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    • November 13, 2019 9:05 AM EST
    • Hi Jason...  Might have a solution for you...   Contact me via email or phone.. 

    • November 12, 2019 7:10 PM EST
    • Thanks everyone for all the info. I have came to the conclusion that the decals must’ve been n.o.s. It definitely is the ink cracking up off of the rivets.



    • November 10, 2019 4:06 AM EST
    • I am assuming the decals you are using Jason are of the waterslide type. Do the San Juan decals have a lacquer coat applied over the printed image as supplied ? If not, which is unusual but not impossible, then you may experience the problem you have with the print smearing or "lifting off", especially if you are "working" the decal in its wetted state with solvents. You might want to ask the supplier if this lacquer coat should have been applied and might be missing. Or this coating might be damaged or deleted in some way, even by the solvent you are using. There is also a risk of distorting the decal when manipulating it in any way once you have applied a decal solvent. Depends on how sensitive its material is to those solvent(s) used. 


      How old is the decal sheet you are using ? Old stock waterslide type decals are prone to cracking/curling and even whole or partial disintegration when decal placement products are applied, or even just in separation from their backing sheet. Use of a heat source, hairdryer, will only exacerbate this problem. Some decals' carrier and lacquer coating do not respond well, if at all, to proprietary decal solvent and setting solutions and can also be the cause of curling. You should always experiment first with a redundant, if available, part of the decal sheet to see how it reacts to the products you are using. Or take advise from the manufacturer on what to use.


      If you are not sure Jason of the basic construction and print/coating sequence of a waterslide decal sheet it is as follows - Absorbent paper substrate - Then, adhesive and carrier film is coated onto/printed on to it. It may cover the substrate sheet completely or be printed to conform only to the outlines of the individual design items to follow - Next, printed design, one pass if a modern inkjet type or multiple passes with more than one colour if offset printed or with a printer that requires more than one pass to reproduce the image - Finally, lacquer coat, read as as carrier for its application. With this whole process you can end up with a decal that in terms of material composition and thickness is quite resistant to solvents and applying over fine relief detail. There is no plastic film as far as I know normally used in the process, you usually only find that with self adhesive decals in my experience. Gloss coating of the surface for the decal to be applied to is only done to "hide" the carrier film, it has no other function as far as I am aware.


      Some waterslide decals are made so the laquer coat can be removed, with care, so that you leave what appears to the naked eye, a "tampo" printed appearance, but that only works when you are using solid block designs with no show through and with the adhesive/carrier film printed as a close match to the individual decal outline shapes. I trust this helps you Jason in diagnosing and resolving the problem you are having. If all else fails contact San Juan. 

    • November 9, 2019 9:40 AM EST
    • Waterslide decals should be applied to a Gloss surface for best results . After they are cured you can apply any top coat ( dull or gloss) of your choice.

    • November 9, 2019 5:54 AM EST
    • I use a piece of foam rubber to press decals down around details, working from the center out. As suggested, I wet the surface with a setting solution before I place the decal. I have only had to use a hair dryer on occasion, usually the setting solution and foam will do the trick. While working with the decals I blot the surface of the decal, I make sure that I don't rub the surface of the decal, because it can cause some decal ink/paint to smear,

    • November 8, 2019 9:12 PM EST
    • So...I put it up as I was frustrated and Had to leave town for work. I’ll look at it tomorrow and see how it is.


    • November 8, 2019 9:10 PM EST
    • Dan, I haven’t contacted him. and Mark.. it was a one time shot to get it on. Its a big Rio Grande Southern decal on the tender so I only messed with it once as little as possible to get it on straight and no bubbles. I soaked it in water for ten second, let it release, dampening my work area with solution, slid it off the paper, added more solution, started the bubble process with a paint brush (this is where it started pulling/cracking the ink) then blotted to get air bubbles out.  

    • November 8, 2019 8:35 PM EST
    • Maybe you have "played" with it so much during the different attempts none of the adhesive is left.

    • November 8, 2019 8:26 PM EST
    • Jason V. said:

      And I’ve tried the Q-tip. And no air bubbles. It’s almost like the decal ink is lifting Off the plastic clear sheet.

