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Old 02-18-2007, 09:27 PM
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Applying Decals

Hi everyone.

My friend Sturmman asked me to describe the technique I use to apply decals and get rid of that unwanted silvering so here it is.

First of all, silvering is caused when air gets trapped between the decal and the model. As you might already know the usual method is to apply a coat of gloss varnish to the model, apply the decals and then seal them with another coat of varnish either gloss or matte. One problem with that is that I never have found a matte varnish that works, they always tend to shine a little. Other problem is, there is no guarantee that the decal will affix itself to the whole surface.

So, after a time of experimentation I came up with the technique Iíll show you here. It is easy and only requires few materials.

Here is the list:
1) Water
2) White Glue
3) Acrylic Matte Varnish
4) A Pointed Brush (I use a #1 round)
5) Mixing cup



Since I am not applying any decals at the moment I wonít be able to post any photo of the process but donít worry, as I said, it is very easy.

Ok, the first thing you are going to do is to mix about one drop of glue and one drop of acrylic matte varnish with about 10 drops of water. The consistency should be like a wash, 90% water 10% glue and varnish. (This is not an exact formula, I mix mine without measuring.) The glue will make the decal stick to the model and the varnish will ensure that there is no glossy residue.

Then youíre going to apply the first decal as usual and using the brush apply the mix around and on top of the decal before the decal dries up. If you use to much mix the decal will float but thatís ok, simply put the decal in position and press it down with a paper towel. (What you are trying to do is to get the glue under the decal so when it dries there is no air between the decal and the surface of the model.)

Then continue with the second one and so forth. Once all the decals are completely dry, I usually wait to the next day, you can also apply a coat of the matte varnish over the decal to protect it.


As you can see the decals are totally flat and there is no evidence of silvering whatsoever.

I hope this technique helps you on your next project!

Cheers!!

P.S. If you have any doubt don't hesitate to ask me.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:08 AM
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Can you just clarify for me please Driver. Do you apply your solution to the model and place the decal on that, then go over it again before dry, or just after application ony ? The text reads as if it's only after application, but pressumeably you want your solution under the decal.
The ones in the photo certainly look very good. You needed to post this about one week back !
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:49 AM
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ian - as i understood what ruben wrote, the decal is treated as usual and after applying it on the model you brush the solution over it ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post

... Then youíre going to apply the first decal as usual and using the brush apply the mix around and on top of the decal before the decal dries up. ...
ruben - great tip ... will soon be tried out

best regards,

laura
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:17 AM
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Ah, but if the pva is over the decal and not under it then how does it help to stick it to the model ? If the issue is air under the decal then surely that would still be there ?
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:54 AM
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Hi Ian.

Let me clarify. I place the decal first because the capillary action will make the glue to get between the model and the decal. That's why I brush the solution around the decal as soon as I put it in the model.

But if you want to place the solution in the model and then place the decal you can do it, there is no problem in doing it that way too. The way I described it is how I usually do it but please feel free to modify the method as you see fit. Just remember to dry out the excess of solution or the decal could get out of position.

Last edited by Driver; 02-19-2007 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:53 AM
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Cheers Ruben. Wasn't trying to be awkward, just wondered how it worked. If the capillary action does the job then that makes sense now. Will give it a go for sure
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:11 AM
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Good technique! I'll have to give it a try.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:06 AM
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Nice technique Ruben

Quote:
One problem with that is that I never have found a matte varnish that works, they always tend to shine a little. Other problem is, there is no guarantee that the decal will affix itself to the whole surface.
The best Flat varnish I have used is from Gunze Sangyo and will matte even the most glossy surfaces. For affixing decals, Gunze Sangyo Mr Mark Softer works without fail everytime.

Lawrence
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:19 AM
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i just tried it out with some "not so good" ( ) zvezda decals (one balkenkreuz broke into two pieces ) and what can i say ... brilliant technique! ok the mix ratio is something experimental and i will have to find my optimum mixture of the components but for the first time trying this method i am absolutely satisfied!

ah yes ... the 'floating issue' is something to be very careful as i learned

thanks ruben for sharing this great method
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreighshoer View Post
ok the mix ratio is something experimental and i will have to find my optimum mixture of the components but for the first time trying this method i am absolutely satisfied!
Laura,

For the mixture I usually use much more White Glue than water, sometimes just pure White Glue.

Dave
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