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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been here a while but haven't seen it come up before....

Decals on a refit Enterprise (in this case PL 1/350).

Many of the decals cross/cover deflector grid lines/channels. On the studio model, they do not cover up the grid lines, they are divided by them.

So... are people slicing the decals (on the grid line) when they apply them?
Or not at all? If you do, would it be safer to pre-cut them before application (avoid tearing or pulling or some other form of displacement)?

Way back in the day when I was going through AMT Enterprises like candy, I usually sliced any decal that was over a gridline, but that never worked too well, because the gap in the plastic was always wide, whereas a cut in the decal was really just a cut, not much more for fear of tearing off too much.

When I design my set of decals from scratch, I may need to actually put spaces where there are grid lines and trim accordingly (creating many separate applications of decals as a result)....

But I'm curious to see how others have/will address this issue, or if anyone has even thought about it yet....
 

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Microscale's Micro Set

I use a generous amount of Microscale's Micro Set to make the decals "snug down" into the grooves. No cutting required.
 

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I use a generous amount of Microscale's Micro Set to make the decals "snug down" into the grooves. No cutting required.
I guess what Gunstar1 means is that they should NOT snug down into the grooves because those markings are not in the grooves of the studio model, but there is simply nothing (a gap) where the grid lines run through markings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Exactly.

The problem with just getting the material to snug down in the groove is that it displaces the rest of the decal.

Part of the issue too is that the gridlines on the PL kit are just a touch too wide.
 

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I guess what Gunstar1 means is that they should NOT snug down into the grooves because those markings are not in the grooves of the studio model, but there is simply nothing (a gap) where the grid lines run through markings.
Darn! I never noticed that. I just took a look at the Christie's photos and you're right.
Now I've got one more tiny little detail to obsess about when I finally build the big 1/350th! :freak:

I guess I'll carefully slice a gap after I apply the decals. Maybe a small gap, not the entire width of the grid channel. I'll try it out when I reach the decal phase on my practice AMT refit.
 

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If you are talking about the red striping on the side of the secondary hull then why not just simply take an exacto with a curved blade and "rock" the blade back and forth to make a clean cut? also when you tried it in the past how long after applying the decals before you cut where the panel lines are?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alrighty - attached is a blu-ray screencap to illustrate my point.

Note that though the "metal" of the phaser bank base is visible in the grid channel, but the decals (registration and phaser border warning stripe) clearly do not go into the channel.

So it is a question of what the best method to remove that is.
Pre-application?
Post application?
I'm leaning now towards pre-application - partly because I think there would be too much risk to the decal and to the paint job by slicing on the hull. Some of this will be easy for myself because I'm going through the extra hassle of making my own decals - so I can easily remove that small area pre-printing.
 

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There may be another way...

What about applying the decal and setting it with your choice of decal softener so that the decal beds down securely into the groove of the panel line. Once it has set, apply your choice of clear coat and wait for that to dry.
Mix up an acrylic colour which closely matches your base coat and using a fine tipped brush, apply over the decal where the grid lines meet. Wait for it to dry and then get a Q Tip soaked in acrylic paint thinner and (after dabbing off the excess) gently wipe it down the grid line until there is only paint remaining in the groove itself.
That's what I plan to do anyway... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
that may work for some large area decals, but not for the smaller stuff (such as fine print items like the banner at center port/starboard in the engineering hull) - the thing is that you don't want to displace (or mis-place) the rest of the decal by essentially compressing it so that it fits in the channel
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ah, well here's another reason why I prefer the TMP refit over the 1701-A: The -A is covered in shoddy decal work. Many decals were destroyed by battle damage and aging (meant to be temporary - and it was actually in STIII that the surface got the biggest hatchet job from ILM), as well as several mis-haps, after TMP and after/during V. With all these things happening many decals had to be replaced - but they were not careful in the color matching (creating different reds), application (poor quality), size (docking ports), or even checking to see what decals they missed.

What you are specifically seeing in that image you posted is not just a grid line but the seam for the removable panel for the starboard-side support/control mount point, which, after TMP was never ever totally flush, and that compounded the placement issue on the starboard banner..... oh and that is also why they colored the gridlines in - they needed to make them dark so that they would match that bad-looking loose panel. So in some ways, the whole space/cutting decals issue applies only to the refit....
 

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Alrighty - attached is a blu-ray screencap to illustrate my point.

Note that though the "metal" of the phaser bank base is visible in the grid channel, but the decals (registration and phaser border warning stripe) clearly do not go into the channel.
Maybe its my eyes, but in this case it sure looks to me like both the red outline stripe and the interior background coloring of the phaser bank rectangle, both go down into the groove.

I definately agree that the lettering is cut through above it though.

Still wondering how much was intentional and will need to look at pictures further,
Mark
 

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You know after looking at a few more saucer closeup shots I do not think they were consistant. For example there is a clear top front saucer shot that has a good ange where the C crosses the gridline and it definately looks like the decal goes down into the gridline. I am beginning to think they go into the gridlines in most cases.

Mark
 

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I was watching the Blu-Ray version yesterday and noticed the same thing.
In cases where it's indeterminate or impossible to tell where the paintwork is subdivided, my decision will be that I don't think it really matters.

Incidentally, one thing I did notice that I hadn't before in TMP was the scene from the VIP lounge when Spock's shuttle is approaching.
Check out the lazy pylon lighting of the pylon on the right!
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmphd/tmphd1056.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Only slightly - zoom into the image and you can see that the color of the bottom of the groove - in all the grid grooves (in the 1701-A, not refit) has a dark brownish-reddish-blackish color (according to the light in the room of this particular photo) whereas the black in the decal is more pure black. The decal is in on the sides a little, but it is still broken.
 

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^^I can accept that :) It does appear as though on closer inspection, the decal is cut and then tucked down leaving the groove bare but not the sides.
 

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Gunstar1 if you want too get the markings down and snug into the grooves there is a different method other than decals, paint.
Back about 10 years ago I was putting decals on 2 AMT kits one was the Excelsior and the other was the E-B which I wanted to name something other than Enterprise.
For the name along the side of the secondary hull I had 2 options one was to trim out the name Enterprise from the sheet that came with the kit which I tried but it didn't work so well, I ended up making a mess out of the red stripes so I chose another method, I took some pinstripping the right width and put a length on each side in the right position and for the top and bottom I used a length of masking tape, when I was satisfied the pieces of tape were all in the right position I took a paint brush dipped in red and painted the stripes and when the paint was dry I removed the tape and put on decals from an after market sheet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's a good idea, and I've thought about painting on the larger decals, but that will not work so well for me because I'm painting the hull to appear that it is lit (but not lighting the kit) - it will look just like a screencap of the TMP refit in deep space - so with all that variation with fake direct light and ambient light I need to create my own set of decals in Illustrator that I will then apply gradients to to fit the "lighting" scheme (decals transitioning from being in darkness to being illuminated etc)
 
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