Salvaging unused 30 year old decals.

I have a number of 30 year old decals for models that I never finished.
I tried soaking them in warm water for a long time, but they refuse to
release from the paper backing.
I tried some more powerful liquids like microsol, microset, and alcohol,
but they just disintegrated, while still holding on to the paper backing.
Does anyone have any tricks they have used, or are they a lost cause?
Reply to
willshak
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In desperation, I've taken already-wet decals that won't release, and scraped the soggy paper off from the back until I reach decal. But those usually won't stick unless you use some glue on the surface, or seal it in with future. And I'd give them a coating before soaking too, so they won't crack.
Reply to
eyeball
I now have a policy of scanning all my decals before I try applying them. Then, if they are too old and come apart too badly, hopefully I can make new ones.
For decals I know are very old, there are overcoats. These are NOT setting or solvent solutions, they are a clear coating of something (lacquer? acrylic? enamel?). On the other hand, these are for decals that disintegrate when wet. I know of no product for releasing the glue.
Reply to
Don Stauffer
You're absolutely right about scanning the decals before use. Even if I had thought of scanning these old decals before actually using them this week, I would have had a copy that I could clean up with Photoshop or another image program before trying to reproduce them.The whites had turned a little yellow as it was. I bought some inkjet decal paper, both clear and white, last week, hoping that I could create some custom decals for another model I am making. My printer doesn't print white, so I figured I could use the paint program to print the background color of the model's paint surrounding the clear numbers, or whatever, on the white decal paper. This would require a pretty close color match with the model color, but a close trimming might reduce the obvious difference .
Reply to
willshak
I have used a scalpel to seperate old decals from backing that won't release. Takes a long soak in hot water with detergent to soften the backing enough to seperate the decal and can take hours for the actual seperation. I found the easiest old decals to seperate were from a 50 year old Adams SAAB Draken - I did not have to use the scanned backups at all. A 1970s Entex Laird Solution was another story as those disintegrated no matter what I did and I only got enough useable to do one side of the aeroplane. I could not scan and print as the decals I needed most were white. The wing markings were black and easy to reproduce. The major success I have had with Lasertrans white decal paper was on a Mirage PZL 37 that arrived without decals. The Polish markings were easy to do, just a matter of covering the white with Klear/Future because it dries out with the paper returning to white. Other markings in black etc came up nicely with Tamiya clear acrylic to turn the white transparent. Cracked decals are harder but I have had some success with PVA (white glue) as it stays flexible while the decal is being lifted. Worked well enough for an Otaki F4U but the next Corsair (Hobbycraft) got Falcon RNZAF markings.
Tony, Chch NZ
Reply to
Stadia
Whereabouts did you get that from? It strikes me as a very useful thing to have kicking around.
Reply to
malc
That is exactly what I do. Works fine.
I am going to be scanning a number of colors of Testors enamels that I use a lot so I will have these colors on my computer, available to set as background colors in my graphics program. So far I have just been guessing, and done pretty well.
Reply to
Don Stauffer
I got lucky and have an FS 595 that is made up of actual paint color samples. Still since I/we mix paint for scale distances it really does not matter.
Matter of fact, on my Pak 43 8.8 cm gun, I've used Tamiya spray paint right out of the can. Makes like soo easy...
Pic's to come within a day or so.
Reply to
AM

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