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I am new to the process of making and applying decals. What is the general procedure used to apply decals?

I have read on a modeling forum that some use products called Micro-set and Micro-sol others say a white vinegar and water mixture works just as good.

I am just a bit weary that when all the effort was done that the decal might become silvery and that the finished product does not look smooth like a real paintjob.

I have had a look at some of the creations on the forum and the results are amazing. It looks like a car made by a manufacturer.

Thanks
Slotstormer
 

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Applying decals: the procedure: water-slide decals:

1. Surface preparation:

Paint the model with GLOSSY paint (matte finishes cause the decals to silver due to the uneven surface which traps air causing "silvering"),

Rub out the surface of the vehicle before applying the decals; wash thoroughly in warm soapy water to remove any compounds or residue that remains from the polishing process. Make certain the surface is clean and free of dust.

2. Applying decals:

Efficient application of water-slide decals can be achieved by using special solutions specifically made for their application: these setting solutions will "snug" the decal down to the painted surface and will cut down on bubbles forming underneath the decal film. Brush the setting solution onto the surface where you want to apply the decal just before you apply the decal. (Smaller decals should be applied using tweezers; larger decals do not require this procedure).

Blot the decals to remove the excess water and setting solution that has accumulated after the decal has been correctly positioned. At this point the decal should slide freely allowing for correct final position. If bubbles have formed beneath the surface use a Q-tip to remove the bubble by pushing the bubble to the edge of the decal. If the bubble will not move prick it with a sharp point and flatten it using the swab.

After positioning the decal brush more setting solution over the decal surface to allow it to snug down further. (Solvent solution softens the decal allowing it to relax and conform to the surface. The decal may wrinkle. This is normal and no need for alarm. The wrinkles will flatten as the solvent evaporates).

Once the decal has dried clean any stains or residue using a moistened swab.

NOTE: Most, if not all, decals have a clear border that should be trimmed as close to the actual decal as possible. Use a sharp blade to do this.

I truly hope this is of assistance to you.
 

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Microscale makes two different solutions, one is much milder and easier to work with, the other can melt the decal but works quicker if you are cautious. I prefer the milder one, Solva-Set, and indeed it has the smell of vinegar in it.

Make sure your cuts are clean, that can also cause wrinking. But if you use a solution, be patient, use a nice wide brush, and take your time to brush out the decal and work it flat.

Bob
 

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Great advice. Clutch, I assume you submerse the decal in the solution before sliding it onto the car. Can you confirm?
 

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Microset and Microsol are great.

Use decal from water. One solution goes on body before application and one on top of decal after application. Easypeasy.

I would not use tweezers. Instead, use a water-damp 4mm pointed modelbrush to apply small decals...makes life easy.
 

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QUOTE (Chaparral2D @ 12 Oct 2006, 04:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Microscale makes two different solutions, one is much milder and easier to work with, the other can melt the decal but works quicker if you are cautious. I prefer the milder one, Solva-Set, and indeed it has the smell of vinegar in it.

Make sure your cuts are clean, that can also cause wrinking. But if you use a solution, be patient, use a nice wide brush, and take your time to brush out the decal and work it flat.

Bob

The decal is immersed in water to loosen it from its backing. Don't immerse it for too long as this will remove the adhesiveness of the decal. The solvent is applied to the car body and, depending on the size of the decal, an appropriately sized brush is used for application. MicroScale "Solva-set" is the best in my opinion.

(My opinion and a buck-fifty will still buy you a coffee in hard times!)


Thanks,

clutch_artist
 

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All sound advice - specially about not using tweezers but using the end of a small frush.

One thing i would add is only soak the decal in water for around 5 seconds.
Take it out and lay it on a dry surface and let it stand for 30 seconds. If you over soak, specially with home made decals it can get into the decal and make it bleed.
 

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One thing not mentioned is that when applying 'long' or 'large' decals.

Wet the decal, and when you are confident that the decal will slide off the backing paper, postion the decal still on it's paper above the place on the car it is to be applied to. Move the decal to one side, so that a 'tab' of decal protrudes from the backing paper, and locate this tab on the surface of the car.

Then gently slide the backing paper from under the decal. You need to judge the size of the 'tab' so you don't rip the decal, but with practice this can become a fairly quick operation.

I also use a damp soft wide artist's brush to smooth decals and get them to fold into panel lines, before dabbing then with tissue paper to remove moisture.

Sorry if this is like teaching grand-ma to suck eggs, but just trying to cover the bases.


And to add on the earlier advice of giving the car a coat of gloss varnish before the decals - also remember to give the car a good coat or two afterwards as well to seal them in.
 

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I bought Microsol at my local hobby shop as that is all that was in stock. The expert there said to apply the decal with water only and then brush the Microsol overtop afterward. The instructions say to brush it on first and then afterward. What is correct?

Also I remember reading the same instructions on a bottle of Microset! The expert said that ideally you should apply Microset first and Microsol afterward.

I am confused!

 

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Hi all.
Both Micro-Sol and Micro-Set are excellent products.
If either are applied before the decal is put into place then they will naturally become slightly diluted by the water from the decal. No great problem there.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the decal is likely to wrinkle and become very delicate when Micro-Sol is brushed over it. This is normal and the impulse to fiddle with the decal should be resisted at all costs!
The decal will smooth out as it dries and, usually, be perfect afterwards. Any bubbles or small creases can be pricked with the point of a scalpel and another brushload of Micro-Sol can be applied to the decal. This fixes 99% of all problems, in my experience.
Hope this helps.
Regards,
Lowrider.
 
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