Thursday 3 January 2013

Applying decals, using MicroSet and MicroSol

Now that the Jaguar has a nice glossy layer, its time for adding the decals.

In the past, I just slapped on the decals. On many of my older models, the decals have "silvered". Hard to describe, but you'll now what it means if you see it happening. Now, I'm gonna use more care to place them.
Step 1 is making sure you have a glossy spot to put them on. Decals will not stick to matt, acrylic paint, if you do not add a glossy layer.
Step 2 is using decal softeners. I've chosen Microscale's MicroSet and MicroSol.

Cut the desired part from the decal sheet, using a sharp hobby knife. Scissors work equally well, but I find a knife easier to control. If possible, cut a little extra, unused paper, to have a "handle" to hold it with tweezers.

Hold it in a bowl of water for 10-20 seconds (If the decal floats off the paper, you held it in water too long)
then place it on a towel. The towel will absorb the excess water, while the wet paper will continue to do it's work, which is releasing the decal from the paper, while the "glue" is activated, which will stick the decal to your model.

Prepare the spot on your model where the decal is to be placed with a puddle of water, or use MicroSet, which is a dedicated product that will soften the decal, making it easier to place it and easier to follow curves or detail lines on your model.

At this point, using a paintbrush or your knife (careful you don't damage it!), you should be able to move the decal around on the paper. Pick the paper up with tweezers, hold it next to the spot on your model and slide it off onto the puddle of water or MicroSet.

When the decal is in place, you can still slide it around until it's 100% where you want it. If it doesn't want to move, apply more water or MicroSet.

If you're happy with it's placement, softly apply pressure with a cloth to press it down and remove excess moisture.

If the decal is not conforming to the model's shape very well, use MicroSol, which is a more concentrated version of the same product, if I'm not mistaken.
If you experience wrinkling of the decal film, don't panic, it will go away again. If not, apply more MicroSol and let it dry. If there are bubbles underneath the decal, carefully prick the decal and apply more MicroSol.

This is the end result, with all decals placed. The box art shows the circles to be a lot bigger, but my reference photos show them to be more or less accurate.

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