fine mold decals question

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neosporing

Sr Member
hello all,

After applying some tamiya primer to my 144 scale falcon, my surface became so slick that my fine mold decals aren't sticking. I've used some cotton to press the decals down around the details, but on a few, the decals are popping up and seem ready to fly away with the wind. Is there anything i can do to get them to sit back down and stay on the model so that i can get some matt clear coat over it? Can i just clear coat it now? will that set the decals or just make it worse? Any tips?
[edit: can i apply microsol after the decals have dried?]
 
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JMChladek

Sr Member
How did you apply them originally. It sounds almost like they got soaked to the point that the adhesive came off the back. I've applied FineMolds decals before and using the method of soaking them for a max of five seconds in the dip bowl and letting them sit on a towel for about another minute (to where the water already on them would soften them) worked fine and I never really had a problem with them wanting to come up.

Now you say the surface of your model is "slick". Is it still flat or was it glossy? Reason being is if the surface is flat, decals (especially small ones) don't want to stick as well either since it is like putting a blanket on a microscopic mountain range. A quick shot of a gloss or semi-gloss clearcoat before decaling helps and it can reduce "silvering" which is that "scotch tape" appearance a decal can have when it is applied over a flat surface,

Now one thing that might help to fix it would be to mix some white glue into the decal water and apply the mixture with a cotton bud. If done properly, the thinned glue might be able to get under the sides of the decal and by gently rolling a wet cotton bud over the top, you would essentially be doing a miniature version of applying wallpaper. It works better (and on flat surfaces) if you do this during decal application, especially if doing it on a flat surface since the thinned glue can also help take up the space between the decal and the paint to help eliminate silvering. But it can potentially also work to help get a decal that won't stick so well to finally stick. After doing this when the model is fully dry, use a fresh cotton bud just wetted with water to remove any dried glue spots.

Microsol is best used on a decal during application. It is designed to eat into the decal's clear film to help the remaining ink to conform to a decal's surface better. The Microscale products in my experience work fine on FineMolds decals. But I don't know what it would do if the decal is having trouble sticking to the model. But if the decal is down already, yes it can be applied over an already dried decal to perhaps help it to conform better. I've sometimes had to do that on a model where about a day after my application a couple markings are still not 100% quite to my satisfaction.
 

neosporing

Sr Member
Thanks for the reply. diluted elmers did the trick. I didn't expect the fine mold decals to come off so easily. I used some hot water and had them submerged for a good 10 seconds. It was a flat tamiya primer that dried so smoothly the decals had nothing to bite onto. My decals are silvering just as you said, I didn't hit it with the clear coat as i hadn't finished weathering. I have microsol coming in the mail monday will apply then. hopefully after i finish weathering, the dull coat will fix the decals into place. Thanks for your advice!
 

MonsieurTox

Master Member
The problem is that you tried to put your decals over primer...
Decals have to be put on a glossy surface for both stick to it and avoid silvering.
 

neosporing

Sr Member
The problem is that you tried to put your decals over primer...
Decals have to be put on a glossy surface for both stick to it and avoid silvering.
so..
1. primer
2. gloss coat
3. decals
4. weathering
5. matte coat..
- i've never weathered over a gloss coat i'll give it a go.
thanks for the tips!
I guess i'm stuck at this point and am considering just masking off the sections and painting. I used an acrylic wash and ended up with some dried droplets and didn't want to seal them in with a clear coat.
 
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MonsieurTox

Master Member
Actually that would be :

1-primer
2-base coat
3-gloss coat only where there are decals (Future for example). Some modelers (usually not sci-fi guys) prefer to gloss coat the whole model to help having the washes only in the engraved lines. We dont want that on our models :)
4-apply the decals
5-gloss coat on the decals (decals are between 2 gloss coats, it will avoid silvering)
6-matte coat (all over the model
7-weathering
8-base coat mist to blend everything
9-matte, satin, glossy coat (whatever finish you want, usually matte) to protect your weathering. You may not want to clear coat your model if you want to keep several effect (satin to glossy grease marks, flat rust, satin paneling here and there etc)

Keep in mind that primer is primer... Not an actual base coat !
 

neosporing

Sr Member
thanks for the clarification. I have a question. Won't having 5-6 coats fill in the engraved lines and make weathering difficult?
 

MonsieurTox

Master Member
Not if you use thin layers. And the clear coat should only be where the decals would be.


You can have even more layers if you use pre shading and post shading !


Just keep in mind to apply very thin layers. :)
 

neosporing

Sr Member
i've not put decals on the bottom side of the model yet so i will be trying your 'lite' layer of gloss, micro set and sol for the decals this time around. then the matte clear coat. before final weathering.
 

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rbeach84

Sr Member
Neosporing, 'dump' the thought that decals need something to 'bite' onto (as in a mechanical adhesion.) You may have experienced a chemical incompatibility or just a bad 'batch' of decals that didn't have the necessary amount of decal adhesive on the paper. Also, you should generally only use WARM water & not HOT for decaling. Hot water may have actually 'washed off' the adhesive.

Decals stick more via 'surface tension' than through any kind of mechanical action. It is a 'film' phenom more than anything. I have also used Future (or now "Johnson Pledge Floor Care Multi-Surface Finish") clear acrylic liquid as a 'surface prep & adhesion promoter' by applying an appropriately sized 'puddle' to the model with a brush & then putting the decal into it (obviously, the surface must be "up" and level to prevent run off...) This serves well to eliminate silvering and really boosts the adhesion. However, the "Future' formula has changes a bit so I'd recommend testing all the various products to ensure they are compatible (primarily the Microscale SOL & SET liquids...)

Regards, Robert
 

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