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How to prepare and apply decals

All of the decals are specifically designed and sized in exacting detail to their corresponding 1:2400 GHQ scale Micronaut models.  The decals have been thoroughly researched for historical accuracy.  Some designs are “what if” and others are alternate cosmetic shade options.

The decals are produced using a commercial white decal paper on a high end photo printer.

They are full deck decals. Simply apply a base coat of paint on your deck, carefully trim the decal and apply (specific instructions below) for a quick and spectacular carrier deck.  

  • The decals are not precut to exact shape. You will need to neatly cut out the decal with sharp scissors or an X-Acto blade. 

 

  • Apply the decal onto a deck that is base coated in a lighter color.  I use a light grey primer coat.  You can use white for a brighter looking deck, but I like the slightly toned down effect that grey gives.  If you use black as your primer base, it will make the decal appear darker on the model.  Using a dark base coat on IJN decks is a good way to darken the decals grey sections.

  • Apply light binder coat of varnish (recommend gloss) to the deck before you apply the decal. This will help with smoothly sliding the decal into place as well as mitigating the risk of pulling up the base coat paint. If you apply too much pressure trying to straighten and or place the decal you run the risk of stretching and or actually ripping the decal film.

 

  • Test dry fit the decal before you place it in water; depending on what options you placed on the deck (antennas, etc.) you may need to do some additional trimming of the decal.  I designed the decals with the standard options in mind, like the Island.  US Nimitz CVNs are the only decks that the decal must be applied prior to the installation the island.  I have mineral rich well water so I use distilled water for all my decal soaks.

  • Although not necessary, I use both a decal medium as well as a set/fix solution.  I prefer Vallejo in both cases but have also used Micro Sol and Humbrol.  WARNING: DO NOT use Wathers Solvaset! It is too aggressive of a solvent and will destroy the decal!

 

  • To avoid long decals from becoming tangled, wet the decal and set it in position with paper backer still attached. Offset it from it's final position by 1-2 mm.   When ready just slide it off the paper and onto the deck and slide the backing paper out from under the decal. If you use your fingers to pull/push the decals too far the decal may stretch.  Using a wet soft brush to maneuver the decal usually works best.  

 

  • With a wet paint or sponge brush position the decal into position; try to slide air bubbles out from under the decal in a sort of gentle squeegee action.

  • Again, be careful not to rub the decal with excessive or repetitive force…  decals are delicate things, they can stretch and or tear.

  • Once decal has set and dried, apply topcoat sealer lacquerer.  I recommend that you use acrylics, not oil based lacquerers on decals with red print as it may cause some of the color to bleed.