How to prepare and apply Armour clear  background decals

Clear vehicle decal directions:

  • The decals are sized to fit most 6mm ground vehicles. Some can easily transition to small 15mm vehicles as well.   

  • The decals are not precut to exact shape. You will need to neatly cut out the decal with an X-Acto blade. Because the background is clear (Unlike white background aircraft carrier decals) you do not need to cut right up to the edge of the printed design.  You want to avoid having too much excess clear material. Too much excess material will make placement more challenging. 

  • I have found the No. 9RX X-Acto blade / knife to work very well for cutting out the tank company numbers:

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  • The angled chisel knife head allows you to pushdown and cutout a tight square or rectangle around the image.

  

  • ALWAYS DRY Test Fit the decal before you place it in water.

The decal must be applied on top of a gloss clear coat. Failure to follow this step will result in decal failure. Click here for more info:

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  • Place the decal in a small container of water. I use a bottlecap and eyedropper to fill it. It also makes it much easier to find if you leave the decal in the water too long and it separates from the carrier sheet.

  • DO NOT leave the decal in the water for more than 30 seconds.

  • Place the decal on a wet paper towel for an additional couple of minutes. This will give the starch binder time to release the print sheet matrix from the carrier sheet - to better understand the component pieces of decals see the “Transfer Paper & Printers” tab.

  • Wet the model in the area where you are going to apply the decal. This will also make it easier to maneuver the decal to its final position.

  • Do not pull the decal off the carrier sheet.  Place the carrier sheet on the model, then pull the carrier sheet out from underneath the decal or brush it off onto the model - see below pic.

  • A common mistake is removing the decal from the carrier sheet while it is in the water and then trying to lay it out over the model. Doing this will make applying the decal much harder than it needs to be.

  • If you push/pull the decal too much you will stretch it and probably fracture the print matrix - See "Why Gloss Coat?" tab for more info.​

  • If you experience difficulties in placing the decal, just re-wet your brush. Re-hydrating the decal and the surrounding area will buy you more time to get the decal into the correct position.

  • I do strongly recommend using a decal set solution for best results. It will help with placement and long-term adhesion. 

  • Once the decal is in its final location, use a new dry brush to soak up / brush off the excess water.  

  • Make sure you do not have any air pockets.

  • Do not touch the decal again until the solution has done its thing.  Just leave it alone.  Don't panic, it is supposed to look like that. Once it is done, all the crinkles and bubbles will disappear.

  • Once the decal has set and dried (minimum 6 hours), apply topcoat clear sealer and you are done.  If you clear coat too soon you can cause “silvering" and or “spotting" on the decal. See "Why clear topcoat?" tab

  • With all that said, this is not a complicated or hard process.  Just follow the steps and don’t rush.  You will love the results. 

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