What is the shelf life of Archer transfers?

Up until about 1989 the adhesives used on dry transfers was a wax based substance which would lose its adhesive properties in a few years. Although some dry transfer manufacturers still use this very same adhesive, Archer does not.

The adhesive we use is a solvent based micro encapsulated adhesive. We have test transfers that were printed 10 years ago and still maintain their adhesive properties today.

But simply using this type of adhesive does not guarantee a long shelf life. Most dry transfers today are printed using the silkscreen method to save money. The problem with this is that over a short period of time the solvents in the adhesive seep through the ink and literally bond the ink to the carrier film.

We do not silkscreen our transfers. All Archer transfers are direct contact printed and incorporate a chemical barrier film between the ink and the adhesive.

The adhesive on dry transfers is pressure-sensitive and will therefore pick up dirt, dust and any other lose substance it comes in contact with. In all the years we've been printing dry transfers the most common cause that we have seen for Archer transfers losing their adhesive properties is dust and dirt which has accumulated on the adhesive.

Some modelers do not keep the back of the sheet covered when not in use or inadvertently allow the back of the sheet touch dusty surfaces. Keep the back of the sheet dust free and covered when not in use. Also, trimming the transfer you want to use from the sheet will prevent the rest of the sheet from being unnecessarily exposed to dust and dirt.


We back all of my merchandise with an unconditional* money back guarantee, the terms of which are very simple. If you're not happy, we're not happy. You have your choice of a replacement or refund, either of which will arrive promptly and courteously.

* Unconditional as in if they don't stick, you're not happy with the way they sick, they stick to your finger, your kid sticks them on his bike, your wife threw them away, your dog ate it, it flew out the window or you lost it. Unconditional simply means unconditional.

Should I take any special precautions when storing Archer transfers?

Store them in their original bags within an airtight bag such as a common resealable food storage bag.

Since there is no repositioning dry transfers once they are on my model I'm concerned about being able to position them properly. Any tips?

Working with dry transfers is no different than any other basic skill required to build a model. Remember the first time you glued a model together, applied decals, used an airbrush, or worked with photo-etch or resin? Chances are you had some problems but it didn't take long to improve, and working with dry transfers is no different. Positioning isn't really that difficult, just take your time and soon you will get the hang of it and develop your own technique.

One of the most useful techniques for positioning dry transfers is to apply them like decals using our WetMedia paper. We call this method the "Nirvana system" because you have all the convenience of being able to adjust their positioning without any clear film to ruin your finish. There are illustrated step by step instructions for this method in the APPLICATION TIPS section.

Can Archer transfers be applied to Zimmerit?

Yes, you can apply them and press them into the details with a small piece of sponge rubber. You can also use the WetMedia paper for things like turret numbers and decal setting solutions. See the APPLICATION TIPS section for details.

How do you make a flag out of a dry transfer?

By applying them to lead or aluminum foil. Step by step instructions for making flags can be found in the APPLICATION TIPS section.

What's the difference between stencil and non-stencil?

It's the style of letters and/or numbers that you get on the sheet.

Do I need a PAYPAL account to buy on line?

No. This was true several years ago but today you can purchase anything from us on line with just a credit card. However, if you do have a PayPal account all you have to do is enter your PayPal password at checkout.

Still not interested?
You can still place your order by mail or phone but we strongly recommend against sending credit card information by email and if you do so, you do it at your own risk. We also accept credit cards, checks, money orders, and wire transfers.

Archer will not be responsible for any fraud you may experience by sending your credit card information by email.

I can't get them to stick to my model, what am I doing wrong?

Probably nothing, you may have a bad sheet. Over the years we have occasionally received defective chemicals and printed sheets that were defective or had a short shelf life. Perhaps you have one of these bad sheets. Please return it for a replacement.

To check to see if you have a defective sheet of transfers simply try to rub one down onto a clean piece of paper. If the transfer fails to come off the carrier film you have a defective sheet or the back of the transfer sheet has picked up dust and the adhesive has lost it's tack. Either way, simply return the sheet for a replacement or refund. Always keep the back of your transfer sheet covered with the backing paper when not in use. This will prevent a loss of adhesion resulting from dust accumulation.

If the transfer comes off its carrier and sticks to the paper the problem could be that the surface of your model is dirty or oily. Try cleaning the area with a swipe of a clean cloth dampened with alcohol.

Remember that all of our transfers are unconditionally guaranteed. If you're not happy, we're not happy, and we're prepared to go the distance to see to it that you are satisfied with anything you buy from us. No one can guarantee every single thing they sell to be perfect but we do guarantee that we will do whatever it takes to make it right.

Why are dry transfers so expensive?

Archer transfers are priced according to the number of colors on the sheet and the size of the sheet.

Archer transfers are printed by hand in very small quantities. We do not silkscreen our transfers. No step of our production is done by a machine and it takes no less than seven steps and 15 minutes to apply one color to one sheet. This is the only way to guarantee the kind of quality you get when you buy Archer transfers.

Archer transfers are designed, printed, packaged in, and shipped from the USA. Other brands of dry transfers are expensive because they see what we charge and charge the same for transfers that are mass produced by silk screening in third-world countries.

They have great profit margins, we have great products.

NOTE: Artwork pictured on our Web site may have intentional errors to protect copyrights. The colors that display on your monitor may or may not be accurate and are to be considered for reference only. Archer Fine Transfers, AFT Decals, WetMedia Transfer Paper, Surface Details and the Archer logo are Trademarks. All other trade names are the properties of their respective owners and all other logos and business names are assumed to be the property of others.