I have always been told that spraying clearcoat over the decals is the thing to do. Every time I have tried it in the past, I get a runny mess.
Is there something I'm missing? Getting back into rocketry, after 10+ years off (BAR +2). I would like to put matte clearcoat on a rocket I am building, after I put the decals on... don't want a mess. Allready had to re-learn the "multiple thin coats" thing with spray paint....
A couple comments:
a: NO sparying "clearcoat" over your completed model and decals is NOT the best thing to do. Clear coats become brittle and flake off with a little time and when bumped and banged around in the car and on landings.. when they do they take some of the decal with it.
Better to give a finished model a couple coats of Furture floor finish or Nu-finish polymer instead. this "protects" your decals more then any clear coats.
B: That said however; There is a reason to clear coat most decals produced these days and all of the after market decals being printed on Alps and other dry transfer ink decals. Because these printers lay down rows of ribbon ink if they are not clear coated after printing they tend to come apart along the 1/2" division lines during application. Some of the newer Silkscreened mass production kit decals recently have been printed so thinly they also seem to fall apart badly during application.
To prevent this there are several methods. Best is to coat them with "microscale" decal clear. This is a brush-on liquid that drys very clear and Super fast.
Next best is to apply very light coats of Krylon UV resistant Gloss Clear #1305 allowing them to dry between coats and keeping the overall coating light as spraying to heavy a coat will crinkle the decals on the sheet. It is best to do either of these processes with the complete decal sheet taped to a table top or board laying flat as I've done with the very thinly printed decals from an Interceptor-E kit in the photos.
It's also possible to use very old (30yr+) decals by applying a fresh coat of Clear before cutting them apart for application.
Hope this helps some