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I anticipate coming in to a moderate collection (25 to 50 kits -- possibly more) of unbuilt model airplane kits -- some may be as old as 20-30 years. Many are still sealed in the original plastic wrap.

I have heard that the decals can deteriorate over that length of time.
Does anyone have experience (and can offer advice) with decals for kits that old? Do they stay pretty much in tact if the boxes are still sealed ?
 

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Decals yellow with age and the carrier film fractures the older they are. Gently tape the sheet of decals to a southern faceing window (graphics outward) for a day or two, the sun will get rid of the yellowing. Then for good measure coat the decal with a spray of clear coat, this will help to bond the design back to the carrier film, then when dry use as normal.
 

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Gently tape the sheet of decals to a southern faceing window (graphics outward) for a day or two, the sun will get rid of the yellowing.
If I may, why does it have to be a southern facing window? I assume it has something to do with direct versus indirect sunlight?
 

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Don't put them on any window that has the barest chance of having any condensation on it, or you'lll find yourself with nicely stained-glass'ed windows.
 

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If you're gonna bleach decals using direct sunlight, seal them in a ziplock bag before taping to the window. Also make sure to get as much air out of the bag as you can.
The decals will yellow again so use them as soon as you can.
If you clear the sheet after bleaching, you'll have to cut the decals out as close to the printing as you can. It'll be hard to see where the edges of the carrier film are and if you cut too far away from it the decal won't release from the backing sheet due to the clearcoat. Either that or you'll tear the decal as you try to release it.

Chris.:)
 

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What is the best solution to brush onto old decals that are still on the decal sheet ? I have a bottle of future, a bottle of MM gloss topcoat, and a bottle of microscale liquid decal film. the decals are a small sheet for the 26 year old 1/48 Apollo spacecraft kit. The decals for the Command module will go on a flat white painted surface . I plan on brushing on either the gloss topcoat or future to the area the decal will go and after it drys, will seal it with the same thing i used underneath. I want to avoid a shiny spot on the flat surface. will dullcote or lusterless MM lacquer flat overcote harm the future if i go with that ?
 

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I just scan the suckers now and adjust the colors in PSP and print them out on ink-jet compatible clear or white decal sheets (after sizing them to match the originals first on throwaway paper).

If you've got a scanner and a decent printer (or access to them) all you have to buy are the blank decal sheets.

The big advantage is that this method gives one more than one chance to really screw the decals up. :D
 

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I have a canon printer/scanner. i have never tried to make decals, what are the steps and what do the different decal papers do such as white & clear ? I do not know how to resize a picture of a scanned sheet any tips are appreciated. my printer is an ink printer do you need any special methods ?
 

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I have a canon printer/scanner. i have never tried to make decals, what are the steps and what do the different decal papers do such as white & clear ? I do not know how to resize a picture of a scanned sheet any tips are appreciated. my printer is an ink printer do you need any special methods ?
Testors sells some ink-jet compatible decal paper in clear and white.

There are others out there and I don't remember the brand I got.

You have to keep in mind that your printer depends on the paper to give you the color white. There are super duper printers out there that will print white but, if you use white decal paper when you need it, you can skip this for the most part. Not a perfect situation but very, very good.

For the most part, you'll use clear decal film and print the various colors on it for transferring it.

You'll need some sort of photo manipulation program to change the scale of the decals. If you want to create your own from scratch or make more radical changes, you may need something like Corel PSP (inexpensive but there are even free programs out there as well).

You'll have to carefully measure the test results (on paper) to make sure you have the size right. You may even have to redo the decals if you're not quite there after having applied some only to discover they're the wrong size.

Once you print up your decals, you'll need to spray them with glosscote or some such in order to securely seal in the ink to protect it from the water.

I've made my own decals and even printed up fake deguerreotypes using clear decal film. It's fairly easy to do but be prepared to waste at least a little decal film--it will happen :wave:
 

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Thanks, that helps explain what is involved.
Whew! Glad to help.

I'm sorry I can't get into more details but it's been a while since I've done that stuff and don't want to risk subjecting you to bad advice from my faulty memory.

The general pointers above should help get you there. It's really easy, believe me, or I wouldn't do it. It just takes a little experimenting.:wave:
 
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