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Applying Stickers

klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 719
I apply most stickers to complete the look of the set (except Friends, gag.) After seeing the mention of craft knife in another discussion I started using a blade to pick up and set the sticker on the piece, carefully aligning, then pressing into place. I've been pretty happy with the results.

Until --- #10220 VW T1 Camper. My camper's windows look like hippies have been smoking dope in their vehicle for several years. The adhesive on those window stickers with the white stripes is just nasty. I'm asking Lego for new windows and stickers to correct, under "pieces broke while building."

Does anyone have any brilliant sticker application techniques?

Comments

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,206
    edited June 2014
    The blade is one of the best (albeit a bit dangerous) ways to go IMO.
    I have used an x-acto #16 for both applying stickers and removing, and for the most part it always does the trick, and keeps dirt and oils from you skin off of the stickers during application.
    Of course you have to be careful not to cut or indent the sticker, and I do not think you want your 5-12 yr old playing with an x-acto knife but I have found it is usually the best way to apply or remove and reapply a sticker, that I have found anyway.
    The one bugaboo I have also found is you have to be careful when peeling a sticker off of a part or paper to not allow it to curl on you. That and static resistance to a sticker on a part is a bit tricky at times.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,695
    @klatu003‌, my guess is that you may have the same problem with any transparent sticker. If you make contact with the glue on the back of any transparent sticker, it will show up like a sore thumb once mounted.

    All I can suggest is make as little contact as possible with the back of the sticker (touched only the very very edge),and make sure you get it aligned correctly on your first attempt. You don't get second chances with transparent stickers - not without leaving a mark. Same goes for the mirrored sticker - settle for your first attempt. Your second attempt might be straighter than your first but will almost certainly look worse.
    drdavewatford
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,261
    I go for the classic 'finger technique' personally. I like to think I am pretty good at applying them, but then again I have the advantage of quite small fingers.
    fenderbender336Adzbadboycarlq
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,086
    You need to apply even pressure, try placing it roughly then use a small piece of stiff card to push it down. I'm a sign maker and that's the technique (with a squeegee instead of the card) for applying vinyl graphics.
  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,613
    Or you could try this, it starts at 0:48.

    klatu003Matthew
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,392
    ^ That jig is a good idea.

    For transparent stickers with coloured print, I have photographed and then photoshopped them to clean them up a bit, then printed on clear waterslide decal paper. Being waterslide, you get much longer to place and adjust them. For AFOL type sets that don't get heavy play, the look great.
    klatu003
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,836
    klatu003 said:

    My camper's windows look like hippies have been smoking dope in their vehicle for several years.

    Hey, that's part of the "completed look".
    minicoopers11klatu003
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 719
    @Legoboy‌
    Legoboy said:

    make sure you get it aligned correctly on your first attempt

    LOL. Concept is fine, execution by my aging eyes and hands "not so much"
    Legoboy said:

    settle for your first attempt. Your second attempt might be straighter than your first but will almost certainly look worse.

    I know, I know, but my fingers just itch to get it right.

    @Adzbadboy Thanks for the link to the video. That jig looks awesome. I can't wait to try it. It looks like it will take care of the static jump to the wrong spot problem.

    @bobabricks Hey, I'm trying to leave my hippie past behind.
    bobabricks
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 719
    Thanks for everyone's responses. I love that about this forum. If you post a question lots of people will take time to give you the benefit of their experience and make you laugh too.
    bobabricks
  • SanddoodleSanddoodle Member Posts: 13
    Another way to keep your fingers off the glue is to use a medical type clamp - known in the olden days as a roach clip.

    For us this "picker" is as indispensable as the brick separator, because we use it for picking tiny parts out of tiny storage compartments. Pictured at right in photo.
    klatu003
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