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Question: Applying decals and the use of Mr. Mark Setter/Softer

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To those that applied decals to their toy valks, have you used adhesive solutions(specifically Mr. Mark Setter/Softer)?

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I'v only used them on my bare Gunpla, but now my concern lies with affecting the valk's paint.

Any advice is appreciated, thank you.

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If you're doing it on a model, you must apply a coat of gloss so the decal can slide smoothly, this also prevents air pockets under the decal if the surface is not uniform, after they're set another layer of coating to protect and have an even finish is needed.

If you plan to do it on a yammie/arcadia/bandai, they're safe on the paint without any gloss coating but you might encounter everything I already mentioned. Without a protecting coat the decal might ripped in any part that moves.

You must be aware any extra coat over a yammie/arcadia/bandai will chip when you transform.

Edited by Valkyrie addict

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Yeah, this is being done on an Arcadia valk, and I didn't have plans on putting an extra coat on after application. I'll have to keep everything you noted in mind. My main concern was with the mark softer affecting the paint in an undesirable way. Thanks for the reply addict!

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I've used it on my model builds for years, and I've never had any paint affection troubles.

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Same here. Used it exclusively on a Bandai VF-25 1:72 model kit. It's transformable but I didn't dare try it for fear of not breaking, more than anything else. I didnt clear coat it beforehand but did after.

I've had very good luck with both products. The opaque stuff is very good on its own, as it gives you more time to position the decal. The clear stuff will melt a decal into place, even after it looks like it's dry. For the Bandai decals, it sometimes was too "hot" for its own good-Occasionally marring the surface of the decal.

Keep in mind, on acrylic paints, especially Mr hobby aqueous paints, both products seem capable of softening the paint, even after it has fully cured.

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This is a good thread since I'm going to start putting waterslide decals soon on my Valks and I'm also wondering about these products. Though what I have is the MicroSet and MicroSol. Which basically the US counterparts of MarkSetter and Mark Softer.

I know Valkyrie Addict said that any topcoat done after will be chipped off during transformation. What if, I still want the decal to be topcoated, and since some of them are small, would topcoat handbrushing the decal is more ideal? Or applying a rather thin topcoat overall is better? Or not to have any topcoat at all?

Thanks!

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The idea with models and applying a top coat is for both protection and allow an even finish all around the surface making the decal look like it's parts of the fuselage. Hand brushing will add a thick coat, using a spray gun is much easier to control the spray and apply a very thin coat. You could try applying a very very very thing coat for topping around the edges, won't give the ideal protection but will make everything even. If you want to go hardcore, use a caliper to measure and sand off the clearance for the added coat your using to allow transformation with minimal chipping. One must allow proper curing of the coat, not hours, but days or weeks depending on weather so it won't chip with proper handling during transformation.

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This is a good thread since I'm going to start putting waterslide decals soon on my Valks and I'm also wondering about these products. Though what I have is the MicroSet and MicroSol. Which basically the US counterparts of MarkSetter and Mark Softer.

I know Valkyrie Addict said that any topcoat done after will be chipped off during transformation. What if, I still want the decal to be topcoated, and since some of them are small, would topcoat handbrushing the decal is more ideal? Or applying a rather thin topcoat overall is better? Or not to have any topcoat at all?

Thanks!

I generally wouldn't apply waterslide decals without a top coat over it. They tend to be pretty fragile and can be scratched off/damaged very easily. A top coat would not only be stronger, but also protect the decal. It is, by far, easier to fix a clear coat scratch than to fix a damaged decal. So to answer your question, I would say having a clear coat over the general area of the decal is better than having none at all. In an ideal setting, it would be better to airbrush the whole thing so that the finish looks even.

If you go the handbrushing route, note that it will take a lot longer to dry and cure.

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The idea with models and applying a top coat is for both protection and allow an even finish all around the surface making the decal look like it's parts of the fuselage. Hand brushing will add a thick coat, using a spray gun is much easier to control the spray and apply a very thin coat. You could try applying a very very very thing coat for topping around the edges, won't give the ideal protection but will make everything even. If you want to go hardcore, use a caliper to measure and sand off the clearance for the added coat your using to allow transformation with minimal chipping. One must allow proper curing of the coat, not hours, but days or weeks depending on weather so it won't chip with proper handling during transformation.

I generally wouldn't apply waterslide decals without a top coat over it. They tend to be pretty fragile and can be scratched off/damaged very easily. A top coat would not only be stronger, but also protect the decal. It is, by far, easier to fix a clear coat scratch than to fix a damaged decal. So to answer your question, I would say having a clear coat over the general area of the decal is better than having none at all. In an ideal setting, it would be better to airbrush the whole thing so that the finish looks even.

If you go the handbrushing route, note that it will take a lot longer to dry and cure.

