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Why are decals lifting off after application?


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I created and printed some custom decals and am having some issues with them.

I apply some MicroSol to the gloss finish on the model (it tends to just "bead up" rather than coat the area), apply the decal, and let it dry. After it has dried, I go to apply some MicroSet and the decals lift off the surface as I start to brush the solution on. Wondering what I might be doing wrong?

Some details:

  • Decals were printed onto the decal paper using a laser printer
  • The decal paper is either from MicroScale or Bare Metal Foil. I have sheets from both companies and can't tell which ones were used for these decals.
  • I have applied two coats of the Liquid Decal Film to the decals before applying them to the model.

I do find that the decals are ready to slide off the paper after only a few seconds of being dipped into water. Wondering if I need to let them stay on the paper longer to get more adhesive on the decals before sliding them off?

Thanks,

Bart

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I have not yet had any luck printing my own decals, but with the manufactured ones (kit or aftermarket) I only dip them long enough to get them wet all the way through, only a couple of seconds in most cases.  Leaving them in longer washes away some of the adhesive in my opinion.

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Are you sure you aren't using the solutions in reverse order? I would think the Microset would go on before the decal..... The Microsol, I think, is to snuggle the decal down after it's dried...... I've read that the Microsol can wrinkle the decals and make it look like they're ruined. I guess that's how it works, softens the decal so it will conform to the surface.....

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3 hours ago, JollySipper said:

 I've read that the Microsol can wrinkle the decals and make it look like they're ruined. I guess that's how it works, softens the decal so it will conform to the surface.....

Yup!  Once the decal wrinkles all up, DON"T TOUCH IT!  Just walk away, come back an hour or two later and it will be just fine!   

4 hours ago, bh1701 said:

 

  • I have applied two coats of the Liquid Decal Film to the decals before applying them to the model.

 

Try a spray.  I've used Testors Decal Bonder, which comes in the same can and line of paints as their regular spray paints.  I have good results with my decals.  Same papers you are using, my Cannon Inkjet printer, wait a day, spray with the Testors, wait a day....

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4 hours ago, Mark said:

I have not yet had any luck printing my own decals, but with the manufactured ones (kit or aftermarket) I only dip them long enough to get them wet all the way through, only a couple of seconds in most cases.  Leaving them in longer washes away some of the adhesive in my opinion.

I am only putting the decals in water for a couple of seconds and then lay them on a towel for a few moments until they can be slid off the backing paper. I have used my own printed decals on many other models and have never encountered this issue.

4 hours ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Have you waxed the model previously, or possibly used a "polish" containing wax or silicone?

Any of the above will cause your problem too.

 

No waxes or polishes have been used. They are going over Tamiya Gloss White Lacquer spray paint.

4 hours ago, JollySipper said:

Are you sure you aren't using the solutions in reverse order? I would think the Microset would go on before the decal..... The Microsol, I think, is to snuggle the decal down after it's dried...... I've read that the Microsol can wrinkle the decals and make it look like they're ruined. I guess that's how it works, softens the decal so it will conform to the surface.....

Oops - my post had them listed in the wrong order. I do use the MicroSet 1st and the the MicroSol after they have dried.

 

Thanks!

Bart

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I never had problems with BMF decal paper (and Alps printed decals).  I don't overcoat the decal before application since Alps wax ink is waterproof.  You should not need the overcoat either, as laser printer toner is also waterproof.  Only decals printed with ink jet on ink jet paper have to be overcoated as ink jet inks are water soluble.  Also are you sure you are using laser compatible decal paper (not ink jet compatible)?

Edited by peteski
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2 hours ago, yh70 said:

Oops - my post had them listed in the wrong order. I do use the MicroSet 1st and the the MicroSol after they have dried. Thanks!  Bart .......       

Bart if thats the way you are using them then its backwards..Micro Sol first it softens the decal then Micro Set it sets the Decal...read on the bottles.. Micro Set is also a Decal Remover..

No you actually have it backwards lol.  Micro set is used to set the decal in place while also softening the decal to than be set in place, and Micro sol is used if you need to get the decal around details etc and for that painted on look.  I recommend using water and little bit of dawn to get the decal in place where you want it and than use micro set, and after that if the decal is good and no air bubbles etc than you Micro sol for that painted look or to get into panel lines better or over rivets better etc.  Unless our bottles have different instructions? Than that how it goes.

Edited by Dpate
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2 hours ago, Dpate said:

No you actually have it backwards lol.  Micro set is used to set the decal in place while also softening the decal to than be set in place, and Micro sol is used if you need to get the decal around details etc and for that painted on look.  I recommend using water and little bit of dawn to get the decal in place where you want it and than use micro set, and after that if the decal is good and no air bubbles etc than you Micro sol for that painted look or to get into panel lines better or over rivets better etc.  Unless our bottles have different instructions? Than that how it goes.

yes u right. i had my head on up side down..

Edited by yh70
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You might want to contact the maker of the film you're using. There could be a possibility that the setting products you are using are not compatible with their film. They should be able to tell you if this is an issue or not. A suggestion on applying decals in general. A drop or two of water on the body before applying the decal can make it easier to position the decal. Use the edge of a paper towel to draw away the water and then a very small amount of setting solution if the decal isn't laying down to conform to the body. Another thing to think about before any clear coat painting, use a very slightly damp paper towel to lightly remove any residue from the setting solution. Any setting solution from the decal that may have dried on the body can affect the appearance of the painted area around the decal. 

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