Help with decals

Jack10

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#1
hi all, here's my progress with my BMW r75 and figures.
IMG_2328.JPG

The bike is almost ready for weathering. Was just wondering as it's the first vehicle kit I've ever done and have never applied decals before... do I put them on before or after weathering it?

Also and tips welcomed with the decals as I'm a bit scared of ruining my model, so any dos and donts? Don't want to ruin the model at this stage as it's taken me a while (small kit I know but is my first so was rather tricky for me)
 

col68

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#2
Looking good jack.
First you need to put a coat of gloss varnish over the paint as decals don't sit so well on matt paint. Do you have any decal solvent? As this helps to get the decal to adhere and conform to the shape of the part, then you need to seal it with more varnish before weathering then seal everything with a matt varnish.
Remember to leave varnishes and washes at least 48 hours between coats.
 

BarryW

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#4
You are doing really well, an impressive start.

Apply decals before weathering, as markings weather after all...

Apply some gloss varnish first to hide the carrier film and make sure the gloss varnish cures properly, not just dries before applying decals.
Once the decals are in position and dry, apply a decal solution such as Microsol (not Microset as that is to 'set' the decal in place, something you apply first to the surface of the model) this softens the decal and makes it conform to detail. It may need several applications of the solution but, whatever you do, do not touch the decal after applying it until it has properly dried. Once you are happy with that you can apply another gloss coat to seal the decals. Weathering washes will 'run' better on a gloss varnish but it is best to use an acrylic varnish if you are applying enamel washes or the other way around. Test on a spare piece of plastic first if unsure. I would apply a matt coat before pigments as the matt surface gives something for the pigment to grip and then you can seal the pigments with another varnish coat, matt or semi-matt to achieve the finish you want.
 

BarryW

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#5
One further point - do not worry if the decal solution wrinkles the decal, this is the solution doing its job, just do not touch it. Also sometime decal solution creates a white 'bloom' with some (usually acrylic) varnishes. Do not worry, when dry wipe the area to remove dry solution and if that does not solve the problem the sealing varnish coat will.
 

Jack10

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#6
Thanks for all the info guys, good job I asked as it looks like I would of messed up big time.

Only problem, Thought I had some gloss varnish in my kit but turns out I don't. I only have a satin varnish and Matt varnish? What is satin varnish? Is it similar to gloss or not?

Don't have the decal solution either, looks like I'll be waiting till payday to get them on.

Cheers for the help as always guys
 

Mr Bowcat

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#7
Hi Jack, satin is mid-way between gloss and matt, so still a slightly rough texture, though not as rough as matt.

You are probably better off waiting until you can get a gloss varnish as the satin may still lead to problems with the decals, although is fine to finish the model in if that's the look you are going for.
 
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#8
Nice work there Jack! :smiling3:

On surfaces that are rough and matt in reality I apply my decals on matt varnish too, but I brush Vallejo Decal Medium on the surface where I'm putting the decal and then finish with Tamiya Mark Fit Strong on top of the decal. I apply this a couple of times (15 minute intervals) depending on the surface texture and the decal quality. Initially the decals can look really wrinkly and ruined but that's normal.
I also trim some of my decals in case they have excessive bleed, i.e. a translucent edge, if you know what I mean? I can't find a better word for it right now...
 

Jack10

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#9
I'm currently on my way into town to get some gloss varnish (can't really afford it, this is literally my last fiver till I've been paid, such is life for us in this hobby ey)

Is the bottled stuff better than the spray? Will have to be humbrol as that's all my local store has.

Oh and I'm also expecting a parcel today, a Tamiya kit I bought. So what's are the chances in the 20 mins I am out that I'll have a 'we missed you' note through the door from the post man when I get home lol
 

Jack10

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#10
Well it's official. I hate decals :mad: I've been practicing with some spares I have with very little joy. Oh well going to just do the best I can with it and see how it turns out. I'm sure the process will become easier with experience
 

Jack10

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#12
Whats going wrong Jack? Maybe we can help.
Just struggled in general applying the decals. Ruined a few of them so couldn't use them. The decals kept shrivelling up when I was trying to move them around to position them
 

Mr Bowcat

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#13
Sounds like they or the surface weren't wet enough. If you haven't got any decal solution, wet the area where you want the decal first and apply the decal with a damp brush. Also, make sure the decals are well soaked with warm water.

Hope it helps. :smiling3:
 
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#14
Hi mate, dip your decals into lukewarm warm water for about 20 seconds. Carefully try and slide the decal from the paper. If it won't slide, dip it for another 10 seconds and it should start moving. When it does, slide just enough from the backing paper to stick to the model.hold with your finger and gently slide the backing away.now you can slide the decal into its final place with a fine brush dipped in water.
 
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#15
Jack - remember that some decals have a "best before date" and that it might not have to do with you. I've got a couple of ye olde wonky kits and in one of them the decals were like the wrappings that's covered Tutankhamun when they found him. Dry as f in other words and no water nor solvent in the world could rectify that problem!
Just saying that it might just be a case of dodgy decals.

Best is to use luke warm water and keep the decal under water until it slides around. I'm checking this by moving the paper that's holding the decal.
When loose I place the decal (with its paper) on a tissue to drain off most of the water and then I just slide it off onto the model surface. That's it.

Good luck!
 

Jack10

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#16
Cheers guys. If the water isn't warm enough will it not work? I did have warm water but it might of cooled too much by the time I got to work? And cheers jens I'm guessing it's not out of date decals as it's not an old kit and it's more likely just be me being inexperienced at it. Only watched a couple of how to videos, will get better the more o try it I suppose, Practice makes perfect
 
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#17
It works with cold water too. It just takes a lot longer time. Like several minutes.
I often use cold water when I can't be bothered to go to the kitchen and fetch some warm water when I'm in a groove, and it works fine. Just be patient ;)
 

Jack10

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#18
Heres a few pics of the completed model if anyone's interested.

IMG_2330.JPG IMG_2331.JPG IMG_2333.JPG IMG_2336.JPG IMG_2347.JPG
There should be the same decal on the back of the sidecar as on the front but that was the one I managed to destroy lol
 

Jack10

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#19
Also not too happy with the gap between the head and beck of a couple of the figures! Needed filling in and I just forgot to do it
 

james pithouse

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#20
you can also use micro sol and micro set to hold the transfer in place, after you have soaked the transfers in water for 20seconds or so and when it dries it looks like you have painted them on use blue first then red. Wait till the blue is dry that's miro set , use micro sol that's like a varnish it holds the transfer in place for good.
 
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