- Ensure the surface that the decal will be applied to is smooth and glossy. This will enable the decal to slide into place more easily and also will help the decal adhere to the model. Painting the model will normally do this, or applying a layer of gloss lacquer.
- Cut out your decal. You can use sharp scissors, although a sharp craft knife works best. Leave as little extra material around the design as possible.
- Pour tap water into a shallow bowl or cup and leave the decal under the water for 10 seconds.
- Place the decal on a newspaper or paper towel for 30 seconds to allow some of the water to drain off.
- Place a few drops of water on the item using a cotton swab or paint brush. Do not flood the item; a few drops will work best.
- Pick up the decal with a pair of tweezers and place it where you want it on your item. Press it to the item with a paintbrush and pull the paper away with the tweezers. This requires two steady hands.
- Using a cotten bud gently roll over the decal to squeeze any excess water out from underneath it. Do not rub, as it could tear the decal. Rolling will help any air bubbles to escape. Dont do this too much as it can end up damaging the decal.
- Wait 15 minutes for the decal to dry completely. Brush off any stray bits of paper with a clean dry paintbrush.
- Now use a clear laquer or sealer to ensure the decals stay put and dont get damaged. Identifier the type of decal being used.. If it has white, gold or silver ink, its come from a thermal printer and needs a water based top coat such as Microscale Microgloss. if the decal does not have these inks then it has come from an inkjet and standard acrylic laquer can be used
For complex curves use a decal softner such as Humbrol decalfix. This allows the decal to mould and stretch to the surface its being applied to and makes for a better finish.
If painting your model, also remember that enamel paint can go on top of acrylic, but acrylic cannot go on top of enamel.