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Decals breaking :( help needed + more


keveuh
10-05-2013, 10:38 AM
Hello everybody.

I've been working on a Tamiya Carrera GT, the car is almost finished but I've had a hard time with the decals, half of them cracked and I had to do without them. For some I found something to replace them for others well they are just not there ! Fortunately it's not a racing car !!! Funny thing is that I've donne 3 racing cars (with Cartograph decals) and no real problems.

So I'd like to know what tips do you have to successfully apply decals. Should I use micro set/sol ? Or only set is enough ? Because I read that micro sol can really damage decals if you put too much.

Also about the transparent edges on the decals: how are you supposed to cut that off and still be able to hold the decals to slide it to the place you want ?
I mean when you cut the decal from the decals sheet you need to leave a space of sheet where you can hold the piece with your tweezers for example, but by doing so you have to let a part of that "tranparent border" around the decal. And if I would cut that border completely (which would be very helpfull) I don't understand how I would be supposed to hold the decals after I dipped it in the water, because there wouldn't be anywhere to hold the sheet of paper under the decal. Well, hopefully you know what I mean.

I have a Tamiya Calsonic GTR to make and I'm really thinking if I should'nt make a street car out of it to avoid the decals mess because on that one the decals are not printed by Cartograph.

And I have another question which my sound silly but it is serious.
I would like to order from hobbysearch (1999.co.jp) some tools which are very hard to find elsewhere at any reasonable price and a kit. But is it safe to order from Japan after the Fukushima nuclear accident ?


Thanks for your help.

stevenoble
10-05-2013, 11:39 AM
Firstly, no problem whatsoever to order from Hobbysearch. Been ordering there for 8+ years and never had a problem. Just had an order from them arrive last week. They are one of the best so order with 100% confidence.
Now the decals. One thing is certain. If decals are disintegrating, then they are either old decals, or poor quality decals. You may be able to save the decals with a coat of Microscale Liquid Decal Film (Google it) This can be applied by brush over the decal and will hold it together. If however the sheet is simply useless, then new decals may be the only option. I usually factor in the cost of new, aftermarket decals when buying a kit, as I never really trust old kit decals..
I don't understand the part you wrote about cutting off the transparent edges of the decals..?? Most kit decals have that transparent edge and usually you should leave it on. Only exception is clear parts where I may trim it off so it's not as noticeable, but generally I leave it in place. Most decal sheets are not a solid sheet. The decals are already 'cut' for you and when you trim them out with your scissors you are just releasing them from the backing sheet not actually cutting any clear film. There are the odd exception where some are printed onto one big sheet and you must cut them yourself, but most kit decals are pre-cut for you.
This bit about holding the decals, has me baffled. I cut them out, clear edge or not and hold them with tweezers by the decal (anywhere on the decal) I then lift it over the model, release the grip with the tweezers and using a wet brush slide the decal onto the models surface. Then using the wet brush move the decal into place on the model, blot out the excess water, apply Microsol, but only if needed, as it isn't always needed. That's it...

keveuh
10-05-2013, 01:53 PM
- About hobbysearch do you choose EMS or SAL ?

- About that transparent edge I talked about, I think it's sometimes needed to remove it. For example if you have a big decal to apply on the front hood of a car you don't need to remove the borders of the decal.
Au contraire, if it's a small decal sometimes the decal is bigger than the place it's supposed to fit and in that case I think it's needed to cut the borders of the decal so it can fit in its place.
But the way you explained you hold your decals I hadn't thought about so I'll try it.

- Something else I forgot to mention is that sometimes the decal doesn't seem to stick at all the the surface ! Like today when I tried to apply a small Porsche logo on a wheel when I gently tapped the decal with a brush first and then a cotton swab the decal sticked on both the brush first and then the cotton swab and eventually it broke.
That 's funny that the "face" of the decal sticks more then its "back".

Thanks.

stevenoble
10-05-2013, 02:12 PM
- About hobbysearch do you choose EMS or SAL ?

SAL everytime. Takes about 10-12 days from Japan to the UK. Works out a lot less expensive. I only use EMS if it's an expensive kit, say MFH worth hundreds of pounds, then EMS because it's insured with that option.

About that transparent edge I talked about, I think it's sometimes needed to remove it. For example if you have a big decal to apply on the front hood of a car you don't need to remove the borders of the decal.
Au contraire, if it's a small decal sometimes the decal is bigger than the place it's supposed to fit and in that case I think it's needed to cut the borders of the decal so it can fit in its place.

I only tend to remove the edge if necessary for the reasons you have described. Generally it's better if you leave it on unless removing it will assist it's placement etc..


