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Tips on applying waterslide decals


MacrossMan
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I have a few sets of 1/48 waterslide decals that I plan to apply to some of my Valks. Two sets are by Anasazi and are no longer available. I have no experience applying these type decals. Any advice you guys can provide would be most appreciated as I more than likely will not be able to find more if I screw these up.

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-First, have a cup or container of warm water prepared (not too hot though).

-Use an x-acto or other precise cutting tool to cut off the portion of the decal sheet containing the decal you want to apply.

-Use some tweezers to hold the edge of the decal sheet you just cut out and soak it in the warm water (I normally do 5 to 10 seconds, but closer to 5).

-Now, with great caution, use a Q-tip (or other cotton swab) to gently push the decal (which should now be loose) onto the spot in your valkyrie you want it at.

-Let it dry and set in for about 5 minutes.

-Use Q-tip again to dab off some of the excess water.

Done :)

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-First, have a cup or container of warm water prepared (not too hot though).

-Use an x-acto or other precise cutting tool to cut off the portion of the decal sheet containing the decal you want to apply.

-Use some tweezers to hold the edge of the decal sheet you just cut out and soak it in the warm water (I normally do 5 to 10 seconds, but closer to 5).

-Now, with great caution, use a Q-tip (or other cotton swab) to gently push the decal (which should now be loose) onto the spot in your valkyrie you want it at.

-Let it dry and set in for about 5 minutes.

-Use Q-tip again to dab off some of the excess water.

Done :)

It's really that simple? This is what I have seen on the internet and I wasn't sure it was that easy. I will give it a shot when my TV Max arrives. Thanks!

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Word to the wise, TEST on a COUPLE of decals you can live without. Then let it dry for at least a whole day before applying any sealer. Mr. Mark softer will help it settle into grooves better, but go easy on it. Practice, practice practice! - MT

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NO, NO, NO! Those will be much too dificult for you to use! It would be best if you just send them off to me, and I can put them on my valks and show you the time consuming pain and frustration they will cause! I would never want you to put yourself through that! ^_^

j/k :lol:

If you want, you can purchase other decals from a hobby shop and practice with those.

You can practice with them on any kind of plastic object (toy, model, empty 2-liter soda bottle) That will let you get comfortable with pushing the decals off the paper, moving them around, and seeing how they can sometimes fold over on themselves. Decaling is really not that difficult, you just have to pick up a bit of feel for them.

I usually find that it takes a little bit longer than 10 seconds for them to loosen up from the paper. If so, just let the decal sit on a dish for a few more seconds until they slide easily, then you can put them on to the model. If the decal starts to stick before you get it placed right where you want it, just add a drop or two of water and gently push with the swab or a soft brush. You will want to use a sharp X-acto blade and trim closely to the design, in order to remove as much of the clear film as you can. Also, don't forget that you will want to put a clear finish coat over them to protect them after they are thoroughly dry.

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It's really that simple? This is what I have seen on the internet and I wasn't sure it was that easy. I will give it a shot when my TV Max arrives. Thanks!

You're welcome :)

I just provided some basic application steps. As MechTech pointed out, there is actually a whole science behind applying decals... it all depends on how thorough you want to be. I am as thorough as possible with model kits, but Yamato valks are too expensive imo to be "prepping" it like I would a kit just for decals :blink: But for you want to do, it sounds like basic steps will suffice.

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I strongly recommend getting a set of decals you don't care about, from a hobby shop or a cheap model kit, and using those to practice with. Play around with them, rip a few up, and get a good feel for how they work. Until I sat down and messed with a set of decals I didn't care about, I was always fearful that I'd screw something up and avoided them. Once you get the hang of it, waterslides are easy to use.

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I just had my own really bad experience with decals this weekend. I'm working on a Hasegawa YF-19 and the build up went smooth and beautiful. Then started the problem with the primer. Air-brushed it and went smooth on some parts but grainy on others; well, a little sand paper and ready for the paint. Paint went ok, then future coat, then panel lines, the future coat and the first decals on the wings ok. Then decals for the cockpit area brake off, both of them and I even didn't apply any softener yet. Then little decals like the "do not step" or "danger" type just didn't get in their place, even after the microset, and even silvered o_O. Then a mist coat of future, let it dry, check it after an hour and all the big decals shrinked and became all with an effect like when you put a blow torch on real paint. This is the first time it ever happens to me. It is not my first model and it's not my first valk either. All the others went OK, but this baby just went wrong from the beginning. I buyed it the first time it came off, like 2002, I think. But the first valks I did were VF-1's and they were even older. I really don't know what happend and I post this just to get rid of a little of my frustration. Ever happened to anyone? :unsure:

Martin

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I built the Hase YF-19 ages ago and hated it myself... when I built it, all the black decals curled and desintigrated under my setting solution.

The advice above is generally good, but I will further emphasize that you get something else to practice on first. Anasazi's decals need to be cut pretty close to the markings, and you will want a stronger setting/softening solution. His decals are fantastic, and I own a bunch of sets for projects myself, but the film is a little bit thicker than on say, decals in a DML tank kit, so you'll want to cut the decals close to the edges and use a stronger solution to minimize the edges. What I do when I apply decals is coat the surface with Future floor wax first (an acrylic gloss coat) so the surface is as shiney and smooth as possible. When I apply my decals, I use Q-tips to blot them down, and then apply my decals setting solution, and then once that is dry (typically a few minutes, maybe longer) I apply with a brush a light coat of Future ontop of the decal to help feather the edges of the film more and really secure than sucker on there before I start whatever else I'm doing to the model.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm just getting back into building my kits (as opposed to hoarding them, as I have been doing for the last 10 years). I guess I'm a bit behind the times because I still use a brush and enamel paints. I've read a lot about you airbrush gurus with your fancy acrylics and spraying Future about before applying decals, but has anyone tried anything similar for enamels? I want to avoid any silvering when applying decals on a mat enamelled surface.

I haven't experimented, but I would guess that a coat of Future under my decals wouldn't react well to being covered by an enamel wash. :mellow:

Edited by Vile
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The advice here is great. I think the only difference that I do is I use a small, soft paint brush to put the decals on. Wetting the brush in water allows me to correct the position of the decal if I have to, and make sure it's exactly where I want it to be. Then, when I have that done, I use the Q-tip and pat down the decal. Thes puts the decal onto the plastic/paint, and also absorbs the water.

Decal softener, it really depends on the brand of decals. For Anasazi's, I used decal softener, but just slightly. You may not need it if the surface is smooth enough, and you are planning to seal the valk in a top coat.

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Hey Vile, The Future (I think it is now called Pledge with Future shine) should work just fine for you. You just have to make sure that each coat dries thoroughly before moving to the next step. Make extra sure to let your enamel color coat completely cure otherwise, the outgassing from it will crack the Future coat. AFter you apply the coat of Future, just let it cure for a couple of days, and then you can use an enamel wash or flat coat over the Future.

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Hey Vile, The Future (I think it is now called Pledge with Future shine) should work just fine for you.

Thanks, jardann, that's just what I wanted to hear! With my glacial kit-building speed, waiting for the paint to dry will not be a problem ... :p

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