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Clearing over decals?????


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You can go either way  on this...up to you. As a general rule, nice new decals on glossy surface stick like crazy when cured (a couple of days)  If the decals are slightly shiny with nice register, I would not clear coat them.  If this is a race car that's how the big boys do it.  You will have to use your judgement and do what  looks best to you. 

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If the paint is fresh and the decals are fresh. Just apply them. Set aside an unused portion of the decal sheet still on the backing paper and spray IT with your desired clear. If you get NO reaction from that, then you may clear the decaled model. I have had only one bad reaction from clear. Testors Glosscoat Enamel over a set of custom Keith Marks decals. I got very undesirable wrinkling. He printed them on an ALPS printer with a clear of his choosing. I failed to test 1st.

69 RS ZL-1.JPG

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When in doubt, run a test of some unused decals if possible. Slixx used to be impervious to clears like Tamiya TS-13. Lacquer clears, you may be asking for trouble. 

I used Krylon acrylic over some kit decals... one almost immediately cracked into a million pieces. I figured I would wait and sand it off once dry. I looked at it a few hours later and the decal somehow fixed itself, no sign it was damaged. It laid back down.

Clear, I would go with light-ish coats. I did that '37 Chevy modified, no clear over the decals and the car is pearl white. That was 12 years ago and the number decals have yellowed around the edges.

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Not all decals and clears are made the same. There are many combinations of clear film and inks on decal paper, and also a variety of clear coatings modelers use.  It is always best to test first (if there is enough spare decal available. If not, decal safe clears are water-based acrylic clears.

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18 hours ago, Michael jones said:

Avoid Tamiya TS13, as there are so many people having trouble with it eating decals (on Facebook etc). Use MR Hobby Super Clear UV cut if you don't have an airbrush. Use 2k clear if you do have an airbrush. These are much safer on decals

I have had problems with this too. There are too many variables to consider clearing decals. 

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I just cleared a Richie Evans coupe with Krylon 1303 acrylic clear, over decals that came with the kit. I went with a light coat and there was a reaction with the stripe decals on the roof.

I was able to polish out the worst of it and made up a sample scrap part (out of an old painted hood) last night using the same clear. I just shot some TS-13 over that about an hour ago. Hopefully it will work.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I use Splash Paints over Mr. Surfacer Primer for the most part.  I have always applied decals first then Splash 2K Clear about a week later.  Never had an issue...so far.

I have also used Splash 2K Clear over buffed Bare Metal Foil and the BMF came out looking like chrome.  The chrome trim on this Bronco was Splash 2K Clear over buffed BMF.

FinishedBronco2.jpeg.01688aa28cf19f5ff579ffa6b7b6570d.jpeg

Edited by BDSchindler
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56 minutes ago, Pierre Rivard said:

Decals over polished clear, then Quick Shine brushed on to seal them.

 

GTO wip14.jpg

This may be the Droid I was looking for... I am totally gun shy about clear over decals as of late. I'll have to get some of this. Thanks. How is it applied? Just over the decals or all over the body?

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1 hour ago, bobss396 said:

This may be the Droid I was looking for... I am totally gun shy about clear over decals as of late. I'll have to get some of this. Thanks. How is it applied? Just over the decals or all over the body?

Super easy Bob, just apply it with a soft brush, it settles and leaves no brush marks.

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I do the whole body because I want a smooth even coat. If you have used Future this is similar and perhaps easier to brush on. The key is having a smooth clear under because Quick Shine will amplify surface defects. The only other thing is that the finish will be smooth and even but the gloss will be a bit less than a 2k clear. Not an issue for me because I build 50's and 60's race cars. Here's a worst case, black car. Smooth and glossy but it won't produce the wet look some builders prefer.

 

GT40 1.jpg

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/26/2023 at 2:02 AM, Michael jones said:

Avoid Tamiya TS13, as there are so many people having trouble with it eating decals (on Facebook etc). Use MR Hobby Super Clear UV cut if you don't have an airbrush. Use 2k clear if you do have an airbrush. These are much safer on decals

Exactly the same thing happened to me with these products. The Tamiya I find to be much glossier, but it's a decal destroyer.

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I would add that, if accuracy is important, to you, study the subject you're doing. Vinyl stripes won't be as shiny as the paint, on a real car. On race cars, all the little contingency decals are applied after everything is painted, so they shouldn't get clear-coated. That said, often, earlier period race cars had some of their contingency markings actually painted on, as were car names, local sponsor names/logos, driver names, etc. Research is paramount! And, it's fun! You just have to be careful not to fall down any rabbit holes (which are also fun!).🙂

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  • 2 months later...

After a fine polish on the final finish paint, clear coat with a light to medium coat of Tamiya clear, let dry/cure 3 days, apply decals, let dry 2 days, then a light coat of Future (I brush it on).  
 

The only finish paints that I use are Tamiya and occasionally Krylon Colormaxx and the Tamiya clear is good over both, but rattle can spray clears are too risky to use over decals.

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15 hours ago, bobss396 said:

I am going to pick up some Future or Quick Shine and try it on something. How long does it dry before it reaches maximum hardness, will a dehydrator work? Do foam brushes work over conventional brushes?

Not sure about maximum hardness, but, it's fairly quick, I would guess, since it's used on floors. Maybe a couple of hours? I've heard a lot of guys use foam brushes with it. I just use a big, fat, soft-bristled brush. The stuff flows, beautifully!

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23 hours ago, bobss396 said:

I am going to pick up some Future or Quick Shine and try it on something. How long does it dry before it reaches maximum hardness, will a dehydrator work? Do foam brushes work over conventional brushes?

 

7 hours ago, Straightliner59 said:

Not sure about maximum hardness, but, it's fairly quick, I would guess, since it's used on floors. Maybe a couple of hours? I've heard a lot of guys use foam brushes with it. I just use a big, fat, soft-bristled brush. The stuff flows, beautifully!

Same here, I use a soft brush. Quick Shine is easy to find and is even easier than Future to brush on. The only drawback is that Quick Shine is not good over clear plastic parts due to high surface tension so I keep my out of production Future for that. Both products dry quickly (15 minutes) and get reasonably hard after a few days

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