Something else I forgot to mention is that sometimes the decal doesn't seem to stick at all the the surface ! Like today when I tried to apply a small Porsche logo on a wheel when I gently tapped the decal with a brush first and then a cotton swab the decal sticked on both the brush first and then the cotton swab and eventually it broke.
That 's funny that the "face" of the decal sticks more then its "back"

Are you applying the decals on a gloss surface..?? Decals don't stick well onto matt or rough surfaces and will stick much better onto gloss surfaces. If you need another finish apply the decals onto the gloss surface and when dry overspray them with satin or matt clear to give the correct finish you desire. If you're having adhesion problems on gloss surfaces it sounds like bad decals to me or old decals..?? Again new ones are recommended. Again if decals are breaking up, then they're either old decals or bad decals..

keveuh
10-06-2013, 02:08 AM
The surface was gloss indeed and the decal didn't stick well at all nonetheless.
You talk about buying new decals but is it possible to find decals for any models ? On hobbysearch I see they have some replacement decals sheet but many are out of stock and what tells me that those are not too old as well and of bad quality ?

Thanks.

stevenoble
10-06-2013, 04:36 PM
The surface was gloss indeed and the decal didn't stick well at all nonetheless.
You talk about buying new decals but is it possible to find decals for any models ? On hobbysearch I see they have some replacement decals sheet but many are out of stock and what tells me that those are not too old as well and of bad quality ?

Thanks.

It sounds like you have old decals or decals from a 'bad batch' Decals will have a shelf life, that is a period where they are at their best. Usually the older they are, the less I trust them. I've got to the point where nowadays I very rarely, if ever, use kit decals. I usually replace them with aftermarket ones when I buy the kit. Sometimes if I buy a second hand kit from eBay I will check first if any aftermarket decals are available, before I set my price.
If you're looking for 'good' decals of high quality just go for the brand names that you can trust, Studio 27, Shunko, Tabu, Cartograph etc. You really won't go wrong with any of those and they won't be bad quality or not adhere properly etc. The decals that Hobbysearch and HLJ sell are usually from these brands. You will find that once in stock they will sell out very quickly. Popular sheets will be gone in a matter of days, sometimes hours. So if you see a sheet you want buy it straight away because although they may print a second batch on popular sheets they sometimes don't and once they are sold out they are sometimes gone forever. Don't fear about them being old decals, usually they are not on the shelf long enough for that..!!
Also the way you store the decals helps prolong their shelf life. I remove all my decals from the kit box and store them in plastic zip lock wallets in an A4 folder. Keep them cool and dry and away from any damp, moisture or sunshine, all of which can ruin them.

keveuh
10-07-2013, 01:35 AM
It sounds like you have old decals or decals from a 'bad batch' Decals will have a shelf life, that is a period where they are at their best. Usually the older they are, the less I trust them. I've got to the point where nowadays I very rarely, if ever, use kit decals. I usually replace them with aftermarket ones when I buy the kit. Sometimes if I buy a second hand kit from eBay I will check first if any aftermarket decals are available, before I set my price.
If you're looking for 'good' decals of high quality just go for the brand names that you can trust, Studio 27, Shunko, Tabu, Cartograph etc. You really won't go wrong with any of those and they won't be bad quality or not adhere properly etc. The decals that Hobbysearch and HLJ sell are usually from these brands. You will find that once in stock they will sell out very quickly. Popular sheets will be gone in a matter of days, sometimes hours. So if you see a sheet you want buy it straight away because although they may print a second batch on popular sheets they sometimes don't and once they are sold out they are sometimes gone forever. Don't fear about them being old decals, usually they are not on the shelf long enough for that..!!
Also the way you store the decals helps prolong their shelf life. I remove all my decals from the kit box and store them in plastic zip lock wallets in an A4 folder. Keep them cool and dry and away from any damp, moisture or sunshine, all of which can ruin them.

Well thank you again for all the helpfull informations. I'll see if I can find decals for my kit if not I still have ideas what to do with it anyway. I just need to learn now how to modify/make stuff with styrene and epoxy putty...

sohchx
10-08-2013, 11:35 AM
Keveuh, If you call Tamiya customer service and explain your decal situation they will probably send you a whole new set. They did that for me last week and the kit was discontinued. I assume they will tell you the same thing they told me. Place the remaining decals from the kit in an envelope with a brief explanation of the issue and they will send you a new set.

keveuh
10-09-2013, 01:39 AM
Keveuh, If you call Tamiya customer service and explain your decal situation they will probably send you a whole new set. They did that for me last week and the kit was discontinued. I assume they will tell you the same thing they told me. Place the remaining decals from the kit in an envelope with a brief explanation of the issue and they will send you a new set.


That's good to know ! Unfortunately it's not so much left of my sheet of decals from my Carrera GT kit so I don't think I can do so much with that, but for my futur kits I'll keep that in mind.

I found a webstore here that sells Micro set/sol/decal film, so I plan to buy all three of them to make my next kit: Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R Gr.A. A kit from the 90's, I don't lnow if the one I have is a reedition or if it's one made in the 90's but in that case the decals must be pretty old... at least the kit itself looks old, it's nothing like the newer Tamiya kits with nice molding and details.

