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Built Review
135
Decal Flags
Adaptable decals featuring flags that can be given any shape
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by: Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Flags are without a doubt one of the most colourful notes on a scene or vehicle. They have both a National pride and practical use, as they allow a quick identification either from ground or air.

Apart from waving on top of garrisons, or marking hard gained territories, they can be seen also on top of armoured vehicles.

However, they are quite difficult to replicate realistically at 1/35 or smaller scales. Painting over a material that can be adapted afterwards to any irregular surface is the first problem. The classical tissue will be hard to accept straight lines due to the paper absorbing the paint. And adding any drawing, from a simple swastika to 50 stars is not easy at all.
The Product

FCModelTips has designed a smart solution, using decals for the flags. They are printed on a special paper that allows them to be adapted to any irregular surface
They come in a transparent envelope with a small instruction sheet. There are 35 references for WWII and modern countries and, depending on the set, you get either three or thirteen flags of different sizes.
The printing quality is very good, with the fine detail of the UN logo perfectly reproduced.
There is a step-by-step tutorial on their website that I have followed, and I strongly recommend reading it, but for easiness I will describe all the process here with my comments, using the UN Nations set that comes with one big flag and two smaller pennants.

The printing quality is very good, with the fine detail of the UN logo perfectly reproduced.

The decals are not pre-cut so you have to use a sharp blade. I would recommend a first superficial cut just to separate the decal from the carrier, without going all the way down, and then another outer cut to remove the whole area from the sheet. Being extremely nit-picky it would have been be easier to have printed cutting marks, but with a little care you can align the ruler along the edge.
After a few seconds in water the decal can be separated quite easily. Then you fold it to form the flag, taking care to match both sides. I had no problem at all doing this, the decal did not stick to my fingers or wrinkle. They are not too thin, which in this case is definitively an advantage for manipulation. Moreover, it will give the right volume to the flag once it is dry.

Once in place it is recommended to use a decal setter, but I would dare to say it is a must. There was a big difference once it was soaked with (in my case) Mr. Mark Softer. Before that, I have to say I thought I was doing something wrong... it was transparent and stayed straight like a plastic tray over the edge of the barrel drum.
After a few minutes it was soft and everything was easy, I could use a silicon pencil to give it the shape I wanted. I (carefully) used also the tip of a blade to reshape the hanging part.
As I was not happy with the result of my first try, I used the softener again when it was almost dry. I could keep it working for a good time until I was satisfied.

Once it is dry, it recovers the original colour and matt finish, as you would expect from a piece of fabric.
You can start then the weathering if you wish. Although the folds make some natural shadows, I decided to experiment and gave it a wash and some drybrush. The decal stood the paint and odorless thinner without any problem. Despite this, I would say I should have given it a clear coat for better control of the paint and avoid to be absorbed by the decal.

Finally I added some pigments to make it look used and slightly dirty. They were fixed with pigment fixer.

Neither the thinner nor the pigment fixer affected in any way the decal, there was no decoloration and it retained the original shape I gave it.

Conclusion

I am very pleased with the product, it has been easy to use at once and without practice, and it passed all the tests I could think of. Within less than 20 minutes the flag was ready and looked great, with a natural shape and vivid colours.
SUMMARY
Highs: Good quality printing, wide range of flags, easy to use.
Lows: None that I have detected
Verdict: A colourful addition to any vehicle or scene that can be quickly and easily put in place.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 14, 2015
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.00%

Our Thanks to FC Model Trend!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Carlos Martin (varanusk)
FROM: SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, SPAIN / ESPAñA

My main interest is German vehicles and guns, and I like spending time researching the vehicle and the options for the camo once I have chosen a subject. Sometimes I go for specific and rare vehicles, of which only two or three photos are known so it takes me a lot of time to figure how everything w...

Copyright ©2017 text by Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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