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Marc0514

Decals on flat paint

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I'm kind of a noob when it comes to modelling, especially when working with flat paint finishes. I have been working on gloss-painted aircraft for a couple of years now (mainly Century Series a/c with ADC Gray or BMF) and have had no problem with decal application. I have tried my first "modern" fighter, an F-15 Eagle with the old Compass Gray paint scheme. I put on a few decals and after they dried, they looked...well, like decals! They are too glossy and at certain angles the film stands out like a sore thumb.

My question is, is it possible to blend them in better using a decal setting solution, followed by a flat clear coat? I heard of the method of using Future to apply a gloss coat for the decals and then dull coat everything after all is said and done, but I am a bit hesitant, in fear of ruining the finish.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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You answered your own question. Need to put some kind of gloss down before decals. Do a search for Future here and you will find all the answers. Most people spray it thinned but others brush it it right on since it levels out well. The stuff is pretty tough and can be flat coated over the top. Some people even add a bit of dull to the future and spray it as a final coat. Basically you need a very smooth surface to get the decal to bond too. This "silvering" under the decal is air bubbles that get trapped between the decal and the porous dull surface.

Also, most let it dry for at least 24 hours or more before adding decals. After decals hit it again with another coat and then do whatever wash/weathering you prefer. Finish with a final coat of testors dull coat or dulled future. You can experiment for a semi gloss as well.

Edited by salvine

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You answered your own question. Need to put some kind of gloss down before decals. Do a search for Future here and you will find all the answers. Most people spray it thinned but others brush it it right on since it levels out well. The stuff is pretty tough and can be flat coated over the top. Some people even add a bit of dull to the future and spray it as a final coat. Basically you need a very smooth surface to get the decal to bond too. Ths "silvering" under the decal is air bubbles that get trapped between the decal and the porous dull surface.

Yes to all the above. You may be able to salvage your current work by removing the decals by applying hot water and lightly scrubbing. Than doing the gloss/Future coat and applying a new set.

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Yes to all the above. You may be able to salvage your current work by removing the decals by applying hot water and lightly scrubbing. Than doing the gloss/Future coat and applying a new set.

I have a different problem, i have to remove decals without damaging them, from a smooth futured area. I have placed them at the wrong place.

I tried with some microset but they dont want to move, while i even start to damage the paint underneath (no problem i will respray). Do you think it would be ok with some hot water?

Edited by zero77

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I'm not going to go into applying decals. Even though the procedure is pretty much the same from modeler to modeler, each modeler has his/her own way of applying decals. Go to ARC's Home Page and go to Tools-n-Tips. Click on decals and start reading. There are also other forums, Fine Scale Modeler magazine, and all kinds of research articles about decals if you check out applying decals on Google. Good Luck.

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I have a different problem, i have to remove decals without damaging them, from a smooth futured area. I have placed them at the wrong place.

I tried with some microset but they dont want to move, while i even start to damage the paint underneath (no problem i will respray). Do you think it would be ok with some hot water?

Without damaging them is a lot like tyring to get all the toothpaste back in the tube unfoturnatly. :tumble:

I have had very limited success doing this. Yeah, I think Hot water is your best bet. It's hard to keep the water hot however on the surface as it's naturally going to keep cooling toward equalibrium. Dare to try a hot water bath? For example, dip the wing in a cirulating hot water stream?

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You don't have to gloss a flat finish before decaling, but you do have to level the paint to get the best results. I use a polishing stick to take the grain out of the paint where I am applying a decal. This in essence glosses the area allowing for the decal to make good contact with the surface. You'll need to make sure you use the proper softening and setting solutions to get the decal to snug down tight. This is an old school technique used long before Future was in use with scale modelers.

If you want to preserve as much of the surrounding area around where the decal is going to be placed, make a mask in the shape of the decal using low tack masking tape, then you'll only be polishing the area where the decal will actually be placed.

I also use polishing sticks to take the glossy sheen off a decal after it has been applied and dried completely.

hellcatgirl.jpg

scuffnscratch.jpg

decalpolishing.jpg

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Without damaging them is a lot like tyring to get all the toothpaste back in the tube unfoturnatly. :tumble:

I have had very limited success doing this. Yeah, I think Hot water is your best bet. It's hard to keep the water hot however on the surface as it's naturally going to keep cooling toward equalibrium. Dare to try a hot water bath? For example, dip the wing in a cirulating hot water stream?

Thank you, i will try it.

The concerned decals are the 2 "static vent..." and "do not paint - torque to 120/140 Lb. In." stencils on the nose of the F-4J's. I placed them too high.

I tried to reprint them on decal sheet, but it is too small, and the printing is not clean.

If i cant find any other solution, i would use those reprinted ones, anyway.

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Thank you, i will try it.

The concerned decals are the 2 "static vent..." and "do not paint - torque to 120/140 Lb. In." stencils on the nose of the F-4J's. I placed them too high.

I tried to reprint them on decal sheet, but it is too small, and the printing is not clean.

If i cant find any other solution, i would use those reprinted ones, anyway.

On real combat aircraft stencils were ofter replaced after they faded or a repair to the area had occurred. Young mechanics and corrosion specialists were known to improperly place stencils on aircraft. Give'em a rattle can and a stack of stencils with no supervision...trouble! LMAO

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