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Applying Water Slide Decals

Authored by: Bryan Lee - Mechamind

One of the best ways to enhance your model kit is by applying Water Slide Decals.

In this article, I will be sharing the basic method of applying water decal to your model kit.

For this article, I will be using the following:

Using a sharp knife instead of scissors to cut out decals will give a cleaner cut around the edges of the cut out decal. I recommend using a metal ruler and a hobby craft knife to cut out the desired decal.

In order to use the decal, you will need to submerge the decal in water for about 15 secs. Different brands of decal will have different duration requirement so do test it out. The decal should feel easy to slide out but not to the point that it is floating in the water. Submerging the decal for too long will cause the decal to loose its adhesion properties.

You can lift up the wave decal tray once the decal is ready for transfer, this is useful for preparing the decal instead of having to use the tweezer to try to grip it while it is floating in the water.

You can use a curve tweezer to grip the decal to the model part that you want to apply the decal on.

You can apply a droplet of water to the area that you want the decal to stick on. This will allow for easy transfer of the decal and for adjusting the position. You can use a blunt toothpick to position the decal.

Once you are satisfied with the position of the decal, you can press a cotton bud on the decal using a rolling motion. This will help to press down the decal and absorb the water on it. 


Allow the decal to airdry for about an hour or so and avoid touching the decal if you did not apply topcoat to seal it in.

Hope you find this article useful in guiding you on your first water decal application!


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