Decals

DECAL STORAGE

Large, reclosable, zipper-locking freezer bags are ideal for storing decal sheets until you are ready to use them. They protect the decals from moisture damage and can be used over and over. Keep decals away from the light, especially sunlight which yellows them. Moisture is another enemy of decals so keep them in a dry environment. It is best to store decals in an upright position, preferably in the special acid free folders used to protect old photographs. And for good measure, get hold of some desiccant crystal packets — those used to suck up moisture in electronics packaging — and place them in the filing drawer with the decals.

DECAL BLOTTER

Have you had trouble coaxing decals into their final position on your model with a cotton bud. The cotton fibres from the bud often get stuck on, and even under, the decal. Try using eye shadow applicators instead — they have a small foam rubber tip that absorbs water and decal solution without leaving any residue. And if you do use cotton buds a lot, keep them in a plastic container with a lid so that they stay clean and don’t get dusty.

OLD TRANSFERS

If you have old transfers you want to use, the chances are that they will refuse to stick. Try fixing them with a spot of matt varnish left to stand until tacky

DISTILLED WATER FOR DECALS

Because it has all the minerals removed, distilled water is the best water to use when decalling. You will find that it does not leave any white residue when it evaporates. If you are not able to obtain distilled water, use the defrosted water from your refrigerator if you have the older type that needs defrosting at regular intervals.

REPLACING DECALS

Sometimes it is necessary to remove a decal to replace it with an updated or new one. Use very sticky adhesive tape to press down on the decal to be removed and lift it off slowly. Usually decals will stick to the tape better than they will stick to the model.

DECAL TRICK

Have you ever found that, sometimes there are not enough of a certain letter on a decal sheet. You can easily fix this problem without having to go to the expense of buying another sheet of letters. For example the letter E can be made from the letters F and L. All you do is simply apply the letter F and let it dry. Then salvage the horizontal part of the letter L by cutting off the vertical part and apply the bottom leg to the letter F to make an E. A bit fiddly, but with a bit of care and practice other letters can be converted such as an E to a L, a C into a G, a B into a P, and so on.