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Thinking about my upcoming R2 Big E build and am wondering what others think of the new aztec decal set. Would appreciate comments from modelers who have used them. Please tell about your experience with them and opinions about the outcome using the decals versus mask/spray.

I'm planning to backlight the saucer section top and bottom etc to get the spotlight effcts and would like to know how that would be affected by the choices of spray/masking or using decals.

Thanks
MattL
 

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I'd like to know about the aztecs too!

Any opinions on the decals? Has anyone use them and what are the likes and dislikes?

Thanks

BK
 

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refit with decals

First, I will say they look pretty good (even if the color is a bit intense), and they hold up well - though I had a few mishaps due to my own novice skills. But whenever I look at someone's painted refit vs mine with the aztec decals, I feel disappointed.

It looks more "fake" to me, it's obvious my refit is one big decal with smaller marking decals on top. I'm not sure that statement makes any sense, you'd have to see a refit with aztec decals up close to get that sense. It does decrease the build time by a lot, it seems.

But... I have a second refit sitting in the box that will have the aztecs painted on. I'm building some smaller models to hone my skills and technique before I dare consider doing another refit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First, I will say they look pretty good (even if the color is a bit intense), and they hold up well - though I had a few mishaps due to my own novice skills. But whenever I look at someone's painted refit vs mine with the aztec decals, I feel disappointed.

It looks more "fake" to me, it's obvious my refit is one big decal with smaller marking decals on top. I'm not sure that statement makes any sense, you'd have to see a refit with aztec decals up close to get that sense. It does decrease the build time by a lot, it seems.

But... I have a second refit sitting in the box that will have the aztecs painted on. I'm building some smaller models to hone my skills and technique before I dare consider doing another refit.

Thanks. That helps a bit. I was guessing that they wouldn't be as subtle as some of the paint jobs I've seen especially that recent beauty from Trekmodeller. Are they opaque or would light pass through them? Any chance we could see some pics? I appreciate you sharing your experience .

Regards,
MattL
 

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I've been thinking of scanning and printing the decals, so that I can use a set on the older PL Refit that doesn't have any. Perhaps these can be manipulated in Photoshop to have a green strongback and be made subtler?
 

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First, I will say they look pretty good (even if the color is a bit intense), and they hold up well - though I had a few mishaps due to my own novice skills. But whenever I look at someone's painted refit vs mine with the aztec decals, I feel disappointed.

It looks more "fake" to me, it's obvious my refit is one big decal with smaller marking decals on top. I'm not sure that statement makes any sense, you'd have to see a refit with aztec decals up close to get that sense.
After reading this, two thoughts came to mind.

First, I wonder if your opinion is "skewed" by the fact that you know they're decals. What I mean is, you're a modeler--because of that, you can look at a model and, understanding how it was assembled, recognize a decal for what it is. Would the un-trained eye of someone unfamiliar with the process notice the difference between a decal and a painted surface?

Second, I haven't seen the decals supplied with the kit, and I obviously don't know how you applied yours. In your opinion, would the Aztec decals yield a better appearance if all of the transparent carrier film was removed so that only the printed sections of the decal were applied? Clearly this would be more labor-intensive and considerations would have to be made depending on the configuration of each decal, but if the finished product looked more realistic and less like a model would the extra effort be worth it?
 

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Just picked up this reissue of evilbay for $49.99 sealed new in box! I know that it comes with the Aztek decals and hope they will look good and plan on trying them out. I have two of the original issues built and used the Aztek Dummy set on both of them and they look great! That being said I was hoping not to have to go through all the hassle this time arround. I'll give them a try an see what happens. The other reason I bought the reissue is for the new stand/single mount that the reissue has. I hate the two long poles and stub that mount the original! Heck for $49.99 Why not!:thumbsup:
 

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I've only had a chance to give the decals a quick once-over.

I'm with the Z-man... *we* know what they are, but how many non-modelers would? From arm's length and without spending hours looking at it...

As much as I have invested in research and tests, sometimes the idea of just slapping together a refit with a semi-instant complex finish sounds like a vacation!

If the overall effect of the decals seems a little strong, and you don't mind a little spraying, you could tone it down and introduce some irridescence with an overcoat of clear with some pearl powder tinted with a little "hull color." Stepping up a notch (but not getting into full-intensity aztec insanity) would be adding some kind of broken-up patterns with a different sheen, offset so it breaks up the decal pattern. Maybe just a couple pie-wedge friskets you can repeat over the saucer and some simple cutouts for the engineering hull and nacelles?

Just thinking out loud...
 

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After reading this, two thoughts came to mind.

First, I wonder if your opinion is "skewed" by the fact that you know they're decals. What I mean is, you're a modeler--because of that, you can look at a model and, understanding how it was assembled, recognize a decal for what it is. Would the un-trained eye of someone unfamiliar with the process notice the difference between a decal and a painted surface?

Second, I haven't seen the decals supplied with the kit, and I obviously don't know how you applied yours. In your opinion, would the Aztec decals yield a better appearance if all of the transparent carrier film was removed so that only the printed sections of the decal were applied? Clearly this would be more labor-intensive and considerations would have to be made depending on the configuration of each decal, but if the finished product looked more realistic and less like a model would the extra effort be worth it?
Your first thought made me think about reactions of people who have seen it, and your exactly right. Most people have no idea (until they get inches away from it) that they are looking at decals. And everyone so far has been impressed with the look, even the one hardcore Trekkie (Trekker?) that saw it. The first thing that strikes people is the massive size and the obvious question "how long did it take you to build that?!"

Re-reading my first post, I don't want it to sound like I'm not satisfied with the model. R2 did a great thing by including the decals and made it much easier for a "beginner" modeler like myself to tackle such a huge build, and still provide a good measure of detail.

I'm sure with some painstakingly hard work, the film could be removed and only painted sections applied, but I'm not sure it would be worth the extra effort. With the amount of time required and the number of decals, it might be worth it to just paint them on. :)
 

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I'm glad to have the option. Maybe with good technique, either paint or the decals would looks good. This is where I'm a huge believer in Future, although not skilled enough to do really fine, really thin coats. I still thinks an overcoat of Future does a lot to "blend" decals into a painted finish.
 

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I've got three of the original issues. I wouldn't mind having the decals to put on one or modify to put on other ships.

Can anyone out there scan the decals and send the .jpg images to me?
 

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PerfesserCoffee, I'll try scanning them and we can see how it works. PM me your email addy.
 
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