Pre-Treating Vinyl Decals? Need ideas...

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eugenefl

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Greetings all.

So a few days ago I received some VERY slick Der Red Max decals previously ordered from Tango Papa for my 4" dia. upscale. The vinyl itself is crystal clear, but not precut.

The problem - I sat down yesterday to begin trimming out the individual decals and while I was aligning my ruler to the side of one particular decal, I noticed that I had accidentally scraped the coloring off of an adjacent decal after dragging the ruler over it. Ok, I figure maybe I pressed down too hard. So I took one of the excess decals and ran my fingernail over it to test the tolerances and to my disappointment the black coloring scraped right off. I even located a Tango Papa emblem and ran my thumb over it causing the coloring to smear. (Ok, so the thumb rub was pretty strong, but I didn't expect the coloring to do anything.) Now we're not talking excessive scraping here, but a light scrape much like what would happen if another rocket bumped into it during transport to the field.

The solution? - Any suggestions as to how I should protect these decals prior to applying them? Now the easy answer is apply them carefully then clearcoat. The problem there is that the rocket has been professionally painted and clearcoated. No Krylon clearcoat will ever match an auto clear.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by eugenefl
Greetings all.

So a few days ago I received some VERY slick Der Red Max decals previously ordered from Tango Papa for my 4" dia. upscale. The vinyl itself is crystal clear, but not precut.

The problem - I sat down yesterday to begin trimming out the individual decals and while I was aligning my ruler to the side of one particular decal, I noticed that I had accidentally scraped the coloring off of an adjacent decal after dragging the ruler over it. Ok, I figure maybe I pressed down too hard. So I took one of the excess decals and ran my fingernail over it to test the tolerances and to my disappointment the black coloring scraped right off. I even located a Tango Papa emblem and ran my thumb over it causing the coloring to smear. (Ok, so the thumb rub was pretty strong, but I didn't expect the coloring to do anything.) Now we're not talking excessive scraping here, but a light scrape much like what would happen if another rocket bumped into it during transport to the field.

The solution? - Any suggestions as to how I should protect these decals prior to applying them? Now the easy answer is apply them carefully then clearcoat. The problem there is that the rocket has been professionally painted and clearcoated. No Krylon clearcoat will ever match an auto clear.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Clear plastic self-adhesive laminating sheets. The result would probably be about as thick as the stick-on decals from Aerotech, and that might be a good thing. Stick a sheet over the decals before cutting. Clearcoat after application as per usual.
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by DynaSoar
Clear plastic self-adhesive laminating sheets. The result would probably be about as thick as the stick-on decals from Aerotech, and that might be a good thing. Stick a sheet over the decals before cutting. Clearcoat after application as per usual.
DynaSoar, sounds like a winner idea to me! Any idea where I can get those laminating sheets? (Wow...I didn't even think of "sealing" them with other sheets.)
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by eugenefl
DynaSoar, sounds like a winner idea to me! Any idea where I can get those laminating sheets? (Wow...I didn't even think of "sealing" them with other sheets.)
Avery makes some. Here's one place that sells it: https://www.instaoffice.com/category.12-1927-3.0.0.2.htm

I bet you could find lots of others, maybe cheaper. But for the small purchase it'll be, it might just be worth a trip to OfficeMax or similar.

If the adhesive on the original is adequate, just covering them would protect them. If it might be weak, cutting them out then covering them and cutting a border of the lamination might give better results.

Aerotech suggests dipping the self-adhesive type in water with a drop of detergent in it prior to application. That allows them to slip around a bit before they grab, much like water-based decals. So they say; I've never tried it.
 

Stones

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What about liquid decal film? Or is that not compatible with vinyl?
 

Micromeister

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Eugene and stones:
Liquid and spray overcoats will help a little but like the printed decal itself it can be easily scraped off with a finger nail or just by rubbing:(
By far the best way to protect Alps printed on vinyl decals (tango papa, jimz and others) is with a clear overlay sheet of the same clear vinyl or clear laminating sheet like Dyna mentioned. OBTW it is also a very good idea to use a wetting agent between the printed decal and overlay sheets to allow re-positioning without damage to the printed decal. use a 3m plastic vinly squeege to remove excess water, then wipe from the center of the sheet outward to the edges with a soft paper towel. repeat this about an hour later to ensure complete adheasion. cut out and apply to the model using the same agent and proceedure.
A wetting agent is easily made with any pump spray bottle with 2 drops of dish washing detergent in about a pint of water.
Hope this helps.
 
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