Monday, 21 January 2013

Help Required.

No, I'm not trying to employ anyone! Unless anyone wants to be my full time, personal motivator. I am, instead, coming to you, model makers of the internet, with my conundrum.

Below, you can clearly see that the German cross is a decal. There are no two ways around it. I paint with enamel, and the decal is simply attached using old fashioned hot water, then I sprayed the whole thing with Humbrol Hobby Spray in an attempt to seal it on. But it just looks bad.

On the Puma, where I want to attach the decal, I applied a layer of Humbrol Gloss Cote, let it dry, applied the decal using hot water, then coated it again with Humbrol Matt Cote. It looks pretty decent in this photo. But I am not pleased.

Below is a photo taken with flash. It is still somewhat shiny, and is a slightly different tone to the rest of the model.

Below is a photo just under a normal light. Still shinier than the rest of the model.

I am loath to paint the whole model in Matt Cote, because then it will have a slight shine to it. Shine is something I don't like. But it looks weird having just shiny turret sides.

Does anyone have any other ways to apply decals without it being noticeable that they are decals?


  1. Putting on gloss coat was the right thing as a first step, James, but there are several other things you can do to make it look even better.
    ... and to kill that shiny look.

    I'm lazy, so I'm not going to describe the whoe process but to give you this link:


  2. Hi James,

    I paint with enamels and I also use the "gloss-matt" sandwich approach for decals. I can't be arsed painting the whole model in matt cote either so I just do a patch of gloss where the decal is going and then I matt cote over the top an area like a whole panel so there will not be an outline or border. The effect of light on the matted section is going to be a bit different to the rest of the model, especially with a light base coat (eg your Puma), but a final weathering can largely cover this up. Finally a word on Humbrol matt cote. It will shine a bit but I have had variable results with different bottles. Your pics do look a bit shiny - you will only get the best results if you absolutely stir the sh*t out of the stuff ie until all the matting agent (that goop that collects in the bottom) is completely mixed in. And judge the final results in natural light - some lights sources (eg halogens) will make it look worse than it really is! If you're still not happy, the only real solution is to spray the entire model with Testors Dullcote.

    Cheers, Dave