Application of AAF Decal

Discussion in 'How To Info' started by a2jacketpatches, May 17, 2013.

  1. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    In advance of restoring an original jacket ( decal, back art, leather painted wings, and painted Squadron Patch ) I experimented with my theory that scale model decal setting solution would do the job. The following is a step by step using a Garcia decal, Microscale brand red label MICROSOL setting solutionand, a piece of JC's pebbled russet goatskin.

    Step one - your surface must be lean and dry, one quick wipe down with 70% rubbing alcohol and let dry for a while, don't wipe more as you'll risk reactivating the finish of the leather, all your doing is cleaning the immediate surface. I chose this type of leather because of the serious grain, if I can get this right, anything else should be a breeze.
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    Step two - Have your materials ready ( soft clean brush, decal, setting solution ) Let the decal soak in warm water for about 5 minutes. I'd recommend cutting off the Army Air Force and doing it separately because when I did this as one piece the extension dragged behind as I carefully slid the decal off the backing and on to the leather. I had to mess with it a bit to position them correctly.
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    Step three - Apply a liberal amount of the solution to the area, it will soak in but that's ok, the chemical will remain on top to a degree and soften the film from underneath.

    [​IMG]

    Step four - After applying the decal, positioning carefully, you'll have less than a minute to move it around before it starts to stick. Once in position let it set for about 5 minutes and then carefully puddle on a liberal amount of setting solution.

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    Step five - Now just let the solution work for about an hour, here's what happens as the stuff evaporates and the decal begins to settle into the texture.

    [​IMG]

    All done, very happy with the results and I'm guessing it's on better than the originals were.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Steve H

    Steve H Member

    Messages:
    302
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    :cool:

    Where was the decal from?
     
  3. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Garcia Aviation on Ebay, I bought two and each time he sent two, so I got four total. Think he sends an extra in case of screw ups.
     
  4. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    I let it sit in the Nevada sun until dusk and then squished it stretched it, and smacked it around. That thing is on there tighter than a BULLS AZZ!!!!!!
     
  5. handworn

    handworn Member

    Messages:
    343
    The lettering on the decal doesn't look quite right-- slightly too tall, perhaps. Thanks for the instructions, though.
     
  6. RayR

    RayR Member

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    120
    Any chance of re-posting the picks that go with this nice, detailed explanation? Seems this post should be a keeper.
     
  7. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    I must have deleted them from Photobucket, just needled through the whole thing and they're gone. Just following the directions of one of the decal setting solution products would do the trick. Many brands out there, and they just soften the film allowing it to settle into the recesses as the solution evaporates.
     
  8. RayR

    RayR Member

    Messages:
    120
    i see. I just checked their website and it seems they have decals which they say works best with their brand of glue. Doesn't say anything about setting solution. Is the solution something that comes with it? Or is this perhaps a newer version of the decal?
     
  9. cmk-2

    cmk-2 Member

    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Destin,FL USA
    The BEST most accurate water slide decals are from MASH of Japan. I have used them a number of times and have purchased the decals from G Aviation but MASH is the way to go. The decal setting solution is a great idea.
     
  10. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Micro sol has two products, one with red text, the other in blue. I've seen many an AAF decal applied with silvering to the clear. This happens when the film does not set completely within the micro-recesses. I picked the most textured of JC's goat hide to experiment with and it just sucks right down into the leather and becomes one with it. If MASH has a special glue to apply? Maybe the setting solution is not a good idea as it is made for scale model decals that are already on the glue paper. It is possible that MASH glue achieves the same results from chemicals within their product. I can only speak for the Garcia decals I used.
     
  11. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,728
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    If you do use setting solution(I would - it's great stuff), don't be tempted to mess with it when it wrinkles all up. It looks horrible if you have never used it before but that wrinkling is normal and will dissipate. Trying to smooth out wrinkles during the "soft time" will destroy it.
    Dave
     
  12. cmk-2

    cmk-2 Member

    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Destin,FL USA
    The Mash decal does have a cement that you apply before you put the decal on, close to what Garica's has in his catalog. I have never used the setting solution. Did you apply the white cement and then the Micro-sol or just the micro-Sol? Did you use the Red text or Blue?
     
  13. RayR

    RayR Member

    Messages:
    120
    He knows of what he speaks.
    Sadly, I didn't remember this post before I put my decal on. I destroyed the first one. After putting on a 2nd one, I still managed to damage it while gently trying to smooth out bubbles. I accept the damage as part of the "aged" look I am going for. It's been almost 3 days now and the decal still doesn't seem "sunk in". To me it seems like a very surface decal that could easily scratch up. Fortunately it is so cold here now I am not tempted to wear the jacket for a while.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Before soaking the decal or doing anything, with a very sharp pin, stick the entire decal uniformly so lightly you can't even tell you did it. Think about 1/4 inch apart. This will help while settling. I did it on some goat shin that JC sent me, heavily pebbled and all worked out flawlessly.
     

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