut some into smaller more manageable sections. It would be nice if they supplied a couple extras of the really delicate ones. It wouldn’t kill their profits.😕

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This is the Revell '68 Chevelle I'm working on. Even using decal solvent the decals crack and fall apart. In this pic, you can see the decals cracking just from the curvature of the trunk near the rear light panel. The mess you see near the rear window trim is where I popped a bubble with a pin, tried to flatten it down with a cotton bud and just crumbled. I had to touch it up with some paint. Same thing with the hood after I popped a bubble. Also, decal solvent did nothing to get rid of the wrinkles around the hood vent. Note one of the hood decals are closer to the hood trim than the other. After I lay them down that's where they stay, otherwise they will tare if I try lifting or sliding them.

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DSC02681.JPG

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When it doubt coat decal sheet with something like Microscale liquid decal film. You will then have to cut the decal close to the one you are using as it will not be a separate decal at that point.

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Some ideas to try the next time you're applying decals. As you already know they will tend to stick and are hard to move into position. Try using a clean paint brush and apply a drop or two of water in the area that you're applying the decal. The water will try and bead up, but it will be on the models surface and you can move the decal using the wet paint brush. I have also used a wooden tooth pick to assist. When you have the decals in position then do as Mike 1017 suggested and use something to blot the excess water. My normal tool is just the edge of a paper towel. You don't even have to touch the towel to the decal, just the edge of the moisture as the capillary action of the towel will draw the moisture away. I resist the use of a setting solution until the very end and usually only if the decal isn't laying down the way you want. On body seems and door or trunk openings wait for the decal to set for a time . I'll use a new or newer #11 blade to cut the decal as the seem. You don't want to pull your cut as that may dislodge the decal. I use more of a chopping motion like a slow downward pressure to cut the decal. With a small drop of setting solution the ends should drop into the parting line between the body panels. Should the decals be hard to apply and don't seem to want to stay in place just apply a small section at a time and then set the body aside until it is dry. 

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If there old kits and not recently reissued kits.  I would try using decal film on the entire decal sheet (follow directions on bottle) and than do the normal routine, but instead of putting micro set on first and than the decal just keep using water to get the decal where it needs to be either with finger or decal tweezers.  THAN use the set & or sole which ever brand you use.  

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2 hours ago, cobraman said:

When it doubt coat decal sheet with something like Microscale liquid decal film. You will then have to cut the decal close to the one you are using as it will not be a separate decal at that point.

I've seen a couple of tutorials on that and looks to work quite well.

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1 hour ago, espo said:

Some ideas to try the next time you're applying decals. As you already know they will tend to stick and are hard to move into position. Try using a clean paint brush and apply a drop or two of water in the area that you're applying the decal. The water will try and bead up, but it will be on the models surface and you can move the decal using the wet paint brush. I have also used a wooden tooth pick to assist. When you have the decals in position then do as Mike 1017 suggested and use something to blot the excess water. My normal tool is just the edge of a paper towel. You don't even have to touch the towel to the decal, just the edge of the moisture as the capillary action of the towel will draw the moisture away. I resist the use of a setting solution until the very end and usually only if the decal isn't laying down the way you want. On body seems and door or trunk openings wait for the decal to set for a time . I'll use a new or newer #11 blade to cut the decal as the seem. You don't want to pull your cut as that may dislodge the decal. I use more of a chopping motion like a slow downward pressure to cut the decal. With a small drop of setting solution the ends should drop into the parting line between the body panels. Should the decals be hard to apply and don't seem to want to stay in place just apply a small section at a time and then set the body aside until it is dry. 

Yes, that's pretty much exactly how I do it, paper towel next to the decal to soak up the excess water. Sometimes I'll use a clean wet brush to help with parts of the decal that have stuck a little. Most of the time just rolling a cotton but over your average AMT and MPC decals works 99% of the time, but these Revell decals? man, they just fight me every step of the way. Pressing a blade into the panel gaps with Revell decals ends up cracking them, though they do tend sink in ok if left alone.

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2 hours ago, Dpate said:

If there old kits and not recently reissued kits.  I would try using decal film on the entire decal sheet (follow directions on bottle) and than do the normal routine, but instead of putting micro set on first and than the decal just keep using water to get the decal where it needs to be either with finger or decal tweezers.  THAN use the set & or sole which ever brand you use.  

