The Little World – Glue To You, Too

The Little World is frequently stuck together, sometimes stuck for an idea, but never stuck up. I’ll talk to anyone about modelling.

One of the recent discoveries is no discovery at all – it is just the realisation that I was being bothered by something that I knew very well how to cure – if only I paused to consider it.

The problem was the signs needed for my 1:18th buildings. I managed freehand graffiti, and had even done a giant stencil for the side of the Mangina Transport building – but I needed far more precise signs to embellish the buildings. I can print decals, but that is expensive in large size – I have settled upon using inkjet papers through my Epson R3000 with matt or semi-matte paper. In most cases the designs are my own and I can cram a whole building’s worth of signage on an A4 sheet of paper.

But heretofore I always figured that the matte paper and matte ink were the go, in keeping with the matte paint on the buildings. And while the printed signs were as precise as you could wish ( I design them double-size and then reduce the image onto the final paper. ) when glued onto the building they weren’t working. All too often they would curl up around the edges and look really bad. In one case I was reduced to cutting one off the structure and sanding over the spot.

If I had been using my science brain I would have realised that the matte inkjet papers were uncoated and terribly porous at the back. When I applied the Weldbond PVA glue to them, the fibres would swell and the signs would curl forward. If it dried quickly it would do so curly.

When the penny dropped, I tried an experiment – still using the matte paper I tried gluing it on with C23 acetate balsa glue. Much better. Less swelling. Selly’s contact cement was also good, if a trifle thick and occasionally lumpy.

But the real success started when I printed on the resin-coated inkjet papers – they can go on with PVA if necessary with no curl at all. Once dried, if I need a matte surface, there are spray cans of matte varnish or bottles of Tamiya matte coating. Once you get past the art paper surfaces it all becomes easy.

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