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How to make decals with masks.


WoodyV
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No, I'm not trying to blaspheme, but you can make the thinnest decals in the world this way.

 

There are circumstances where masking the surface of your model is simply not going to work as I discovered during my SBD build HERE. So, keep this idea in you bag of tricks for future reference. You will need a quality clear decal film like the one available from Microscale and LACQUER paints.

 

Assuming you have your Oramask 810 masks ready get started by painting your decals. Make extras!

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Carefully sliced through the clear film only leaving a small area to grip with my clamping tweezers. Do not cut the decal paper close because as you pull the paper out from under the decal you need the paper wide enough to support the width of the decal. Kinda like the slow motion version of getting a pizza off the spatula, or whatever it’s called. The decal is so thin that if you don’t support it, it will fold under itself and you’ll drive yourself insane trying to fix it. Make extras!

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Wet the decal from the bottom side so as not to dilute the adhesive, and removed the excess film with tweezers, but the part being clamped remains. The discarded film is that shiny thing to the top and right of the picture below.

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First some generous drops of Micro Set then carefully keeping the decal paper close to the model’s surface pull the paper out from under the decal. Then use a wide wet brush to work out the wrinkles the and then roll a cotton bud over the decal to work out the excess water and trapped air. You need some moisture under the decal because as the moisture evaporates the decal displaces the moisture. Setting solutions soften the decal to make it more pliable.

 

Let it sit for a few minutes and airbrush a couple coats of Micro Sol over everything. This is typical of the results I got in all 6 positions. I chose this photo because you can see how well the decal was sucked down around the latch.

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So, how thin can a decal be? I defy anyone to tell the difference between a decal made this way and markings painted directly on the model. 

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CAVEAT: Unless there is a situation like my SBD I will always paint my markings directly to the model. It's just too gratifying not to.

 

 

 

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On 8/28/2021 at 3:28 PM, Mozart said:

So to be clear, what you’re doing is putting the mask onto the decal film rather than onto the plastic, spraying through then when dry applying the decals in much the same way as usual? 
Max 

 

Yes and no. The decal will be so thin it will require special care to keep it from folding under itself when you apply it. Other than that, yes.

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On 9/7/2021 at 1:56 PM, bushande said:

Interesting approach indeed. Could you comment on what kind of brand of decal foil you used? There are different grades of thickness as I had to learn.

Sorry for the late response, I don't spend as much time here as I should.

Microscale's clear film is pretty consistent and that's what I used.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 7 months later...

Nice tips, Woody - thanks.

 

As an aside, I've used the Silhouette Studio Print And Cut feature  - print on decal paper, then use the cutter to cut the decals. Many tutorials on YouTube for both Silhouette as well as Cricut. If the cuttter is properly tuned/aligned, the film cuts can be made very close to the decals images.

 

Gene K

Edited by GeneK
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