Thanks.

I forgot to ask something about Micro Sol/Set, I read they gave a flat look when dried, and therefore you should apply it carefully only at the place the the decal will be. Is this true ? Because let's say I put some microset somewhere by mistake will it make my glossy surface look flat (on the body for example)?

sohchx
10-09-2013, 11:07 AM
That's good to know ! Unfortunately it's not so much left of my sheet of decals from my Carrera GT kit so I don't think I can do so much with that, but for my futur kits I'll keep that in mind.

I found a webstore here that sells Micro set/sol/decal film, so I plan to buy all three of them to make my next kit: Tamiya Calsonic Skyline GT-R Gr.A. A kit from the 90's, I don't lnow if the one I have is a reedition or if it's one made in the 90's but in that case the decals must be pretty old... at least the kit itself looks old, it's nothing like the newer Tamiya kits with nice molding and details.

Thanks.

I forgot to ask something about Micro Sol/Set, I read they gave a flat look when dried, and therefore you should apply it carefully only at the place the the decal will be. Is this true ? Because let's say I put some microset somewhere by mistake will it make my glossy surface look flat (on the body for example)?


Be very careful with the Micro sol and Tamiya decals. It will do one of two things to them, they will either completely disintegrate or they will fold over onto them selves. It works really well on thicker decals though. You can get away with using it on them if you dilute it.

stevenoble
10-09-2013, 11:28 AM
Don't overdo the Microsol, only use it if really needed and put it just onto the decal area not all over the paintwork. It can mark the paint if left on for too long and leave what look like water spots on the surface, however these can be polished off with a little rubbing compound quite easily..

keveuh
10-09-2013, 01:48 PM
Ok so micro sol is only for very delicate surfaces then. But does micro set helps the decals to stick ? Or does it just help to soften the decals like micro sol ?

Thanks.

stevenoble
10-09-2013, 02:23 PM
Ok so micro sol is only for very delicate surfaces then. But does micro set helps the decals to stick ? Or does it just help to soften the decals like micro sol ?

Thanks.

Microset is more to help the decals to stick properly, although most good aftermarket decals will stick well enough anyway without the use of it. It also helps the decals to slide around on the surface and allow easy positioning in the correct place on the model..

MockTurtle
10-10-2013, 11:10 AM
have a scale motorsport cf decal sheet that's soooo brittle they broke immediately when soaked with water :banghead:

airbrushed the sheet with tamiya clear gloss and was able to use 'em like normal :runaround:

X-22 saved my life!

sohchx
10-10-2013, 11:23 AM
have a scale motorsport cf decal sheet that's soooo brittle they broke immediately when soaked with water :banghead:

airbrushed the sheet with tamiya clear gloss and was able to use 'em like normal :runaround:

X-22 saved my life!


Note taken to not buy that product, lol. How flexible was it afterwards? After clearing it I wonder how it would react to micro sol if at all.

keveuh
10-10-2013, 11:42 AM
have a scale motorsport cf decal sheet that's soooo brittle they broke immediately when soaked with water :banghead:

airbrushed the sheet with tamiya clear gloss and was able to use 'em like normal :runaround:

X-22 saved my life!


Well that's interesting ! I have some x-22 so I might try this trick if needed.
And I think I'll buy some Mr Mark Setter/Softer instead of MicroSet/Sol.

stevenoble
10-10-2013, 12:56 PM
Note taken to not buy that product, lol. How flexible was it afterwards? After clearing it I wonder how it would react to micro sol if at all.

Scalemotorsport had a problem a while back with some of their sheets. I remember someone posting about it. I'm pretty sure that they replaced any defective sheets, but don't quote me for definite on that. I've used many of their carbon decals and never had that problem before, they are an excellent product. All I can say is that the affected sheets must have been a bad batch, which can happen when you produce the amount of carbon decals that they do...

MockTurtle
10-10-2013, 09:23 PM
Note taken to not buy that product, lol. How flexible was it afterwards? After clearing it I wonder how it would react to micro sol if at all.

was still able to microsol it afterwards no problemo :cool:

Scalemotorsport had a problem a while back with some of their sheets. I remember someone posting about it. I'm pretty sure that they replaced any defective sheets, but don't quote me for definite on that. I've used many of their carbon decals and never had that problem before, they are an excellent product. All I can say is that the affected sheets must have been a bad batch, which can happen when you produce the amount of carbon decals that they do...

plausible. these were purchased a while back... hope the issue's fixed as i really like their decal patterns.

GemOnline
04-16-2014, 02:42 PM
I know its quite late to respond on this topic, however, it would be a great addition if you try to consider that instead of putting a whole car decals, would it be possible if you consider putting a vinyl decals with characters you like. This i think a good addition. Like photos i have here/

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