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WTHelmets

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Reply with quote  #1 
No pic at the moment, but for the second time, now with decals from 2 different eBay vendors, I've run into an issue of circular (Redskins, in both cases) helmet decals popping up at the edges.  I figure there must be some user error going on here.  I've done somewhere around 70 builds, but these Skins decals don't seem to want to stay down...except for a set of '82 Skins decals with the curved feathers.  I put on a new set last night on a completely clean helmet, and this morning, both side decals were 'bubbling' at the edges.  I hit them with a hair dryer and will see if that helps.  But a) any other suggestions if the hairdryer method doesn't work and b) what am I doing wrong that may be lending to this continuing to occur and c) what's the best method for applying circular decals (i.e. start in the middle, start at the top, etc.)?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Helmets

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Reply with quote  #2 
Heat is your friend. Larger/oversize decals are always going to want to pop up. I use a heat gun on the low setting but you have to be careful and move the gun so as not to damage the paint - if the helmet is painted. The newer "vintage" helmets have a paint that will have issues if too much heat is applied. I have never been able to get an oversize decal to sit tight overnight without heat. I apply the decal by running a finger up the middle when I position it and then work on one half at a time, working with my thumbs/fingers from the inside out. After I get it down, I hit it with heat - the entire decal but more so at the edges. The heat accomplishes two things: It relaxes and softens the vinyl and also reactivates the adhesive to get it to hold better.

If it doesn't...hit it again!

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Speed50

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Reply with quote  #3 
I feel your pain. As I have learned from over 100+ builds myself, eBay can be hit and miss with the quality of the decals. I too have experienced many edges lifting and got very frustrated......
Having said that, I have developed my own little process for getting the edges to stay down.
One way and depending on the decals and the amount of lift, I will use double sided tape. I use a very thin, clear tape. Can't even see it when applied. I will remove the old adhesive on the decal, completely, clean it gently with goo-gone cleaner ensuring it's clean and then carefully apply the double sided tape. Make sure you put the tape edge to edge and if it over laps it even a bit as it will show a ridge under the decal when applied. First time I tried, I experimented on old decals to refine it. It's nerve racking and if you make a mistake you need to start over. But it works......not easy and I do it as a last resort.
A less drastic way is I will take super glue and a pin and put a tiny drop on the pin and then place it where I want the decal to stick. Press down and bingo....
However I only do this if I'm sure I will never change or remove or replace the decals as it will leave a mark of glue on the paint albeit very small. Might even remove paint when you remove the decals.

It's cheaper then buying new decals all the time

Hope that helps a bit.....good luck

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SteveCasino

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have the same problem, I've found that the problem points "bubbling up" for me is from when I didn't store the decals properly, not flat and where the decal came away from the 3M backing, I tend to buy 15 sets+ at a time for the teams i build.  I'm learning the hard way now and wish I would have stored them better in the past when I 1st started buying them.  I make sure to hit any areas that I think might bubble with a heat gun when applying them, then use green frog tape/painters tape to hold the area down and hit it with the heat gun again.  This seems to work good, if and when they do bubble up still, I do something similar to what Speed50 mentioned, but I use clear glue stick, put the clear glue stick on a pin and put it between the decal and the helmet, hit it with the heat gun to work it out and apply green frog tape to the area.  Then after its dried and If I have any bleed out from under the decal, I use goo gone to remove the excess.

Any decal on 3M backing from the major decal manufactures work the best, the worst is from the seller under Board Works on eBay, their decals are on a thin blue backing and tend crack and bubble, mostly on the top stripes, they cant be worked out flat from the center to the edge with the thumbs, the sides rear and front bumper decals were usually pretty good.  The Board Works decals were ok for some teams when buying a one-off complete set with no top stripe.

That brings up another question, what happened to Board Works Studios?  Seems like this website has been under construction for over a year and they haven't listed anything on eBay in a long time either.  Possibly he was shut down or got out of the business
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WTHelmets

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Reply with quote  #5 
While we're on the subject of questionable decal sellers on eBay, beware seller "hall_of_fame_decals".

I ordered a set of Panthers decals on Oct 2 and still don't have them yet.  My initial inquiry returned a snippy response.  A week later, there was a message that "seller is away."  I had to wait the full 30 days to open a case with eBay.  I'd prefer to just have the damn decals and not have to fool with opening a case.  I should've read his other feedback more carefully...I'm clearly not the first 'victim' of this behavior.

For what it's worth, I've had great results with seller "smokymountainfever".  Great selection, great prices and really fast shipping.  
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Helmets

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Reply with quote  #6 
Speaking of Redskins, decals, and Super Glue...

I bought a Redskins game used helmet a few years back. It is a Rawlings HND-9. After digging it out today to check the date on it today, I decided to attempt to fix the decals which of course had issues adherring to the helmet. Upon attempting to remove them, it became clear that someone, perhaps the previous owner, had used Super Glue in an attempt to keep the decals down. I then spent the better part of the next two hours trying to clean up the helmet and trying to clean up the original decals. I have perhaps another 2-3 hours to go. Had I known it was going to be this much work, I would have left it alone and listed it on eBay. After working on the helmet for about an hour, I took the photos below. You can click on each of them to enlarge them. The Super Glue did a number on the helmet. It damages the paint horribly. I also removes the print on the underside of the decal. This is not the first time that I have seen this and will not be the last. It doesn’t work and screws up the helmet. Use it all you want on your mini helmets or helmets that you don’t care about, but never, never, never use it on helmets that you care about.

Attached Images
jpeg 84199D74-4DD3-4897-9FAA-7AE3D3ACEBAB.jpeg (308.68 KB, 12 views)
jpeg C14029F5-C377-4368-9E7A-4F8A7CDB8E90.jpeg (241.63 KB, 11 views)
jpeg 864BB3B9-BC7A-4397-B817-FACCA27C8596.jpeg (275.66 KB, 10 views)
jpeg C06F4214-6E0F-4E41-B09D-1EE1C76516A4.jpeg (215.99 KB, 10 views)
jpeg 8FF684FE-16A6-43BC-BBE9-5121AEE317DC.jpeg (264.01 KB, 11 views)
jpeg A4AEDF64-907C-4DBC-95F9-905FAE6F3D1E.jpeg (294.50 KB, 12 views)


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Buying game used Packer helmets and game used helmets of Hall of Famers

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montehorton

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Reply with quote  #7 
I know from years of experience just how frustrating this can be. A few years back I ran across a company that sells optically clear adhesive sheets and they work really well. It’s either that or learn AI... [smile] being able to do your own art is very useful.
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SteveCasino

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Reply with quote  #8 
Has anyone had any luck applying top stripes to the newer speed style helmets?   Mine always bubble up at the two rear raised points, even after using a heat gun when applying them.  Just wondering if anyone has discovered a secret trick to get them to stick.  Thanks

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ddohmen

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Reply with quote  #9 
I've had that problem with some cheaper decals try a blow dryer on hot heat it may help
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WTHelmets

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Reply with quote  #10 
Back to round decals and the bubbling issue...a guy who makes great lids recently told me he uses a hairdryer WHILE applying the decals.  I'd always done it as an afterthought after peeling occurs.  Have been doing that lately, and it makes the vinyl more pliable so it sits better at the edges, and the heat seems to bond the adhesive well.  Now I'm using hairdryers on all installations.
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