Waterlide decals not adhering to surface

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Bill S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
259
Reaction score
62
I'm having some problems with some "waterslide" decals that I got from Squirrel Works. They took a long time to separate from the backing, and some of them aren't sticking. When I first applied them, they stayed put; when dry I put some Microscale Liquid Decal film over them to protect them. However, now some of them are clearly not sticking to the surface; the center of them is free to move up and down, and they look bad.

The surface was Tamiya Royal Grey, with some of their glossy clearcoat on top. These decals seem to be of the same variety as the Semroc ones that came with my Starship Vega kit; while they seem to be more durable, they are harder to get to stay on the surface. On the SV kit, I even tried Microset, but it had zero effect - it didn't affect the decals at all.

Any ideas?
 

KILTED COWBOY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
364
Reaction score
125
Location
TEXAS
I usually do not put clearcoat on before I decal.
Possibly that is the problem? just a guess.
 

neil_w

Hunkered down
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
8,291
Reaction score
1,894
Location
Northern NJ
I usually do not put clearcoat on before I decal.
Possibly that is the problem? just a guess.
Clearcoat before decals is normally a good thing. Decals adhere best to glossy surfaces. Clearcoating first is recommended procedure if the paint is not glossy. If the paint *is* glossy, then clearcoating should basically make no difference.

You could try some Micro Set to help improve adhesion. What is your process for soaking and applying?
 

Bill S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
259
Reaction score
62
Neil, I cut out decals, put on a plate and use distilled water to separate the decals. I put a little water on the model where the decals are to go, slide them off, squeeze out the water with Q-tips, let dry a day, coat with Liquid decal film.

I've tried the Microset on these decals before, as well as the Semroc ones, and the Microset has no effect at all.
 

neil_w

Hunkered down
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
8,291
Reaction score
1,894
Location
Northern NJ
Hmm, not really sure. There are numerous google results for "waterslide decals not adhering", see what you can figure out. Sorry I don't have any more specific advice.
 

dr wogz

Fly caster
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
5,179
Reaction score
556
Location
Land of Poutine!
I've had some 'questionable' results for the home made decal paper. So much so that the glue they use seems to be next-to-non-existent.. so, I've had some troubles too.

Mix up some white glue & water, then use that as your basis for the decals. Ive done this a few times,with mixed results. It's worh a shot..
 

Bill S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
259
Reaction score
62
I've had some 'questionable' results for the home made decal paper. So much so that the glue they use seems to be next-to-non-existent.. so, I've had some troubles too.

Mix up some white glue & water, then use that as your basis for the decals. Ive done this a few times,with mixed results. It's worh a shot..
These aren't decals I've done at home. They are provided with the Squirrel Works kits, and I don't think they are the usual home-made waterslide paper. The Semroc decals resemble these - I suspect they are both from the same source, but of course I can't confirm that. The material is more plastic-like than decal-film like to my eye.
 

kuririn

BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
4,018
Reaction score
1,484
Location
Hawaii
=
These aren't decals I've done at home. They are provided with the Squirrel Works kits, and I don't think they are the usual home-made waterslide paper. The Semroc decals resemble these - I suspect they are both from the same source, but of course I can't confirm that. The material is more plastic-like than decal-film like to my eye.
Small kit manufacturers frequently use home printed decals since they cannot justify large runs of commercially printed silk screened decals. They may also be clear coated, which would explain the non effect of the decal solutions you are trying to use (and the "plastic like" thickness).
I have used a thin white glue and water solution and brushed it on to adhere paper decals, as per Dr. Wogz suggestion. Haven't tried it with waterslides though.
BTW which Squirrel Works kit was this for?
 

Bill S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
259
Reaction score
62
=

Small kit manufacturers frequently use home printed decals since they cannot justify large runs of commercially printed silk screened decals. They may also be clear coated, which would explain the non effect of the decal solutions you are trying to use (and the "plastic like" thickness).
I have used a thin white glue and water solution and brushed it on to adhere paper decals, as per Dr. Wogz suggestion. Haven't tried it with waterslides though.
BTW which Squirrel Works kit was this for?
It was the Vulture kit. The whole issue is making me hesitant to buy more kits from them, as I really did not like the way the decals came out, by and large.
 

afadeev

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
1,045
Reaction score
363
I'm having some problems with some "waterslide" decals that I got from Squirrel Works. They took a long time to separate from the backing, and some of them aren't sticking.
If you leave waterslide decals in the water for "too long" (more than 20-30 seconds), you risk dissolving the glue (usually dextrose corn sugar) altogether. Older decals are usually a challenge this way, as they take longer to separate from the backing paper, are more brittle, and risk dissolving already weak glue.
I never trust the waterslide decals to adhere properly, or permanently, so I always cover them with a layer of clearcoat. That also helps to protect them from accidental damage.

Have you tried spraying clearcoat over the decals?

More good info here:
https://www.rocketryforum.com/threa...roper-timing-and-technique.70750/#post-777313

HTH
 

Bill S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
259
Reaction score
62
Afadeev, I normally put clearcoat over decals, but haven't yet done so with this kit, as I decided to wait and see if people had any suggestions first. I'll probably do that today.
 
Top