Re: Decal problems

Schuyler Larrabee

If it is still available, Kodak’s “Photo-flo” is better than detergent for breaking surface tension.  One loaded brushful is enough to relax the tension on a saucerful of distilled water.  And looking at my little bottle, about 1.5” diameter and 3.25” high ( the  fl. oz. amount is washed away) I think I’ll go see if I can get another couple of bottles, though this on has lasted me for several decades.  Retirement and more intensive modeling looms, you see . . .




From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Pierre Oliver
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2014 3:41 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Decal problems




I had a similar experience some years ago. Wound up stripping some of the paint and redecaling.

The ink wouldn't soften with setting solution 

Contact me off list for the gory details.

Pierre Oliver

On May 4, 2014, at 3:22 PM, Anspach Denny <danspachmd@...> wrote:


Not so long ago, Bill Darnaby reported application problems with some custom decals (Alps) that he was attempting to apply, namely that they simply would not settle or draw down, no matter what.  Well, I think that I have similar problem, mine with some otherwise-stunning  custom decals from another maker who also produces them on an Alps printer.  I suspect that both may be using the same decal papers.


I have posed this question to the supplier, but have not yet received a reply.


My problems: 


1) The decals will simply will not separate nor slide without a lot of physical pushing and shoving (soft brush, tooth pick), even with soaking to the extent that the relatively thick paper backing completely delaminates (often at the very moment that one is attempting to transfer the decal). 


2) Instead of floating or sliding, the decal clings to the paper, commonly wrapping itself or twisting around the paper edge,  twisting over often onto the backside, sometimes upside down. Undoing this commonly results in collateral damage, losing either parts of the decal, or the ink chipping off!


3) The decals will simply not settle down over rivets, etc., despite a desperation application of Walthers SolvaSet. 


3) I have already used up the principal parts of two decal sets on one incompleted model in probably a net 6 hours of intermittent  effort, and I have just made an executive decision  scrape a bunch off and repaint before I have more damage.  I never, ever have had such difficulty in decal application.  Whew!  Unless otherwise solved in the meantime, I will try to cobble together some replacements from Microscale sets. 


Do my experiences ring any bells in the minds of other users?  Would the crippling and overwhelming surface tension characteristics demonstrated by these decals be ameliorated by using water with a drop of detergent (diluted big time, of course), or would the detergent interfere with decal adhesion, and or cause some discoloration or haziness?




Denny S. Anspach MD






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