Author Topic: Dry transfers for renumbering?  (Read 584 times)

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Maletrain

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Dry transfers for renumbering?
« on: September 27, 2018, 09:34:12 PM »
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I would like to make a train with multiple cars that are available RTR, but with only 2 numbers.  I am thinking that I would prefer to remove the existing numbers from several and renumber them with dry transfer numbers and set them with Dullcote, rather than try to gloss coat the sides, apply decals, set decals, then Dullcote them.

Questions:  1. What are your thoughts on this approach?
                 2.  Where can I find the correct font and size dry transfers (white) or have them made custom?

craigolio1

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2018, 10:49:58 PM »
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I’ve done this and it works well. You really need to be carefull to like them up as you only get one chance.  I like to put them on clear decal paper first so I can position them perfectly.  It then I’ve done it with CDS sets that specifically matched a particular railroad font/size. Depending on the font you could likely find a Microscale decal set.

But you specifically said dry transfers which makes me think maybe you don’t want decals?

Haha. I know I just talked in a circle there.

Craig

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2018, 10:40:59 AM »
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I think when you're dealing with things like numbers I think you can get away with using the as-delivered finish and a good amount of micro-sol.

JMaurer1

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2018, 11:04:35 AM »
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I don't gloss first. Most cars are smooth enough that you can decal on them and set the decal with Micro Sol and get them to lay down. At worst, I use a coat of flat or semi gloss before I decal (and I've decaled and dry-tranfered HUNDREDS of cars and locos). Gloss undercoat has always looked TOO glossy even after I'm done and sealed with dulcoat. Strip old numbers with Micro Sol, and just decal over at that point. Seal with a coat of dullcoat, and finished!

As already pointed out, you only get one shot with dry transfers and even though the alignment may look perfect, it doesn't always stay that way once you rub it on. Decals (or dry transfers on decal paper) are the way to go.
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Maletrain

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2018, 11:53:41 AM »
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Are you folks who, decal without first applying gloss, talking about doing that over factory paint or bare plastic (or both)?

peteski

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2018, 03:10:09 PM »
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That is true, most factory finishes are smooth enough for decals to be applied without a gloss coat.  Using setting solution should aid the decal snug down tightly over the paint.

Are you folks who, decal without first applying gloss, talking about doing that over factory paint or bare plastic (or both)?

Why?  Do you have some unpainted plastic models you want to decal?  When I was building models as a kid I have applied decals over bare plastic numerous  times.  They stuck pretty well. Back then I didn't use (or even know of) any decal setting solutions.

And also not all decal application over flat finish are failures.  I have built a 1:48 scale SR-71 aircraft and painted it with Testors flat black spray paint.  I have then decaled it - they went on just fine.  Since the decal film is shinier than the paint, they did not perfectly blend-in with the paint.  But there was no silvering.  So some combinations of flat paints, and certain brands of decal can be workable.  Not all decals are the same.
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2018, 04:03:50 PM »
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Are you folks who, decal without first applying gloss, talking about doing that over factory paint or bare plastic (or both)?

Whoa! Never on unpainted plastic. Unpainted plastic will ALWAYS look like unpainted plastic!

Maletrain

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 10:39:11 AM »
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Whoa! Never on unpainted plastic. Unpainted plastic will ALWAYS look like unpainted plastic!

[Drifting my own thread :facepalm:]  I was actually just asking what experiences other people's posts were drawing on.  But, this brings up some other questions. 

1. I do have a bunch of unpainted plastic models that were cast in approximately appropriate colors.  I am wondering if those could be decaled without painting, then sealed and weathered over the sealing surface.  (I know the weathering won't set nicely on unpainted/unsealed plastic.)  My question is really whether the decal edges will silver on unpainted plastic no matter how much Microsol and Dullcote is applied after the decals.

