Hello there! This would be the place where you’ll hopefully find answers to the questions you may have regarding the use or placing the decals you’ve purchased. Let me start off by thanking you, first of all, you’re part of the reason why I can keep designing more sets. But obviously, there’s some hurdles to overcome with aftermarket decals, such as what clearcoats work and won’t work, what type of water should one use to place them and use any additives, what kind of setting solution works best, so forth. If you still have questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we shall help you further!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are the decals die-cut?
No they’re not, unfortunately. The clear film is printed all across the paper, so you’ll have to cut it as close to the decal you wish to place as possible.
What kind of clear-coats work on these decals?
Nearly all model car kit/hobby clear-coats work excellently, such as Tamiya’s TS-13 to name one. The decals must’ve been allowed to set for up to a day before clearing them, as well as using decal solutions such as Tamiya, Ammo-Mig, Revell, Humbrol, Airfix and such. Use thin, gentle layers before laying it on thick as it’ll crinkle the decal when the clear interacts with it. However, it should still settle down flawlessly again if it does.
Do automotive clear-coats work?
They do, but they’re exceedingly risky. Especially 2K clear-coats aren’t a safe bet and given its a smorgasbord of ingredients it’s nearly impossible to tell which are safe and which aren’t. Personally I’ve had luck with Motip clear-coats but it had to be applied daintily, slowly and in many, many layers to ensure no wrinkling.
Pre-clearing the decals?
If you were to use a decal strengthening solution like Testor’s Decal Bonder, you’re helping yourself greatly. Even though the decals are perfectly fine to use without, the extra strength makes them less likely to roll up on themselves when trying to place them. And if you’re worried that it’ll leave a noticeable edge, don’t worry – decal solutions remove that too!
Wait, you have two types of decal paper?
Correct! To ensure the highest quality, I have them printed on two separate printers. One is the old fashioned ALPS on which black, white, silver and gold are printed in a fidelity sharper than anything else. The main color print is a screen-print process, which allows for, as the name implies, complex designs to be printed without multiple passes.(ordinarily, it would print one color with every pass).
Hot or cold water?
Just like most decals you’d get in your kits, warm water is the key to having it let go and become usable. However, it should never be hotter than luke-warm. Hot water makes the decal film extremely weak, causing it to roll onto itself far easier. With lukewarm water, it’ll remain perfectly malleable.
Photo-paper license plates?
You might’ve noticed a small extra sheet on which a spare set of license plates and dash gauges are printed with the words “PHOTO PAPER” underneath. The way to apply them is simple; cut them out around the edges and put a small dab of Elmer’s Glue or any other type of all purpose/white glue on the location it will go. Then simply push and place, ta-da! For license plates, I suggest going over the side and back with a black marker to capture the license plate look a little better.
Will the color underneath bleed through?
It shouldn’t. Keyword, of course, is ‘shouldn’t’. The decals are printed on a base of opaque white, then the color is printed on top in a second pass, eliminating color bleed. Of course, unless one prints three layers of white, the body color will show through a little, it is inevitable with how thin the decal film has to be to set onto the body perfectly. Dark colors, especially blacks, will always dull out all-white decals slightly, but not extremely noticeably.