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> HMRS Methfix Transfers
Graham Plowman
post 15 Jun 2020, 01:49
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Hi All,

I've been using Pressfix transfers since the late 80's and never had any problems, but I've decided to have a go with HMRS Methfix transfers, grabbed by the promise of a better finish.

I like the way they are applied and the results do look good, but I am having something like a 90% 'failure to stick rate'.
No matter what I do, whether the surface is gloss or matt, the transfers fall off when dried, presumably because the 'glue' isn't activating or it just isn't sticking. The surface is Railmatch paints, BR Bauxite.
I have followed the instructions on the pack regarding mixture and application.

The meths which is commonly available here in Australia is sold under the brand of 'Diggers' as 'Methylated Sprits'. It is described as 'denatured alcohol' - exactly as written on the HMRS instructions. It is transparent in appearance - looks like water.

When I grew up in the UK in the 1970's, my grandfather had a 'Mammod' traction engine which was fired with methylated spirit. My father also used the same meths for methfix transfers at the time. From memory, the spirit was purple in colour and it smelled very different (pungent) to what what the Diggers stuff I am using now for the HRMS transfers does.

I suspect that the meths here may not be the same as that in the UK and obviously, what the Methfix transfers are designed to work with.

Can anyone offer any tips please, particularly anyone in Oz or NZ ?

Thanks


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Graham Plowman
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Anthony Richards
post 15 Jun 2020, 08:29
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I only use Pressfix Graham and so have no experience of Methfix.

There is, I seem to remember, quite a discussion within RMWeb on their use however and some are of the opinion that the precise combination of meths to water is critical.

Might be worth looking?

Tony
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Bear 1923
post 15 Jun 2020, 20:27
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UK meths has colour and pong additives that are supposed to discourage human consumption. These might be making a difference between our meths (which at least used to be wood alcohol I believe) and de-natured alcohol. I would expect that obtaining UK meths internationally would be near impossible - it will be prohibited in the mail I expect.

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Julian2011
post 15 Jun 2020, 22:04
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I have never used them, but this extract might throw some light on the matter...

snip<Use a solution of 3 parts meths to 1 water. With a scalpel carefully cut around the transfer from the side the images appear reversed. Only cut through the layer that carries the transfers, not the backing paper that supports it, so that you can then peel it away. Position it on the model and brush the meths mixture on. By wetting it the image should now be visible through the soaked tissue. Move it into position and when happy gently press the transfer down. Gently brush on more of the mixture until the tissue moves off. The transfer can be adjusted still, but once it's correctly positioned soak away the surplus liquid and give it a light brushing with a decal setting solution. snip>

another contribution...

Snip> a quick footnote to my post. I've been using methfix today, and remembered that once you've soaked the transfer paper with the meths mix you can let it dry in position. Then if you brush just water on it the tissue should float off. The meths mix softens the glue but the water doesn't affect it - it just loosens the paper. >snip

I hope these might help.

Julian


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Graham Plowman
post 18 Jun 2020, 02:24
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Thanks Julian,

I have tried both these approaches.

The issue I am having is not about the backing paper come off, but the fact that the transfers themselves are just not sticking to the surface I am applying them to.

I've come across another modeller here who is having the same issue. It seems that the meths available here in Australia isn't the same as the UK.

Graham


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Graham Plowman
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Richard Johnson
post 19 Jun 2020, 08:37
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*** I used Metthfix when in Australia and it was very fussy about the water/meths mix, and also needed distilled water rather than tap water. I think the core of the problem is that the glue was formulated when paint was solvent based enamels and also... it does not age well either.

I ended up applying methfix within hours of a very light coat of clear - applied with an appx 80% thinners, 20% thinner mix. (When I say within hours, I mean while the coat can still be smelled so still has some solvents present)

Overall I greatly prefer HMRS pressfix.


Richard


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Graham Plowman
post 20 Jun 2020, 01:47
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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 19 Jun 2020, 18:37) *
*** I used Metthfix when in Australia and it was very fussy about the water/meths mix, and also needed distilled water rather than tap water. I think the core of the problem is that the glue was formulated when paint was solvent based enamels and also... it does not age well either.

I ended up applying methfix within hours of a very light coat of clear - applied with an appx 80% thinners, 20% thinner mix. (When I say within hours, I mean while the coat can still be smelled so still has some solvents present)

Overall I greatly prefer HMRS pressfix.


Richard


Thanks Richard, I was hoping you would 'chip in' as someone familiar with the AU market, because your observations are consistent with mine.

I spoke with my father about this as well. When we lived in the UK, he used to use methfix all the time and swore by it. Indeed, some of the wagons he applied methfix to are still running on his P4 layout and look as good as they day he did them. He has tried methfix recently and got exactly the same results as me - a disaster.

Summarising what has come out of this, I believe that:

- The meths we use here in Australia is not the same as the UK, even though it is called the same thing
- The glue on the transfers is no longer compatible with the non-solvent based paints we use today

That poses the question: why are HMRS continuing to produce a product which is not compatible with modern paints or modern formulations of meths ?

I really do like the results of methfix and I do like the way they are applied, but at the end of the day, if they don't stick, they are a waste of time and money.

I will revert to HMRS Pressfix. Never had any problems with them...other than the fact that HMRS try to cram too many into a given area, making them difficult to see and difficult not to damage adjacent numerals when removing.

Many Thanks


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Graham Plowman
(British outline 00 - NCE PH PRO-R, Lenz 100 - DCC Sound and computer controlled signalling/interlocking of Ashprington Road with SSI software)
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Anthony Richards
post 21 Jun 2020, 16:09
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You are probably sensible to return to Pressfix, Graham. There is nothing more frustrating that transfers which detach at will. I've used Pressfix for maybe 30 years: my only gripe with them is that more recent sheets seem to have a little too much glue and it can be difficult to remove once the transfer has been applied. Once applied, I end up chasing extremely sticky globules of the stuff away from the edges of the transfer with a sharpened tooth-pick! And the sheets are superb at attracting dust and hair!

Tony
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