I have tried that method. I usually get lots of air bubbles if I use just water under the decal.

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Garret, I have had no luck for a while with Revell decals. I had them lift after perfectly laying them on a Dodge Ram VTS  Pickup.  I will use dash decals only.  I do like AMT decals..

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It is a shame that with kits pushing $30.00 and not to mention this is the 21st century that decal quality is still an issue. Is the decal manufacturing process too old and worn out?  What ever happened to dip in water and apply? Even old Tamiya decals seem to withstand the test of time.

Contracting out to Slixx would be a great solution. 

Mike

 

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I have not bought many Revell kits lately, but I know back in the '80s Revell decals had very thick and stiff film that was very shiny.

But Revell of Germany has decals printed by Cartograf in Italy - a world renown maker of very high quality decals.  Those decals (like the ones in the recent Jaguar XK) have "Made in Italy" wording on them.  Some of the Tamiya kits (usually military subjects) also have Cartograf decals.

The originator of this thread never mentioned the actual kit or its age.  Without that info we are just spewing generalities.

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Mine are the ones from Italy. I’ll admit I don’t have a lot of experience with decals, so that may be a contributing factor. I am lucky that I didn’t try any further to smooth out the wrinkles or I may well have destroyed another one. The nose one curled up and became useless. That said, as they dried, the wrinkles shrank away and they look great…in my case anyways. No troubles with them lifting after they were dry, but I did clear coat them shortly after application.

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Edited by NOBLNG
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1 hour ago, peteski said:

The originator of this thread never mentioned the actual kit or its age.  Without that info we are just spewing generalities.

Ummm. Yes, he did along with photos.

 

On 4/11/2022 at 2:18 PM, doorsovdoon said:

This is the Revell '68 Chevelle I'm working on. Even using decal solvent the decals crack and fall apart. In this pic, you can see the decals cracking just from the curvature of the trunk near the rear light panel. The mess you see near the rear window trim is where I popped a bubble with a pin, tried to flatten it down with a cotton bud and just crumbled. I had to touch it up with some paint. Same thing with the hood after I popped a bubble. Also, decal solvent did nothing to get rid of the wrinkles around the hood vent. Note one of the hood decals are closer to the hood trim than the other. After I lay them down that's where they stay, otherwise they will tare if I try lifting or sliding them.

DSC02682.JPG

DSC02681.JPG

 

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3 hours ago, Mike 1017 said:

It is a shame that with kits pushing $30.00 and not to mention this is the 21st century that decal quality is still an issue. Is the decal manufacturing process too old and worn out?  What ever happened to dip in water and apply? Even old Tamiya decals seem to withstand the test of time.

Contracting out to Slixx would be a great solution. 

Mike

 

Probably old and worn out like AMT's molds are lol

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2 hours ago, Plowboy said:

Ummm. Yes, he did along with photos.

There were photos of couple of models and I didn't realize that one of those was the one for which this thread started.

Is the Revell '68 Chevelle a currently produced model, or an older one?  Made in USA, China or Poland?

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18 hours ago, peteski said:

There were photos of couple of models and I didn't realize that one of those was the one for which this thread started.

Is the Revell '68 Chevelle a currently produced model, or an older one?  Made in USA, China or Poland?

It's not that old, maybe 2019? Certainly not old enough to affect the quality of the decals. It's the Revell of Germany box, still fresh and in stock with most model dealers.

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2 hours ago, peteski said:

Does the decal sheet have any written identification (like Made in Italy)?

It would very likely be the same as the one I posted above. My kit was also Revell of Germany in the flat box.

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47 minutes ago, NOBLNG said:

It would very likely be the same as the one I posted above. My kit was also Revell of Germany in the flat box.

Ok, then those are printed in Italy (by Cartograf).  Those are best quality decals in the world, and the are super thin (read: very fragile).  Nothing like the old Revell decals which were almost as thick as peel-n-stick stickers.  Cartograf decals also respond to setting solutions well.  Because they are so thin and fragile, they have to be applied very, very carefully.  But when they dry, they look like they are painted on.

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Yes, printed in Italy. Maybe they're too good?! Lol. They lay down ok, and yes, they do look like they are painted on, but you can't touch them because of how thin they are. Like I say in the title of this thread, there seems to be no margin for error with these decals. It's like "Get good at it, or go home" Lol

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