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Heng Long Decals are worthless!!

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  • Heng Long Decals are worthless!!

    I just got a wonderful T-34/85. I spent an hour or two carefully adding all the accessories and went to place the decals. I'm not a beginner at this. I have several other H/L tanks. For the most part with a couple of exceptions, I screw up placing the #$%$$# decals. I let the ones on the T-34 set for an hour before I tried to pull the film off. No luck. I burnished, applied pressure and anything else I could think of, And I still can't pull the film without the decal pulling off with it.

    Do any of you seasoned modelers or tankers have a way to apply the decals without screwing them up?

  • #2
    I had the same problem. It was suggested here to clean the area thoroughly with alcohol before attempting to apply them. I have not tried it, so I don't know if it actually works. I went with Archer Dry Transfers instead.

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    • #3
      I don't wait for any length of time to remove the top film. I pull the film across right on the surface, not up. If a corner of the decal rises, I get it separated from the top film, hold it down and continue pulling crossways. Fingernails work well, I also use the tip of a bamboo skewer. once the top film is off, you can burnish the decal with your fingernail or other implement (that skewer again!).
      Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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      • #4
        Because of the texture of the surface, you really need to get the decal into the grooves for it to bond well, so to speak. Like Bob says, fingernails, skewers, anything not too sharp as. And just go crazy on the burnishing before peeling the backing off.

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        • #5
          I agree. The Heng Long T-34 has a special textured surface in certain areas unlike most of Heng Long's other tanks which have smooth surfaces. That texture looks more accurate for the real tank than super smooth steel, but wreaks havoc on any decal because the decal can't fully conform to the textured surface. Solvaset or similar products help to soften the decal to help it stick slightly better, but even so, for a more realistic Soviet style, I'd recommend just hand painting the markings onto the T-34. The tank doesn't have many, and better yet, the real ones were often painted on with mops and paint brushes, so a hand painted application can be considered "historically accurate", from my point of view.

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          • #6
            Thank you all for responding to this post. It sounds like it a fairly common problem. Especially when it comes to a T34. I try the burnish to check out of it, but then again the hand painted tank sounds cool also. It might be a little out of my skill set at this point.

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            • #7
              Thanks guys!! This is great information.

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              • #8
                I was putting on the balance of the decals on my Challenger II last night. I used some rubbing alcohol to clean the area first and it took some of the paint off of the plastic, especially to slight weathering that H/L applied. So if you tank has paint on it I would not recommend cleaning it with alcohol. After I screwed up that area up (unfortunately right on the side of the turret) I cleaned the other areas for the decals with a moist soft cloth and that worked fine.

                By the way, I threw the T34/85 decals away because they didn't even come close to sticking. I agree the surface texture is not conducive for decals. I think I'll try to paint the numbers and stuff.

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                • #9
                  I used Archer wet decals on mine and was happy with the result. I followed the Micro Sol and Set procedure, then flat sprayed over them after they dried.

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                  Edit: I added this photo to better show how well the Archers work. No film edges, no bubbles, wraps around protrusions. This was the first time I'd used them. Highly recommended.
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                  Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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                  • #10
                    Hi SoCalBobS, Your T-34 looks amazing!!. I got some wet decals for my Tiger I so I could do a "Michael Wittman 007" and they worked great. But the Tiger has smooth surfaces unlike the T-34. I will take your suggestion and use the wet set decals on the T-34. I like the way the texture of the turret surface is visible thru the decal. Thank you for the advise.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, 53! I used some Peddinghaus decals on my StuG III, Archers on this. The Archers seem thinner and more transparent. Mine came from China, took 10 days - not unreasonable.
                      Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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                      • #12
                        HL decals are vinyl that are not appropriate if you are looking for scale effects. The best is to spray paint using vinyl masks. Or water transfer but you have to spray the surface to get a gloss surface and use plenty of decal setting solution. Then flat coat once done. Dai

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                        • #13
                          hi every 1. I'm a little new at this.
                          what I'm looking for is some pics of tanks to see where the decal should go on my tank. the manual for me a little confusing. any help would be great.
                          thanks
                          john

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                          • #14
                            What type of tank do you have? T34/85?

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                            • #15
                              Hi Welcome to the forum
                              If you don't have any reference material like books or magazines, I usually do a google search of images to find placement of decals. There lots of pictures of models and actual subjects of what ever your looking for.
                              Hope this helps

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                              • #16
                                Hey guys, I figured out a trick with the decals. You use the paper backer that came with it to push down on the decal. As you peel the clear plastic off, slip the paper between the decal and the plastic backer, with the smooth side of the paper toward the decal, and press down on it. As you pull off more of the plastic, move the paper up and press down. This will allow you to push the decal into the model as well as take off the plastic without the decal peeling.

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                                • #17
                                  Ive used the HL press and buff decals just fine. Indact those are what I used on my slick 60 model.
                                  RC tank parts and accessories I make
                                  www.RichardSJohnson.net/id28.html

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                                  • #18
                                    I found a neat little trick for the white stickers that I used on my Sherman. First I painted the area white and then I applied the sticker. It doesn't have to be super firmly attached as long as it will stay in place. Then I sprayed the tank with OD green and waited a few hours and pulled off the sticker to reveal the white paint underneath. It worked pretty good for me, but your results may vary. I'll see if I can post a photo of the results when I get home tonight.

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                                    • #19
                                      I've had good luck gloss coating the area before placing the decals. After that I spray it with a flat over spray. The white star is a Henglong decal, the unit markings are water slide. I also did a little sponge chipping over the star to help it blend in.





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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by tdriver113 View Post
                                        I've had good luck gloss coating the area before placing the decals. After that I spray it with a flat over spray. The white star is a Henglong decal, the unit markings are water slide. I also did a little sponge chipping over the star to help it blend in.





                                        Click image for larger version Name:	IMG_20230929_123209822 - Copy.jpg Views:	0 Size:	117.8 KB ID:	399581
                                        yeah a good surface is numero uno. Those look good 👍🏻

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