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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:50 pm 
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Working on our 1941 AT-11, removed a cargo liner type interior and found an original decal that I would really like to preserve. As you can see it is flaking but mostly intact. What are recommendations on how I can preserve this. Thanks, John
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:24 am 
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These decals are no different to those that were included in aircraft model kits years ago and still are in fact. My suggestion would be to treat those flaky areas in the same way you'd do it on a model - paint on Microscale Microsol and they should (with a bit of application and waiting) become soft and re-adhere to the surface they once peeled off.

Microsol is very mild so there is no risk, other than possibly this decal being beyond the 'soften ' stage, though I've had good results. A hair dryer, set to warm and with minimal flow (so you don't blow flaky bits off) would also help.

When it's all back in place, let it fully dry and mask the surrounding area and apply a good rattle-can UV-resistant car lacquer to seal it all.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Thank you Quemerford,
I am ordering the Microsol now.
Just curious, is there a reason for using a Laquer clear vs Acrylic or Enamel?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Well I'd actually go for acrylic clear: I think most vehicle rattle cans are acrylic nowadays and less likely to do something nasty. I'd still do a test on a small patch first however.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:52 pm 
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Lacquer may not be compatible with the transfer material and it will "yellow" over time, as will polyurethane. Acrylic clear does not yellow over time.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Before you do anything to the decal, you may want to get a high-res photo of it from a straight head-on angle. With some Photoshopping on the damaged areas, and saved as an image file, it may come in handy for other restorers who want to recreate it for their aircraft.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:06 pm 
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At the risk of throwing water on this find...

Note the second line:

AFR 55-20

AFR stands for Air Force Regulation.
Of course the Air Force was post 1947...this the decal would not be correct for a WWII AT-11.

If it were authentic WWII, it would be AAFR...correct? (that assumption based on my P-47 pilots handbook with us listed as a AAFM).
You could mark it in USAF markings...

If it was placed there by the AF, (a good assumption, I don't know who else would do it unless a previous restoration added it for "atmosphere") it would seem to indicate the aircraft was retained by the AF post 1947.
Not many AT-11s were, I've only seen a couple of photos of them with USAF markings.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:26 am 
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Thanks guys for the responses, good observations.
This AT-11 was in various forms of military service from 1942-1957. I presume this decal was from a T.O.somewhere along the line. I will work on preserving it as it is a cool old leftover from its military history.

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