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Cartograf decals silvering.


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Hi all,

I got to the decaling stage on my Academy 1/72 F-15D this afternoon, using Caracal's Lakenheath F-15 set. I have to admit, my heat sunk when I saw that they were printed by Cartograf. Every time I have attempted to use decals printed by Cartograf they've silvered, and this sheet is no exception. The decals themselves seem to be really thick and just won't submit to any decal solvent in my arsenal*. I've also tried the diluted Klear trick, and that didn't work either. They just won't bed down onto the model and the silvering is as bad as I've ever seen.

 

I've been using other decals over the past few days, including those from the Airfix 1/72 Lightning F.6, Modeldecal and Xtradecal and these have been fine, so I'm pretty sure it's not me. Has anyone else had issues with Cartograf printed decals and managed to overcome them? As it is, I'm contemplating having to try to pull off the decals that are on there and abandon the twelve quid decal sheet and look elsewhere. To say I'm displeased is putting it mildly. The F-15 fought me all the way through assembly and having beaten it into submission and getting a pretty decent paintjob on it, to have it ruined by decals that won't play ball is kinda gutting.

 

Right now, any advice would be gratefully received!

Cheers,

Mark.

 

* Microsol, Mr Mark Softer, Solvaset and Humbrol Decalfix.

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Your experience is unusual: Cartograph are (along with Fantasy Printshop)  one of the most revered of the decal printers. Apart from the obvious are you glossing properly question, silvering is caused by applying on non smooth surfaces, so look at your glossing. I  recently  used Cartograf printed decals on this (note level of gloss before I even think of decalling):

 

 

& this (Cartograf print for AF and their logo is on the box) Note level of smoothness: The under wing codes have huge blocks of film which I didnt cut out and its virtually invisible:

 

Softening solutions for "bedding down"

 

FW190: Future + distilled water 50/50 (dont use microsol/set or Mr Mark as they will turn the Future into white goo)

Spit F22: Daco Orange & Red

 

If you really like living on the edge, try very carefully brushing neat lacquer (cellulose) thinner on just the decal, this has actually worked for one and rendered the paintwork into a Jackson Pollock the next time I tried it...

 

If you haven't got the Daco solutions, you should invest in a set asap, @little-cars AKA Modelling tools do them or you can get them from Daco direct. These are made by Danny Coreman who probably forgets more about decals in an hour than most of will lean in ten lifetimes.

 

Mazeltov

 

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I put down several coats of Alclad Aqua Gloss and while it wasn't completely and utterly mirror-like, (no further applications were making  it glossier) the two other models that I was working on had similar finishes, and the decals on those (Airfix, Modeldecal and Xtradecal) performed perfectly. No silvering there.

 

As I mentioned, the Cartograf decals are *very* thick and absolutely refuse to yield, even to Humbrol's Decalfix, which is pretty aggressive stuff. I've had exactly the same issues with Cartograf decals on absolutely glossy finishes in the past. 

 

I think I have no choice but to abandon the decal sheet, try to pull up the decals and maybe even strip the bloomin' thing down, repaint and try to source the long out of print Astra set. I'm not going to buy anything printed by Cartograf again.

 

I'm pretty hacked off, to be honest. They weren't a cheap set of decals and it's completely destroyed my mojo. I've not so much looked at a model since.

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Ive used The microset/sol on all sorts of decals including decals from Cartograph, Academy, Eduard, Hobby-boss, Hasegawa, old Monogram, Revell, and Tamiya. I have then used Future/pledge for many years over the top. Occasionally i get the whiteness that happens. This goes away after i seal the decals in with a 2nd coat of Future/pledge. Then i flat coat everything. Sounds as if your base isnt glass smooth ? 

 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
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Well if you think Cartograf decals are thick I don't know what you'll make of Tamiya's.

I've used quite a few Cartograf decals and never had a problem with them silvering or not conforming/settling down over details, have you got any photos you can put up showing what results you are getting, maybe that will give people a insight into whats going wrong

Unfortunatly if you've used diluted Klear over them they are probably sealed in and no softener will help with the silvering or conforming now

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On 20/12/2018 at 23:44, lasermonkey said:

Has anyone else had issues with Cartograf printed decals and managed to overcome them? 

  

Right now, any advice would be gratefully received!

Cheers,

Mark.

 

* Microsol, Mr Mark Softer, Solvaset and Humbrol Decalfix.

 I too have had this problem with Cartograph decals and avoid buying Italian printed decals.  The only way that I have solved the problem is to use some unwanted decals, preferably Micro Scale from the USA, moisten both and move the Cartograph decals onto the paper of the unwanted decals to get coated with adhesive.  This does not help you with the decals already applied, as you are probably aware the silvering is caused by air between paint and decal, if your paint finish was glossy the silvering is down to the adhesive or lack of. If you do decide to redo your F15 you may be able to remove the unwanted decals by lifting them off with adhesive tape.

Hope this helps.

 

Bob

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No photos I'm afraid, as our camera lens is broken and needs replacing.

I honestly think that it's the thickness and inflexibility of the decals that is the issue here, especially as three other manufacturers decals work fine.

I think I'm just going to have to chalk this one up to experience, but I'm certainly going to make sure I don't buy anything else printed by Cartograph.

