Thursday, February 17, 2011

Video from Plamo Tsukurou - Applying Decals

While taking a break, I was searching through Youtube and I found a video on applying decals. The video is in Japanese and I had to guess what the modeller was doing.

In the Part 1 of the video, the modeller already sprayed a layer of gloss coat over the paint before applying decals. At the start of this video, he uses a soft brush to any water trapped (looks like little bubbles on the decal)  between the decal and the surface by brushing it out towards the edge. He then applies a decal softener (the one I use is Mr Mark Softener) to allow the decal to conform to the shape of the surface.Sometimes, Mark Setter needs to be applied to the decal to increase the adhesiveness of the decal.

Next, he uses a 2 part Polyurethane clear (PU Clear) to protect the paint and decal, also to achieve a high level of gloss. The 3 bottles are the PU Clear, hardener and thinner, the mixing ratio for the clear is very important. Note that spraying PU Clear can be hazardous, so a mask is a definite must if you intend to use it. He sprays a fair thick layer of clear ( must be thicker than decal to cover the decals). The video breaks for a short while for the clear to dry. Normally the PU clear takes about 1 day to dry and cure, depending on the amount hardener use. If less than the stipulated harder is used, the clear may take up to 3 days to cure. If too much hardener is used, the clear may appear very wrinkled. When the Clear was cured, he uses a 2000 grit sandpaper to sand the surface until the clear and the decal is levelled. He then finishes by removing the sanding mark by using a polishing compound.

When building gundam, decals are applied in similar way except we normally use gloss top coat (normally Mr Super Clear Gloss) seal the decal and finish with a flat coat after levelling the surface. Hope you learn as much as I did.

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