Question On Decals....

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by History Man, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. History Man

    History Man Member

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    #1 History Man, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
    After completing a couple of models this past week, I noticed something that is bothering me when it comes to looking at one of the models. Where the decals were applied, there is now a visible film over the decals, which I assume is the excess from when the decals were cut. Now, the flat coat has already been applied (this before I noticed it)....and I am wondering if there are any fool-proof ways to remove this film.

    Any help would be appreciated...

    Philip


    SAM_4120.JPG
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    This is known as 'silvering', and is the effect of the clear carrier film being applied onto a matt surface. This causes air bubbles to be trapped beneath the decal, and the clear areas are also acting as a 'seal' over the matt paint.
    The solution is to apply the decals to a gloss surface, preferably with the aid of a decal softener and or setting solution, such as Mico Sol and Micro Set, or similar solutions.
    A gloss finish can be achieved by either using gloss paints, such as the huge range of camouflage colours made by Xtracolor (enamels) or Xtracrylic (acrylic), or by applying a gloss clear coat before the decals are applied. Many modellers use Johnson's 'Future' for this, which is a relatively inexpensive, acrylic floor polish, although since the change of formula a couple of years ago, results have varied sometimes.
    Alternatively, a good quality clear gloss varnish can be used.
    Once this has fully set, and the required smooth, gloss finish has been achieved, the decals can then be applied. When fully set (leave them at least 24 hours), given that they have settled down correctly, then any decal adhesive residue, or light staining from any decal solutions, can be removed by gently cleaning with a damp cloth. When totally dry, a further gloss coat is then applied, in order to seal the decals and obtain a uniform finish.
    When this coat has set, then the required final finish can be applied - that is, gloss, matt, semi- matt etc, by applying the relevant clear varnish.
    Have a look at some of the build threads here on the forum, and you'll see this process in action, with a variety of materials/brands in use.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There are only two ways that I know of attempting a cure.

    Firstly you can prick the decals with the end of a sharp scalpel blade and apply a setting solution like microsol which should get to and under the decals through the small holes. I'd say you've got a better than 50/50 chance of this improving the situation.

    The second method is much more risky but can give good results. It can also destroy the decals. Apply lacquer thinners very gently with a cotton bud over the affected area. Don't overdo it and leave half an hour or so before having another go. If it works you will need to re-apply your varnish.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    I double, tripple, quadripple, Terry's post above. Of the many things I have learned here on this forum, the use of Future, Microset and Microsol are easily my top three. If you follow Terry's post you will see a very large difference in your models appearence. Just recently I had a small silvering problem due to my Future application not being completely smooth. Several applications of -SOL reduced the silvering to a minimum and an overcoat of 50/50 Future/Flat Clear finally fixed it.
     
  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Terry's solution is the way to go during the build process. As for the issue that you currently have, I endorse Steve's above method of pricking the decal and applying setting solution. Personally, I would not try the lacquer thinner method that I have not heard of til now. Lacquer thinner eats dried paint so I can only assume it can't be good for decals.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It also removes any varnishes over the decal and will soften the decal much more aggressively than setting solutions. You don't flood the area, just wipe with a cotton bud moistened with solvent. It works but you are right that there is a potential to destroy the decal. I have succeeded in making very old decals that have silvered with age look acceptable using this method. I've also destroyed a few :)

    Steve
     
  7. History Man

    History Man Member

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    I am going to give it some thought and decide if I want to try it out on this one. I did find that we have a bottle of both the Set and Sol which is good, and I will be sure to use that for future decal application procedures.

    Philip
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    -Set and -Sol are only 1/2 the equation. More importantly a nice SMOOTH gloss coat BEFORE applying decals, i.e. Future or gloss clear
     
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  9. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    I've had luck fixing silvering using the "prick the decals with the end of a sharp scalpel" method, only instead of decal setting solution I use Future. It acts as a glue to hold the decal to the surface wile filling in the trapped bubbles that make it silver.
     
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