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1 hour ago, lasermonkey said:

No photos I'm afraid, as our camera lens is broken and needs replacing.

I honestly think that it's the thickness and inflexibility of the decals that is the issue here, especially as three other manufacturers decals work fine.

I think I'm just going to have to chalk this one up to experience, but I'm certainly going to make sure I don't buy anything else printed by Cartograph.

Gah, I feel for here ,but if your gloss coat is kosher then a batch of duff decals is what you have. Don't let it even bruise your mojo let alone hurt it, get another set build on! There are some "Interesting decals" out there ( Academy, old Hasegawa, LF, Techmod etc) but trust me Cartograf are one of the good ones, but anyone can have a QC fail ( except @Mike who is always right , ravishingly attractive and perfect in every way :P). Do invest int the Daco solutions though, they are a godsend  and have a Bonzer Christmas as we Hindus say

 

Anil

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17 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Ive used The microset/sol on all sorts of decals including decals from Cartograph, Academy, Eduard, Hobby-boss, Hasegawa, old Monogram, Revell, and Tamiya. I have then used Future/pledge for many years over the top. Occasionally i get the whiteness that happens. This goes away after i seal the decals in with a 2nd coat of Future/pledge. Then i flat coat everything. Sounds as if your base isnt glass smooth ? 

 

Dennis

BTW The horrible stuff with Future happens when its  wet and you hit it with acetic based solutions like Microset/Sol so if you use it wet as in

 

 

Then  Daco for any further work on them 

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4 hours ago, azureglo said:

 but anyone can have a QC fail ( except @Mike who is always right , ravishingly attractive and perfect in every way :P

... And now you know that this man is not to be trusted. He lies! 😮

 

Seriously though, Cartograf produce awesome decals, and the only reason they'd silver is because tiny pockets of air are trapped under them. Try applying a wet coat of clear after your drier ones, so get a more glossy finish, as that will really cut down on the likelihood of silvering. I'm 99.956438% certain it's down to preparation, so find a way of getting a smoother finish.

 

If you get a new #11 blade and stab the decal like it owes you money, making tiny holes all over the silvering, then apply some more decal solution and roller it with a cotton bud, that should reduce the effect, then repeat as necessary, being careful not to tweak the blade sideways as you withdraw it, as that can pucker the decal.

 

Sorry if that's not 100% clear, but I'm just coming out of a migraine so I'm not exactly compus mentus. :hypnotised:

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4 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

 I too have had this problem with Cartograph decals and avoid buying Italian printed decals.  The only way that I have solved the problem is to use some unwanted decals, preferably Micro Scale from the USA, moisten both and move the Cartograph decals onto the paper of the unwanted decals to get coated with adhesive.  This does not help you with the decals already applied, as you are probably aware the silvering is caused by air between paint and decal, if your paint finish was glossy the silvering is down to the adhesive or lack of. If you do decide to redo your F15 you may be able to remove the unwanted decals by lifting them off with adhesive tape.

Hope this helps.

 

Bob

Interestingly I expressly look for Cartograph decals as they rarely if ever silver, are robust so can be moved multiple times without tearing or folding up and settle down nicely  into the recessed details. Their print quality can't be beaten either.

 

I love that Airfix are using them to pint their decals in their newer kits. I've even bought replacement Lightnings just to replace the awful original Airfix decals with the newer Cartogragh printed ones.



 

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4 hours ago, lasermonkey said:

No photos I'm afraid, as our camera lens is broken and needs replacing.

I honestly think that it's the thickness and inflexibility of the decals that is the issue here, especially as three other manufacturers decals work fine.

I think I'm just going to have to chalk this one up to experience, but I'm certainly going to make sure I don't buy anything else printed by Cartograph.

Honestly i love cartograf decals, if printed by them quality is assured..but that is my experience..

Maybe you should try Revell decalsoftener, i really get great results with this stuff...

Good luck!!

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Mark, I can't but think you've got a sheet that has been double printed or similar (double thickness carrier film?), I seem to recall a thread some time back where someone had hassles like yours with a sheet of (I think) Xtradecals where this was the problem. It would be worth contacting @CaracalModels to see if they could help you out. I do feel your experience is atypical & while not of immediate help to you, something that should be able to be solved.

Steve.

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 Sorry about the mojo-destroying decal sheet and the problems you had with it.

 

There is nothing different about the way that Caracal decals are printed that separates them from any Cartograf-printed sheet. We send them a design file and a list of colors to match, and receive a box of printed decals.  I go to extra lengths to ensure that the design elements have as few overlapping colors as possible to reduce thickness.  Apart from this, we have no input on how these decals are physically printed.

 

Many other modelers swear by Cartograf decals and have gotten good results.  They have a well-earned reputation as the best decal printing company on the planet; and their services are priced accordingly.

 

It is definitely correct that Cartograf decals are somewhat thicker than decals printed by others, mostly because of the thicker base layer they seem to use to improve the resilience of the decals.  My understanding is that you have to use a very smooth gloss coat for best results. I very occasionally get e-mails about silvering decals, and one common theme in all of these cases is an insufficiently gloss application surface. 

 

I hope this helps. You can contact me via e-mail if you are interested in a replacement sheet at a discount.

 

 

 

 

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