Author Topic: Decaling, Surface prep and theory  (Read 2498 times)

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chicken45

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Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« on: September 28, 2014, 08:39:16 PM »
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So, I've always prepped a surface like this:

Painting a flat car
1. Shoot with zinc chromate primer. It's flat.
2. Shoot glosscoat over areas to be decaled.
3. Apply decals.
4. Gloss again over decals.
5. Dullcoat.

I've been successful with this, but it is a lot of steps. Is this the best way? I thought of mixing gloss in with the zinc chromate but honestly, I haven't had much success in spraying anything glossy. I can't get a smooth finish. I'm using an Iwata Eclipse so I don't think it's the equipment.


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LIRR

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2014, 09:08:44 PM »
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I apply decals without any of the traditional steps. This N-scale loco is sprayed with Rustoleum, brush painted with Polly S L&N gray and the decals applied directly. No gloss coat before, no dull coat after. You just need to be careful not to touch them when handling the equipment.



A pair of re-lettered cabeese. Lightly sanded the original lettering off and applied decals right on the factory paint. Again, no gloss coat, no dull coat.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 09:12:35 PM by LIRR »

ednadolski

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 09:51:47 PM »
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So, I've always prepped a surface like this:

Painting a flat car
1. Shoot with zinc chromate primer. It's flat.
2. Shoot glosscoat over areas to be decaled.
3. Apply decals.
4. Gloss again over decals.
5. Dullcoat.


So the zinc chromate primer is your top color coat?  Most of the top colors I use (like Polly Scale, Modelflex, or TCP) aren't dead flat so they don't usually need an additional gloss coat for decaling.

I don't usually bother with step #4, at least for Microscale decals that have thinner film edges.


... no dull coat after. You just need to be careful not to touch them when handling the equipment.

The Dullcote would be advisable if you are weathering over them, esp. with a wet medium.

BTW be careful about using Micro-Sol (the red one) over Dullcote, as it will attack the Dullcote.


Ed

chicken45

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 10:04:57 PM »
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In this case, yes. Zinc chromate is flat. I think most primers are. I have the added bonus of it being a great match for a PRR freight car color.

What does dull coat actually do aside from dulling?
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peteski

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 10:44:53 PM »
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In this case, yes. Zinc chromate is flat. I think most primers are. I have the added bonus of it being a great match for a PRR freight car color.

What does dull coat actually do aside from dulling?

Dullcote is a clear lacquer. It puts a protective layer of clear (flat) layer over the decal. That blends the decal film into the paint and protect the delicate decal from being scratched/lifted during handling or weathering.  Also if a decal is applied over paint (especially satin or flat paint) the shiny decal film will change the color of the underlying film - this shows up clearly on LIRRs cabooses. The clear film around the lettering makes the paint look darker (and probably shinier).
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LIRR

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2014, 12:29:45 PM »
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I've since weathered the cabeese and they look much better. First dry brushing lightly with the red, that kind of seals it a bit. Then weathering with chalks...

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2014, 12:39:07 AM »
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That's pretty much the process I use, but I shoot glosscoat over all the model, and use just one coat of dull or semi-gloss after the decals are applied. A gloss coat is a must before applying the decal. Decal film is a pet peeve of mine. I've found that multiple coats of decal solvent are essential. Two, three, even four coats of Walthers Solvaset or Micro sol will work wonders to thin and blend in the decal. The final coat of clear (dull or gloss) is to seal in the decal.

This photo was taken outdoors, in morning sunlight, and demonstrates how effective the multiple Solvaset coats can be.


chicken45

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2014, 10:07:11 PM »
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Wow. That's damn sexy there.
So that 't' right in the tender river seam is just the "red bottle?"
Amazing!
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peteski

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 10:29:56 PM »
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Solvaset is made and sold by Walthers.  It is much more potent that the Microscale decal solvents (red and blue).

I have about half a dozen different decal setting solutions. I work with many brands of decals (railroad and automotive models and home-printed) and the various solutions have different effects on different brand decals.
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robwill84

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 10:56:33 PM »
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What Peteski said, it's best to have an arsenal at your disposal. I used Solvaset on the Microscale decals on that steamer, but it can actually dissolve some decals. It would have been possible with Micro Sol, just taken more coats. If you surface isn't perfectly glossy, the multiple coats really help.

Iain

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2014, 02:40:07 PM »
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I also concur with using decal solutions.



Steps are:

1)  Paint the grey
2)  Black
3)  Gloss coat
4)  Decals
5)  Micro-Sol, multiple coats
6)  Dullcoat
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

Iain

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2014, 02:42:18 PM »
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Who made those cabooses?  They look like they could be decent standins for Durham and Southern.
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
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tom mann

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2014, 05:27:42 PM »
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I also would recommend Solvaset over the Microscale line.  Again, I'm just using it on my self-made and Microscale decals.

arbomambo

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2014, 10:08:31 AM »
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So, I've always prepped a surface like this:

Painting a flat car
1. Shoot with zinc chromate primer. It's flat.
2. Shoot glosscoat over areas to be decaled.
3. Apply decals.
4. Gloss again over decals.
5. Dullcoat.

I've been successful with this, but it is a lot of steps. Is this the best way? I thought of mixing gloss in with the zinc chromate but honestly, I haven't had much success in spraying anything glossy. I can't get a smooth finish. I'm using an Iwata Eclipse so I don't think it's the equipment.

This is, still, the absolute BEST method for great decal results...mixing gloss with the matte paint still won't give the results that the above method, in the above order, achieves...
I'll add that I use Johnson & Johnson's "Future" floor wax as my gloss coat (straight from the bottle) both, before and after applying the decals; nothing has even come close to comparing with it, as far as ease, 'gloss', leveling, and durability. I have never had a 'yellowing' problem with it, and, being an acrylic, is much easier to use and deal with cleaning after the session. It also has superior levelling qualities and goes a very long way to hiding decal film edges when applying after the decal has set and decal glue residue has been cleaned.
I then use an acrylic Flat clear coat as my final step (Pollyscale is gone, so I'm currently using Testors ModelMaster, but will continue a search for other acylic matte options (Pollyscale was superior, by far)
I agree...a lot of steps, but they all serve a purpose and will always give the best results.
Bruce
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chicken45

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Re: Decaling, Surface prep and theory
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2014, 04:03:12 PM »
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This is, still, the absolute BEST method for great decal results...mixing gloss with the matte paint still won't give the results that the above method, in the above order, achieves...
I'll add that I use Johnson & Johnson's "Future" floor wax as my gloss coat (straight from the bottle) both, before and after applying the decals; nothing has even come close to comparing with it, as far as ease, 'gloss', leveling, and durability. I have never had a 'yellowing' problem with it, and, being an acrylic, is much easier to use and deal with cleaning after the session. It also has superior levelling qualities and goes a very long way to hiding decal film edges when applying after the decal has set and decal glue residue has been cleaned.
I then use an acrylic Flat clear coat as my final step (Pollyscale is gone, so I'm currently using Testors ModelMaster, but will continue a search for other acylic matte options (Pollyscale was superior, by far)
I agree...a lot of steps, but they all serve a purpose and will always give the best results.
Bruce

Thanks for that!
Did they change the name of it again? Pledge with Future Shine from SC Johnson? Sources?
Josh "John" Surkosky
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              The Pig 
The pig, if I am not mistaken;
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big—
I call it stupid of the pig.