Yesterday was supposed to be my day for decals, but it turned into a marathon that lasted two days. I used Icarus decals for this build, which I had never used before. The decals proved to be very thin and well-printed. The color instructions were well done, with numbers identifying the decal and its location on the model. When I use decals from a manufacturer that I have never used before, I like to start with a very small decal that will be located underneath the airplane. I do this in case the decals are hard to manage or don’t react well to MicroSol and MicroSet. The decals are awesome, but were resistant to repositioning if you use MicroSol first. I found that, when using MicroSol first, the decal was permanently stuck wherever it made first contact with the model. When this happens, I try using water first, and then add the chemicals later. This worked fine. I wet the model surface with water, place the decal and slide it wherever it needs to go, then add MicroSol after the decal is positioned. After it dries a while I brush on some MicroSet. This seemed to work fine and I noticed silvering only on one decal.
I have always thought that F-4 Phantoms were the most decal intensive models to build, but the F-86D is a close second. There were 134 numbered decals, but many of the numbers included more than one stencil. For instance, there was only one number identifying the “No Step” decals, but there were 8 “No Step” decals to place on the model. I would estimate there were probably 160 individual decals or more to place on the model.
1. Marking out the decal as it is placed is the only way I can keep track of what I am doing
Before I move on to sealing everything with clear flat, I need to take care of any silvering that might turn up. The model, and myself, are resting for 24 hours before we seal everything in with some clear flat. I like to give the decals a day to dry completely. It has been really humid in Central Texas, so I may need to wait until the humidity drops below 80% before I spray the clear flat. Ask me how I know it is bad to spray clear on a really humid day. :o)
Cheers and stay safe.