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Applying Decals to Models

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Applying Decals
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Chances are good you already have almost everything you need to apply decals in your toolbox.

©2011 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

There are many decal options available for model railroaders. Whether you want to simply change a number, letter an entire car, or even design your own, decals are a great way to customize a model. Commercial decals are available for most major railroads in many scales. You can also make your own decals on a computer.

In addition to the decal sheet itself, all that is required are some basic modeling tools. Before beginning, it helps to start with a clean car. Gently wash the model in soapy water to remove any finger prints, oils and dust. A gloss surface also accepts decals better than a flat finish. You can spray a clear gloss finish over the car prior to decaling, taking car to mask windows or other parts you don't want to cover. If you are starting with a factory painted model, this step is probably not necessary.

Next gather the tools and materials you'll need to apply the decals:

  1. Small saucer or dish with water. (Distilled water works best.)
  2. Decal setting solution
  3. Hobby knife
  4. Tweezers
  5. Pin
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