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Decal application

These decals are printed with laser, ALPS and/or UV-ink printers on decal paper where the carrier film covers the complete sheet, so each individual decal subject needs to be cut out separately. They do not have a sealing overcoat applied. UV-ink printed decals are tough and easy to handle and do not generally need to be clear coated prior to use. Laser and ALPS-printed decals are very fragile, soft and will easily scratch. For example, long cheatline decals can curl and break very easily, so it might be a good idea to apply a thin layer of clear acrylic coat (Microscale Liquid Decal Film for example), over the bigger/longer laser and ALPS decal parts prior to use to make the handling easier. Use care when applying the decals as the decal carrier film is very thin.

Laser, ALPS and UV-ink printing use CMYK toners/inks, which means that the decals are translucent in nature. Other than dark decals need to be applied over a white surface. Some laser printed decals need a white ALPS printed underlayer decal (marked with a letter A) applied at first. When completely dried, apply a laser printed main decal (marked with a letter B) over it. UV-ink decals have already a white underlayer printed.

It is important to apply the decals on a smooth, glossy surface to get the best results. Semi-matt or matt finish under the decal film will cause a "silvering" effect (tiny micro size air bubbles trapped under the cecal film being slightly visible). Cut out each decal with sharp scissors. Dip the decal in warm water (add a couple of drops of washing-up liquid to the water). Do this for 5 to 10 seconds, then remove it from the water and let it sit for about a minute.

If you leave the decal in the water for a longer time, this can cause more of the adhesive to dissolve, which can prevent the decal from adhering properly and also increase the risk of silvering. Do not move the decal on the backing paper too much to avoid tearing the film or removing the adhesive. Do not let the decal float off of the backing paper.

Normal decal setting solutions can be used with these decals. They will work with the laser and ALPS printed decals but have little effect on UV-ink printed decals. If using the setting solution liquids it is recommended to use Microscale's Micro Set (a wetting agent) and Micro Sol (a solvent). After using the solvent liquid, let the model dry at least a week before touching the decals (it takes a long time for the ink to harden again)!

The area where the decal is to be applied should be kept level. Brush mix of water and washing-up liquid (and Micro Set) directly on your model before sliding the decal into position. Warning; the decal will stick instantly on the model if you use only Micro Set without water on the model surface! After sliding the decal into position soak up the excess liquid. Specially for UV-ink printed decals; if using setting solution liquids, apply a thin coat of Micro Sol (the solvent) before sliding the decal on the model to soften the clear carrier. It is important to get the Micro Sol under the UV-ink printed decal, as the solvent has little effect on that type of ink, but it will dissolve the clear carrier which allows the decal to dig into the paint. After this coat dries, apply a second heavier coat of Micro Sol. Another method to try is to use a cloth soaked in hot water to press the UV-ink decal into place over rivets, panels lines and other contours. Heat is the best final option to make the UV-ink bend and conform; repeated applications of decal solvent will only wash away the glue.

Do NOT apply any solvent-based clear coating (or washes) over these decals with a brush, as they will instantly dissolve. If you use a clear lacquer, apply it with an airbrush in very light, misting layers, letting them dry before shooting the next one. It is recommended to use an acrylic clear coat for these types of decals as a safer choice.

If you happen to ruin some of the decals when applying them, no worries; just contact with me to get spare parts.