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Working with Water-Slide Decals

by Redbean (Decals - Stickers)
MCN How-To Article
As can be seen, the contrast is quite obvious.

Thus without further delay, follow these easy steps to make your own custom minifigs using MCN's water-transfer decals:

The first step is to prepare the surface on which the decal is to be applied. Go to any DIY stores to purchase a can of "Brasso" (brass polish), it will rub away any existing design on the surface (the process usually takes 1-2 minutes). Once you've had the old design removed and have a blank surface to play with, clean it with warm, soap water and then dry it with a paper towel.

Cut the decals into desired shapes that will fit the parts. Dip them into a bowl of clean water and allow them to soak for 1 or 2 minutes.

Once the decals come off from their back-paper, carefully place them onto the desired surface (it's advisable to use a pair of tweezers during this process), then roll a Q-tip/cottonbud gently along the surface to squeeze out the air bubbles and soak up all the water (Tip: if the decal curls up before you're able to apply it onto the desired surface, don't panic! Just dip it into water again and it'll straighten itself right out).

For areas that have problems flattening, you'll need to apply a layer of decal setting solution to soften the decal enough so it'll curl around the surface. These solutions are available in many hobby-modeling shops. Just go in and ask about them (Note: for the application of decals onto the Red Bean Round Shield, please see below).

The work is now finished. Wait for it to dry in room temperature for about an hour, then if you're going to be playing with them a lot, it is recommended that you cover your fig with an overcoat of protective coating. Here are a few options according to uubergeek, nail polish (easily available but yellows in sunlight, not recommended), Future's floor wax (sworn by many model makers for protecting decals), Spray paint (messy), Airbrush (slightly better than spray paint), then liquid overcoats (I like Badger and apply in a similar manner to what Recluse Mage suggests, only I find a hair drier helps the process, helps give a smoother finish and removes any air bubbles that occur.

Lastly, don't be afraid to let your creativity roam with these water-slide decals. Try out different color variations and see what you can come up with!

If you want to see the amazing effect of water-slide decal on a custom minifig, please click here to see a comparison between a water-slide custom minifig and an authentic one made by Lego.


1. To apply water-slide decals onto a Red Bean Round Shield, first make 8 incision 2mm in length on the decal, as shown here:

Then proceed with the usual dip-into-water, Q-tip/cotton bud procedure, but be extra careful when squeezing out the air bubbles and smoothing out the surface. Varnish the shield after it dries.

2. Placing decals onto a minifig's arms can be tricky. Thus it helps if you stablize the arms with the aid of a long pole (such as a spear) as shown in the following diagram:

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