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problems with old decals

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Posted · Report post

I need help...news flash? well most everyone knows that already,
I have a 69 Shelby gt500 1/25 I am attempting to use the decals. However the first part I cut and put in water literally rolled into a ball and I never could get it to flatten out. Thankfully there is 2 other sets of stripes and I don't want to ruin them also. How do I keep the rest of the decal sheet from turning into little balls of trash? Is there some secret to basically bringing them back from the dead? I have searched this and 2 other forums to try to find an answer to no avail. Surely there must be a way to get them applied without turning to S--T.
Any ideas are welcomed, please either email me or PM me if you have the answer to my dilemma !

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Posted · Report post

Any old set of decals I clear coat them all. Sometimes even new ones or aftermarket ones I clear coat them just to be on the save side.

John Pol

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Posted · Report post

Adding a clear coat or two serves two purposes. It will help to bond the old decal print and keep it from cracking/breaking apart in most cases, and will add a thicker surface layer to help avoid curling. I suspect (and this is just a supposition) that part of the issue is the water is too warm. Try using luke warm water just above room temperature to soak decals in, and don't let them lay in the water. As soon as the backing paper is thoroughly soaked remove them from the water and place them on a plastic sheet or plate or even wax paper. The wax paper is best because it will not allow the water to run away from the decal. Being out of the water keeps the decal from being surrounded and therefore gives it a much better chance at not curling. Decals in water tend to float away from the paper when you aren't looking and that's when they curl up. Hope this helps.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks a ton guys, lots of help. I never thought of clearing the decal sheet. I did it to this one with what was left and it has been the best suggestion ever! Soaking them in lukewarm water at or near room temps? Who would ever have thought, I just would run the water till it was cold (here in Denver this time of year the water is still at around 46 degrees), now I will use it at room temp.
Thanks again for your help!

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Posted · Report post

You can also try putting them in the water upside down and holding them like that before pulling them out of the water. Good luck whatever you do.

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Posted · Report post

I use a cotton bud (Q-tip) to wet the rear of the decal sheet where the decal is and a little water on the front then pick them off with tweezers if small or slide them off directly onto the model if larger. That way I dont have to cut up the sheet at all and they dont curl up.

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I recently had a problem with decals that wouldn't fully separate from the decal sheet; they just ripped and fell apart at the slightest tug. I went out and bought some Microscale decal film, but that didn't solve the problem. I tried letting them soak longer, but no luck. I wish I had read this before I destroyed them all.

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