2.  Some building models come with window parts cast into the wall parts, which makes them hard to mask for painting.  I have been looking at the as-cast plastic surfaces of the window sashes and mullions and thinking that the finish on those does not really look that different from gloss enamel with the gloss layer scaled down to 1/160th of its prototype thickness.  So, for new window paint on say residential of commercial buildings, where weathering is not going to be applied to the windows, how does raw plastic in appropriate color on window frames/sashes/mullions look on otherwise painted buildings?  My interest in this is a combination of having to mask once instead of twice, and not putting paint buildup on fine details.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2018, 11:01:47 AM »
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[Drifting my own thread :facepalm:]  I was actually just asking what experiences other people's posts were drawing on.  But, this brings up some other questions. 

1. I do have a bunch of unpainted plastic models that were cast in approximately appropriate colors.  I am wondering if those could be decaled without painting, then sealed and weathered over the sealing surface.  (I know the weathering won't set nicely on unpainted/unsealed plastic.)  My question is really whether the decal edges will silver on unpainted plastic no matter how much Microsol and Dullcote is applied after the decals.

2.  Some building models come with window parts cast into the wall parts, which makes them hard to mask for painting.  I have been looking at the as-cast plastic surfaces of the window sashes and mullions and thinking that the finish on those does not really look that different from gloss enamel with the gloss layer scaled down to 1/160th of its prototype thickness.  So, for new window paint on say residential of commercial buildings, where weathering is not going to be applied to the windows, how does raw plastic in appropriate color on window frames/sashes/mullions look on otherwise painted buildings?  My interest in this is a combination of having to mask once instead of twice, and not putting paint buildup on fine details.

Back in my "model airplane days" when I had a large collection of 1/72 planes, I did decal some that were cast in "silver" plastic directly.  I had no more problem than with a painted model.  BUT...that was 45+ years ago, and there is no guarantee that the plastic is the same formula or that the decals are the same.  Probably used solvaset in those days, but honestly don't remember.

So, my advice, if you have a bunch of these cars, would be to do a sample with decals or dry transfers or whatever, and see what the end product looks like.  The other basic advice (even if you paint them) is to wash them carefully in warm water and dish soap to remove grease, finger prints, etc- and even more carefully than you would when painting- to insure good adhesion.

But if it were me, I would just paint the cars- it will only add an extra day or 2 to your production schedule- an hour for painting and a day or 2 after painting to let everything cure fully before decaling (even with acrylics, I find it best to let it dry a couple days before decaling).  Common colors like "boxcar red" or "mineral brown" can be found in spray cans if you don't like air brushes.  You can even find "safe for plastics" spray paints at the local hardware or paint store that will be close.
Tom D.

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peteski

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Re: Dry transfers for renumbering?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2018, 02:08:21 PM »
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My question is really whether the decal edges will silver on unpainted plastic no matter how much Microsol and Dullcote is applied after the decals.


Silvering under the decal film is caused by microscopic air bubbles trapped between the clear film and the surface of the model.  The cause is roughness of the model's surface (at a microscopic level).  Surface of the unpainted plastic (as it comes out of the mold) is quite smooth (by design, so it can easily be removed from the mold).  So there should be no silvering. When the plastic is painted with glossy paint, the paint surface is also smooth and glossy.  Semigloss paint surface has some roughness to it (again, at a microscopic level), but not rough enough to trap air bubbles under decals.  Flat finish (like the old Floquil paints) has a very rough surface which will likely trap air bubbles and result in silvering.  But that's not guaranteed either. Depending on the chemistries of the paint, decal, decal's adhesive, and even the decal setting solution, it is possible that the decal adhesive will remain under the decal and fill the microscopic roughness of the paint's surface. Or the decal setting solution will actually liquefy the clear film which will then fill the surface roughness, and no silvering will occur.

As far as the visible decal edge is concerned, again, it also depends on the chemistry of all the items involved. Some combinations will literally melt the clear film into the paint.  There is no single solution which will guarantee to work with all the different brands of paints, decals, and setting solutions.  With decal over the bare plastic the film will never melt into  the plastic surface, so the edges will remain visible. But a flat-finish top coat should hide  the film edge pretty well.

However, unpainted plastic in most cases (even with a  clear top coat) will always look like plastic. Especially if it is slightly translucent to begin with. With some very opaque or darker colors you might get away with not pointing it.  It also depends on your personal tastes. Something that you might find acceptable, others might not.  I would say paint those models!
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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