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  • Trimming Decals

    Did a search here but didn't find an answer for my question. Once applied to the body, how do you trim the edges of the decals when you have a tiny bit of overhanging material?
    I'm working on a NSR McLaren 720 and have applied Atalaya decals. There are a few vents on the bodies that are covered by the decals. I'd like to trim these carefully. I tried a new, sharp xacto blade but the edges were left a little ratty looking. What's the secret(s)?

  • #2
    did you try some decal setting fluid... like Tamiya Mark Fit Strong? I would use that after you trim and see if you can get them to melt down on the car.

    James

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    • Aptosc6
      Aptosc6 commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't do this often (this is only my 2nd car). I'm using Pledge Acrylic Floor as a decal set and plan to finish with Testor's Clear. That combination worked very well on my NSR F1 car.

  • #3
    I like these. Was pointed to them by many folks.
    If you've got vents and other indents, 'red' is great to get things to settle. Just a bit, not too much, and use while it's being applied.

    I stand by the idea of trim, test fit, and trim again, as carefully as possible to rid things you don't want long before final application.
    Click image for larger version

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    Tony
    ... Hobbit Racing...
    ...Tampa, FL, USA...
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    • #4
      Originally posted by Aptosc6 View Post
      Did a search here but didn't find an answer for my question. Once applied to the body, how do you trim the edges of the decals when you have a tiny bit of overhanging material?
      I'm working on a NSR McLaren 720 and have applied Atalaya decals. There are a few vents on the bodies that are covered by the decals. I'd like to trim these carefully. I tried a new, sharp xacto blade but the edges were left a little ratty looking. What's the secret(s)?
      I have tried most of the decal setting solutions over the years, and always come back to Micro Set and Micro Sol.

      Micro set (blue) should be lightly applied to the body where the decal will go,.....apply the decal and blot with a paper towel/tissue. Micro Set helps the decal adhere and conform to small irregularities on the body.

      Micro sol (red) is much stronger (it softens the decal much more) and should be applied over the decal, to help where compound curves are present.

      For vents, and compound curves, you can use a hair dryer (medium heat/air pressure) to heat and dry the decal once the Micro Sol has been applied (wait a minute or so)....this will make the decal conform the the body shape underneath, (it will make the decal conform to the edges of your vents.) Have some patience, it will take a minute or so for the decal to soften and conform to the body.

      The decal may go a bit "wrinkly" after you apply the Micro Sol, not to worry, and. do not touch it !!!!,....the heat from the hair dryer will "melt" the decal, and as it dries ,it will completely conform the the body, and be very smooth.
      Once the decal has dried (at minimum 24 hrs.) you can use a sharp blade to cut the edges of the dried decal, along wheel openings/vent edges etc......do not try to cut decals that are still wet/moist,...especially after using Micro Sol. Once cut, you can apply a touch of Micro Set to the decal edges, wait a minute and blot....this will re seal the decal edge to the body.


      If your vents are not "open" you can use some flat black paint to make them appear "open", or even better, open the vents with an xacto, and place some mesh behind the vents.

      I learned the hair dryer trick many moons ago from some experienced Static model guys,.....I have used it countless times, and it works like a charm.

      Cheers
      Chris Walker
      Last edited by chrisguyw; June 18, 2022, 10:55 AM.

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      • #5
        Everyone, thanks for all the useful tips. As I mentioned, I'm using Pledge as a decal set. Adding a second top coat either shrank the edges inward or sealed them down so my problem self corrected mostly. The low bottom air intakes under the doors are still a little ratty but no one's going to notice me thinks.
        I'll post a couple photo's tomorrow after I reassemble everything.

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        • chrisguyw
          chrisguyw commented
          Editing a comment
          Pledge/Future is just fine for a topcoat,..(I personally prefer other products), but, it is not a decal setting solution.....to "set" the decals, a decal setting product should be used.

      • #6
        Finished and back together. Here's what it looks like. Click image for larger version

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