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cracking decals - Micro Sol Decal Solution or other advice? See pictures


aa240sx
12-06-2013, 05:39 PM
I recently purchased the UNISIA JECS Skyline 1/24 Tamiya kit from a seller on ebay who shall go unnamed.

Anyway, the kit arrived in fine condition, but upon further inspection it was clear the decals had definitely experienced some drying out/rotting/cracking.

Please take a look at the pictures. What do you all think of the condition? Will these immediately disintegrate once water touches them or is it only surface cracks that might hold their form long enough for me to lay them on the car.

Luckily, I was planning to airbrush paint the red portions anyway, but the cracking does seem to extend to other decal pieces that I would not be able to replicate with paint.

Thanks in advance for any help on this matter!

JeremyJon
12-06-2013, 06:27 PM
I can't recommend how to fix those decal sheets as they are - in fact I hate dealing with decals myself LOL - but perhaps consider, before cutting any decals out of the sheets at all, to send them to someone with an ALPS printer capability, who could scan them in, touch up visible cracks in graphics program, and then print new sheets for you

ianc911
12-06-2013, 06:46 PM
There does appear to be some minor cracking there, but it's hard to tell from the pic.

Microscale makes a product called Liquid Decal Film (http://www.microscale.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=MI-12&Category_Code=FINPROD&Product_Count=6). You can paint it over the decal to repair cracks like this, so I would do that before even trying to use them. You must carefully cut around the decals themselves after doing so and before use, as this basically adds a whole layer of carrier film over the top.

Scan them first @ 1200 DPI so you or someone else can print them later if there is a disaster!

ianc

stevenoble
12-06-2013, 07:47 PM
Old Tamiya decals will always crack unless they've been stored correctly. They are just old decals, not much you can do with them. You can try the Micoscale Liquid Decal Film, it may work it may not, but you've nothing to lose in trying. Best bet is to get yourself a new set of modern, quality decals. Tabu Designs do such a set (link below) I always budget new decals into the price when buying on eBay, because nine times out of ten the ones with the kit are useless, either yellowed or old and cracked..

Link for new decals

http://www.hlj.com/product/TAB24027/Aut

Back order them, they should still be able to get them for you. Don't worry about it saying four to six weeks. I ordered some last week for a McLaren and they got them within 3 days. Hope this helps..

aa240sx
12-10-2013, 09:21 PM
thanks for the advice - I've also checked with Tamiya usa to see if they have any replacement decals, but they say they would have to check with Tamiya directly, so not holding my breath there either.

will try the decal solution, but have a feeling tabu design is my only real option here.

sohchx
12-10-2013, 10:59 PM
thanks for the advice - I've also checked with Tamiya usa to see if they have any replacement decals, but they say they would have to check with Tamiya directly, so not holding my breath there either.

will try the decal solution, but have a feeling tabu design is my only real option here.

Yes!! Contact Tamiya California. I called them for replacement decals on a kit produced in 97 and they sent me a whole new set. What you have to do is send the decal sheet to them with a note stating the issue, they will then send you a new sheet for free or a small fee depending on if they have backstock.

ffreak
12-11-2013, 04:56 PM
I have had the same exact problem with older Tamiya decals as well as other brands. My solution has been to spray several coats of Testors decal bonder over them and allow them to dry completely. Then you will have to trim them very close to the actual decal as the spray has made an entire film over them. Then just dip in warm water as usual. This has saved my project many times. Hope this helps.

aa240sx
12-11-2013, 10:44 PM
thanks - that decal bonder sounds like the ticket. definitely try that before the micro sol stuff.

jabel
12-12-2013, 05:35 AM
Micro decal film:
http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/qq80/janochabel/DSCF7287.jpg (http://s435.photobucket.com/user/janochabel/media/DSCF7287.jpg.html)
I tested at the half of the old, cracked tamiya decal, with a simple brush. It dries to a very flat, thin layer, so you shouldn't use airbrush.

