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PostPosted: 15 Apr 2016, 10:06 
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Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 15:06
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Hi all,

I am sure this question has been asked before, but I am very interested to hear how using a hairdryer can assist in decal application.
I have read it in most on Mistral's threads.
Any information will be appreciated.


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2016, 13:24 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Depends on the decals. Typically, modelers use a decal softener such as Micro Set / Sol to try to get the decal to conform to the model's surface. Using heat also makes decals softer and is a more aggressive approach to softening a decal in the event that the decal softeners are ineffective. I use a hairdryer to apply heat. But first, I determine the decal behavior using my test F-16 and a spare decal from the decal sheet. It's important to understand whether a decal will react to decal softener or will require heat (or both). For a decal requiring some heat, I'll wet the model surface with Micro Set and then gently move the decal onto the model using a soft brush. I then use a wet ear bud (wetted using Micro Set) to gently roll across the decal removing all excess fluid and air bubbles. I then apply heat for 5 to 10 seconds using a hair dryer on low. Then roll the decal again with a wet ear bud applying a bit more pressure. This helps to force the decal to conform to the kit surface. Sometimes, depending on the decal and how stubborn it is, I'll apply some Micro Sol and leave for 5 minutes, then apply heat. But be careful as the Micro Sol may soften the decal too much and you may deform it when rolling with the ear bud. Again, best to do some tests before applying this to your model. Too much heat will also make the decal "bubble" which is not good. Too much heat can also melt kit parts such as adjacent antennae etc. so be careful. Heat is also good to get a decal to conform to a compound surface.

Besides the above, generally for a good decal application do the following :
a) Make sure your model surface is glossy - this prevents trapping microscopic particles of air beneath the decal resulting in decal silvering. Gloss applied direct to a matt base is not necessarily going to be glossy enough. For this reason, I usually treat a matt coat to a gentle rubbing using 12,000 grade wet micromesh. This removes the bulk of the grainy matt finish. I then follow this with a liberal dose of Tamiya X-22 gloss varnish in two or three passes, allowing the varnish to dry after each pass.
b) Make sure you minimize the amount of time you dip the decals in water - too long and the decal will float off and lose it's adhesive (all decals have adhesive to bond them to the paint).
c) Make sure you minimize the amount of carrier paper around the decal when sliding it off - more carrier paper means that there's a greater chance of losing some of the decal adhesive
d) Make sure you minimize the amount of movement of the decal on the model surface - -again for reasons noted above.

Hope this all helps. You'll ultimately find the best formula that suits your modeling style. Enjoy !


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2016, 14:47 
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Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 15:06
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Hi Mistral,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my request, I really appreciate it.
That is exactly what I wanted to know.

Learning from the master.


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PostPosted: 20 Apr 2016, 00:25 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
It's a pleasure. :smt023 Decaling is my least favorite part of modeling. I know of other remodelers who absolutely love decaling. I just can't seem to get it 100% correct.


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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2016, 07:43 
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Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 15:06
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Yes, I agree with you, not my favorite part either, but still brings the model to life, and thats what I enjoy.

Do you ever use Humbrol Clear (Acrylic varnish) ?


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PostPosted: 23 Apr 2016, 22:19 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
warbirdfanatic wrote:
Yes, I agree with you, not my favorite part either, but still brings the model to life, and thats what I enjoy.

Do you ever use Humbrol Clear (Acrylic varnish) ?


Generally no, especially over light camo such as USN grey. I'm concerned with possible (no proof) long term yellowing. I use Tamiya X-22.


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2016, 08:33 
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Joined: 03 Apr 2013, 18:00
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I use Markfit and trusty old luke warm water.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2016, 22:31 
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Joined: 20 Nov 2004, 00:57
Posts: 297
These decals applied with using a hairdryer only no solvents used
Image


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2016, 19:56 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2008, 23:07
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Wow!!! =D>


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