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  • Moldrunner posted an update in the group Group logo of Modeling Supplies Addicts - Tools, Paints, TipsModeling Supplies Addicts – Tools, Paints, Tips 3 years, 10 months ago

    Hi, I’ve got an easy question. I am used to waterslide decals, but I am building a ralley kit as present, with a lot of big decals and during my last visit at my humble modelshop I bought decal softener and decal fixer. Since I haven’t used them in the past, I thought, I’ll ask if someone might has some tips for using them. The order of application or the behavior of previos applied color etc. Thx for any input.

    • If the decals are a bit old, like say 10 years, the glue isn’t that sticky anymore. In that case, one would use the setting solution. This is done by applying the solution directly to the model. There are some modelers whom like to add a few drops of the solution to the water, heck there are even modelers whom use distilled water for their decals as it does’t contain any minerals, bacteria or lime, which can leave traces of residue. I use boiled water, a bit the same in some sense.
      For Bandai water slides, I don’t use any setting solution as it tends to leave them too sticky which makes it much harder to slide them in their spot. I suggest trying it out on a smaller decal to see how it works on the decals that you have.

      The softening solution is to help the decal to “melt” onto the surface. If there are raised or recessed details on the model, or steep curves, the decal will lay smooth around the contours due to them getting soft. After applying the decals to the model and haven removed all the water underneath them, apply the softening solution onto the decal. For a better result, don’t let the decal sit for more than half an hour to an hour. If there is no other option as to wait longer, just apply a second coat after ten to twenty minutes. After applying the solution, the decal will start to wrinkle. This is a normal phenomenon and shouldn’t cause any worry. The decal will level itself once the solution evaporates. If there are for example any gaps in which the decal should “fall” two, three even four coats may be needed, depending on how thick the decals are.
      Once the decals start to wrinkle, do not touch them!!!! I can’t stress this enough. You might damage the decals as they are very soft at this stage. This can be used to your advantage as well. Should there be any air pockets under the decal, wait until the decal has dried, poke the decal with a needle or a very sharp knife where the pocket is and apply the softening solution.

      Don’t know if this is abundant information, but apply the decals on a gloss surface to avoid silvering (tiny air pockets underneath the decal which make the decal film reflect the light, leaving a silver sheen to them) and spray a few gloss clear coats on top of them. Five or six layers might be necessary. You can now sand those layers down to make the edges of the decals disappear, leaving a “painted on” finish of the decals to the model.

      I hope this provides you with all the necessary information. Should you need any more, please let me know.
      Good luck and happy building!

    • Many many thanks, for this hughe reply. The decals are indeed quiet old, so this will all he very helpfull and saved me from a longer research. Thx man!