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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Applying Academy models Decals
chris1
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: October 25, 2005
KitMaker: 949 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 06:11 PM UTC
Hi Guys and gals.
I know Academy don't have the best reputation for the quality of their decals however the kit (1/72nd Razor back)I'm building requires that I use them.

My problem is with the 8 checkerboard ones that make up the tail and tailplanes markings I don't seem to be able get them to snug down.(gave up after half the tail was done)

My process is as follows,pre apply white vinegar(read that somewhere)
then apply decal followed by an application(s) of Mr Softener.
But I'm just not happy with the finish they still seem to lift.

I haven't used future but will this help?
Or could I add Mr softener or vinegar to the water used to moisten the decal prior to application

Any ideas or suggestions

Regards

Chris
jaypee
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: February 07, 2008
KitMaker: 1,699 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 10:18 PM UTC
For the ones already on the model you could try this. pierce them carefully with the tip of knife and add more setting/solvent I use microsol but you takes your choice, this might get some solvent underneath the decal to help it settle. Worked with some airfix decals I had problems with.
I take it you had a good gloss surface to start with.

I've an academy model on the go, my 1st, and I now have the fear of the decals. Good luck let us know how you get on.
gaborka
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Borsod-Abauj-Zemblen, Hungary
Joined: October 09, 2005
KitMaker: 626 posts
AeroScale: 264 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 11:10 PM UTC
I don't know... for me Academy decals seem hopeless. They show silvering even on high gloss surfaces if ever they stick at all. I have tried Superscale SuperSet and SuperSol where SuperSet is a vinegar acid solution (well it smells like strong vinegar). It did not really help. Also if you let it flow beneath the decal you risk that it will dissolve the adhesive, the decal peeling off consequently. I would really appreciate some ideas how to use Academy decals, since the kits themselves are usually very good.

Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
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#017
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United Kingdom
Joined: June 11, 2003
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Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 12:40 AM UTC
Hi there

A couple of tricks for decals that silver or won't adhere well is to apply them with white glue (PVA) or varnish (Future or Klear work well). I haven't tried either technique with Academy decals, but they've saved the day with dodgy Revell decals in the past.

All the best

Rowan
warlock0322
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: January 13, 2003
KitMaker: 1,036 posts
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Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 02:13 AM UTC
Yes a coat of future or any gloss coat of anykind before the decals will help. Flat paint has ridges and irregularities in it causing the flat effect.

These ridges in the paint are what causes the silivering and lifting. It prevents adhesion of the decal.

That is why some people forgo the flat paint and use gloss paint to eliminate the Future coat and go straight to the decaling. Then add a Dull coat to flatten it out.

Academy decals are thick and moody but using a clear coat and "enough" decal setting solution (Look for the decal to wrinkle up). They will snug down.

Time and patience will and can be tested with them.

Good luck and hope this helps.

Paul
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
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#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 02:35 AM UTC
Hi again

Sorry, I didn't explain myself very well. What I meant was going beyond the normal gloss surface preparation to applying the decals onto wet varnish - this should not only preclude silvering (because you're excluding any air trapped in irregualities, as Paul explains), but helps prevent decals lifting too by sealing them to the surface.

All the best

Rowan
jaypee
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: February 07, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 02:37 AM UTC
Magic! I can hardly wait to tackle the red/yellow checkerboard on "old crow" Not!
jowady
Joined: June 12, 2006
KitMaker: 1,027 posts
AeroScale: 131 posts
Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 10:18 AM UTC
I too have had trouble with Academy decals and avoid them like the plague, having said that, maybe a coat of future over the decals as well will help. I haven't tried it myself, just thought about it.

John
warlock0322
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: January 13, 2003
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Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 10:08 PM UTC
I have never tried putting decals over wet varnish before due to the fact that my clumsy fingers. It never fails that I always have to reposition them and I would be afraid that on wet varnish it would be game over there

If you lay a coat of future down before the decals and can get them to snug down. After whatever weathering you are going to do. I just shoot a layer of Dullcoat or whatever finish you may be doing. I see no need for a second gloss coat over the decals just to seal them. The Dull coat will do that for you..

Oh at the risk of being off topic just a quick question:

Does anyone besides me after they cut out the decal "test fit" it to the model before it goes in the water? Or am I the only paranoid one out there?

