After the base paint layer was on the model, decals were the next to go. Before I put them on the model however, I first apply a thin layer of filter using Burnt Umber oil paint and enamel thinner. This is done just to tone down the sharp color of the paintwork and add bit of the brown tone to the base colour that would come from exposure to dirt, weather, etc. If this is not done, then the area under the decals will be too clean unlike the rest of the model, as the decals will need to protected by clear coat, that will also prevent any filters and washes modifying the tint of the base coat paint layer.
Decals were put on with the help of the Micro Set and Micro Sol products, that work for me very well. Just after I have applied them I had a moment of panic, as the decal film remained visible, showing up grey on top of the paint coat. This was luckily much reduced by applying coat of Tamiya Semi gloss clear coat to the level, where it was barely visible. The rest will be buried by all the weathering that will come on top of the decals.
One last step in the process of deal application was airbrushing a thin layer of heavily thinned base coat paint over the decals. This is again done to tone down the sharp contrast between the pristine white of the decal and bring it closer to the tone of the marking on the real vehicle that would of course be darker. Omission of this step is very common mistake on otherwise very well done models and especially on a heavily weathered model makes it look inconsistent and unconvincing. You can see the difference in the pictures in the gallery – first three pictures show decals before this thin paint layer is put on, the last two showed the brightness of the markings toned down.