Ita-Sha: clearing over decals help

07-24-2012, 01:18 PM
Hi. Iīve been working on this Ita-Sha model. If you havenīt experienced these kind of kits, they come with a large decal sheet. This decals are very colorful and the film looks actually thicker than average. Also, you have to overlap a lot of graphics, as thatīs the kind of design youīre usually looking for.

Now into my model. Iīve painted a black base for the car and then applied about 60 decals over it, many of them overlapped, and I got up to about 4 or 5 over each other. After lots of microsol and drying time I washed the body and started building up a good clear covering. Started with many mist coats (to prevent from wrecking decals), then applied I believe 3 wet coats (very heavy coats). In the end I think I used more than twice of clear than usual for a racing kit. Left to dry several days to find out that decal "clear part" is still very easy to see. I donīt really know how to name it, but is the line between the edge of decal and body paint, that clear edge that surrounds every decal.
I want to sand and polish as usual, but Iīm afraid of two possible consequences:
- edges would still be seen after all the hassle of sand/polish
- or decals would get rubbed if clear is not protecting them completely leveled.

I never leave a clear finish without sand/polish, but I wouldnīt mind leaving this one unpolished, even when thatīs not my preferred way. But at least I want to get those edges covered.

Do you think Iīm going to rub thru 3 thick clear coats?
Should I follow the "when in doubt... add more clear" rule?
Should I sand down around decal edges to thin them, then add extra clear to seal, then polish final coat?
Should I leave it as is and forget about it?
I will not touch the model until I get some responses :licka: It was tough to get all those decals right to ruin it so fast.

Thanks for your help.

(now the pics)

Look for reflection around graphics (decal edges)

Look behind her neck; look around the leaf on the right side; around "sleep restfully" and "Beatrice" and around her dress.

07-24-2012, 02:03 PM
In my experience, it's tough to completely eliminate the decal edge from view. Since you have some 4 or possibly 5 decals laid on top of each other, I don't know if it's even going to be possible for you without adding so much clear that you begin to muddy the detail of the car.

I would be a little afraid about sanding the edges of the decals, as if you burn through, there's a high probability you will seriously screw things up. Look at the model with an objective eye: can it tolerate another coat or two of clear without looking bad? If so, do it; if not, then just polish (no sanding, depending on how smooth it is; use your best judgement), wax, and be done with it...



07-24-2012, 02:37 PM
definitely go with more clear if you're scared of burning through to the decal. thick clear, then light sanding, then more clear and sanding once more, repeat until you get the paint level.

08-28-2012, 01:37 AM
Hey! Just a little update on this problem I had.
I added a big+thick+heavy wet coat of clear, trying to get something not to be polished. After it dryed, it looked just as before that coat :screwy:
So I started with the 2400 cloth loooking for a matt even surface, and so on up to 8000 and finishing compound. After all that process, I finally got a glossy finish, but the leveled edge of the decals is still there and visible... I considered this project finished as is.

But now, I have just finished a Calsonic Primera, in which I used exactly the same process and products:
- up to the final color coat
- lots of clear to protect paint
- polishing process from 2400 to compound
- apply decals
- lots of clear to protect decals
- polishing process from 2400 to compound

Hypothesis: could it be that, when I added clear after color coat, that thick coat of clear makes the decal stand too separate of the color coat? I mean, like having a painted table, put a 5mm glass over it, then stick a decal. The decal will always be 5mm higher than the table :confused:
I have previously built a R390, applying decals over polished color coat (without clear), and only cleared AFTER the decals. In that R390, decalīs edges are barelly visible, if they are visible.

Any thoughts on this?

08-28-2012, 11:58 AM
There should be no need to clear between final paint and decal unless the paint has a matte finish and you need the gloss for decal application. Apply the decals directly over final paint if possible, then clear.


08-28-2012, 12:42 PM
I think this could help:

When you use thick decals, I recommend using setting/solvent decals solutions, like MicroSET/SOL, and a hairdryer. This will help to thin a little the edges of the decal and to adhere better to the surface.

If you want to apply clear over the decals, spray a couple mist coats and check the decals. If you spray a heavy, wet coat, you are only making the edge of the decal more evident.

09-06-2012, 11:12 PM
Thx for your responses and tips! Iīve used tons of microsol on the Ita-sha model, but no hairdryer, and also cleared the paint before decalling.
Right now Iīm working on a Toms EXIV, which Iīm applying decals over white gloss unpolished paint, using microset/microsol/hot hairdryer. I will then apply clear in 3-4 mist coats, then 2 wets, then polishing process. Hope this works :/
Iīll keep you up.

Add your comment to this topic!