Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tamiya Mark Fit Decal Solution

Every once in a while, a new product comes along that catches your attention.  This is one of them.

Way back when, I discovered Microsol and Microset from Microscale.  These two chemicals revolutionized the hobby for me, and I daresay not a few others.  By following their program, you could literally make decals appear to be painted on (assuming you were using some modern, thin decals).  I was really amazed at the results the first time I used them.  And while I have found some thick decals (the old Monogram decals) that resisted them, they never melted or destroyed a cecal and did not damage fragile paint surfaces.

A few weeks ago, I heard about Tamiya’s Mark Fit Decal Solution and picked some up.

Experiments on my paint test models were successful, and I decided to use them on my close-to-completion AMT A-20G Havoc. This would be a test as I had used some of my stock of Model Master enamels on this project, and the Olive Drab I used was not thinned enough and resulted in a pebbly finish in places (which I partially corrected rubbing it down with very fine sandpaper and hope will tone down further when I apply Dullcote on top of the surface).

All you need is the Mark Fit and a Q-tip.  The bottle cap is a brush to apply the solution.

Following Tamiya’s instructions on the bottle, I applied the solution to the area the decal was to be applied to.  The I placed the decal and pushed it into position with the brush.  I used the Q-tip to press the decal down to get any air bubbles out from under it.   Finally, I put some of the solution on top of the decal.  I used the Q-tip to absorb the excess that ran off the decal.  Then  you wait.  It takes longer to evaporate and dry than the Microscale solutions do.  The result has been decals that snug right down and conform beautifully.

 This is the nose cone of the aircraft that has a decal that had to be applied to its very round surface.  It conformed beautifully.  This really convinced me to keep this new solution on my workbench in the future.  One solution, the brush is in the bottle, and it really works well.

 One note of caution:  Once applied to the decal, this solution will quickly soften the decal to the point where movement of the decal may result in tearing or the decal folding over on itself or the decal really adhering to the spot it was applied to and becoming very hard to move.  So, there are two things to remember:  the first is to carefully place the decal when removing it from the backing paper so little if any movement is required, and the second is that if the decal becomes difficult to re-position, use a round soft brush flooded with water to get under the decal and move it gently to the correct position.

This is what my workbench looks like toward the end of a project - a complete mess.  When this model is done, I will clean it off and start the next project.  Someone wrote that no matter how big a work surface you have, only about 2 square feet will be usable due to this kind of clutter.  I think they were quite correct.

As always, thank you for looking and feel free to comment.