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Decal Techniques, Manufacture & Restoration

Frequently Asked Questions on any topic relating to 1/144 modelling.
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smeg1959
JV 144 6 Star
JV 144 6 Star
Posts: 5939
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:12
1/144 Interest: Yes
Location: Ringwood, Victoria, Australia
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Australia

Re: Decal Techniques, Manufacture & Restoration

#2

Post by smeg1959 »

Just revisited this site after a couple of disasters with the F-Toys' B5N2 Kate. I was constructing the straight silver version last night and wanted to check the angle of the undercarriage against the green spotted version that I built about a year ago. Lo and behold, the underwing hinomaru had developed large air bubbles, so I gently pierced a hole in each and brushed on some Microsol Super Sol (which I always use to soften the decals upon application). No go - upon pressing down gently with a paper tissue, one of the hinomaru simply disintegrated. I scraped off the remaining fragments whilst swearing under my breath.

Worse was to come. When I tried to apply the hinomaru to the silver beast (i.e. a "new" decal sheet), neither would stick, no matter what - water, Super Sol, the works. I also tried applying the white "8" in the centre of the fuselage hinomaru with the same lack of success. Clearly, there is something very wrong with the decal sheet that accompanied both of my Kates. As I purchased them at the same time from the same dealer, I am assuming they were probably part of the one batch. At least, that's what I am hoping, as I'd hate to think I'm going to start getting dodgy decals on a regular basis from F-Toys!

Question is, has anyone else had this problem and, if so, with what decals? And to those of you with the F-Toys Kate, did your decals do "the right thing"?

As to my Kates, I will probably get MYK's "Akagi Type 97" (the B5N2) decal sheet and rectify both. I'm also going to start going through my collection and give each model a protective coat or two of the appropriate sheen clear finish. With a matt finish, I've had good results in the past with Testors Dull Cote, but I'd be interested to see what others use and whether I should be including Finish (or my Aussie equivalent noted elsewhere) in the mix.
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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moresby
JV144 2 Star
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 16:17
1/144 Interest: No
Location: Roma ,Italy
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Re: Decal Techniques, Manufacture & Restoration

#3

Post by moresby »

I sometimes use a very low-tech solution: I usually apply a small drop of vinavil glue with the tip of a needle to have decals stick to their surfaces in difficult, bendy places. Water will dissolve most of it and, remember, it is white when fresh but turns clear when dry.

User avatar
smeg1959
JV 144 6 Star
JV 144 6 Star
Posts: 5939
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:12
1/144 Interest: Yes
Location: Ringwood, Victoria, Australia
Contact:
Australia

Re: Decal Techniques, Manufacture & Restoration

#4

Post by smeg1959 »

Here's an issue which I discovered whilst sealing decals recently.

I was applying some hakenkreuz decals purchased from Matt Snedden on evilBay (and great decals they are, too) to the tails of a couple of my swag of Bf109s. After allowing at least 12 hours for the MicroSol to completely dry, I sprayed the entire aircraft with Tamiya Clear Matt spray (TS-80). No problems there ... except that I thought masking the canopies with Silly Putty would be a good move; you should never spray matt coatings over transparencies or they will tend to fog up quite markedly. Well, imagine my surprise when I came to remove the Silly Putty blobs off the canopies the next morning only to find the Silly Putty had dissolved and spread itself across half of each of the models! Now I should point out that using a separate blob of Silly Putty and touching it to the surface numerous times eventually removed all the exterior traces of this new coating, and that the matt coat underneath had not been compromised visually, but I did find traces of putty had permeated into the cockpit via a tiny crack between the canopy and the fuselage. :oops:

Moral to the story. Use Silly Putty when spraying acrylics, but stick to tape when using lacquer-based coatings like Tamiya's TS range or Testors Dullcote/Glosscote.

PS. Never did resolve my issue with Kate! :cry:
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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