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Camaro Crazy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this is the right sub forum for this thread.

[MENTION=3019]calebgilmore[/MENTION] suggested making a thread about this topic, and I thought it might be nice to discuss the successes and mistakes you made when making a custom diecast, what you learned in making them and how to prevent them.

I will start with a question.

How do I best get the roof numbers on the roof flaps?

I tried cutting out the part that goes on the roof flap before applying the roof number to the roof of the car. Now I know that this was not the best way, but I have not found the best way yet.

Things that I learned when making my first custom:

1) Preperation is half the job. Mistakes made early on will slow you down and/or ruin the final result.

I took care to keep the diecast body clean thoroughly after removing the original decals/paint but before applying the basecoat. This way applying the coat of paint, decals and finally the clear coat was a breeze.

2) Using the right tools is the other half.

When applying the decals my biggest helpers were Microscale Set and Sol as well as 2 brushes and a constant supply of warm and clean water. I would not want to try applying decals without these 2 solutions anymore because I do not see how that´s supposed to work.

3) Take your time.

Only applying the decals took about 8 hours. All in all I spent about 12 hours of work in disassembling, cleaning, painting, applying decals, reassembling the diecast.

4) Measure twice, cut once.

This pretty much goes back to the roof number as well as the front of the car. I made some mistakes because I didn´t take the time to measure but rather just guesstimated the correct location/size for a decal. Fortunately I did have 2 sets of decals but if I had only purchased one set I would have gotten myself in trouble and would not have been able to finish the project.

I´ll stop here for now

I hope others will add to this with their experiences, advise and lessons learned when making custom diecast.
 

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Premium Member
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831 Posts
Where did you pick up the decal solution and what all was involved in the decal set process? I've never used the stuff
 

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Camaro Crazy
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2,691 Posts
I found the solutions on ebay. (since I live in Europe I found a UK retailer who had the items and shipped them to Germany for me)

I guess Microscale isn´t the only manufacturer of such solutions, but I happened to find theirs first.

One of the two, the Set solution applies a film between the decal and the surface you apply it to. This allows you to slide the decal until it has the right position.

Came in very handy with all those decals that required an exact fit over another decal.

You could use water to do the same, but I found that water sometimes behaves randomly where the solution was more reliable.

After the decal is in the right position you brush the decal flat o the surface and wait for it to set.

The Sol solution dissolves the decal. Makes it soft and allows you to mold the decal around difficult contours (think about the tank cap area, the ridges along the cowl area of the car and the headlight area for instance)

Apply the solution underneath and on top of the decal and allow it to soak the decal for a few seconds, then use a soft brush and tissue paper to form the decal around the contours.

This can be tricky. I managed to tear through a decal on a few spots but also managed to lay them on so the damage isn´t visible after clearcoating.

When using this solution, do not be afraid to apply a bit more when you notice the decal isn´t flexible enough. It took me 30-40 minutes to get the headlight sockets as smooth as I wanted them and I constantly brushed on a bit of the solution until all was in place, smooth and free of air. Air pockets underneath a decal become very visible after you applied the clearcoat.

Once you are happy with the results, you only need to leave the decals a few short minutes to set until you can continue applying more decals. I did all decals in one afternoon (and most of the evening :wink: ) and virtually without pauses.
 

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#JRNation
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4,661 Posts
Oooh I agree with #1! " Preperation is half the job. Mistakes made early on will slow you down and/or ruin the final result. "

We drilled a hole in the roof of a car and i havent worked on it since :p
 
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