http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/qq80/janochabel/DSCF7286.jpg (http://s435.photobucket.com/user/janochabel/media/DSCF7286.jpg.html)

http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/qq80/janochabel/DSCF7288.jpg (http://s435.photobucket.com/user/janochabel/media/DSCF7288.jpg.html)

http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/qq80/janochabel/DSCF7289.jpg (http://s435.photobucket.com/user/janochabel/media/DSCF7289.jpg.html)

http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/qq80/janochabel/DSCF7290.jpg (http://s435.photobucket.com/user/janochabel/media/DSCF7290.jpg.html)

ffreak
12-12-2013, 11:23 AM
thanks - that decal bonder sounds like the ticket. definitely try that before the micro sol stuff.
I have tried using the Microscale in the past and it just never worked for me. I know others have used it and liked it, but just my experience with it, it didn't work and never seemed to lay on level. As always though try a test shot of whatever your using on a spare decal if you can.

stevenoble
12-12-2013, 12:11 PM
To be honest although the Microscale decal film can work if the decals are really bad do yourself a favor, save yourself a load of hassle and buy new decals, if they are available of course..

aa240sx
12-12-2013, 06:13 PM
wow - amazing as the pictures do seem to suggest that the carrier film does it's job. for those with experience using both micro sol and testors, which is better?

I guess part of the question here is also, which is better, brushing material onto decal or spraying it on?

aa240sx
12-12-2013, 06:16 PM
I have had the same exact problem with older Tamiya decals as well as other brands. My solution has been to spray several coats of Testors decal bonder over them and allow them to dry completely. Then you will have to trim them very close to the actual decal as the spray has made an entire film over them. Then just dip in warm water as usual. This has saved my project many times. Hope this helps.

kind of a follow up, but do you have any of those projects posted on these forums? I'm curious if the cracking decals that would now be permanently under the carrier film and presumably under some sort of clear coat still appear with these hairline cracks? I don't presume that any magic liquid would make them disappear, but are they more or less pronounced after being applied?

ffreak
12-12-2013, 06:26 PM
The ones I have used it on, yes it will still show a crack in the color but it just depends on how wide the separation of the color is. A few of mine, yes you could still see it, and others you would just have to know it was there to ever see it. In some areas after the decal has been applied and dried, I have been known to find either a paint color or a Sharpie marker and carefully fill in that line. On those again you would have to know it was there. All of this work is worth the time and trouble in a case where the decals are no longer available.

aa240sx
12-12-2013, 06:40 PM
The ones I have used it on, yes it will still show a crack in the color but it just depends on how wide the separation of the color is. A few of mine, yes you could still see it, and others you would just have to know it was there to ever see it. In some areas after the decal has been applied and dried, I have been known to find either a paint color or a Sharpie marker and carefully fill in that line. On those again you would have to know it was there. All of this work is worth the time and trouble in a case where the decals are no longer available.

cool - knock on wood, but of my entire collection, thankfully, i'm only having to deal with these decal issues on two kits and on those decal sheets only about a 1/4 of the sheet shows this cracking. To fight time, I'll be working on these kits asap. Sucks having to be rushed to build a kit just to make sure the decals for those kits don't disintegrate.

stevenoble
12-12-2013, 06:41 PM
Don't spray the Microscale stuff. It's meant to be brushed only..

stevenoble
12-12-2013, 06:44 PM
cool - knock on wood, but of my entire collection, thankfully, i'm only having to deal with these decal issues on two kits and on those decal sheets only about a 1/4 of the sheet shows this cracking. To fight time, I'll be working on these kits asap. Sucks having to be rushed to build a kit just to make sure the decals for those kits don't disintegrate.

It's about how you store them. Remove them from the kit box and keep them in a separate folder/binder away from cold/damp, extreme heat and sunshine and they will last for years without breaking up...

ffreak
12-12-2013, 07:40 PM
In my cases it has been the older Tamiya F1 and sportscars kits that I bought already opened and had been stored no telling how before I got them. Also even some of my Fujimi kits. Years ago when Monogram/revell was doing the nascar kits there was some kits the decals had no clear carrier at all. That is when I discovered this testors spray bonder and have been using it ever since.

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