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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I've been away from the scifi modeling for about 8 years. Now, I am watching everyone do a PL Refit is doing the aztecing first, and then the decals.

My question is, if you have an aztecing scheme made up of flat/gloss to give it that "sheen", how do you apply the decals afterward? I mean, from what I understand, you are supposed to put decals on a gloss clear coat.

But if you aztec, and then spray the entire model with gloss, won't that cancel out the flat/gloss of the aztec, and then just leave you with a gloss model without the aztecing?

I hope that all made sense.
 

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I've thought about this as well. I believe the correct order would be to basecoat and detail paint, then glosscoat, then decal, then semi-gloss coat, then mask the Aztec pattern and flat coat.

My reasoning is this: the visible Aztec pattern is supposed to represent the uneven surface of Enterprise's hull, which is comprised of hundreds of separate panels; the random "pattern" was created by using random painted shapes to "break up" the smooth surface of the studio model in order to simulate light reflecting off of these various panels in different directions. The kit decals are supposed to be ship's registry information painted onto these panels, which would reflect the light the same way as a panel with only the basecoat color.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. ;)
 

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It depends on your process. I'm using varying layers of opaque pearlescents over a gloss white base. The pearlescents themselves reflect light in different ways rather than simple dull-flat coats. The orginal studio model was done in a very similar way. In this case, my test work has shown me that paint all aztecing first, decal, EVEN FLAT finish over that, and the effect is subtle yet very effective.
 

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Roguepink said:
In this case, my test work has shown me that paint all aztecing first, decal, EVEN FLAT finish over that, and the effect is subtle yet very effective.
Agreed. I have been using pearlescent paint and iridescent colors as well. In all my tests, I have always painted the aztec first and then sprayed a flat finish. What the flat finish serves to accomplish is to further blend the pearl and iridescent colors into the base coat. The effect is a very subtle and effective finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, for this particular model, I'm doing the PL 1/1000 TOS Enterprise with an Aztec. Therefore, I don't need the surface to be different colors, I only need gloss/flat breakup on the surface.

So, in that case, can I just apply the decals over a gloss/flat aztec, or do I need to put the decals on a gloss coat, and then do the aztecing after the decals are on?
 

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So Raist does this mean you have been doing the following:

Base then
Multilayer aztec then
decal then
flat finish dullcoat

??

Mark
 

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Marc yes that is what I have been following.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, so If I am not using pearlescent paints, would you recommend for procedure?

I want the basecoat to look like only one color head on, but have aztec at glancing light angles.

Then I need to put decals on top of this without nullifying the effect of the aztec with gloss or flat paints.
 

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Using only the difference in specularity (gloss vs. flat) to pick out the paneling, you would lay your base color in gloss, apply decals, then spray your finish coats. Warning: do not use an adhesive mask over waterslide decals. Use a hand-placed mask. An adhesive based mask will rip your careful and skilled decal work right up and leave you tossing bits of broken model all over the floor and stomping on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Roguepink said:
An adhesive based mask will rip your careful and skilled decal work right up and leave you tossing bits of broken model all over the floor and stomping on them.
Ha, you must have been hiding and watching me when I broke the wiring in my Bandai NX-01 :tongue:
 

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Roguepink said:
Warning: do not use an adhesive mask over waterslide decals...An adhesive based mask will rip your careful and skilled decal work right up and leave you tossing bits of broken model all over the floor and stomping on them.
Only if you don't seal the model (and the decals) with a clearcote first. Once they're sealed, the making medium shouldn't affect the decals unless it removes the paint as well.

I clearcoat every model I build if decals are involved. Decades ago someone pulled the decals off of one of my built-ups simply because his hands were slightly damp (hadn't dried his hands thoroughly after washing them). Sealing them with some form of clearcoat provided a protective barrier from this sort of thing.
 

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Something else I have seen around these forums and applies to the Big E refit, especially the 1701 on the saucer is to cut the decals out number by number and cutting the numbers out as close to the ink as you can eliminating the decal look.
 

