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Thread: Decals/Transfers

  1. #1

    Default Decals/Transfers

    I am new to using decals but am painting some Warlord Hail Caesar EI Romans and need to put decals on the shields.
    The plan is to gloss varnish (AP Quickshade) then add decal, then spray Matt or satin varnish to fix. Hopefully that will save the need to buy special decal fixer but grateful for any pointers if this is likely to be a bad idea.
    My main question is how to apply decals to those shields in the box which have holes and scratches and other battle damage over the surface. Should I fix the decals then remove segments to expose the holes etc, or try to shape the decal before adding to the mini?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2


    Hi Griff,

    for applying decals its always helpful to applay a coat of gloss varnish first to get a smooth surface to reduce micro airbubbles under the applied decal.
    Gloss varnish should be used to seal the decal and it makes the transparent film at the edges of the decals invisible. So start with gloss and finish with gloss, when all is dry you can use satin or matt or whatever you like.

    For applying decals over holes and scratches I would use a decal softener which would make the scratches and holes underneath the decal more visible and easier to cut out.


  3. #3


    In addition to Immortan’s suggestion of using a decal softener I’d also advise using a setting solution too. Used in combination they will assist in softening the decal up and improving the adhesion of the decal. These solutions are what gives decals the painted on look even over irregularities on the surface. If the decal still sits slightly above the surface after applying these solutions just keep applying the softening solution until the decal is sucked down. I tend to apply these fairly liberally and dab the excess off once the effect I want has been achieved. Also once softened you can manually tease decals further into recesses but be careful not to tear them as they won’t be as durable until dried. Once fully dried then use a sharp knife to trim the excess from holes. If you do it whilst still wet there is a higher risk of tearing them. Don’t worry if there are small flaps left. Just add a small amount of softening solution to them so they curl around the edges of the holes.
    Older decals have a bad habit of slivering around the edges if you don’t seal the base paint job with gloss first but most newer decals have less of a problem. Ones printed by companies like Cartograph I don’t bother with sealing and haven’t had problems. Not even after several years.

    I don’t think there is much difference between brands of solutions, however I tend to stick to micro set and micro sol or mr. mark setter and softer. Ammo mig and AK Interactive do decent sets too. Miniature paint lines are all beginning to make their own but you will find a better choice in model kit shops and online stores.

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