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Decal trick

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:03 pm
by NCC1966
Today I learned what could be called an idiot and kind of obvious trick by accident.

First a small story (real small). Earlier this week I made my very first custom decals: Reliant 1/537 because the originals were completely useless. I redrew them from scratch in Corel, printed it in laser, applied three coats of clear from a rattle can and everything worked fine. The only problem is that the decals didn't stick too well to the model so I had to give a little help by brushing it with white glue to keep them in place. But this is not the point and you will see it in a few. I promise.

:)

Yesterday I printed another decal sheet — this time for a 1/2500 Enterprise E — but forgot to spray it with the clear. So when I tried to apply the first pieces of decal they started to crumble and fall apart. Without to understand why the first sheet of decals had to worked so well and this one was going so bad, I stopped and put the model aside. When I was having my breakfast this morning it suddenly came to my mind that the only thing I had done different was that I had forgot to coat the second sheet with clear. Then I brought the decal sheet to the backyard and gave it three strong coats. After a few minutes under the sun for a good dry I brought it back to my workbench, cut a piece of decal, throw it in the water, and... voilá! The decal worked like a charm and did not disintegrated!

:mrgreen:

So what I learned from this?

First I must mention that all custom decal tutorials I saw till the date said that the clear coat was to protect the images to dissolve in the water specially when you print with inkjet (inkjet inks are water soluble). I may have misunderstood something but I got the message that if I printed in laser instead it wouldn't be necessary though (printer toner is NOT water soluble).

OK, this is the trick: the clear coat is not only for protect inkjet ink. Actually is a MUST no matter what printer you use to improve the strength of the decal film and prevent it to crumble.

;)

Then it drove me to another point: the infamous R2 decals. Whoever have used them knows that they are a surprise. Some work like a charm, but others uses to disintegrate. I don't get tired of mention the whole cool aztek sheets of my Enterprise refit 1/1000 that ended in the trash can because this. Also, I had a very bad time applying the decals of my NX-01 1/1000.

But the point is that I imagined that if the clear coat helps to improve the strength of custom decals why it wouldn't do the same with commercial ones? So, the next time you go to apply decals with R2 sheets, don't forget to apply a couple thick coats of clear. I bet that your decals won't crumble!

8-)

Re: Decal trick

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:44 pm
by Moongrim
My Round2 1/2500 decals crumbled even when I applied clear coat before hand.

Thanks anyways.

Re: Decal trick

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:20 pm
by NCC1966
Moongrim wrote:My Round2 1/2500 decals crumbled even when I applied clear coat before hand.

Thanks anyways.

Ouch, I am sorry to know!

:(

Re: Decal trick

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:40 am
by MEATLOAFr
NCC1966 wrote:
Moongrim wrote:My Round2 1/2500 decals crumbled even when I applied clear coat before hand.

Thanks anyways.

Ouch, I am sorry to know!

:(


R2's hit and miss quality is my bread & butter

Image

Re: Decal trick

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:05 pm
by NCC1966
:lol:

Re: Decal trick

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:34 pm
by feldon30
Round 2 decals are either:

  • Paragraphix
  • CloseEnufGraphix