Waterslide decals, sometimes referred to as‘slip decals’, are a popular choice in the craft and hobby world, especially for those who are into model cars and scale model building. Water slide decals use a thin layer of dextrose to bond the decal to the chosen surface. A water based adhesive layer is sometimes added for durability. Dextrose is chosen for its lubricity (its ability to slide of the paper and onto a surface). Waterslide decals have many benefits over other decals (such as vinyl) They are thinner, can be reworked easily and can be printed with high levels of detail. Gone are the days where only big business could supply designs, now small speciality stores have access to this printing technology and can supply straight to the hobbyist. Waterslide decals are also popular because they are forgiving and don’t require any speciality tools. Whether you want to replicate your favourite racer create your own amazing custom design, waterslide decals are your best choice for model cars. They are super simple to apply, all you need is a bowl or cup of water, some tweezers, clear coat or lacquer and of course, the decals of your choice.
Before we begin it is worth mentioning that you can find waterslide model car decals on eBay and on crat sites like etsy but if you want to see the largest selection of waterslide decals for all popular scale models then you cannot go past My Custom Hotwheels decal store – supplying over 100 decal sheets in every category from racing decals to JDM decals to Movie decals and everything in between. If there is something you cannot find they can make it for you, creating custom decals for customers since 2015.
But that’s enough spruiking, let’s learn how to apply waterslide decals…
Step 1: Applying Decals - Step 1
Cut the desired decal from the waterslide decal sheet and place it in a shallow container of water. Wait around 30 seconds. Once the decal has been soaked, remove from the water using tweezers. You may notice the backing starting to separate.
Applying Decals - Step 2
Make sure your fingers are clean! (very important) Now gently pinch the decal and slide your fingers apart. This should force the backing paper to slide away and leave the decal resting on your fingertip.
Applying Decals - Step 3
Gently apply the decal to your models’ surface(making sure this is also clean and oil free). The initial placement doesn’t have to be perfect, as you will have a minute or so before the adhesive dries. Now use a cotton bud or your finger to manoeuvre the decal into position. I find my finger to be more precise, but a cotton bud ensures no dirt or grease contaminates the decal.
Applying Decals - Step 4
Remove and excess moisture around the decal and allow to surface to dry. Drying time depends on various factors, but at least 3 hours is a safe bet. Once dry a coat of lacquer or clear coat to the surface can help to lock the decal in and make it permanent.
That’s it! Pretty easy right? These handy decals come in a huge variety of different styles, so you are sure to find some that take your fancy. You can find decals from your favourite movies like Star Wars and Ghostbusters but the sky’s the limit. Want to do a Brian on your Skyline? Ad JDM decals for that fast and furious look. For the racers edge, there are GT stripes and numbers. Model Harleys are catered for too with flames on the gas tank being an especially hot pick. The choice is yours, all you need is some time and decals and you are ready to get customising!.