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Opinions on water slide decals

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Opinions on water slide decals

Old 07-24-2023, 07:51 AM
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Default Opinions on water slide decals

Looking for opinions from those who have used water slide decals on military planes, specifically the ones from Tailormade. I'm getting ready to start a plane for someone and due to the set up charges for a custom set the dry transfer decals are going to be almost 4 times the cost of water slides. I've never used water slides before (other than on plastic models) and I'm concerned the edges won't blend and it will be obvious that water slides have been used instead of dry transfers. I've read through the instructions and it says best results are when the decals are placed on glossy surfaces, the softener solution melts the film and they look like they're painted on once cleared. What do they look like in the real world?
Old 07-24-2023, 10:40 AM
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Blending the edges has more to do with whether or not you put a clear coat over the finished decal. If the decal is closely trimmed and you hit the whole plane with a clear coat it won't show anymore than any other applied marking. Frankly, it also makes a difference how clean your airplane is. I whipped up a Ratfink decal for a non scale application. I didn't clear coat over the applied decal and when the plane is dirty (as in the photo) fuel reside will show up. When the airplane is clean, it's pretty much invisible. An overall clearcoat will soften that line.
Old 07-24-2023, 10:56 AM
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The decals in question are for a large F-100 with a lot of molded in surface details. It'll be painted and final finish will be matte clear. My past experience with dry transfers is that they work better with a gloss surface and since per the Tailormade instruction sheet, water slides also work best on a gloss surface so that part will be the same regardless of what is used.

Last edited by rcmigpilot; 07-24-2023 at 01:09 PM.
Old 07-26-2023, 09:37 AM
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Just ensure that your surface is gloss below all transparent decals. Or else your decals will look cloudy for ever.

Colored decals can sit on dull surface, so if you only have a few transparent, then you don’t need to paint the whole jet gloss.

After finalized job, the whole jet must have a dull or clear varnish.

Don’t forget to add weathering
Old 07-26-2023, 11:12 AM
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I used some a few years back that i got from fighter aces uk, which i think came from tailormade. They came with a two part decal solution that disolved the clear carrier film and made the entire thing “sink” into the model more. I believe it was called micro-sol and on a semi-gloss surface. You couldnt see the carrier at all
Old 07-26-2023, 12:00 PM
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Micro-Sol and Micro-Set can be purchased on Amazon or other hobby sources. They worked great on the water slide decals on my F-16 XL. After clear coat you could not see the decal carrier.

See Post # 233 here:
F-16XL ARF by Global Knight Models from Global Jet Club
Old 07-26-2023, 03:35 PM
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+1 for Micro-Set & Micro-Sol

Recently painted an F4 with Semi-Gloss Enamel (Thinned 30%).
Applied Tailormade decals using Micro-Set,
Then once decal was dry Applied Micro-Sol and allow that to dry.
I did applied a second coat of the Micro-Sol to the edges of the carrier film and allowed to dry again.
I actually placed the plane out in the sun the next day and this improved the drying process.
The decal film appeared to melt into to paint.
Then sprayed a coat of Matte Polyurethane over the entire Plane.
The result was brillant.
Decals appeared to be painted on.

I must say that the Tailormade decals are the best that I have ever used in my 50years of modelling.
Below is photo of the Cockpit side with the decals applied using the above process.

Hope this helps.

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