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Mr. Canoehead said:
Something else I have seen around these forums and applies to the Big E refit, especially the 1701 on the saucer is to cut the decals out number by number and cutting the numbers out as close to the ink as you can eliminating the decal look.
When I helped redo the markings on a couple of shooting models for TNG and Voyager, we didn't use decals at all, but custom dry transfers. I know this doesn't exactly help the decal discussion, but the rub-ons did help us preserve the surface texture differences by not having to do an overall clearcoat. I'm hoping to do a build of my big 1701 refit, and have to do a lot of pondering before I commit to which layers go on in which order. The aztec masking certainly sounds like it'll make things go easier, and I'm really leaning toward picking some of that up.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com
 

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PixelMagic said:
Ok, so If I am not using pearlescent paints, would you recommend for procedure?

I want the basecoat to look like only one color head on, but have aztec at glancing light angles.
Here is the way I will do it, I tested this with the spare secondary hull part and some decals for the A-version (I`ll build the original refit):

1.) Basecoat (it will be a flat white primer in my case)

2.) COMPLETE clear glosscoat

3.) Decals

4.) Once again a COMPLETE clear glosscoat

5.) Azteking (using aztek dummy vinyl masks) with flat and semigloss clear coat

That leads to a 3-tone azteking and save decals.
 

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Rick Sternbach said:
When I helped redo the markings on a couple of shooting models for TNG and Voyager, we didn't use decals at all, but custom dry transfers. I know this doesn't exactly help the decal discussion, but the rub-ons did help us preserve the surface texture differences by not having to do an overall clearcoat.
Hi Rick, thanks for that post and excellent link sir!
I have seen some corrections where obviously old transfers have been scrubbed out on the old Stargazer model when it was shown in London a few years ago. Personally I accept that waterslide decals will degrade and need replacing in a few years - so I apply waterslide straight onto the matt/gloss complex surface that I have spent hours creating. No pre gloss. Also, no post sealing of decals means you can change them in a few years when UV has got to them, and also with a mainly white undercoat silvering isn't really too much of an issue anyway. If the Enterprise were matt black, it would become a problem..
 

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Flux Chiller said:
Hi Rick, thanks for that post and excellent link sir!
I have seen some corrections where obviously old transfers have been scrubbed out on the old Stargazer model when it was shown in London a few years ago. Personally I accept that waterslide decals will degrade and need replacing in a few years - so I apply waterslide straight onto the matt/gloss complex surface that I have spent hours creating. No pre gloss. Also, no post sealing of decals means you can change them in a few years when UV has got to them, and also with a mainly white undercoat silvering isn't really too much of an issue anyway. If the Enterprise were matt black, it would become a problem..
In some places where I've had to restore some panel texture differences on top of either decals or dry transfers, I've had pretty decent luck with plain old paper or oaktag/manila folder "stencils," and airbrushing matte or gloss clear through them. At very low psi levels, mind you. In places where I've need to get a better "seal" of the stencil onto the surface, I've shot the backside of the stencil with an extremely light misting of 3M Photo Mount. Any residue cleans up with a gause pad dampened with rubber cement thinner and pulled ever so gently across the model. Fortunately, with shooting miniatures, we only had to worrry about the markings lasting through a few motion control passes! :p

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Neat, Rick. You know, I've been learning CGI for a few years now, but I did models as a hobby before then. I try to apply lessons from real modeling into my CG textures whenever I can.

It's such a pity that they don't use any shooting miniatures for starships anymore. I think they still look better than CGI....for now.
 

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Marco Scheloske said:
Here is the way I will do it, I tested this with the spare secondary hull part and some decals for the A-version (I`ll build the original refit):

1.) Basecoat (it will be a flat white primer in my case)

2.) COMPLETE clear glosscoat

3.) Decals

4.) Once again a COMPLETE clear glosscoat

5.) Azteking (using aztek dummy vinyl masks) with flat and semigloss clear coat

That leads to a 3-tone azteking and save decals.
Marco,

Let us know how this approach turns out. Sounds like a good idea.

Jay
 

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I altered my 22" Enterprise model a while back to represent the self-destructed version. (then pics came out showing better views of that model... D'oh!!) But the way I did it was to hit the model with a flat white primer, go over that with a pearlescent paint, mask, and then spray an iridescent paint over that. I gave it a clear coat of Future, applied decals, future again, and then started adding weathering/burn marks. turned out alright (imo)
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o176/d_jedi1/Self_destruct18.jpg
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o176/d_jedi1/Self_destruct17.jpg
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o176/d_jedi1/Self_destruct15.jpg
the iridescent paint I used looks different depending on the angle you view it from.. mostly it looks yellowish, but at certain angles it takes on purple/violet hues.
 
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