Friday, January 4, 2013

Dust Model’s Decals: Review

Today we have a brief review of the Dust Studio’s decal sheets.

Now I didn’t buy a decal pack but the Dust model kits we received included one sheet each, so we had 1 Axis, and 2 Allied sheets.

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Over all they’re very good quality with screen printed graphics (well they look screen printed there are a couple of ways they may have been printed, just not ink jet or laser), and the decal emulsion is not too thick or thin. The good emulsion quality makes application with the classic method (see below) quite easy.

Below are a series of applied decals for examples, click for bigger images. These are not sealed or coated with any kind of “dull-coat” yet.

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All in all these are great decals on par with Tamiya or other higher end model companies, way better then Games Workshop, which has seriously thick emulsion which can lead to silvering and application issues.

About the “Classic Method” for applying decals.

Step 1: Cut our your decal.

Step 2: Place the decal in room temp. to lukewarm water for 10 – 20 seconds.

Step 3: Place the wet decal on a non-porous surface while you prep the model, it should “rest” for 1 – 2 minutes.

Step 4: Make sure your model is clean, if necessary use a q-tip and a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol to clean the area where the decal will be placed.

Step 5: Use some of your water to wet the area where the decal will be applied, this will help “float” the decal to help position it. (At this step if your working with a large decal or on an irregular surface, you can use Micro-Sol or a similar product in place of the water on the model.)

Step 6: Use your finger to slide the decal half way off the backer (blue) paper, while holding the backer paper with tweezers, slide the decal on to the model as close to it’s final position and orientation as possible.

Step 7: If needed adjust the decal’s orientation and position while it is floating, once it’s where you want it, gently hold it in place with your finger, a q-tip, or a paintbrush handle.

Step 8: While holding the decal in place use a paintbrush or a wad of paper towels to begin removing the water, be carful not to move the decal. While blotting and removing the water be sure to work from the center to the edges being carful to remove any bubbles in the decal. (This is not a big problem with small decals, and using a paper towel can also help as you can apply more even pressure then with a paintbrush.)

Step 9: If your decal is quite large or on an irregular surface, gently apply some Micro-Sol with a soft brush, following the directions on the bottle. (I didn’t find this necessary on the small decals, as the DT models are pretty smooth.)

Step 10: Let it dry, (at least over night, or according to the Micro-Sol directions)

Step 11: Although the Dust decals are not extremely shiny, they do have some gloss, so a quick coat of some “anti-shine”, or “dull coat” will take care of that.

Step 12: Destroy the enemy!

Happy gaming, modeling, painting, decaling…

Note: If I get enough requests I’ll do a video for these directions.