Thanks guys for your inputs. The only reason why I wouldn't want to top coat the whole thing is that I always transform my Valk a lot. Probably like once every two weeks depends on which Valk I want to play with. So basically a lot of scratching and chipping. ;) And now, since I'm going to start to add waterslide decal on it, and by looking on the decals like warning, pilot name, etc. the decals are kinda small. And the only thing I could think of to protect the decals is to handbrush the decal area only. But ofcourse, at the back of my mind, I still want the whole thing to look even (like MacrossJunkie said) so I'm also thinking of topcoating the whole Valk too.

Now, if I'm going on the spraying the whole valk route, I guess, it's just better to add panel lines and slight weathering into it as well. Hmmm. :rolleyes:

Next question would be is if I'm going to topcoat the whole Valk, is it during mid-transformation? Where everything is exposed? And is regular topcoat sprays is ok to use? Or have to use airbrush for topcoating?

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Now, if I'm going on the spraying the whole valk route, I guess, it's just better to add panel lines and slight weathering into it as well. Hmmm. :rolleyes:

Next question would be is if I'm going to topcoat the whole Valk, is it during mid-transformation? Where everything is exposed? And is regular topcoat sprays is ok to use? Or have to use airbrush for topcoating?

Here's basically what I do when spraying a clear coat if I don't feel like disassembling or can't remove a part. Put the valk in a partial GERWALK mode. Fighter mode is usually no good because only parts of the legs or arms are exposed and it would look strange when you have an area partially clear coated with a clear line where the un-sprayed area was covered as it will likely still show when you go to spray the previously covered area. GERWALK tends to have the arms and legs exposed and every fighter mode part tends to be visible in GERWALK also. Keep the legs straight though when spraying or you'll have areas that are unsprayed when the GERWALK joints are folded forward. If the head can be popped off, I tend do so and handle it separately.

Generally pay attention to the angle of spray and make sure you get the entire surface of any part that is exposed. For example, the shoulders on a VF-1 might be in front of the underside of the wing, so spray the shoulder in a direction that won't hit the underside of the wing or you'll have a shoulder shaped overspray on the underside of the wing.

I usually don't bother spraying areas that are only visible between transformations or see a lot of friction, like the back of the hip/intake section on a VF-1 for example or the underside of the backplate. On the VF-19Adv, I didn't spray the red sensor arrays on the sides of the nose and had them masked off. Mostly just use some common sense. After you finish spraying in that configuration, most likely all you have left are the battroid mode parts. First let it dry and cure for at least a day or two before working to expose any battroid parts that were hidden away. For the VF-25, that tends to be the front of the chest and the crotch plate. On a VF-0, that would be the upper half of the heat shield.

Airbrushing is ideal so you can control the spray amount and pressure and use whatever clear coat you desire. Otherwise, you can go with a spray can. Avoid the Testor's clear coat products. From personal experience, that garbage yellows over time and are not very durable. Do nice thin layers with some time to evaporate in between. You don't have to coat the surface in one pass. That could lead to dripping, especially with cans.

If you have any other questions, you can PM me if you'd like.

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*snip*

If you have any other questions, you can PM me if you'd like.

Thanks MacrossJunkie. Thanks for all the advices. Actually, I'm preparing myself on putting decals first. Though I'm going to do my Mospeada bikes first. ;) My first foray on ordering waterslide decal has arrived today so hopefully in the next week or so, I'm going to start applying it on the bikes little by little. And I've seen how small the decals are so I have to be careful cutting them. But I'm pretty sure it's going to be fun applying it so wish me luck. :lol:

Right now, I'm not so sure if I need to disassemble the bikes and repaint the engine area into more silver-y color before putting the decals. And to this point, I'm not so sure if I'm going to do some weathering too since most parts of the bikes moves a lot during trasformation. But definitely, I will put some panel lines on the bikes as well. ^_^

And yes, I will definitely PM you for more questions once I started applying decals. Thanks! :)

Edited by no3ljm

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I've recently started using both products, and I have some questions about them:

Is it recommended to always use both the softer and the setter when applying decals?

If both are used, which one should I apply first?

Thanks

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I've had good luck with just Setter (the opaque blue stuff) entirely on its own.  I use that pretty much every time and only come along and use the Softer (Clear stuff) for areas where the decal isn't snugging down into the contours.  Determining whether or not it's going to settle down is tricky though - the decal has to be almost completely dry before you can really tell with any certainty.  So generally if there are panel lines or other fine surface detail that I've got any doubts about, I'll just use the Softer after the Setter has had a few minutes to dry.

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I only use setter to make the decal more attached to the plastic. From what I heard, it melts the decal lightly so that it stick to the plastic and provide better fit for contours. By the same property. do not let it pool in an acrylic painted surface. It will not remove or melt the paint but it has a tendency to leave a permanent mark.

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All great advice here. Only thing I have to add is you can remove Mark Setter residue pretty easily by gently rubbing with a moist Q-tip. This an important step if you happen to be working on any kind of transparent surface as it will be really visible.

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