Decal Techniques

Decal solutions in Japan 


Posted By: Dan Salamone <>

Date: Tuesday, 20 October 1998, at 11:24 p.m.


Hello all,

Could any of our friends in Japan speak about what decal setting solution you use with Hasegawa or Tamiya decals? Personally I have not had problems, but I have heard of people who have a ton of problems with these companies' sheets. I use Solvaset mixed 50% with water, and it works great for Aeromaster, etc.

Thanks in advance!



Posted By: Hiroyuki Takeuchi <>

Date: Monday, 26 October 1998, at 1:13 a.m.


A lot of people here use a product called Decal Softer which works well in most cases but that's probably not exported. I also use Humbrol's product that consists of two solutions (sorry can't recall product name). This is a lot milder and I use it with more sensitive decals like Propacteam (though Japanese makers do not use this).

I must admit, though, I hardly ever use Hasegawa decals (especially the hinomarus) because I always seem to have the problem with opacity, which you really can't solve with decal setting solutions.


Posted By: Dan Salamone <>

Date: Monday, 26 October 1998, at 10:36 a.m.

Thanks for the feedback Hiroyuki. When Tamiya got back into the 1/48 market I used the Spitfire Mk. I decals OOB and they were great, having the white backing decals for the roundels. Seems their latest decals leave something to be desired though...

Thanks again, I'll see about locating the Humbrol product.




Posted By: Rob Graham <>

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 1998, at 12:46 a.m.


In Response To: Decal solutions in Japan (Dan Salamone)

I've had some interesting experiences with a few things. Micro Set and Sol work well for me, and I haven't tried anything else very much.

I have, however, had good luck on acrylic painted models when applying very small decals when I applied the decal, blot dried it, then put a tiny drop of liquid cement on the corner of the decal. I recommend trying this as a last resort for ONLY the thickest and most unresponsive decals (i.e. old). It has drawn down some thick decals into bad locations, and literally melted the decal into the paint. This technique isn't guaranteed to satisfy, but it has worked for me on occasion.

It sometimes takes some fumes to have a fire! I prefer Testors old formula in the square bottle, BTW. Fumes are easier; formula isn't as harsh on the painted surroundings for details.




Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Saturday, 23 December 2000, at 5:49 a.m.


In response to the Hasegawa thread, and other decal threads in the past * * *

One trick I've learned from long experience is to start the whole decaling process (after gloss coating, of course!! ) by using what I call "decal water", as follows:

* Mix Distilled water with Johnson's baby shampoo in the following proportions: 1 Quart of water, 1/4 Teaspoon shampoo.

Use of distilled water eliminates the impurities usually found in tap water, and the baby shampoo is also quite pure, and the tiny amount eliminates any surface tension. There is also no residue from this mix, and it doesn't break down the adhesive, which is often one of the causes of adhesion and silvering problems.

I keep a 12 oz. plastic bottle at warm room temperature and use it to wet decals and to moisten the surface with a wide flat brush where the decal will go. The mix lays down and does not "bead up" on glossy surfaces.

Often, the decal will require NO additional treatment - If it does, I use progressively stronger solvents in the sequence Microset - Microsol - Solvaset. (working up from acetic acid based to alcohol based ). I watch the decal as it dries to determine if I need to use solvents.

I often apply Solvaset only to the parts of the decal, which behave in a difficult fashion using a very small brush. Sometimes denatured alcohol applied in the same fashion is necessary. (Be VERY careful with both ! )

BTW, this water mix is what pros use to put UV or shading film on windows of homes and cars.


Hasegawa Decals


Posted By: Grant Goodale <>
Date: Tuesday, 19 December 2000, at 8:10 a.m.


Hello world -

I have read several accounts of Hasegawa decals having problems with decal setting solution. I know that Solvaset can be very strong and I have had problems using it with some decals from different manufacturers. What about MicroSol and MicroSet ?


-      Grant


Posted By: Joern Leckscheid <>
Date: Thursday, 21 December 2000, at 7:56 a.m.


In Response To: Hasegawa Decals (Grant Goodale)


Hi Grant,

I have been using Gunze Sangyo´s Mr. Mark Softer (green bottle) on Hasegawa decals for years and always got excellent results. Apply with the brush included in the seal cup, let it soften the decal for 3 - 5 minutes and wipe it off with a soft, slightly humid piece of cloth.




Posted By: Jerry Wesolowski <>
Date: Tuesday, 19 December 2000, at 8:20 p.m.


In Response To: Hasegawa Decals (Grant Goodale)


I recently built the Hasegawa 1/48 scale F4U-5N. I was told by a friend of mine not to use Solvaset on them. The new decals are much to sensitive for it. A system that worked best for me was to first gloss the model with Micro-gloss. After it dried I used Micro-set and applied the decal using warm water. I then let the decal dry about 30 minutes. Then it was ok to use a diluted Solvaset solution. I used about 50/50 water and Solvaset. I tried the Solvaset on a scrap piece from the sheet, and it shriveled right up.
I must say that the decals did work out great with this system. They just seem to be much more delicate than anything we've seen from Hasegawa before.


Posted By: John Dillon <>
Date: Tuesday, 19 December 2000, at 11:02 a.m.


In Response To: Hasegawa Decals (Grant Goodale)



I did have problems with Hasegawa decals and Solvaset but switched to Micro-Sol and it works just fine (knock on wood).



Posted By: Bruce Clouser <>
Date: Wednesday, 20 December 2000, at 7:56 a.m.


In Response To: Re: Hasegawa Decals (John Dillon)



I've also had problems in the past with the response of Hasegawa decals to various softening solutions. The best method I've found so far is to use a setting solution like AeroSet or Microset, followed by Gunze's Mr. Mark Softer to make the decals conform to panel lines etc. I've ruined Hasegawa decals with Solvaset and AeroSol, but Mr. Mark Softer, applied sparingly, will make the decals settle down nicely.

Bruce Clouser


Posted By: Marv <>
Date: Tuesday, 19 December 2000, at 8:55 a.m.


In Response To: Hasegawa Decals (Grant Goodale)


MicroSol and MicroSet (the blue and red bottles) are designed to be used as a system. The set is a wetting agent (eliminates water surface tension) while the sol is supposed to soften the decal film thereby making it conform to surface irregularities. The set goes on before the decal while the sol goes on after the decals has been applied. I have used both together and separately without the other...bottom line is that when the system works, it works great, but it depends upon the decals. The system was designed to be used with decals like Superscale and it will not work with all decals. Proprietary decals like Hasegawa, etc., are generally good decals but the MicroSet/Sol system may or may not work on them consistently. I have generally had good luck using MicroSol to get Hasegawa decals to set down. Other decals like some of the rubber ones from Monogram are hopeless and no decal setting solution will affect them. Other decal solutions (Solvaset, for instance) can be much stronger and "hotter" so be careful with it.


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