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What The Heck ? Decal Solution, What's the BEST ?


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Hi Gang ( Newbie Here ) :smiley16:


I've got about three airplane kits to build and haven't start any YET !

Just waiting and learning from you great guys to show this newbie the way.


Now I'm reading and getting help from: PETE J. (Thanks so much Pete)


I came across this stuff on Decal Solution and what it does and what it doesn't use.

There are as I see it three different brands.


Questions Please Guys.


Which brand do you mostly USE & WHY ?


I remain your faithful student.

1966 Ford Mustang Convert. (3).htm

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I'm not Pete, but here are some links to decalling tutorials over on U-Tube






Just click onto either link and it should open for you in a new window


Spend a half-hour watching these two videos and almost all your general questions should be answered. Then ask your remaining specific questions and we can get down to brass tacks!


GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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Hi Schooner,


Decal Solutions perform an important function in model building. It makes the decal, essentially a two dimensional object, conform to a three dimensional surface. If the decal is small, it probably doesn't matter but if the decal is large and the surface is curved in both dimensions, the decal needs help stretching or shrinking so that it fits the surface without wrinkles.


Decal solutions available are Micro Sol and Micro Set from Microscale and Solvaset. I also believe that Testors now produces a Decal set.


First, know that very thin decals may bubble up and really look terrible when some solutions are applied. Do not touch these decals. Usually they will shrink back down to the surface. On the other hand, some decals are very thick and may not react immediately to the solutions. Generally these can be made to conform by working the solution onto and under the decal with a brush.


In theory, you wet the surface where the decal is to be applied with Micro Set then apply the decal and then, when it is in place, apply Micro Sol to soften the decal and get it to dry in place.


To my way of thinking, Solvaset is a little more "hot" than the Microscale products. Generally, test the solution with an extra decal before you proceed.


Recently, a member of our club has started using Sparkle Glass Cleaner as a decal solution. I have used it under and over a decal and it does a pretty good job. Check out my review of the L-29 Delfin. The white area on the nose of the airplane is one large decal. It was not a thin decal but I used Sparkle on it and it did a good job of conforming to the curved surface.


Hope this helps.

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I'm not the decal expert that others here are, but I have tried most of the solutions. There are two that have not been mentioned yet and that is Gunze-Sangyo Mr Mark softener and Mr. Mark setter and Scale Motorsports has softener also.


First of all setter v softener. Setter is like a glue enhancer. It makes the decal stick down better and goes down before the decal. Softener does just what it says and softens the decal so it conforms to what ever surface you are putting it on.


Softener really makes a difference in how your decals look. Used properly the decal will snuggle down into panel lines and you can stretch wrinkles out on complex surfaces. Decals need to be stretched to fit many times.


My current favorite is the Gunze Mr Mark softener. The main problem with it is that it can be hard to find. I like it because it seems to work on a variety of decals. Also you can stop the softening action with a spritz of water. This can be very handy because some solutions will take a decal down to absolute mush and can be ruined with a single touch.


Gil's video suggestions are a great place to start. Worth looking at them. Then I must add, there is no one solution that is best for every decal manufacture. I suggest you go to a swap meet and pick up some cheap decals and practice. There is no substitute for your own judgment and technique.

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I also use Walthers Solvaset, mainly because that's what I have on hand. If it's too strong for the decals that I'm using, I dilute it with a little distilled water. I've also used floor polish (Pledge with Future Shine) and it works okay.

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