Author Topic: I can't see my decals  (Read 2107 times)

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craigolio1

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I can't see my decals
« on: February 04, 2014, 11:50:04 PM »
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Hey everyone. I'm about to start a bunch of decals and the sets I have are very detailed but with the light colour of the paper I can't read what's what. I. Tried colouring the back of the paper once with a black marker but it soaked through and made the decals difficult to lift off the paper. Most of the set was ruined. In that case I bought another and used the wrecked one as a reference but the decals I have now are out of production so I can't afford to ruin them. I'm going to get a magnifying glass but that won't help the lack of contrast I don't think. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Craig.

Joetrain59

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 11:57:11 PM »
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Try to angle them or a light to get a reflection, to see the "relief" on decal paper. And use a really close, bright light source, and Optivisor.
 Joe D

GaryHinshaw

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 12:30:41 AM »
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Maybe a black light?   8)

peteski

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 12:36:51 AM »
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Try to angle them or a light to get a reflection, to see the "relief" on decal paper. And use a really close, bright light source, and Optivisor.
 Joe D

+1 on Joe's recommendatons.
Another trick you can try is to moisten the back of the paper with some liquid which will not soften the glue or affect the clear film.  Naphtha is such a fluid. Naphtha is used in Ronsonol lighter fluid (for the old fashion Zippo lighters).   I have used in the past. But naphtha can be purchased in hardware stores (at least in USA) for a lot less than lighter fluid. It is called VM&P Naphtha. I buy it in quart and gallon size cans.

Once you moisten the backing paper, it will become darker. You should then be able to see the white printing.  Naphtha will evaporate fairly quickly without affecting the decal.   Do not dip the decal in water if some naphtha still remains - naphtha and water do not mix.

But if the decals were printed on Alps printer, be careful - naphtha dissolves Alps ink. Actually it is what I use to clean and reuse decal paper, if I have a printing error while printing decals on my Alps.

Just in case it is needed, a warning: Naphtha is flammable - be careful when using and handling it.  No smoking or open flame.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 12:38:43 AM by peteski »
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craigolio1

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 01:12:37 AM »
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Thanks for the ideas guys. I especially like the black light. I wonder if it would work? 

The Naptha trick jogged my memory. I think I've heard of this before but not with Naptha. Would 90 plus percent alcohol work in the same manor , but then be able to go right into water after?

Craig

peteski

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 01:17:51 AM »
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Thanks for the ideas guys. I especially like the black light. I wonder if it would work? 

The Naptha trick jogged my memory. I think I've heard of this before but not with Naptha. Would 90 plus percent alcohol work in the same manor , but then be able to go right into water after?

Craig

Alcohol might dissolve the clear decal film. After all, alcohol is the solvent in the Microscale liquid decal film.  But if the clear film is unaffected, it should work as well as naphtha.  Yes, the decals could then be placed in water without waiting for the alcohol to evaporate. One way to find out....  :D
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OldEastRR

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2014, 01:57:27 AM »
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You could also set up a piece of glass, put a strong light source behind it, and set the decal sheet on the glass. The decal material on the backing paper is thicker so it is darker against the backing paper. May not be good enough to read each letter, but you'll be able to see the boundaries of each lettering block or logo so you don't cut part of it off. If you make a stable glass "table", you could even cut out the decal while it's on the glass using a hobby knife.

robert3985

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 03:16:09 AM »
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...you could even cut out the decal while it's on the glass using a hobby knife.

I prefer my Applegate-Fairbairn...  :trollface:

peteski

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 04:04:30 AM »
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I prefer my Applegate-Fairbairn...  :trollface:
Show-off!  :P
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craigolio1

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 06:24:20 AM »
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I plan to try the alcohol tonight. I'll advise what I find.

I can see the edges of the decals fine. I just can't read them on the paper. On e wet of on the model? No problem.

Silly question but how safe is it to use Naptha in an unventilated space?  Can't decal in the snow.

Thanks again for the input.

Craig

fredmoehrle

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 12:15:10 PM »
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A trick I've used is to color the decal paper (from behind) with a dark Sharpie permanent marker.
The glue on the decal acts as a barrier to it effecting the decal.

peteski

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 03:51:35 PM »
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A trick I've used is to color the decal paper (from behind) with a dark Sharpie permanent marker.
The glue on the decal acts as a barrier to it effecting the decal.

Fred, you must have not read the initial post.

Naphtha is fairly low-odor (much less pungent than things like acetone or lacquer thinner or MEK).  The Zippo lighters aren't really airtight either, so you carry a load of Naphtha in your pocket and it doesn't smell.   I often use it in my workshop without forced air ventilation turned on, and I can barely smell it.
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wcfn100

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 03:58:27 PM »
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Fred, you must have not read the initial post.

Not all markers are the same.

Jason

peteski

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 04:02:33 PM »
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Not all markers are the same.

Jason

LOL - thanks for pointing that out. You are correct, Craig did not mention a specific brand.

I assumed that Craig used some sort of permanent marker (like a Sharpie), because it permanently stained the decal as it soaked through the paper.  If he used a water-based ink marker, I would have expected the ink to dissolve off the decal film.  But I know what happens when one assumes...

Good info Fred!  I'm an idiot.  :facepalm:
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 04:05:10 PM by peteski »
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fredmoehrle

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Re: I can't see my decals
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 04:12:48 PM »
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Well, I do tend to put the decals in the tray and go to dinner.
I should think a basic water color marker, cheep, kids kind, would indeed be better do to the fact that there supposed to wash out.