Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

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Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Ruben Lopez on Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:06 am

Hi fellow modelers.

By popular demand (Laura, your wish is my command! Smile ), in this post I will describe the technique I use to apply decals and get rid of that unwanted silvering.

First of all, silvering is caused when air gets trapped between the decal and the model. As you might already know the usual method is to apply a coat of gloss varnish to the model, apply the decals and then seal them with another coat of varnish either gloss or matte. One problem with that is that I never have found a matte varnish that works, they always tend to shine a little. Other problem is, there is no guarantee that the decal will affix itself to the whole surface.

So, after some experimentation I came up with the technique I’ll show you here. It is easy and only requires few materials.

Here is the list:
1) Water
2) PVA Glue
3) Acrylic Matte Varnish
4) A Pointed Brush (I use a #1 round)
5) Mixing cup



Since I am not applying any decals at the moment I won’t be able to post any photo of the process but don’t worry, as I said, it is very easy.

Ok, the first thing you are going to do is to mix about one drop of glue and one drop of acrylic matte varnish with about 10 drops of water. The consistency should be like a wash, 90% water 10% glue and varnish. (This is not an exact formula, I mix mine without measuring.) The glue will make the decal stick to the model and the varnish will ensure that there is no glossy residue.

Then you’re going to apply the first decal as usual and using the brush apply the mix around and on top of the decal before the decal dries up. If you use to much mix the decal will float but that’s ok, simply put the decal in position and press it down with a paper towel. (What you are trying to do is to get the glue under the decal so when it dries there is no air between the decal and the surface of the model.)

Then continue with the second one and so forth. Once all the decals are completely dry, I usually wait to the next day, you can also apply a coat of the matte varnish over the decal to protect it.


As you can see the decals are totally flat and there is no evidence of silvering whatsoever. :thumb:

I hope this technique helps you on your next project!

Cheers!!

P.S. If you have any doubt don't hesitate to PM me.

Ruben Lopez
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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Kreighshoer on Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:44 am

thank you so much for sharing this outstanding trick with others! this method has become my standard procedure of decal applying after i have tried it the first time (if i use decals) guys ... try it out - you won't be dissapointed! bounce

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Dragunov on Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:13 pm

Thanks for sharing, I know for me this will be a great help!

Thanks

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Richard Marchand on Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:39 am

Thaks for sharing Ruben.

One small question (again geek ) Will this work on complex surfaces like over rivets, corner, zimmerit.... Most of the time we have to use a decal softener to help them conform to the surface which would interfer with your technique.

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  G Cooper on Fri May 01, 2009 2:45 am

HHhhmmmm. This looks uber interesting. I must try this myself.
Thanks so much for sharing what seems to be a very simple method for something that plagues my decaling efforts so much.

Cool

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Ruben Lopez on Mon May 04, 2009 6:49 am

Richard Marchand wrote:Thaks for sharing Ruben.

One small question (again geek ) Will this work on complex surfaces like over rivets, corner, zimmerit.... Most of the time we have to use a decal softener to help them conform to the surface which would interfere with your technique.

Sadly Richard, no, it doesn't work on complex surfaces like those you mention. The purpose of this is to eliminate the air that gets trapped bellow the decal, nothing more. For very complex surfaces (like zimmerit) the best approach is to paint the insignia directly into the model.

Ruben

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Noel-Petroni on Wed May 13, 2009 7:41 am

Great Ruben!

Maybe I'll start using decals more often! I usually use rub-on transfer decals.

Regards
Noel

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Future

Post  scott on Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:08 am

Will this work with flattened Future?

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Bob Letterman on Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:14 am

Good tip Ruben,

I have used dry transfers for years because of the silvering. I have a lot of vehicles to do and for some there are simply no dry transfer to substitute, I'll give this a try!

Thanks, Bob

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

Post  Mondria on Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:26 pm

I'm sure going to try this one thanks

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Re: Applying decals without the dreaded silvering

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