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Decal paper stuck to decals

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Hi all, I was given an old matchbox Do-18 (what colours!!). Anyway, the paper that is supposed to protect the decals is stuck to the decal sheet. Is there any way to safely remove the protective paper without trashing the decals or are the decals trashed already? Thanks very much

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Don't trash the sheet yet, the decals may be salvagable but if you try to peel off the 'protective' paper, you probably will damage the decals worse then they are now. So, as a possible solution, keep them, paper and all. When you are ready to give it a go, cut out one of the markings (hopefully a non-critical one) and soak in water as usual. With any luck at all, both the decal and its 'protector' will each be released.

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The two examples of the Do-18 I've got have waxed paper over the decals. At some point we can assume the wax on the paper melted due to heat and is now adhering to the decals. You may be able to peel the paper off the decal after some time in the refrigerator (please, not the freezer.) Remember, the decal is the most fragile portion of this equation so please proceed carefully. There may be some wax residue left on the decal, you can try weak alchohol or naptha to take it off but this may also damage the decal. You can also wait till you're ready to use the decals, cut them out with the waxed paper attached and see if it separates. The ink on the decal is probably fragile at this point, please proceed gently. If all else fails, you could write Revell AG and see if they'll provide you with another decal.


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With the issues I have had (Matchbox is the most common) with paper stuck to decals, the following worked for me.

Get as much as the paper off as safely as you can.

Cut and apply the decal and once in place, gently remove the last of the paper. As it is wet, it should come off.

I had this issue severely with my Matchbox Provost T.1, and got all the wax paper off the decals as part of application.

Care and patience is always the best approach in this instance.

All my Matchbox, Airfix and Heller kits have the paper removed the moment I get the kit.



Edited by madmike
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  • 15 years later...


I tried another technique tonight, on two old Modeldecal sheets, that had their protection sheets solidly 'glued' on: gently warming the protection with a hair drier. And it worked really well, whereas moistening with several liquids did not do the trick. With the heat, you can see the wax in the protection sheet going liquid, or at least glossy. You can then slowly peel it off, or let gravity do its job. It adheres noticably stronger on the decal surfaces, and much less on the empty spaces between the decals, so go extra slow on large decals. The decal paper curls quite a bit, I guess from the heat. And I think small bits of gloss varnish are pulled from the decal, but that should be no problem if you coat the model with a clear at the end.



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