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    How to apply Decals courtersy of mvm3897 of ZeroG

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    DarthYuy
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    How to apply Decals courtersy of mvm3897 of ZeroG

    Post by DarthYuy on Wed 28 Sep 2011, 9:25 pm

    *Taken from zero-g with the permission of the poster mvm3897.

    For everyone who wants to know about how i do my decals here are the steps I take in order:

    Items needed:
    Your Decals (obviously)
    Paper Towels
    Tweezers
    Mr Hobby Q-Tips (don't use regular Q-Tips because they shed and you will have a fuzzy model)
    Bowl of water
    Hobby Knife
    Micro Sol Decal Softener
    Small soft brush

    YOU MUST HAVE A VERY GLOSSY SERVICE FOR DECALS. THIS WILL ASSURE GOOD ADHESION AND WILL KEEP ANY SILVERING TO A MINIMUM!!!!!!

    1. Set your work area up so that you have a paper towel laying down, your bowl of water handy, a cutting mat with Hobby Knife, tweezers and Mr Hobby Q-Tips

    2. Cut decal from sheet. Using a new Hobby Knife blade. Seems pretty simple but if you are using decals from Samuel or other manufacturers other than Bandai the decals will not be pre-cut. So for these I had to cut very close to pattern to keep the edge of the film down to minimum. For Bandai decals they are pre-cut so don't worry about cutting close to the pattern.

    3. Using your tweezers place the decal in your water for about 5 seconds. You do not want the decal to separate from the backing sheet. if this happens very carefully fish it out of the water with your tweezers. After 5 seconds or so just place the decal on your paper towel for another 5 seconds or so. The will still allow the water to loosen the decal from the backing sheet and it will also help remove some of the excess water.

    4. Still using your tweezers, place the decal where you want it and use one of the Q-Tips to slide it off onto your model. It it doesn't want to come off add a few drops of water and let it sit again, the decal is not loose from the paper yet.

    5. Now that the decal is on the model it's time to get in the correct position. Using your Q-Tip slide the decal into position. Again, if it doesn't want to move use some water to get it to float a little. Once in place, carefully use a Q-Tip to soak up he excess water. I did this step about 6 time

    6. Now Using the same Q-Tip, roll it over the decal to set in place. This with squeeze out all the water under the decal locking it into place on the model. If the decal slips during this step don't worry. Use some water to loosen the decal and very carefully use a Q-Tip to re-position the decal and repeat steps 5 and 6.

    7. Once you are happy with the decals position it's time to melt it into place. I use Micro Sol. Using a small brush apply a generous amount of Micro Sol on top of the decal. It's best if the part can lay flay so that gravity can help flatten the decal out. You will notice the decal start to wrinkle, don't worry this is normal and just leave it alone. As the Micro Sol dries the decal will conform to the shape of the model and it will melt into any details. If the decal goes over an area where 2 pieces meet, let it dry and then cut between the 2 pieces with a hobby knife and repeat the Micro Sol process.

    8. Once the decal dries check to see if there is an silvering and that the decal has conformed to any details and shapes. If there are any bubble, very very very carefully use the tip of your hobby knife to pop the bubble. Now use the Micro Sol again to level it out. I went through 6 or 7 rounds of Micro Sol on the big decals on the Deathscythe.

    7. Let everything dry over night.

    8. Top coat. I typically use flat because I like it and it hides decals much better than gloss. I used 7 coats of Flattened Future on the Deathscythe. I sprayed a mist coat followed by a wet coat. Let that dry for 20 minutes or sow and then another wet coat. Keep repeating until the decals look painted on. If you use gloss is the same steps but to really get the edges of the decal to disappear it's best to polish each coat of gloss with a 8000 grit micro cloth. This process takes days because you have to let each layer of gloss cure before polishing and there is a risk of sanding through the paint. That's why I don't do it this way.

    I think that's it.

    Applying decals is one of my favourite parts of modelling so I spend lot of time on them. The Blue Sinanju took me about 20 hours just to do the decals and the Deathscythe took about 12-15 hours. The big decals took the longest and there is a bit of silvering that only shows up in the pics but in person they really do look painted on.



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