described below are for mature modelers and are unsuitable for children.
If you have long
thumb nails, trim them short before working with ALPs decals. Surface printed
film ink lifts off when touched or manipulated by fingernails!
commencing, you may find it useful to read the general guide in my e-bay store
for applying water slide decals by clicking this link: Decal Instructions.
The decals have
been printed on full page film using an ALPs printer. This means that decals
should be closely trimmed to remove surplus film before immersing in water.
avoid trapped air beneath any water slide decal and the resulting unsightly
sheen this imparts to your model after decals dry, before commencing, apply a
light coat of high gloss acrylic varnish to the model's surface and leave to
recommend the use of 'decent' small thin-bladed sharp scissors for cutting out
decals. (Course or blunt scissors can leave rough edges on the backing
paper/film, which can result in decal 'collapse and death' when trying to
remove them from the saturated backing paper.) Cut as close to the decal
artwork as possible, leaving only a small surround of clear film.
It is essential
to use 'warm' water to soften water-slide decals. Keep the water warm
throughout decaling work. Only soak one decal at a time, for between 10 to 15
seconds depending on water temperature. If it is not completely mobile after 15
seconds, to avoid the risk of 'floating off', remove decal from water and lay
it backing paper down on a dampened sheet of kitchen paper until the decal is
fully mobile. Warning:
Do not try to force it! Unless
the backing paper is saturated and the film adhesive fully softened before you
try to slide the decal off, it may collapse!
Shapeways' models a hot air gun (commercial paint stripper) can be used for
surface smoothing of large surfaces. Hot air guns can be dangerous, so follow
the manufacturer's instructions! The gun must generate enough heat to reduce
the surface grittiness quickly. Do not linger on any part of the model for more
than approx 2 seconds or the model will melt and distort! Avoid applying heat
to any thin parts such as tails, struts, etc.. A steel ruler is an excellent
heat guard to protect thin parts. Afterwards, a light rub with fine wet and dry
sand paper over any areas where decals are to be applied provides final
smoothness. Use a sable art brush to remove any dust. When clean, apply
generous spray coat(s) of acrylic sealer. When this has dried, apply generous
coats of grey acrylic primer. All subsequent art work on my featured models including
varnishes are painted by hand.
For that professional
printed-on appearance, especially on Shapeways’, or if your model has deep
paneling or engraving, use a decal softener such as Micro-set. Apply the
Micro-set to the model's surface where the decal is to be placed and then
carefully position the decal. After a few moments, using a small square of
folded damp kitchen
towel, apply increasing fingertip pressure to 'meld' the softened decal into
the surface detail.
Where it is
necessary to wrap the decal around, for example, the leading edge of a wing, apply
additional washes of Micro-set to the decal area being wrapped. Allow to soak
for a few minutes and then reapply pressure with damp paper kitchen towel.
Repeat as necessary until you are satisfied with the results.
To avoid any
confusion, using a DVD permanent marker, I number the blue Micro-set bottle and
cap with a large # 1 and the red Micro-sol bottle and cap with # 2.
(Micro-Clear I mark with # 3.)
Where you are
applying one decal on top of another, for example Iron Cross on top of streaked
camouflage, apply a thin coat of acrylic gloss varnish over the applied
streaked decal. Allow to fully dry and then apply the Iron Cross decal using
the Micro-set method described above.
Where you are
covering upper and lower wing surfaces with camouflage decals, I recommend
starting with upper wing surfaces. When applying the decal to the model, 'wrap'
any surplus over the leading / trailing edges. Next, apply camouflage decals to
under wing surfaces. You may wish to use paper templates and an HB pencil,
making templates slightly larger than the required size.
after any applied decal has dried, edges can be trimmed precisely with a
razor-sharp craft knife. I personally use a scalpel for such detailed work.
These and replacement blades are quite cheap to buy, but must only be used by
experienced mature modelers.
enhance your decal's finished appearance, allow to dry on the model for approx
20 to 30 minutes and then using a soft art brush, apply a quick generous wash
of Micro-sol to each decal's surface. The decals may wrinkle but do not touch
them! Wrinkles straighten out while the decals slowly meld to the model's
surface. Test the use of Micro-sol on a spare decal before applying to your
When you are
finally finished all decal work, to protect the full-film decal ink (and yield
a realistic finish!) it is essential to apply a thin coat(s) of 'acrylic' mat
varnish or other suitable clear coat.
Note: avoid enamel
and all other spirit-based varnishes. These 'dissolve' full-film type decal
POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
UK only: Postage free.
Rest of the world: First set as per listed price. Each
additional set + £0.10
Recorded Delivery & tracking is required on all transactions valued
£40.00 and over. Please await combined invoice which will include
Value of goods:
£1 to £40
£41 to £70
£71 to £99
Goods outside UK are posted via standard international Air-mail.
Models and other bulky goods are mailed twice weekly, normally Wednesday
Decal orders are posted next working day when payment is received before
16:00 hours. When payment is received after 16:00 hours, decals are posted
within two working days.
Typical delivery time from receipt of payment: under 3 working days in
UK / 3 to 8 working days outside UK, but depending on location.
Please complete payment within 3 days of purchase.
To reduce processing time of your order, if you intend to purchase other
do not pay for items individually, but use basket until your
purchases are completed and then make a single payment on combined invoice.
Enjoy . . .