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Handling thin but flexible decals

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Hi all,


I have read many threads enquiring how to soften decals for application, hot water, hair dryers etc. but does anyone know how to firm up decals. The reason I ask is that I am currently working on a Wingnut Wings Sopwith Snipe and, although I haven't had any disasters yet I have found them rather tricky. I have only applied instrument dials and instrument panel details so far but I am worrying that the main decals will present similar difficulties when I reach them and I am keen to avoid problems. I don't want to go down the road of applying liquid decal film as the decals look like they will be superb and fine assuming that I can get them on without drama.


The problems that I found is that the instrument panel decals were so fine and flexible that, even with room temperature water, the decals were so pliable that, as they were slid off the paper, they would wrap around the edge of the paper rather than have enough rigidity to reach the painted plastic cleanly and also that, if they were picked up off the paper with a paint brush they would fold up on themselves. Fortunately so far I have managed to unfold the tiny instrument decals with tweezers and a very light touch but I could see myself running out of luck at some point during the decalling.

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Try a couple of coats of Liquid Decal Film.

I find this works.

If you put the decal on within about 30 minutes of the LDF drying the LDF will come off leaving a nice thin decal in place

If you let the LDF dry and cure for about 12 to 24hrs you get a more permanent thicker decal.


PS. Several coats of Klear/Future etctera will thicken the decal but will stiffen it and it'll not conform to curves and shapes as well as LDF will let it.

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When I have this happen with a decal I take a wet paintbrush, wet from the same water used to soften it, and put that under it to help move it off the paper. Sometimes difficult having only two hands, but with patience I get the flat brush under the edge and scoot it onto the surface. 

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