Using decals


Using Decals

Too hot to paint so I’ve been experimenting on transferring images using two primed toys. The only time I ever tried this before was using Decal-it which no longer seems available but most methods seem to be similar. I’ve seen people using PVA glue, Modge Podge and other things on YouTube.

With Decal-it, I applied lots of coats to a b&w laser print letting each dry, put it face down on the surface and after it dried, rubbed the paper away. It transferred the image using a transparent film created by the multiple coats – a decal in effect. The Zen Bench Steampunk design is an example.

With these, I used a photo transfer gel for the top example but only applied one coat to the surface and one to the paper ( a colour laser print). Rubbing off the paper was a pain. You have to go slowly or risk removing the design. I recommend a hog-hair fitch and lots of water. It didn’t work well on curves but quite well on the flat. More coats might help – will try again.

Next I tried some special Tattoo paper for creating fake skin tats. This wasn’t easy to grasp but you put a sticky sheet on the print, then flip it over and rub the paper off. It leaves a thin skin on the surface held on by glue but I should have cut around the tattoo as you see. It would work because the skin is so thin but I prefer using gel if I can get it to work.

This time I applied several coats of photo gel to the images – laser prints – and let them dry before I applied them to the figures. I had to wet the paper to make it conform but they seem to have transferred quite successfully. I sprayed the figures with Dullcote too. The painted bust was the acid test.

Had to dry off the images several times to see all the paper still on the surface – it looks like a ‘bloom’ when dried. The gel does create a skin – and I didn’t cut in as carefully as I might – but it’s still less thick than a proper decal and I think I could integrate it with overspray. If I wanted to be super cautious I could also put a coat of liquid wax in the area to make it smooth and hard (better for transfer) but I’m not sure it’s necessary.


Using Microset & Microsol solutions

A clear step by step guide written by Jason Newman (Facebook):

General process and rationale behind each step:

1 – Apply gloss varnish. This both protects the underlying paint as well as creates a smooth surface for the transfer.

2 – Soak transfer in water to prep

3 – Moisten area where the transfer goes with Micro Set then apply and position. Micro set will help the transfer adhere well once dry.

4 – I usually use a cotton swab to roll out any wrinkles, bubbles, or remaining liquid to speed things along and reduce the chances that the transfer will float off position.

5 – Once dry brush on Micro Sol over the transfer. This will soften the transfer and help dissolve the backing material making the transfer look a lot smoother and more painted on.

6 – Repeat 5 until you’re happy with the results.

7 – Gloss varnish over the transfer. This both seals in the transfer and protects it from further painting as well as hides any remaining edges.

I usually do some filter work at this point to make the transfer blend in more. Most transfers have very, very stark whites and blacks that can look a little out of place. By doing it at this step you’re going over a gloss and can correct the filter pretty easily if need be.

Once you’re all done, matte it back down and you’re good to go. You can end up with some pretty smooth results.