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How do I get decals that lack original adhesive to adhere to models?

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Five years ago we had a house fire. It was confined to the library, wherein were stored all my decals. The quantity of airplane decals were well soaked.

I will unstick them from their storage envelopes by in water. But then how do I get them to stick to the models when I have finished assembling the parts?

Which liquid do I use? Any special adhesive should I use? :shrug:


Many thanks,


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Decals really don’t need adhesive to stick to a model.  I’ve always washed off the adhesive before applying decals just so any organic material won’t turn yellow later.  Proper surface preparation is the best thing you can do, plus using good setting and solvent solutions.

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One method I have used in the past  is to apply an acrylic clear coat over the colours, and instead of MicroSet, I brush some Tamiya acrylic thinner (X-20A I believe) over the area where the decal goes.  This dissolves the acrylic clear coat and turns it slightly milky, then apply the decal over it. The dissolved clear coat will glue the decal to the model.  Also, the Tamiya acrylic thinner will act as a solvent to soften the decal and make it conform. 


One word of warning though - you need to act quickly to ensure the decal is in the right place before it softens to the point where you can't touch it.  It is not a method that works well for large decals or walkways for example where a fair bit of adjustment may be needed.  You only get one chance, but you will never get silvering.

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