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? about the storage and shelf life of DTs


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About a decade ago I wrote an article about the joys of dry transfers and how to use them for a popular British model magazine (Scale Aircraft Modelling). While researching the piece I consulted with Archer quite a bit and you sent me a number of your sheets. I still have those I did not use.

Not long after, a serious health issue took me away from modelling for years. Now I'm back. I love my Archer DTs and want to use them, but I wonder if they're all still good. If the prop tips are any evidence, the answer is no.

Is there anything I can do to coax these transfers back to life? I found that the 1/35 Jeep instruments worked a charm, and they were just as old as the prop tips.

What's the gentlest way to burnish to avoid crumbling and flaking? And do you have a standard shelf life you recommend?

Many thanks for any help. Now, and for your help on the article (I just found a copy of it), and thanks for a fine product (only a masochist likes painting prop tips).

 

 

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When we started manufacturing dry transfers over 30 years ago, our proprietary process was state of the art, but since then dry transfer technology has become obsolete. Back before computer graphics, dry transfers were used by graphic designers to show the client what their packaging would look like. It was an extremely expensive and time consuming proposition, yet it was the only way (other than a press proof, which was even more expensive) to put a design on a box or can, or whatever. Back then we could buy chemicals from several different suppliers, each competing for a part of a highly lucrative market. However, there was only one source of an adhesive with a long shelf life and it was the only adhesive we used. 

 

A few years ago, that supplier stopped making it and we bought their remaining stock. When that ran out we tried several different other adhesives with mixed results, then the original adhesive became available again, or so we thought. The latest batch was not the original and it was at that point we realized it was time to throw in the towel. Dry transfers are dead. Time marches on and new technologies emerge so we adapted. The products and technology we now sell are state of the art and far superior to dry transfers.

 

As for storage, keep them in a sealed zip-lock bag and don't put weight on them, but eventually the adhesive will dry out. The only way to re-activate the adhesive is to airbrush a wet coat of lacquer thinner on them, but the results will be mixed. Having said that, all I can tell you is that everything Archer has ever sold comes with a lifetime replacement or refund guarantee. Simply return the unused portion and ask for a refund and you'll get it. 

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I have used dry transfers that were decades old and got them to work. I also have AFT's from some of their earliest issues and have never had problems beyond the usual dry transfer issues. 

Woody is right, though, dry transfers seem to be out as the new removable film technology is a lot easier to use, not to mention the new Portrait mask cutters. 

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14 hours ago, LSP_Ray said:

I have used dry transfers that were decades old and got them to work. I also have AFT's from some of their earliest issues and have never had problems beyond the usual dry transfer issues. 

 

Yep, I still have some that we printed 25 years ago and they're fine. Over the past 5 years it was nothing but non stop frustration with adhesives, even the same stuff we were using back then changed even though we were told it was the same. When the people you've been dealing with for 25 years start jerking you around it's time to go.

 

When we emptied the shelves of the remaining dry transfers in January our future was pretty uncertain, but the new stuff - N.C.F. (No Clear Film) decals, Nano-Film decals and Fabric Texture - has been very well received and we haven't missed a beat. Quite frankly I'm thrilled to be rid of the DT's. 

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