How to fade decals

I weathered my B25 pretty severely so i would like to know how to go about fading and weathering the blue background of the national insignia of the decals to match. What are some of the methods you all use? I was thinking of rubbing some white pastel chalk onto the decals before dipping it in the water since it would only fade the blue and not affect the white star or airbrushing a light mist coat of flat white over the whole decal before cutting it off the decal sheet.Is there another method i am not aware of?

Thanks Joe

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Joe,
You should not pre-weather the decal. Do your gloss coat - decal - gloss coat first, then think about weathering. A very light airbrush mist of thinned white or buff would work nicely. Also, a Naples Yellow oil paint wash is exceptional at fading surfaces.

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Totally agree w/SSG Toms above. Weather it once it is on and sealed to the model. A wash of a dusty yellow/white will give a good faded look as well.

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Wouldn’t that turn the blue background green? and what about the white star? it would get a yellowish tint wouldn’t it? I want it to look bleached by the sun. i’m sure we all have seen a magazine covers left in our cars, the first thing i notice is the yellow is bleached out of the photo. I can test it out on a scrap decal if i have one. I typically do not seal my decals with a gloss cote. i go right to the dull cote after application.

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The whiter the wash, the whiter the fading will look. You will have to play with it to get the look you want. Sorry, there is no easy, one step solution to it.

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I did it once using a very diluted light grey (as if it was a wash). You can also apply a bit of grey or white waterpencil and brush it with water.

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To the above will add, after the decal is down on gloss coat and ideally sealed under another coat of gloss coat, an oil dot filter of can be used to vary the fade effects on the decal.

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The original poster stated he already weathered the entire model. If he puts down the decals now and starts weathering a second time, it may ruin the previous work. That is why he wants to weather the decals before applying them.

Painting the decals in advance should work since that is essentially how decals are made. If you decide to mist the decals with white, I would definitely test that on some throw away decals first.

You could also spray the decals with a matte or satin clear coat, weather them with high quality white paint or pigment (or whatever), then seal them again. The matte or satin coat will give the decal surface some tooth for brush weathering. The layers need to be thin, otherwise the decal will become thick and brittle. In my experience, home printed decals covered with a clear coat usually react pretty well to decal setting solutions and solvents.

For best results, the paint used as a filter needs to have the finest ground pigment possible. In my experience, white paints tend to have larger pigment grains which works against you. A high quality white oil paint probably offers the smallest pigment grains. However, the solvent of the oil paint may attack the decal. That would require some testing.

You could also scan the decals, open the scan in a paint program, remaster the decals, weather them to your liking on the computer, then print the new decals with all the weathering already done.

Another option is to paint the blue part of the markings using a mask. The star portion could be cut out and laid onto the painted blue field.

I am sorry I cannot be of more help.

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YES!

Definitely practice on some spares first.

In the future though I think I would recommend having the decals/markings on BEFORE the weathering process to make sure everything gets the same degree of weathering, as now you have to insure the decals match what you did on the kit.

May I asked what prompted you to weather the plane before applying the decals?

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I use a drop or 2 of the base coat of the model added to final seal coat you are using. Works for me

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this has just been how i have done it. generally when i weather i will lighten the base coat color and spray the middle of the panels and a general mist coat from above to mimic the sun effect. spraying a mist coat of green or blue over white decals will not look good so in the past i would rub in some light pastel chalk but the clear coat would dissolve most of the chalk. i usually do this after my panel wash as the wash tends to darken things.

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I would LOVE to be able to remaster or make my own decals but am not the greatest with a computer. i tried tamiyas weathering kit with the snow on one decal and it looked ok but again it mostly washed off in the water. some stayed though since it is more like makeup consistency than a powder. i seen decals that the dark blue was unevenly faded to a lighter blue and that is what i really would like to have but as you point out either i can paint the blue background which i may try on future builds or use the computer.

Joe

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That’s a good idea for the overall fading of the base coat. something i never thought about, thanks-

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uh… yea, why? :grimacing: humans have interesting ways of rationalizing procedures :wink:

I just though about this while reading all of the comments above.

I had a kit sitting on my dining table for few days that is next to a window facing the southern sun. Part of the box art that was exposed to direct summer sun got bleached. If I had left the kit there longer I am sure it would have completely faded the art. So, I wonder if this can work on decal? Natural fading process.

I should try this myself on an older decal or extra copy and see its affects. Of course, it a time consuming process thus planning ahead will be require. :thinking:

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And than it fall in pieces when you try to transfer it, or it will not stay on the modell.
Apply decals on the object, coat it with clear and continue standard weathering. Drypaint and washing direct to the decals does’nt weark for me ( yes, i tried it ) .

Best regards, Gerrit

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Gerrit, next time try future floor polish to apply your decals. I have had great success with decals that are stubborn or down right playing dirty :laughing:

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mike funny you should think of that. i have had two experiences like that, i also thought of fading decals in the sun. once i took a corsair model i didn’t particularly like the way it came out and put it in a sunny area of my garden for a while. it had no effect on the decals but i have to admit i do not remember how long it was left there, it may not have been long enough. another time, also with a corsair build oddly, i places a sheet of yellowed white insignia decals on the rear package shelf for a while to bleach the yellow out which it did but left little cracks and bumps in the decal. they didn’t break up in water iirc but didn’t smooth out and the cracks were viable. i also may have left them too long, i do remember i had forgot about them. another time i painted a spoon with two Japanese greens, i think tamiya, and left them out side through the summer and winter and seen no significant fading. i may try putting a junk model outside again for a longer time to see what happens.

Joe

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Joe, sounds like a future documentary project for you. And the one that can answer few rattling noises in our heads :rofl:

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That’s my MO but there’s no need for a clear cote on top (assuming there’ll never be any handling of decal areas), the bonus being if it don’t look right, gently wipe off with a damp cloth & try again.

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