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Happy Little Robots – Volume 4 – HG Dendrobium Water Slide Decals

A few months back before all this craziness began, I picked up the HG Mechanics 1/550 GP03 Dendrobium

It’s an older kit, so it needed quite a bit of masking and painting to get it looking how I wanted it. 

Other than just painting though, it needed something extra.

I ordered some third party decals from an online retailer, and once they arrived I set to work.

A major headache saver when working with decals, these Tamiya Scissors are highly recommended.

As another option you can tape the sheet down, and cut each marking with your (sharp) hobby knife.

There are a lot of different markings to choose from, and you can use as many or as few as you like. 

Cut the marking out, and then grasp firmly with a pair of angled tweezers.

Fully submerge the marking in warm water for 15-30 seconds. 

You’ll want to change the water frequently to keep it warm, or invest in a mug-warmer. 

Using a damp (not wet!) cotton swab, apply water to the surface of the model kit where you want to place the marking. 

Then slide the marking off of the backing paper and onto the model kit. 

With water slide decals, as long as the surface and marking remain wet you can gently reposition it. 

Careful not to manipulate the marking too much, as they can tear and become distorted. 

When the position is correct, use a dry cotton swab or paper towel to absorb the excess water. 

You will end up with a large pile of paper and swabs by the end, so it helps to clean up as you go and keep your workspace clear. 

After all markings are applied, seal with a flat coat and admire your work!

Not all kits come with decals, but if you use your imagination you can get some fantastic results. Here are some ideas to get you going:
Accent Decals A Silver
Hobby Japan Modeler’s Decals Caution A
1/144 RB01 Caution Decals Orange & Gray

In part two of my feature on water slide decals, I’m going to spruce up my already built MG Sazabi Ver. Ka with some glow-in-the-dark markings!

From all of us here at hobbylink.tv happy painting, and don’t forget to wash your hands!

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Retired Canadian Air Force and recent Durham College Advanced Marketing Diploma graduate. Building and painting model kits for nearly 20 years, some of my first introductions to the hobby were with Gundam models. Now with this opportunity from HobbyLink Japan, I can share that passion with all of you, and help you create your own Happy Little Robots.


  1. Sees the title. Expects the Behemoth… Sees the mice in the article ^^. Btw nice decals and the job on the 1/550

    • Thanks very much! Yeah I *wish* I had the shelf space for the 1/144, but maybe someday!


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