      Well that's not right.  have you contacted San Juan?

    • November 8, 2019 5:40 PM EST
    • And I’ve tried the Q-tip. And no air bubbles. It’s almost like the decal ink is lifting Off the plastic clear sheet.

    • November 8, 2019 5:38 PM EST
    • Okay, It’s plastic a Bachmann C-19 tender. I’ll give the hairdryer a try. 

    • November 8, 2019 5:35 PM EST
    • I have found Solvaset is one of the most aggressive decal solvents out there, sometimes you need to dilute it. If your decal does not yield to that product nothing else will probably do it. The effectiveness of these products is very dependent on the type of decal carrier film they are being applied to. You may have to experiment with different product. Don't forget to use some Microsol Microset under the decal to aid the process.


      I use a closed cell sponge, pressed down on to the decals to get them conform to complex compound curves, rivets and shut lines after applying a solvent. I also brush in the decal with solvent to help it to conform, but you must be careful with this method to minimise the risk of distortion.


      I only use hair dryers on self adhesive decals, with waterslide type types a hair dryer can cause the decal to curl and crack. If you are using a dry print type decal you could try spotting on the decal's surface with a bit of isopropyl alcohol, but use great care as this product is usually used ro remove dry print from surfaces it has been applied to. 

    • November 8, 2019 4:18 PM EST
    • Forrest Scott Wood said:


      I don't like the idea of hair dryers being pointed at plastic models even if the hair dryer itself is plastic.

      I use a hair dryer all the time when I'm weathering. It won't hurt the model. A true heat gun will warp plastic if you leave it long enough, but a hair dryer even on high heat doesn't put out enough heat to deform the plastic.

    • November 8, 2019 3:47 PM EST
    • Saw this today in the automotive modeling section of Aircraft Resource Center Forum.
      Don't know that I'd be willing to try it.

      I don't like the idea of hair dryers being pointed at plastic models even if the hair dryer itself is plastic.

      I started adding the Studio 27 carbon decals on the engine cover.  The Studio 27 decals and thick, brittle, and not easy to use- even with scalding hot water and a liberal bath of Solvaset.  I applied two sections on the engine cover and was about to toss the whole set until I read to use a hairdryer during application.  It’s the only way to get them to conform without cracking and I’ve had much better results’s where it stands now:

      Something I have done on a few projects since reading it in a Tamiya model kit's instructions in 1980s is apply pressure with a soft cloth dampened with hot water; no setting solution was mentioned.
      But I expect that should not be done while setting solution is in place and liquid, I waited for it to evaporate.

    • November 13, 2019 12:48 AM EST
    • I've used a "green weenie," with success.  Just be careful, don't press too hard.


      Then I learned to use plastic bags to replace the original plastic sleeve.

    • November 12, 2019 11:43 PM EST
    • I have A streamliner that has Styrofoam residue on the roof from being stored in the box. Has anyone removed this from the paint without damaging it. Don't really want to repaint the roof.... Thanks!!... Travis


    • November 10, 2019 1:28 AM EST
    • As to the adjustment of the motor block set screws, I first see if both have a thread exposure of about 1/8 inch between screw head and plastic - or set them about the same for that value.  Then progressively adjust similar amount for each back and forth.


    • November 9, 2019 3:40 AM EST
    • Ted, Greg,

      Finally, information that is useful in regards to the adjustment of this drives lash screws. I will definitely give it a try.

      Thank you so much! 



    • November 8, 2019 2:41 PM EST
    • Yeah, so one adjustment directly affects end play on the motor, the other presses on the shaft in the "pivoting" gearbox, and from what you say, can take free play out of the universal, and I suppose will eventually take up free play on the other direction of the motor.


      The thing that is interesting to me is which should be adjusted first, and how the interplay between the 2 adjustments exhibits itself.


      Clearly if both adjustments can affect the motor end play in each direction, you could probably have more than one "final setting" that would have different offsets in the motor, and how to make sure you are not offsetting the motor shaft too much in either direction?