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Working with waterslide decals

kyoshinhei8 meses atrásTutorial
If, like myself, you love to improve stuff or create things from scratch but have absolutely no confidence in your ability to hold a brush to paint details there is a solution: custom decals.

You can buy printable decal paper, print all the difficult stuff on it (eyes, kimono pattern, etc.) and then apply it on your work.

I highly recommend using waterslide decals since you can freely adjust the position of the decal until you're satisfied. With transfer decals or stickers on the other hand you only get one shot...

Decal paper can usually be found transparent or white, choose depending on your need. For example if you want to make an eye, you can either paint the white of the eye on your figure and apply a transparent decal over it, or you can apply a white paper decal directly over the skin paint (but cutting it close to its edge to avoid a white outline is harder).
This is one of the places where you can get some in Europe but there are many others: www.craftycompu...
I will not elaborate on the printing and coating of the decal as I already covered it in these tutorials blog/30144 and blog/30037.
Here I will only detail how to apply them on your work. I'll be working with professional decals instead of custom ones but the steps are the same.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036503.jpeg
I start by spraying the target surface with glossy topcoat to make it smooth so that no air or water will stay trapped under the decal.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036505.jpeg
I then cut the decal from its sheet. This is a precut one but with customs you will have to cut closer to the edge of your picture so that there is minimal excess of transparent decal paper.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036509.jpeg
I put the decal in water for about 30s~1min.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036507.jpeg
While the decal is in water, you can put some Mr Setter where you'll place the decal. I'm told it helps with adherence but I usually don't notice much of a difference so if you want you can skip that part and save some money. I keep doing it to finish the bottle but I'm not buying a new one when I'm out.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036552.jpeg
I know the decal is ready to be taken out the water when the picture start to gently slide on its back sheet when I put my finger on it.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036554.jpeg
Next is putting the decal where I want it and slipping off the back sheet from behind it. It's OK if the decal is not perfectly placed, as long as there is still some water under it I can slide it (hence the name) with my finger until it's where I want it.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036556.jpeg
When I'm satisfied with the positioning, I hold a corner of the picture while I gently rub a tissue or Q-tip over the decal to chase the water from under it. When the water is gone, suction maintains the decal in place.
An optional step to further secure the decal in place is to apply some Mr Softer on it (not the same product than before and much more effective). Its effect is to "melt" the decal so that it adopts the shape of the imperfections under it. It's great for military decal like in the example as it reinforces the impression that the picture is actually painted on the vehicle instead of just sticking to it.
Two warnings though!
- If you put too much Mr Softer, your decal will completely melt and turn into a wrinkled little patch of sadness.
- I have never used Mr Softer on printable decals before so it needs a test first to ensure that the paper can handle it.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/kyoshinhei1488036558.jpeg
After I've placed all the decals and given them some more time to dry I finish the job by spraying a new layer of topcoat, this time with the final finish I want (here matte instead of glossy).
Some topcoat have a reputation of attacking decals so test them beforehand. Under recommendation from my hobby shop vendor I use cans from Mr Hobby rather than from Tamiya.

I hope you'll find some inspiration from this tutorial.
Anyway when you buy some printable decal paper it usually comes with the relevant instructions so why am I even writing all this?! ^^
1,535 hits • 4 comentários

Comentários4 comentários

1pt
A lot of precision work. love that kind of work myself, great tutorial
= )

Tia
7 meses atrás
1pt
I'm not sure the purpose of Mr mark setter but I used only the Mr mark softer especially on rough or uneven surface like zimmeritt paste and window visors on tanks.
7 meses atrás
0pt
Didn't know about Mr. Softer, that's interesting! I'm in the USA and some Mr. Hobby products were banned last time I checked (the paint), but I can still order it. Great products.
7 meses atrás
3pt
Thanks you for the tutorial :)
8 meses atrás
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