Decal help

Have a big problem here. I am doing my first undec model. I have a set of micro scale decals that are about a year old and a bottle of micro set. The problem is when i put the decals on the loco they start to tear. and that's not putting any pressure on them. They also dont want to stick in some spots. What can i do to fix this problem?

The instructions at this link say blot the excess from the decal " DON'T" unless you have an extremely light touch. Micro Set does soften the decal and if you are blotting it that may be why the little pieces are coming off. I've used Microscale decals more than 4 years old without problems. One other thought comes to mind is how were they stored, dampness may have an effect on the adheasment to the model

The instructions on the micro scale decals only allow for 10 seconds in the water, then lay it on a damp paper towel, I think it's about 1 min there. You should be able to move the decal on the paper. Put enough decal set on the model so that the area to be decaled is wet. Slide the decal off the paper onto the model. You don't have a lot of time here, since the decal is now floating on the layer of micro set, position it where you want it, then leave it alone. If you have too much microset on the model, using the EDGE of a paper towel touch the edge of the wet area where there is no decal, capillary action will do the rest, let it dry overnight. I don't know other than that, so give it a try.
Cheers Willis
Here's the text of a post I made to a couple weeks ago. It's specific to decal striping over ribs, but the same techniques apply to placing decals over doors.

Also, since that's a GE (not sure which model), you might want to save the Microscale decals for another project and use Shell Scale decals ( Diesels.htm). On factory painted GE diesels, the NS emblem is a little different, as shown on the Shell Scale page. If this is a repaint, such as a locomotive received from Conrail, then the EMD style emblem is appropriate. Check the site for details on that, if you're interested.

Anyway, here's my post, which I hope you find useful:

The trick to doing striping is to work in short segments, say 3" to 4"
lengths. When you begin decalling, get a paper towel and fold it in
quarters and place it next to your dish (I use a saucer sized plate) of
warm water. Dunk the stripe in the water for 10 seconds then lay it on
the paper towel for one minute. Make sure the model surface to be
decalled is parallel with the table, not vertical. Gently brush the
decal onto the model surface allowing for enough length to wrap each
rib. It's not going to lay down on the ribs correctly at this point,
but in the next minute or so you can estimate how much length you'll
need for it to sit down properly wrapped snug around the ribs. Then,
using a small amount of Micro Set, position the decal where you want it,
again, not worrying about wrapping the ribs completely.

Once it has set in place for another two or three minutes, apply a drop
of Micro Sol to each rib, allowing the solution to flow under the decal
at the rib. You may need to reposition the decal a bit, but do so
gently and use only a brush. The decal is very vulnerable once Micro
Sol is added to the equation, so there's no place for a knife blade.
Once the Micro Sol has been applied, do not touch the decal until it has
almost evaporated completely. The process of the Micro Sol evaporating
is what will make the decal hug the rib. "Speeding it up" with heat
from a hair dryer will at best ruin the decal and at worst ruin your
model. Too much (like soaking the decal) Micro Sol will distort the
decal as will touching the decal during this process. You'll see small
wrinkles in the decal as it's drying and it's tempting to touch the
decal with the brush at this point, but the process of evaporation will
eliminate the wrinkles. If a second application of Micro Sol is needed,
do it right before the decal dries, but not while it's still wet with
Micro Sol or after it has completely dried. All you really need to do is
practice this until you've done it successfully once, and if you can
discard everything you know about decals and just do it this way, you'll
get it to work.

Once the first strip is applied successfully and has dried to the point
where an adjacent strip won't dislodge the decal, you can continue
adding strips until you're done. When you apply the next segment, try
to avoid overlap as much as possible, because there will be a color
shift where the two reds or blues are "double thick." A small (1/32"
length or less) isn't noticeable, but anything more will stick out,
especially on a light background where the paint underneath "amplifies"
the colors.

I had the hardest time doing striping for years, which is a bad thing
when you're modeling BNSF. My background in decals was mostly military
aircraft, so the methods I had learned then I still used unsuccessfully
with Microscale. I had always hated doing decals and thought Microscale
decals were crap until I gave up and read Microscale's directions. The
method I described is basically an amplified version of what they recommend.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Ryan Harris
North Richland Hills, Texas
What? You read the directions? Go stand in the corner!!!! :D :D :D

Thanks for the info. Getting back into modeling and not having done any decal work for years, the refresher is appreciated.
Thanks Willis. I did it your way. Not working for me. The decals were stored in my DAMP basement all this time. :(

Ryan Good guess!! It's A Atlas GE B40-8. I have been looking at shell scales. Think ill go with there # boards.

Ed can i get out of the cornernow??? I gotta go potty!! :D:D:D

All in all thanks for your help guys.
Heh, I thought so! I have a couple undec B40-8 bodies (to use for bashing C39-8s) and a pair of factory painted NS B40-8s. So, using the Microscale EMD set should be correct since those B40-8s are Conrail repaints. The other 4 axle Dash 8s on the NS are B32-8s, which were purchased by NS and would require the GE set. Or you can just overlook the difference (or in my case, not even notice until it was pointed out to me!) if you're doing those B32-8s.

Shell Scale's number boards are excellent from what I've seen. I have enough decals to last forever, so I just find the best match from my sets to do whatever model I'm working on at the time. When I run out of correct numbers, I'll be sure to pick up some of their sets.

If you're not already using numberboard background decals, it's never too late to start. They make a big difference.
If you're not already using numberboard background decals, it's never too late to start. They make a big difference.
I'll second that suggestion also the use of Microsol to soften the decals. That is the method I use for the CB&CNS decals. I used to put them on in one piece, but on the last two 630's I cut the long name into 2 pieces for application, it was much easier to apply and align. The RS18 I did required a white background for the number board, and finally I succeeded in painting it white, never again will I do that, it was too nerve wracking and I'm not wholly satisfied with the result.
Cheers Willis