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Advice on large decals


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#1 themongoose

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:16 AM

So I started with some of the smaller decals on the wing tips tonight. Many of the decals for my 1/32 Thunderbirds Phantom are downright huge! I've watched the basic videos. What I think I need though is some advice on prepping and handling a decal that's 3/4 the size of the fuselage on this big bird. Can anyone offer some advice? Here's a sneak peak at the first one, just after some micro-sol applied for the first time.
AE4E1C1C-95B3-4F21-B5F1-C2B60BD36D3A_zps

#2 CANicoll

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:28 AM

Mongoose:

 

I have a couple of different ways I go about really large decals:  One is to segment them if possible - cut along the color line to separate them and re-assemble on the plane.  Cuts down on the air bubbles, and just the handling.  That is not always possible I know.

The other is what I call the 'roll' technique.  I try and GENTLY roll the decal before I put it into the water (does not have to be a small roll to work, a large loop works too) and then literally roll the decal onto the model smoothing as I go. This works best on flat surfaces like wings and rudders. 

 

You might be able to do a drape over the fuselage if you can establish a good centering point.

 

Good luck, hope this helps,  and post your pics!

 

Chris


Edited by CANicoll, 02 May 2017 - 02:29 AM.

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#3 LSP_Kevin

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 04:30 AM

Good tips, Chris! Another I would add is to use relatively cold water. The idea of using warm water with decals, in part, is that is helps soften the decal slightly, thereby helping them to settle into and over surface detail (it also helps release them from the backing paper more quickly and reliably). However, it can also make them prone to stretching, curling, and folding - all of which can be disastrous on a large decal.

 

Kev


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#4 Shawn M

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:11 PM

On the really big ones I also flood the surface with water to prevent it from grabbing hold till Im ready, I also keep a bevvy of clean paint brushes near by to help get water under tricky spots or to unfold it if it flops over on itself.


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#5 CANicoll

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:29 AM

I had not thought about the colder water that Kev recommends - will keep that in mind for sure.  And definitely having wet paint brushes handy is a good idea.  I also keep sharp toothpicks handy too.

 

How did it go Mongoose?


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#6 Joel_W

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:09 PM

   Large decals have been my biggest concern and issue since I moved up to 1/32 scale from 1/48 scale.  I've tried the cold water method, and it takes a long time for larger decals to release from the backing paper, they also don't respond well to compound curves and raised details.  I've found that warm water under the decal works much better them Micro Set as the decal doesn't adhere to the surface nearly as fast so gentley working it over raised detail is much easier.   I do need to add a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap to break the surface tension so that the water doesn't pool up, but rather lays out over the surface of the model.

 

   I've tried Chris's method of cutting decals, and at least for me the results haven't been consistent nor very encouraging. I usually end up with a slightly misaligned decal where the base color shows through in a few spots, or the edges don't exactly line up.

 

Joel


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​ 57JzwY.jpg

 

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#7 themongoose

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 03:25 AM

Ok, I got alot of good ideas to try. I'm ready to put the birds on this plane this weekend so I'll post my results by Sunday i would think.

#8 Shawn M

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:15 PM

Are the birds one piece?

 

I'd cut them into sections if so


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#9 themongoose

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 01:05 AM

Are the birds one piece?
 
I'd cut them into sections if so


Halves
99BFC422-959B-4E94-85DC-08ED7A912B61_zps

#10 MikeC

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 05:21 AM

TBH for something that size I'd try to mask and spray if I could.  That raises a whole new set of problems though, foremost among which is colour matching.  As for complex shapes, a couple of photocopies of the decal sheet (one for a backup/spare) makes a good template for masking said complex shapes.

 

If I do go the decal route, as others have said above, I try to cut them into segments if at all possible.


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#11 themongoose

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 05:31 AM

This turned out good overall. Lots of warm water to keep them from sticking. Biggest problem was the edges kept curling over. These CAM decals sit down really well. I kept each one together because the bottom of the fuselage has too many features to work around so i figured they'd never line up. I used the micro set and sol on these.
C85920BF-46B5-41CC-953A-2A1703D42B25_zps
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#12 Shawn M

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:55 PM

looks great from what I see!

 

good work


I dont suffer from AMS, I revell in it..get it...Revell





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