Clear coat

urumomo

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Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
3,451
Probably not but I need to see a pic of what you're talking about .
A heavy topcoat of clear varnish might . Depending .
You'd probably need to drybrush the base color back over the border of the decal , but , again , it depends what we're talking about .
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,451
You might be better off looking for good quality decals, decals that are very thin. Some decals are very thick and will present that visible edge that you're talking about. I'd start by inspecting the decals you want to use. Do they look thick on the paper? That's a first sign that you might have to address them after setting them down. I'd do some searches here and other forums, and see if your suspicions are borne out by comments from others. And then, are there aftermarket sets for the same subject, of better quality than the set you have.

Ultimately, though, the best method to eliminate that lip or edge on a decal, is to paint the markings yourself, if possible. There are mask sets available for aircraft and armor markings, for example, or you can mask them and then paint them.

I know of aircraft modelers who do this for national markings, for example, for precisely this reason. When they paint the markings, they can get a very thin result without that visible edge. One of the guys in our Lehigh Valley club, Jeremy Moore, builds for Airfix Magazine, among other publications, and he swears by the technique. I can say from seeing his builds that it really does pay off.
 

stevethefish

My name's actually not Steve
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
193
Try to trim close to the edge of the decals when you cut them away from the other decals. Use decal softener after application. After a clear coat, it is possible to polish the surface so as to minimize the tiny ridge that a decal provides. I have seen this in Model Art magazine and tried it a bit on my own, but did not get as fantastic of results as they showed in pictures.
 

Marktastrophe

Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
297
Use decal softener after application.
This is the best thing to try without trying new decals or hand painting markings.
I use Tamiya Mark Fit strong, I lay it on the model where the decal will be applied, wait a couple seconds, take the decal out of the water and right onto the mildly wet Mark Fit application. I then put a bit ore Mark Fit on top, and use a cotton swab to gently push any air or excess fluid out from underneath.
I've even seen some things (I think on this forum?) where after the dals are set you can use additional Mark Fit to weather and thin them out, you could theoretically do this to feather edges of problematic decals.
 

stevethefish

My name's actually not Steve
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
193
This is the best thing to try without trying new decals or hand painting markings.
I use Tamiya Mark Fit strong, I lay it on the model where the decal will be applied, wait a couple seconds, take the decal out of the water and right onto the mildly wet Mark Fit application. I then put a bit ore Mark Fit on top, and use a cotton swab to gently push any air or excess fluid out from underneath.
I've even seen some things (I think on this forum?) where after the dals are set you can use additional Mark Fit to weather and thin them out, you could theoretically do this to feather edges of problematic decals.
I can't recommend doing that as the Mark Fit is meant to break down decals. You want to make sure that they are set in place before applying that, with a setting solution if necessary. If you put down a decal into a pool of Mark Fit Strong, it'll start dissolving the decal and if you try to move the decal around too much to position it, it'll start to break apart. Put down a decal first, then when it's in place use the Mark Fit, GSI's Mr. Mark Softer, or Micro Sol.
 
Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
20
Do you mean the decal is thick and leaves a step around the borders?
I like to use Solvaset to melt the decal down on the surface which may fix the issue but if the step is still there after letting the Solvaset cure overnight then follow these steps:

I have hand brushed Future from the center of the decal out. This will take multiple applications, as many as necessary depending on the thickness of the decal film.
Use a flat soft brush to apply Future on, feathering out from the center and wait 15 minutes then brush out another coat an so on.
Let dry overnight then use a very fine grit sanding pad to lightly sand the area that will get a slight white haze. Brush on another coat of Future and let it dry then check if the step was blended away. When the step is no longer visible then spray clear flat or gloss for the desired finish.
I had some very thick Decals on an Academy 1/25 Panther that this method worked like a charm.
 

Marktastrophe

Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
297
I can't recommend doing that as the Mark Fit is meant to break down decals. You want to make sure that they are set in place before applying that, with a setting solution if necessary. If you put down a decal into a pool of Mark Fit Strong, it'll start dissolving the decal and if you try to move the decal around too much to position it, it'll start to break apart. Put down a decal first, then when it's in place use the Mark Fit, GSI's Mr. Mark Softer, or Micro Sol.
Good note, I don't place it in a pool, I let it mostly dry on the plastic, then add the decal from the water, getting into position and letting mostly dry, then Mark Fit.

The first Mark Fit may be redundant still... But I don't like to top coat before applying decals
 

Jim62

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Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
343
I left decals a while back and started painting as many of the markings as possible. It's well worth the effort if you have an airbrush.
 

spaceflightengineer

New Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
7
Dose anyone know it there is a Clear coat or some way to hide decal lines?
My tried and usually true method is to lay down a gloss clear. Apply decalage atop that (ensuring the gloss is well dried). Then apply the same gloss clear over the decals. It does work, but I will say at least one time I had the edge of a decal show- but that was also against a black surface color (an X-15 kit). While on this, I highly recommend NOT using "Clear Cote" flat or gloss ever. Reason? They yellow over time. I did one of the 1/288 scale shuttle oribiter models, was doing Columbia (OV-102), as it appeared at the time (back when I could "consult" the actual orbiter, when I was a shuttle orbiter engineer). I'd spent a lot of time using fine brushes to lay out black tile patterns, also did some detailing for the early white tile and FRSI material. I oversprayed with Dull Cote. 12-18 months later: yellowed. If you aren't concerned with yellowing affecting your goal finisihed surface, than it probably won't hurt to have the yellowing.

Have fun!

BP
 

jaz avalley

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
38
My tried and usually true method is to lay down a gloss clear. Apply decalage atop that (ensuring the gloss is well dried). Then apply the same gloss clear over the decals. It does work, but I will say at least one time I had the edge of a decal show- but that was also against a black surface color (an X-15 kit). While on this, I highly recommend NOT using "Clear Cote" flat or gloss ever. Reason? They yellow over time. I did one of the 1/288 scale shuttle oribiter models, was doing Columbia (OV-102), as it appeared at the time (back when I could "consult" the actual orbiter, when I was a shuttle orbiter engineer). I'd spent a lot of time using fine brushes to lay out black tile patterns, also did some detailing for the early white tile and FRSI material. I oversprayed with Dull Cote. 12-18 months later: yellowed. If you aren't concerned with yellowing affecting your goal finisihed surface, than it probably won't hurt to have the yellowing.

Have fun!

BP
That is good to know regards the yellowing.
 
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