Nothing worse then bad decals....

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by [SC] Arachnicus, May 19, 2013.

  1. [SC] Arachnicus

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    The worst bad decals are the ones that don't look like they are going to be bad. I have put Techmod decals on a few planes and I have never had issues until ones I attempted to use recently. They were more fragile then 30 year old yellowed decals but they were not old. It was like I dipped them in battery acid instead of water. You would soak them and watch pieces of the decal come off the paper and float to the top! I have put decals on a lot of planes and never had or seen this before. After the second attempt, I aborted and tore the sheet into pieces and pitched them. It really sucks because I had to special order these.
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    What decals were they mate? Might have spares for ya.
     
  3. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Mmmm...tell us more...
     
  4. [SC] Arachnicus

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    I ordered a second set from a different distributor. They are 1/72 scale Hurricane Polish/RAF 303 decals.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Bit late now, but I would have returned the decal sheet(s) direct to the manufacturer, with a description of the problem. If they aren't informed, they might not be aware of, for example, a production batch problem.
    This fault sounds like extremes of temperature / humidity at some stage in their storage life, or could even have been a missed final coating during production.
    For future reference, if in doubt about any decal sheets, give them one or two thin coats of clear, acrylic gloss varnish before use, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next, and allowing the decal sheet to dry and harden for around 12 hours before use.
     
  6. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Wayne I have no idea why they did that. I consider myself pretty decent when it comes to applying decals. The first one I brushed on Microset on the surface before applying the decal. Keep in mind the decal while holding it with a tweezers in water disintegrated before it ever had a chance to make contact with the Microset so I know it wasn't from that. I did try to put the pieces together, and when I tried to remove the disaster no amount of Microsol could get some of it off the surface.

    The second attempt I took all chemicals out of the equation and simply used water. Again they started falling apart. I tore the decal sheet in pieces and pitched it, because I wanted to make sure I never tried to use them again in the future.

    I hop to God the next sheet I receive in the mail does not do this. Thechmod seems to be the only company that makes 1:72 303 squad Hurricane decals.
     
  7. [SC] Arachnicus

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    No point, I got them off ebay.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Doesn't matter where you got them - the manufacturer doesn't know that. OK, Techmod might turn around and say they're old decals, incorrectly stored, or whatever, but at least they'd have the chance to check them.
    I used to use many sheets of Microscale decals for many years, and once only, due to age, I sprayed a sheet with a clear coat. The individual small decals dissolved, and other, larger items distorted, once the varnish hit them. Now, this was possibly my fault, maybe being a bit heavy-handed with the spray can of varnish, but i contacted Microscale at the time, with a sample. Low and behold, it was a manufacturing fault - not me - and I was sent a replacement sheet.
    As I mentioned, if in doubt, especially if buying older, or pre-owned decals, give them a clear coat first - it might not make a difference, but there;s more chance of it providing protection, and thus being able to use the decals, than there is of it affecting them.
     
  9. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Can you brush on Future as the preventative coat?
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Don't use Future - it will dissolve when immersed in water. Rather than load up the air brush, I just use a spray can of acrylic gloss varnish, in this case it happens to be Vallejo artist's varnish. You can brush it on, but this might turn out heavy, and the brushing action might disturb the printed images. A light coat from a spray can, at a distance of about 12 inches, should do it.
     
  11. [SC] Arachnicus

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  12. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Terry seems to have covered it, always the chance you did nothing wrong and had a bad set, simply means it could have got any one of us....
     
  13. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great info Terry! You've given me hope for my Roden He 111B now, thanks! (By all accounts, 'the decals shatter when they hit the water' ! )

    Hope your new decals are better Tom!
     
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