- Start with a glossy surface, adding a gloss coat if needed.
- Using a fresh x-acto blade, cut out the decal leaving as little decal film around it as possible and dip in distilled water.
- Place the decal on a paper towel to wick off excess water & allow the decal to loosen from the backing.
- Slide the decal off slightly to expose just enough paper backing to allow you to grab it with tweezers.
- I then brush some MicroSet onto the model where I will be putting the decal (the instructions say to brush on some water, but it beaded up on the glossy surface).
- "Lay the paper on the model while still holding with tweezers and slide the decal on to the model." (direct quote from the instructions). Use something dull (I use a toothpick) to hold the decal as you pull/slide the paper backing out from under it.
- If necessary, use the toothpick to move the decal into final position. Be careful you don't damage the decal!
- Once in position, leave it alone until it dries completely. You can use a corner of a paper towel to wick away any excess fluid/water. But then, leave it alone.
- Next day, if there's any "silvering" or air bubbles, prick with a sharp pin and add a decal setting solution (I use MicroSol) at the edges of the decal and at the pricked parts. Capillary action will pull the solvent underneath the decal. Leave it alone and allow it to dry again completely.
- Repeat step 9 if necessary, using Walthers Solvaset if needed to get the decal to really settle in and snuggle down over detail and into crevices. But beware - Solvaset is very aggressive.
Here's a photo of the first side, done with Future over a satin finish:
|You can always click on an image to enlarge it.
And here's a photo of the other side that I did over a glossy surface as I described above:
I think this turned out better - the edges of the decals are just about invisible and everything is snuggled down nicely. I also didn't mess anything up by disturbing the decal as it was setting.
Actually, both processes yield good/great results. Having done them both, I will try and add a gloss coat first and decal the recommended way described in this post. However, it's nice to know that if I have a model that has a less-than-glossy surface and I can't add any gloss for some reason, using Future as a base rather than MicroSet will be ok. Heck, I've even used Future to add decals to a car that had a flat finish - but I wouldn't recommend it.
Either way, after I add a dull coat and do some weathering, I bet anyone would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two sides. And that's a win in my book!
(Happy Friday and Happy Springfield Eve to all coming to the BigE Train Show this weekend! If you do, please say "Hi" if you happen to see me - hope to see many of you there!)