BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Miniatures and Terrain => Hobby Tips and Tricks => Topic started by: MarauderD on 25 March 2021, 11:14:34

Title: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: MarauderD on 25 March 2021, 11:14:34
Ok peeps:

I'm going to type this out, and hopefully add pics tomorrow or the next day.

Issue: Decals on my latest batch of minis have a shiny border, and they don't seem like an organic part of the model. 

Details: In some order, I've used Fighting Piranha water slide decals, applied a small amount of Microset, and then used a Krylon Flat Sealer from a spray can. 

On past batches, everything looks great, decals look like a seamless part of the mini, and really add to the overall effect of the new nice models from CGL.

But on this batch, you can pretty clearly see where I've cut out the decal, and it is shinier with some distortion, kind of standing out on the blue paint background instead of blending in.

Resolution:   My question for you good people that have years of experience is this: 
1. What happened here?  Not enough Microset?  Too much?  Not enough sealer?  Too much?
2. Is there a way to fix the issue?  They honestly still look table ready, so it isn't a deal-breaker.  But even on my first 4 sets of color schemes,  I don't see any of this cropping up.  All the previous minis, Kurita, Steiner, Smoke Jaguar, Wolf, the decals kind of seamlessly sit on the paintjob and look great.  So this last set, where my painting skills have slowly improved, its kind of a bummer that the decals look so much worse!

Any input is appreciated.  Cheers all.
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: Lboydmsw on 25 March 2021, 12:27:07


But on this batch, you can pretty clearly see where I've cut out the decal, and it is shinier with some distortion, kind of standing out on the blue paint background instead of blending in.



Sounds like what they call "silvering" which is when very small amounts of air get trapped between the decal and the model itself.  This most often happens near the dead center or very edges of a decal.  The best way to avoid silvering is to use a layer of high gloss varnish before applying the decal.  Something to do with the viscosity or physical characteristics of high gloss varnish leads it to be a highly smooth surface.  This super smooth surface helps prevent air bubbles from working their way under the decal somewhere along the process.

After the decal has completely dried, you apply your standard matte varnish. 
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: MarauderD on 26 March 2021, 09:51:42
So, some gloss varnish applied after decals and before the matte sealer can prevent the issue.  Understood.

Is there a cure for the issue on the 4 minis that have some of the issue present? 
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: Weirdo on 26 March 2021, 10:58:29
So, some gloss varnish applied after decals and before the matte sealer can prevent the issue.  Understood.

BEFORE decals. The idea is that a gloss surface is more perfectly smooth than a matte one, so there's no tiny recesses for air to get caught under the decals.
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: MarauderD on 26 March 2021, 11:39:53
You'd think a guy like me would have some reading comprehension abilities...ouch.  Okay.  Gloss sealer BEFORE decals.

But still, question 2.  Is there a fix for the decals that are shiny on my IS Battle Lance that has the Flat Sealer applied already?

Thanks all for the input!
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: Weirdo on 26 March 2021, 12:45:16
My only thoughts on my end would be to carefully paint right up to the edge of the decal using whatever color the mech is at that location. Complex decals or paint that has been washed may make that more trouble than it's worth, though.
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: MarauderD on 26 March 2021, 12:53:13
So I use a spray Krylon Flat Sealer to seal my minis after I do the basing and the decals.  Should I have a bottle of Gloss sealer I can paint on decal spots?  Or should I just get a can of Krylon Gloss sealer?  Paint-->Gloss seal-->decals-->flat sealer

What do you all do?
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: Lboydmsw on 26 March 2021, 13:16:28
So I use a spray Krylon Flat Sealer to seal my minis after I do the basing and the decals.  Should I have a bottle of Gloss sealer I can paint on decal spots?  Or should I just get a can of Krylon Gloss sealer?  Paint-->Gloss seal-->decals-->flat sealer

What do you all do?

I use a generic gloss varnish from the store.  I use a very thin layer (quick pass of the rattle can) then apply the decal and then seal with a matte varnish.  I have had success with brush applied gloss varnish too.  Which approach I use largely depends on the nature of what I am painting.  If I am doing batch painting, I'll go rattle can.  If I am painting a single mini, I'll probably use brush on.
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: Weirdo on 26 March 2021, 14:09:05
Or should I just get a can of Krylon Gloss sealer?  Paint-->Gloss seal-->decals-->flat sealer

This is exactly what I do. The gloss sealer has the added benefit of providing another layer of protection for the paint job. Stuff goes on thicker than matte, but after you apply the flat sealer, there's absolutely no way to tell.
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: Psycho on 26 March 2021, 21:22:11
But still, question 2.  Is there a fix for the decals that are shiny on my IS Battle Lance that has the Flat Sealer applied already?

Thanks all for the input!

Fiddly work. Thin some gloss medium and see if you can get it worked in under the decal. Second option; poke through the decal in the area that has silvered with an exacto, then try the medium... The point is to get out the air that's trapped and fill the space so it doesn't happen again. Definitely a situation where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Learned the hard way...
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: MarauderD on 27 March 2021, 09:13:04
Ok.  I’ll pick up a can of Krylon gloss sealer today from our local hardware store.

As for my 4th Guards Warhammer, I think I’ll just live with the imperfections and take it as a learning experience.

Thanks for the input all.  Appreciate the community.
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: MarauderD on 19 April 2021, 13:48:43
Alright.  Put a couple tiny, tiny dabs of Blue Contrast paint on the worst areas of silvering.  Then sealed with Krylon Gloss Sealer.  Then did a coat of Krylon Flat Sealer.  Came out pretty well, reduced the effect by about 90%.

(https://i.imgur.com/JU6IPax.jpg)(https://i.imgur.com/CqY77WJ.jpg)

Thanks for IDing the issue and helping to resolve it!
Title: Re: Paging our Mini Doctors: need a prognosis and course of treatment! Shiny Decal
Post by: CJKeys on 12 May 2021, 02:37:19
I'm glad things worked out, something else I'd advise is using some microsol when you put the decal down as well, slows down the process as you should let it dry overnight, but softens the decal and gives it a very "painted on" look.