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11bee

Is it necessary to seal decals?

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Title says it all.   I've got a model with a nice gloss finish and the decals are on it.   The final finish is gloss, so I don't need to apply dullcoate, etc.   Question is - does it serve any purpose to apply another gloss coat over the decals?  Since I'm very happy with the current finish, I'd prefer not to.   Some folks seem to always "seal in" their decals but I'm not really sure what benefit this provides.   Been modeling for a long time, never had a single decal come off a finished model.

 

Thoughts?

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Necessary? No, but the seal coat should make the edges of the carrier film virtually disappear, giving the decal a more “painted on” appearance. 

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In addition to better appearance, a gloss clear coat protects the decals from wear and tear during handling. I use Mr Color paints. While their gloss colors provide an excellent surface for decals, I always clear coat them, even when the very next step is photography and the display cabinet.

Edited by dnl42

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17 minutes ago, habu2 said:

Necessary? No, but the seal coat should make the edges of the carrier film virtually disappear, giving the decal a more “painted on” appearance. 

Didn't consider that point.   I'll probably go this route after all.  

 

Thanks Habu!

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One night at our local club meet we decided that we all would bring in our oldest shelf queen.  I brought an F-105 that I had last worked on in the early 2000's.  It had the decals on it but they were not sealed.  After the meeting I put it in the back seat of the car and drove home with the windows open.  You probably guessed it, when I got home about half the decals were missing.  They were pretty dry and brittle so it did not take much to lift them off.  This is not the normal day to day thing a kit would be put through but it got me thinking about old decals in my stash and how they get brittle/cracked.  I am sure the same thing would happen to them on a kit over time.

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Decal setting solutions such as Microscale's Micro Set and Micro Sol, and the more powerful Solvaset by the model railway supplier Walthers have for me rendered the use of a sealer coat optional.

Started using those in 1970s. I don't have any aircraft or other models remaining from that time, and have none finished now, but model trains decaled in the 1990s still show almost no way to differentiate the decal from the paint. In a loosely characterized way of saying it, the setting solutions pretty much melt the decals in to the paint, it isn't going to come off because it is no longer a separate entity.

Now, my understanding is that those solutions are something you do not want to use with metalizer finishes, a thing which I have never used.

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 I  use the Alclad II line of topcoats as they range from gloss, sem-gloss, semi-matt and matt (or flat). I use the Aqua Gloss Clear topcoat over Alclad II bare metal finishes, with no loss of metal effect.  Just do NOT use enamel clear topcoats, unless there is a new chemical formula. Sll the models in my case over 30 years old that feature large areas of white have yellowed, just like old decals... Two examples:

 

Aqua Gloss Clear over Alclad II and decals:

 

2v298vaSnxfzdhW.jpg

 

Aqua Gloss Clear over the decals, then Alclad II matt overall:

 

2v2EZeuTkxfzdhW.jpg

 

Happy modeling,

 

Ed

 

 

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If, for any reason, you have to go back and mask over the decals to do any airbrushing, it is a good idea to clear coat them first. If you don't, you may end up yanking them right off. I tried to airbrush without clear coating. Used very low tack tape, stuff with tack equal to post-it notes, and it tore decals right off. Needless to say I was not happy. :crying:

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Careful masking over decals even with a clear coat - if the decal is not firmly attached to the model underneath, tape can still pull it up even under a clear coat.  Recommend you de-tack the tape a lot before masking over decals.  Good luck!

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I've torn decals off too, even with a clearcoat. I will never again put anything adhesive, including a used post-it, atop a decal.

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Me too, which is maddening, but now I am uber-careful.  Post it Notes do have an amazingly firm adhesive, strangely enough.  I've had much better luck with heavily detacked Tamiya tape (and then only a VERY thin edge - I put paper under the rest of the tape) and am VERY careful how I remove the tape.


BTW, letting the clear coat dry for several days also seems to help.

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3 hours ago, CANicoll said:

Me too, which is maddening, but now I am uber-careful.  Post it Notes do have an amazingly firm adhesive, strangely enough.  I've had much better luck with heavily detacked Tamiya tape (and then only a VERY thin edge - I put paper under the rest of the tape) and am VERY careful how I remove the tape.


