Monday, June 20, 2011

Shine on you crazy decal!

Hey hey hey, it's fat Charlesbert!

Decals are horrible. They're shiney, look cheap and nasty, ruin the effect of a paintjob, and you can always tell they're there. They're just the hallmark of a lazy hobbyist who can't paint freehand... right?


Decals can be a fantastic tool that saves time, are more uniform than freehand could ever be, and pretty much have none of the downsides often touted when they're talked about.

The key is in the preparation, so today I'm going to talk about the right way to decal.

Step 1: Give the surface a coat of Johnsons Klear, future finish floor polish, or what ever your country decided to call that same generic godsend of a product.

Step 2: Cut the decal from the sheet.

Step 3: Trim as close as you physically can to the decal - leave as little of the clear edging as physically possible. The closer you get, the easier it will be to get your decal to conform to irregular surfaces, and the easier it will be to make it look less noticable.

Step 4: Paint a layer of Micro Sol (decal setting solution) on the surface where you will place the decal.

Step 5: Place the decal in water, very little time is needed, i give it about 15-20 seconds.

Step 6: Position the decal in place on your figure (i usually use my paint brush), and once you have it where you want, gently give it another coating of micro sol.
Step 7: Once it has dried, IF needed, give it an additional layer of micro sol.

Step 8: Protect this with another layer of Johnsons Klear, and then varnish your figure. I varnish mine with a heavy coat of gloss varnish for protection, followed by a coat of Testors Dull Coat, which takes out all the shine and leaves a finish I am very satisfied with.

I hope that helps, and in turn you are able to get more out of the decals you get each time you buy a shiney new box!

- Charlie


  1. You should get Blaise to act as your hand model. Or invest in gloves!

  2. I'm okay with looking like I've just fisted a rainbow.