Friday, 5 September 2014

Decorating china -True2Scale


Dishes with holly decals
£6.08 (odd price because it would normally be in dollars but the site automatically converts for you if you are doing a UK search - clever stuff)

I have had a go at doing these dishes and decals in their 1/12th scale and confess to finding them quite a challenge.  I think if you have the temperament to work in quarter scale any way it is the sort of thing you actually enjoy.  Not so for me, just yet; I approached these with something resembling fear.

True2scale must have the best packaging around - so attractive and distinctive in their little silver envelopes.  Minimum information on the pack, but enough to make you want to buy....

Very good instructions covers every question you might have.  The smallest decals are about pin-head size so it is decidedly daunting at this stage.

I followed instruction number 1;  I washed and painted my dishes, but from there on we diverge considerably.

Let me state up front Carol's instructions are clear and doable and I have seen her results and they are lovely but, because I had a hard time last time at four times large than this, I thought I might try some other approaches. Either way I was comfortable with the thought of washing everything off if I couldn't make it work and just having a plain white set of dishes.  The detailing on the shape of the dishes is lovely.  I wonder if she would sell plain sets?

Step Number 2 advised cutting out with a X-ACTO knife.  My knife skills aren't up to this so I did it with a small pair of very sharp nail scissors with slightly curved blades.

Number 3 says to cut the large plates and small plates from the sprue and leave the bowls attached.  I don't know why and will probably discover the answer to that when I come to remove them!  I want to leave all mine attached until I am ready to arrange them in some way, otherwise they will be a pig to store.

Number 4 describes dropping a decal in a shallow bowl of warm water.  I found the really tiny ones nigh on impossible to fish out so it was much easier to dip my index finger in water and pick up the decal (decal side up) and gently slide the back off with my thumb.  This left the decal on the end of my finger ready to put in place.  I guess anyone with really fine tweezers and lots of tweezer practice would go Carol's route.

When I did the 1/12th ones I managed to get the decals in place and thought I had eliminated all the air beneath which is the only way they will dry and shrink back tight to the surface and stick in place.  Sadly what I thought I had done and what I had actually achieved was two different things and most of my decals dropped off as soon as they were dry.  This time I brushed some of my favourite glue on the dish, dried the back of the decal and stuck it down.  The glue is milky when using so you can see what you are doing, but dries absolutely clear. (Deluxe R?C modellers craft glue).

I then moistened my little brush in water and picked up some of the glue and went all over the surface and round the edges.  This will glaze as well as help stick the decals down.

When I followed Carol's number 6 instruction about varnishing last time it seemed to lift some of the decals on my big set.  I was using a water-based varnish and think that was the problem.  They are happy to float away on a bit of water.  The glue I amusing here is actually waterproof when dry and is crystal clear and doesn't yellow with age.  All round good stuff.

Strictly speaking you aren't seeing the finished product here, they are still a bit cloudy waiting for the glue to be absolutely dry.  The probably need a bit of a trim and, of course, removing from the sprue.  Right now though I think it has been a success.


  1. I have bought a set of these dishes and transfers too, and yes, you can buy as many of the dish blanks as you wish (I bought some extras). Thanks for the description of how you did yours, I haven't tackled mine yet - and I am impressed by the way you managed to get yours so nicely centred on the plates ;) .
    Sandie (Sydney, Australia)

    1. Good luck with these - they are incredibly tiny of course. I have since done the teapot and cups and saucers. The teapot was a 'challenge' because it is a beautifully shaped pot-bellied affair and trying to get the decal over that shaping..... aaaarrrggh. The ones above looked even better when dry and trimmed and the decals had remained stuck on this time so I am very pleased with my little self. (Smug) Marilyn