BTW, letting the clear coat dry for several days also seems to help.

 

Thanks guys. I will take your advise. I lost the two "flag" decals on my Su-33 to "Post-it note" type tape. Freaked me out. Never will put tape on decals again. If I absolutely must I will do what you advise and detack Tamiya tape and only use a thin edge. Hard lesson learned.

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Hi 11bee,

 

I've found a recent advantage to using a clear sealing over my decals:

 

I airbrush Tamiya X-22 acrylic clear coat before applying decals, after decals are applied I just airbrush X-22 over them. I then apply Tamiya panelines which is a thined down enamel paint over panel lines. Because of the process I've used I can also paint panel lines over the decals which creates a really cool effect. When I rub off excess paneline paint off with an enamel thiner neither the paint or the decals are attacked as the enamel thiner doesn't work on acrylic. 

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On 12/18/2018 at 8:13 AM, Els said:

One night at our local club meet we decided that we all would bring in our oldest shelf queen.  I brought an F-105 that I had last worked on in the early 2000's.  It had the decals on it but they were not sealed.  After the meeting I put it in the back seat of the car and drove home with the windows open.  You probably guessed it, when I got home about half the decals were missing.  They were pretty dry and brittle so it did not take much to lift them off.  This is not the normal day to day thing a kit would be put through but it got me thinking about old decals in my stash and how they get brittle/cracked.  I am sure the same thing would happen to them on a kit over time.

Now that you mention the old and brittle decals, maybe you can help me. I bought a couple kits from pretty much the only hobby store that I have found still operating in the Philippines. There may be others, but this is the only store that I use right now. Anyway, I bought two old old kits from their store, and sure enough, the decals are about as yellow as the lane paint on the highway. Is there anything I can do to use them still, or do I have to buy new ones? I tried to contact hasegawa for replacements, but they are impossible to reach for some reason.

 

Thanks in advance,

Anthony

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Anthony:

 

Put the yellow decals in the sun to try and remove the yellow.  Once you do that, they are probably still going to be brittle so brush some clear decal film over them and let it dry.  Now the entire sheet is 1 decal, so when you cut them out, do so closely to the actual decal itself (try it out on a decal you do not plan on using).

 

You might try asking people here for another set, or seeing if you can order an aftermarket set as well.


Good luck!!

Chris

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2 hours ago, CANicoll said:

You might try asking people here for another set, or seeing if you can order an aftermarket set as well. 

Thanks for the tips, I never heard of the sun soak, I will try that and see what happens. Living in the Philippines, I have an abundance of sun!

 

Truth be told, one kit is the fake E version that only builds up a proper D model. So I need to find aftermarket D decals anyway. So far, no luck, but I will keep looking.

 

Thanks for the insight,

Anthony

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I've found that decals sealed with the Aqua Gloss can be masked over with Parafilm "M", with no lifting problems.  Sometimes I use masking tape on top of Parafilm "M", the cut out along the tape edge and remove the excess Parafilm "M".

Some of these techniques are shown in my current YF-105A Thunderchief build:  YF-105A

 

Ed

 

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4 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Some of these techniques are shown in my current YF-105A Thunderchief build:  YF-105A

  

Ed 

Three seonds of reading your opening on the YF build, I was hooked! I will look over the build and in all likelihood, as questions. I will try my best to keep those questions limited to, I don't know.........less than 100! (j/k) (or am I?)

 

I found your commentary/banter perfect. This of course lead to me musing over your attempt to join the X-Plane group, find the builder and send him a complimentary email via google translate. With a smile of your perfect words, now in characters that would make an alien cringe, you hit the send button. Having forgot about the email as you begin your build, the news in the background, you catch something about "war with Japan, pearl harbor burning AGAIN!" So you hurry over, and these is a Japanese man, talking about how some American called his mother a dirty farm animal via email on X-Plane's forums!

 

Okay, I am silly, but my brain does some really strange things! See you on your new (new to me at least) build log of the YF-105A!

 

Anthony

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