Paul
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
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#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008 - 12:37 AM UTC
Hi Paul

I must admit the wet varnish routine is a bit of a last-resort tactic, but it's saved the day for me on a few occasions when all else has failed.

All the best

Rowan
thegirl
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2008
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Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008 - 02:36 AM UTC
Hi Chris ! I have never tried the wet varnish method , but what I use is future if I'm having issues with decals that won't stick . Always have a gloss surface to start . Decal won't stick ! brush on a coat of future to where the decal will be applied . When the surface is still tacky apply the decal as you would normally ( the tacky future acts like a glue ) when that is dry seal it with another coat of future . let this cure over night and dull coat afterwards .
No lifting or silvering .

White school glue can also be used . mix it 50/50 with water brush it on the area you wish to apply the decal let dry and seal with future .

be care full be when using decal setting solutions . some can really make a mess out of the decal if to much is used and always let the decal dry before sealing it .

hope this helps you out .
FalkeEins
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: March 07, 2005
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Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008 - 03:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi there

A couple of tricks for decals that silver or won't adhere well is to apply them with white glue (PVA) or varnish (Future or Klear work well). Rowan



As Rowan says, this works for me when applying Academy decals; slide them off the sheet (onto your pre-Futured surface) with the aid of brush filled with diluted PVA and then Future over ..even the check nose on 'Old Crow' stayed down...
Removed by original poster on 11/29/08 - 06:07:56 (GMT).
chris1
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: October 25, 2005
KitMaker: 949 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2008 - 10:30 AM UTC
Thanks for the replies Guys and Gals,
however the replies have raised a couple of questions.
Terri:when using tacky future are there any problems with moving the decal around to get it in the right place?
Rowan/Neil:Similar to above if using diluted PVA aren't there problems with the decal sticking to everything but the aircraft?

cheers

Chris
Antoni
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: June 03, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 08:54 AM UTC
Mr Mark Setter seems to be a dilute solution of PVA in alcohol but it has a reputation for leaving behind a white deposit that you cannot wash off. I tied it once on a propeller logo and did cause a slight cloudiness. I’ve left it alone since then.
Agama have a set of three decal solutions that may have been formulated for stubborn decals. I’ve had trouble with Techmod and these solutions were the only ones that worked.I think they are exclusive to the Jadar Shop in Warsaw.
Adhesol. As the name suggests it is for sticking down decals. Seems to be a mixture of Gum Arabic and acetic acid (vinegar). It worked very well with some Mastercraft decals that curl away from any surface that isn’t perfectly flat. If you don’t like the idea of using dilute PVA you could make it yourself with Gum Arabic and white vinegar or add some Gum Arabic to Micro Set. The acetic acid/vinegar should soften the decal slightly making it less brittle. Useful if the decal has already dried out. Gum Arabic is what they used to use as paper glue many years ago. These days you would have to get it from art shop as it is used in water colour painting. Some people dissolve it of the back of envelopes or the brown paper parcel tape. Even stamps. Gum Arabic is also what the decal manufactures probably use as glue.
Tensol. Seems to be equivalent to Mr Mark Softener. Alcohol based and stronger than Micro Sol.
Hypersol. Very strong. Smells like Aztec Air Brush Cleaner. Must be used with caution as it can wrinkle paint, especially acrylic, if left for a long time. It was the only solution I found that worked with Techmod decals.
A combination of Adhesol and Hypersol might work with the Academy decals but I’ve never had the need to try.
On acrylic paint including clear, Tamiya’s Acrylic Thinner works very well as a decal fixer. Put the decal on a puddle and then some more on top. The paint will turn cloudy but return to normal after it has dried. Really does work very well.
gaborka
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Borsod-Abauj-Zemblen, Hungary
Joined: October 09, 2005
KitMaker: 626 posts
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Posted: Monday, December 01, 2008 - 10:24 PM UTC
I think I will try the wet varnish method next time... while I have no Future here I hope I will find something similar (or emigrate:))

thegirl
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2008
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Posted: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - 03:17 AM UTC
Sorry for the late reply back to your question Chris . For the tacky surface I wait just until the surface is dry ( still some what soft , but won't leave finger prints ) and place the decal on and work out any air trap under it . Then apply some sol-set or super sol and let this dry . very important not to touch the decal in any way . the sol does soften the future . When this has dried re-coat with future . Set a side for 24 hours so everthing has harden up real nice ,dull coat and finsh your weathering .