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Solvaset Decal Solution - brief tip
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,219 posts
Armorama: 1,979 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 09:59 AM UTC
Delbert shares his thoughts on this powerful decal setting solution: how to use it, precautions, and general advice!

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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 07:43 PM UTC
Thanks, Delbert! That was certainly helpful!
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: November 19, 2011
KitMaker: 1,389 posts
Armorama: 1,388 posts
Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 03:18 AM UTC
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California, United States
Joined: August 10, 2012
KitMaker: 1,510 posts
Armorama: 1,443 posts
Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2012 - 03:33 AM UTC
Good to know Delbert. Never heard any one complain about Solvaset personally, though I might have been one of them too if not for this....
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Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,651 posts
Armorama: 2,397 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 02:13 AM UTC

Nice job! I still have my first bottle with a sticker from City Cycle (my small town's first hobby shop) that closed in the late 1970s. It cost 49 cents! Back in the "good ol' days" it was the only thing that could make the thick decals by Walthers and others settle. I think I first read about it in Scale Modeler magazine or Military Modeler (not today's Military Modelling) magazine.

Solvaset is great stuff; I use it when Micro Sol and other solutions can't do the job. But Solvaset is "hot", and can hurt some decals. It completely melted the kit decals of my Monogram P-40 several years ago. They were completely deformed but were perfectly settled over all the surface detail!

Thank you for this tutorial.
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
KitMaker: 3,108 posts
Armorama: 2,939 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 06:31 AM UTC

VERY COOL and nicely done! I'm one of those guys who has had a lot of issues with decals over the years and frankly now try my darndest to just NOT, in favor of spraying a stencil whenever I can. Never used this stuff - only the apparently much-"cooler" or weaker Micro-Sol. You pin-pointed the issues: decals need to conform down into the details, and decals trap air-bubbles and "silver" on almost any surface not shiny-smooth. As I am an armor-builder ... there's precious little indeed which is all shiny and smooth! So Future comes in. But that's an added layer followed by need to add yet another dull-coat layer.

I'll have to try this Solvaset - from what you show, it does the trick fair well!

I would offer a suggestion: As your photos of that 'track show, you can still see the excess film around the decal - albeit much less silvered then would be the case otherwise. THIS is actually my greatest issue with decals - I HATE seeing these film boundaries! It is actually reasonably simple to address for most decals: use a sharp pointy Exacto #11 or similar and cut closely around the pattern before you wet the decal, so that you transfer less film.

THANKS for posting this little note!

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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 05, 2002
KitMaker: 2,659 posts
Armorama: 1,512 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 03:08 PM UTC
Thanks Fellows. Just grabbed the camera as I was working and thought it might prove useful.

I tried to aim the article more at the beginner and intermediate builders. And the one thing I like in articles like this are lots of photos.

Bob, I'll remember the tip on cutting the edges, for the most part you can't see those edges unless you look very close under bright lights. which of course I used for the photos.

I have a couple of sets of PE stencils that I've used a time or two, but unless the area is perfectly flat I tend to get some fuzzy edges.

I always use Future before using Solvaset, less risk of problems, and I like the extra protection of the base color when I'm weathering. :>

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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,344 posts
Armorama: 1,143 posts
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 - 11:36 AM UTC
Delbert, A well thought out, and presented tutorial on using Solvaset.

I've used it since it 1st came out, and quickly learned the hard way that's it's not for every decal, nor every decal application, as it's just way to hot compared to Microset and Microsol.

I've found that it's best for those thick stiffer decals, that require a hotter solvent then the Micro products. Using it on most of today's kit decals that would work well with the Micro system, including those thin after market decals, more often then not ends in a destroyed decal and could damage the paint finish as well.

I would suggest that for those who haven't used Solvaset to paint a piece of scrape plastic, seal as you would any model, then test a decal from the sheet you're planning on using, and see how those decals react to the Solvaset. Better safe then sorry. Once you've used Solvaset a few times, you'll have a pretty good idea of what you can and can't use it for. Just keep in mind that when not sure, test 1st.
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California, United States
Joined: August 05, 2007
KitMaker: 1,499 posts
Armorama: 1,483 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 08:23 PM UTC
@Delbert Ė Delbert,

Excellent feature. Iím glad you had the foresight to bring us this tip while building your project and the biggest plus to this are that it is written with the novice to intermediate modeler in mind. Iíve been using Solvaset for over 20 plus years and Iíve lost a few decals along the way and all of them were due to lack of experience with this product.

Today I rarely if ever use this solution straight out of the bottle anymore and only when the decal(s) has decided to withstand the Mico-Set/Sol solutions and do battle with me! Then its tuff peaches cause your going down one way or another! When that happens and the decals donít snuggle down, I simply add a touch of the Solvaset to the Micro-Sol and place that on the decal(s) just as you mention via drybrushing.

I also donít use any of the solutions straight out of the bottle anymore either, I add enough drops of the decal solutions via a nose dropper to a small tin for one decal(s) modeling session. With the current standard of well-made and designed decals today I donít find myself using this solution as much as I use to but I still have a lot of yesteryear kits in the pile with decals that are sure to give me a challenge every now and again.

Another very important issue with applying decals that you mention is the application of a barrier used between the decals and paint and Future / Klear that you mention in your article is tops in my book. One of the best brushes for working with decals that Iíve found is Floquilís No. 2 880 series Silver Fox to help place and move decals around on the surface of the model.

Wish articles like this had existed back when I started modeling it would have saved me the trouble and expense of sometimes having to go out and purchase a second copy of the model I was working on just to replace the destroyed decals I lost on the first model!

~ Eddy
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 14, 2012
KitMaker: 493 posts
Armorama: 358 posts
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 - 06:57 AM UTC
Based on this tutorial, I tried Solvaset. I've used MicrSol for a few things lately and it came NOWHERE near the awesome decal melting/forming goodness that Solvaset did. Thanks for the heads up on how to use this properly!