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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Folks,

Would spraying on a coating of 91% alcohol make a good decal film melter? Walthers Solvaset makes a pretty good setting solution for conforming the decals to uneven surfaces. But one can still see the clear edges of the decals if looking in just the right light, even after applying the decals to a gloss surface.

I'd like to try and eliminate the the "edge" of the clear decal film if at all possible. What say the tried & true experts in this category?

Thanks in advance! Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!!! :giggle:
 

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Try hitting the decal with decal set a number of times….I usually do about half a dozen, let it completely dry between applications….then spray the dull coat….it seems to help
 

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Try hitting the decal with decal set a number of times….I usually do about half a dozen, let it completely dry between applications….then spray the dull coat….it seems to help
What he said, although I usually find 3 coats to be sufficient.
 
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The method that I use is a little bit involved, but I developed it through trial & error for best results. Every step is necessary. I’ll explain the reason for the steps that people may think are unnecessary.

Step 1: Apply clear gloss to the model before applying decals. This gloss base will reduce the discoloration clear film causes.

Step 2: Apply decals as normal.

Step 3: Apply setting solution as normal.

Step 4: Apply second layer of clear gloss as a top coat. This reduces the edges of the clear film. Two top coat applications may be necessary, but not always.

Step 5 (optional): Apply dull cote or matte clear.

Examples of the method results:
Musical instrument Electronic instrument Bumper Audio equipment Font


Wheel Tire Vehicle Land vehicle Car


Train Vehicle Mode of transport Rolling stock Rolling
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Try hitting the decal with decal set a number of times….I usually do about half a dozen, let it completely dry between applications….then spray the dull coat….it seems to help
What he said, although I usually find 3 coats to be sufficient.
Yes, I guess that's why I was wondering if anybody had ever tried hitting the edges of the film with something slightly hotter, like 91% isopropyl alcohol. I might give it a try in a small spot a little later on here, and see what happens.
The method that I use is a little bit involved, but I developed it through trial & error for best results. Every step is necessary. I’ll explain the reason for the steps that people may think are unnecessary.

Step 1: Apply clear gloss to the model before applying decals. This gloss base will reduce the discoloration clear film causes.
Step 2: Apply decals as normal.
Step 3: Apply setting solution as normal.
Step 4: Apply second layer of clear gloss as a top coat. This reduces the edges of the clear film. Two top coat applications may be necessary, but not always.
Step 5 (optional): Apply dull cote or matte clear.
Steps 1, 2, 3, & 5: Yup, yup, yup, and yup.
Step 4: I've never tried that before, although I was starting to wonder about it this time around.
Easy enough to do, so I will definitely give it go and see what happens.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I tried a little bit of 91% alcohol in a small, conspicuous space (bummer, but no inconspicuous spot was available). Sorry to say, it did nothing for the edge of the decal film, but did do some potentially serious changes to the gloss coat that the decals were applied to. Another good gloss coat returned the looks back to normal.

Fortunately, with the other suggestions of everyone, the decal job still turned out quite nice. Under casual viewing in normal lighting conditions, you really can't see the edge of the film without a closeup visual inspection. Although maybe not a totally perfect result, I'm still more than happy with the final outcome.

So it looks like 2 or 3 applications of Solvaset or equivalent on the decals, followed by a good gloss coat covering after decaling, then finally a good dull coating everything to finish it all off, is the way to go for right now. (y)

Should anyone ever hear of a good decal film melter for vanishing the clear edges into the finish, or even chime in later if they know of such a product, I would be most appreciative to learn of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And, here's a few pic's with the results of my decaling........................
Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Toy
Train Vehicle Wheel Rolling stock Toy

A year or two ago, I picked up some Lionel 6457 and 6257 cabooses at a train show for five bucks apiece. This is one of them that I not only fixed up, but stripped, re-painted, and decaled in my favorite road. :)(y)

As Lionel's 6457-type postwar cabooses are probably far closer to S-scale than they are O-gauge, it seemed only appropriate that I got some S-scale decals to fit. Good idea, because in fact, I also got some O-gauge decals for another project I am working on, and the O-gauge size decals would have been too big. S-gauge size worked out perfect.

Thank goodness for K4 Decals, they are making my R.I. dreams come true. ;)
 

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Yeah, sorry, I could have warned you about the isopropyl alcohol. 91% isopropanol is a pretty effective paint stripper. It was always much more likely to do harm than good.
 

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The method that I use is a little bit involved, but I developed it through trial & error for best results. Every step is necessary. I’ll explain the reason for the steps that people may think are unnecessary.

Step 1: Apply clear gloss to the model before applying decals. This gloss base will reduce the discoloration clear film causes.

Step 2: Apply decals as normal.

Step 3: Apply setting solution as normal.

Step 4: Apply second layer of clear gloss as a top coat. This reduces the edges of the clear film. Two top coat applications may be necessary, but not always.

Step 5 (optional): Apply dull cote or matte clear.

Examples of the method results:
View attachment 586769

View attachment 586771

View attachment 586772
Yes, I guess that's why I was wondering if anybody had ever tried hitting the edges of the film with something slightly hotter, like 91% isopropyl alcohol. I might give it a try in a small spot a little later on here, and see what happens.

Steps 1, 2, 3, & 5: Yup, yup, yup, and yup.
Step 4: I've never tried that before, although I was starting to wonder about it this time around.
Easy enough to do, so I will definitely give it go and see what happens.
Thanks!
Old time woodworkers would use the gloss coat to fill in imperfections in the surface because the gloss finish had more "solids" in it and then coat with their finish of choice such as eggshell, flat or satin.
 
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