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Ok, this is my first foray into an R/C build and it came to a stage for affixing some decals to the chassis. So I watched several youtube videos on the matter and equipped myself with: hobby knife, micro set, detail paint brushes, cotton buds, kitchen towel, reverse action blunt ended tweezers and a dish of warm water. In the videos the decal slid neatly off the backing paper and on to the model where it could be slid into place. That's not quite what happened with me. No matter how long or short I soaked the decal in the water for, all that happened was that the blue backing paper turned into a mush and wouldn't come away from the decal. The three decals I now have on my clod look an embarrassing mess and have stuck on with a varying degree of success. Simple question, where am I going wrong please?

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Sounds like you were looking at how to apply 'waterslide' decals which is not what Tamiya RC stickers are . Waterslide are usually for smaller static models , aircraft and the like  . With the Clod stickers you need to cut out the decal you want to apply , cut off as much of the clear outer as you can , peel the backing off whilst holding the decal with your tweezers , discard the backing paper  , and give the decal a quick dip in a bowl of soapy water , and slightly wet the area on the Clod where you intend to stick the decal . Apply the decal to position , you will be able to move it if it is out of line , then carefully dab the decal with tissue to remove the water from underneath the decal . I some times use a hairdrier on larger decal to help the drying process or for curved contour applications to help flex the decal, but generally the tissue will do it , be careful not to move the decal whilst dabbing it , hold one end of decal down with tissue or finger whilst dabbing if neccessary  . If you do move it , reposition it , or carefully lift it off again and re-wet the area and re-apply decal. This is my / and others usual approach there are other methods , but it works from me :)

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It's rare that thorough preparation backfires.  Unfortunately, it seems this is one of those rare cases.  Or you might have experiences in scale models?  

Was it @Truck Norris who said we should not use the term "decal?"  Indeed, it seems we could confuse people.  

@KEV THE REV is right.  RC cars don't come with water-slide decals (unless Clod comes with water slide decals?).  About 3 dozen of my bashers all have ordinary stickers.  You just peel and stick them.  Just make sure that the surface is clean.  In case of Lexan bodies, it has a protective film.  After painting the body from underneath, you must peel off the protective film.  Only then you apply decals.  

I'm lazy, so I don't do any wiping.  I just peel and stick.  This guy below has the right idea; you cut out what you need, and then he cut a bit of blue backing so the sticker would get stick to one corner first.  That would make it easier to put it in the right place.   

 

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7 hours ago, Juggular said:

Was it @Truck Norris who said we should not use the term "decal?"  Indeed, it seems we could confuse people.  

It was, but it's not just me trying to get others to use my own preferred terminology, Tamiya themselves make the distinction:

decals-vs-stickers.jpg

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Wow, it looks like my over research and preparation into this has somewhat backfired. Perhaps I should have stuck to rtfm? Looking at them this morning, the 3 stickers on the chassis look worse than they did last night. This leaves me the option of either leaving them off, or getting a replacement sheet. A quick search on eBay brings up one at £18. So do I have no use for the micro set, micro sol or liquid film? If not, that’s another £16 I didn’t need to spend. Oh well!

Kev, you mention soapy water; I take it a drop of washing up liquid in a dish of warm water will do? Is this just to help it slide into position?

Thanks for the link to the video Juggular. That makes it look straightforward. I see what he does with snipping the end of the backing paper off. It gets it out the way. 

Also, you mention Lexan bodies. What are those, is that another make?

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Yes , washing up liquid is fine , it helps to slide the sticker , wet the sticker and the car / truck body . For me I don't need to snip the backing paper on small stickers , that mostly applies to larger stickers to keep some control on it ,  you can go for a cut , peel and stick for most of them . You will develope your own technique the more you do , there is no rush, just go at a steady pace , speed will come with experience . Lexan bodies are clear 'jelly mold' type thin plastic bodies that you paint from the inside with PC paints  , that's another ball game :)

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I think I'll stick with the term "sticker" from now on.  

Before @KEV THE REV mentioned it, I never heard of using soapy water.  I thought stickers and water was a big no-no.  I would be worried that the edges would get undone due to soapy film.  Also, I don't think I'd be skillful enough to remove water bubbles.  Like Kev said, you'll have your own technique.  I used to pop the air bubble with a sharp pin and rub circles around it to get the air out.  lol... that sounds terrible.  But 20 years go by and I can't find the pin marks.  They weren't magically healed, they were just tiny.  I don't need to do that anymore, though.  Cutting the backing paper is a good idea.  I simply fold the tip of the backing paper (because I'm lazy).  But it never folds neatly, so the fold becomes an obstacle.  I slowly press along, so air won't get trapped.   

Tamiya stickers stay on for 30+ years.  Ones that have stayed on the shelf ("shelf queens") have stickers looking like they were applied last month. Even the air bubbles.  Come to think of it, I suppose the soapy water is to reduce the strength of the stickiness so it would be easier to remove air bubbles and reposition?  Unless soapy film is applied, there is no way on earth RC sticker can be repositioned.  It's that strong.  For the most part, that is a good thing because the sticker is applied on the outside, and people try their best to rub them off with rough road surfaces. (for many of us, that's why we buy RC cars-- to run them, roll them, break them and to fix them!)  

"Lexan" is a brand name.  It's easier to type than "polycarbonate body."  It's the same material plastic bottles are made out of.  Flexible, light and strong, I'd say 90% of RC car bodies are made out of Lexan (or polycar bonate).  

iq8Nymn.jpg

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22 hours ago, Juggular said:

Come to think of it, I suppose the soapy water is to reduce the strength of the stickiness so it would be easier to remove air bubbles and reposition?

That's right , with wiping them over when applied the air and liquid is dispersed , no bubbles  .The adhesive isn't diluted . I've never had any lift . I got the idea many years ago from a car dealer / repairer who used to apply decals / stickers to cars like the Cortina Crusader (remember them?)

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