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Scotsman07

Decal Tips/Advice

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I wanted to ask if anyone has any special tips for putting decals around the nose of an Airliner, as I have the BOAC 744 and BEA A319 which both have wrap around nose decals... I wanted to ask what tips you could give me, as I don’t want to mess it up...


Regards,

 

Alistair

48981640597_c492be8afd_b.jpg 48985146291_04dec85003_b.jpg

 

48984582558_e861eb5a5b_b.jpg 48947927198_d3c1398755_b.jpg

 

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Cut some slits around the front end extremities and apply. The BOAC decals shows wedge shape notches to allow the decal to conform around the nose. Done carefully it will work You may need to touch up with matching paint

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Thank you Paul for the great tip, I did debate painting the whole area and strip blue but it’s finding the match for it thats the trouble 😩😂... 

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Use one of the decal solvent sets to soften the decal to allow it a small amount of stretch and settle it down on the curve.  For example Microsol and Microset.  It may look wrinkled as it dries but will come out well. If not perfectly smooth then make small holes in the surface and apply more solvent.  This also works to remove air bubbles and silvering.

 

This censoring in the site's software is preventing me from using a perfectly good English word for pricking holes.

Edited by Graham Boak
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Just a few points to add to the excellent advice you've been given.

 

Heat from a hairdryer can be helpful to get decals to settle down. You don't want it too hot - my wife's dryer only has two settings and I use the lower one. (Be careful if you ever use a hairdryer on a resin kit - resin has a much lower melting point than injection moulded plastic. Don't ask how I found that out...)  

 

Microsol and Microset are good, long-established products which won't let you down but personally I prefer Daco Decalsetting. It has the advantage of being available in three strengths. Medium (yellow label) is great for general use. Strong (red label) is for heavier-duty applications. I've never really found a use for the Soft (green label) version but it's available if you want a very mild decal setting solution. If you decide to use a hairdryer do so first before applying any Microscale or Daco liquid - surplus decal setting liquid can damage paintwork if it's heated, another thing I found out the hard way. 

 

No matter how much solvent you apply or how many nips and tucks you make you may find there are one or two slight wrinkles left once the decal is dry. You are particularly likely to find these on an area of narrow compound curvature. It's a judgement call in each individual case whether to live with them or try to do something about them. When I built my Alitalia Caravelle there were a couple of slight wrinkles at the top edge of the green stripes on both sides between the forward doors and the cockpit windscreen which I couldn't get rid of and eventually decided to ignore. They are only visible on very close inspection. Sometimes if you run a brand new scalpel blade along the wrinkle and put some strong decal solution on it it will go away but that doesn't always work. You CAN sand down a wrinkle using 1500 grade wet and dry and then touch up with paint but it's a fraught process and you risk ending up with a worse situation than you started with.

 

Another question is whether to trim decals where they overlap. Once again it tends to be a judgment call although you have to do it with laser decals which are translucent and generally can't be overlapped. Even with screen printed decals an overlap can be noticeable particularly if it causes a colour change or a visible ridge. I normally allow the decals to set until they are secure but not fully dry then use a fresh 10A scalpel blade to trim away the overlap. You may find a little paint touch up is needed. 

 

Hope that's some help

 

Dave G

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Everything already said here is GREAT advice, well said and well explained. I do think, however, that good prep is vital to good outcome. For me, decals have been an ongoing learning process...from prep to application to preservation. I would suggest that the surface of the model be smooth and glossy. Next, insure that the water being used for wetting is as pure as possible, and warmed to medium high. I found that a desktop mug warmer is the trick here. Next, drop in and mix a drop or two of good quality liquid dish washing detergent such as Dawn; this will provide a slick surface and time when you apply the decal to the surface for moving around and correct positioning. Don't be hesitant to wet the surface where the decal will be placed, providing a "base" for the decal to "swim" on. Wet the decal, don't soak it...key to pliability is to apply the decal as it becomes soft and the paper adhesive releases...its all in timing. Setting solutions work very well for silk screened, but not for laser prints, and will be helpful in softening and setting...but be patient!  For difficult applications such as curves, making tiny slits for overlapping will work well, as long as it isn't too much. Some decal providers supply extra striping for patching up cuts or tears, and this will come in handy in very small pieces when necessary. As for using a hand held hair dryer...YES! This is a great way to get the decal to dry quickly, and set fast..but...technique is important. Remember that some hair dryers blow hurricane force, and you'll need to choose a very low fan setting, as well as a very low heat setting when working with decals. Hold the dryer a distance away so as not to lose too much heat. takes practice to master...but the result is worth the effort.  Its all in the prep...and a lot of good patient practice! 

Edited by Challenger350Pilot

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Thank you everyone for all of the excellent tips, there are some great pieces of advice there as well as naming some decal solutions and setting agents. 
 

I have made a start on her with the Decals to see how I’d get on, and an extra strip has been supplied to help with any touch ups etc... which is very handy.

 

I have a long way to go with it, it’s not the best model as it was going to go in the bin, but I really wanted to make this scheme and I had no more A319s in my stash. Also the prices on eBay for them were astronomical.


Regards,

 

Alistair

 

48991641521_60e9f26b49_b.jpg

 

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Mate , invest in some micro set (Blue Bottle) and microsol (Red Bottle)

 

Paint the area where your putting the decal with micro set, smells of vinegar, this allows you to 'float' the decal into where you want it without it sticking like S to a B then GENTLY dab off the excess and give it ten minutes.

 

Then paint microsol over the decal, it will most probably wrinkle up and look horrendous but don't touch it. Do it last thing in your modelling session and leave it alone for 12 hrs.

 

Very little will not responed to this  -  I like to use the brushes you get with Revell kit packs as one end is Blue and the other Red and I only ever use them for  decals.

 

Paul

Edited by Paulaero
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On 31/10/2019 at 14:21, Challenger350Pilot said:

Everything already said here is GREAT advice, well said and well explained. I do think, however, that good prep is vital to good outcome. For me, decals have been an ongoing learning process...from prep to application to preservation. I would suggest that the surface of the model be smooth and glossy. Next, insure that the water being used for wetting is as pure as possible, and warmed to medium high. I found that a desktop mug warmer is the trick here. Next, drop in and mix a drop or two of good quality liquid dish washing detergent such as Dawn; this will provide a slick surface and time when you apply the decal to the surface for moving around and correct positioning. Don't be hesitant to wet the surface where the decal will be placed, providing a "base" for the decal to "swim" on. Wet the decal, don't soak it...key to pliability is to apply the decal as it becomes soft and the paper adhesive releases...its all in timing. Setting solutions work very well for silk screened, but not for laser prints, and will be helpful in softening and setting...but be patient!  For difficult applications such as curves, making tiny slits for overlapping will work well, as long as it isn't too much. Some decal providers supply extra striping for patching up cuts or tears, and this will come in handy in very small pieces when necessary. As for using a hand held hair dryer...YES! This is a great way to get the decal to dry quickly, and set fast..but...technique is important. Remember that some hair dryers blow hurricane force, and you'll need to choose a very low fan setting, as well as a very low heat setting when working with decals. Hold the dryer a distance away so as not to lose too much heat. takes practice to master...but the result is worth the effort.  Its all in the prep...and a lot of good patient practice! 

Like the advice about the heat …. I once was asked how I got the paint and decals to dry quick and my advice was to make a drying box (plastic storage box) and put it some where warm so it makes a little oven.

 

Unfortunately  all he heard was oven and he later complained that the plastic melted at 200 degrees...………...  

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