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Discussion Starter #1
i know this is gonna sound pretty stupid...but is it possible to like make your own decals with by painting on the blank parts on the decal sheet and letting the paint cure thouroughly...i dont really think that im gonna have the means or finances to get decals made for my dio project...and i dont know that i want to free hand all the little intricacies on my first try "customizing" aircraft models...told you it was gonna sound like a stupid question...bare with me though...cause im trying to get back into the swing of things...been a long time since ive put together a model...

thanks in advance...
 

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Some smart guy once said : "The only dumb question is one you don't ask."
I've never made decals ( and right now my %[email protected]#&! printer is broken ) but if you have a printer and access to on-line sources you can print out all kinds of decals. I'm sure someone on here can eMail you the designs you want if they have them.
OR, get the design on-line, print it on paper, and take it to a copy/print service and have then make decal copies. At least that's what the experienced pros on here tell us.
Dabbler
 

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Discussion Starter #3
huh...ok...didnt know that...actually never thought that it would be that simple...is it expensive...or can an average joe like myself afford it?...

thanks again
 

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You're not stupid.It's a good question.I'm not an expert on this but I've heard of blank decal sheets being sold and using a laser printer(not ink printer) to transfer an image to the sheet is possible.Painting a decal on a decal sheet,maybe,but the precision would suffer.Of course,cutting templates on a stick on tape,thenapplying it to the kit,then finally paint the desired pattern would be an idea.Probably would be done in more than one operation,if different colors would be involved.This is probably the way modelers would have done it about 20 years ago_Of course,cutting patterns from solid decal sheets might also be a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
i have also heard of the blank decal sheets being sold...i just didnt know that it would be as easy as what dabbler is sayin...i know that if i paint them...they wont be as precise and all that jazz...but i need a way to do stuff like nose art...etc...im probably gonna use tape to make stencils for the numbers...but there are some numbers and things like that that will be too small to make a 1/48 stencil for...that is a good idea though...

thanks again...keep the thoughts and ideas coming...
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Gop to www.micromark.com and put "decal paper" into the search box. You'll get a bewildering variety.

Yes, I've seen people hand draw art onto decal film and use it quite successfully. just make sure that if you use water-based ink or paint, that you seal it with a clear laquer, or it'll just run right off when you put it in water.

Personally, I prefer doing the art in a computer program and printing onto the blank decal paper.
 

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From what I've read on-line, etc., you can use ink-jet printers for decals but may need the proper decal paper and a clear (spray on ) sealer so it doesn't bleed or run. Check the site above for papers, sealers, etc. I have NEVER made decals myself so it's just what I've seen/read.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks john P...

went to the site and found it...im assuming when it says clear and white it means what the decal will sit on...not the backing...right?...

thanks a lot...again...
 

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It means the decal will either have a clear backing, showing the model beneath, or a white background actually on the decal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok...thats what i figured...thanks for all the info everyone...keep the ideas comin for the easiest program to use...and what do you think the easiest way would be to get the scaling right?...and thanks yet again for the help...
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Yes, the white is actual white pigment of decal film.

Just remember that whatever you do on the clear film will be clear - if you want a white background you have to paint it on the film or on the model where it goes.
 

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I have used decal paper for several projects to make my own decals that I would have never had any other way. I built a 1/72 scale space shuttle for my grandson a while back and using decal paper and the paint program on my computer I made new and more realistic looking control panels for the interior. To do the project I just free handed the panels and made templates of the controls off to one side. then copied and pasted the controls to each control panel where needed. Then I transfered the design to a word document and printed it out onto copy paper to check the scale. I could then go back into the word document click on the design and shrink or enlarge the design to get the right size to fit the control panels on the model, took about 3 trys to get it right. When it was the correct size I printed it to the decal paper and applied a couple of light coats of gloss finish to seal the ink on the decal paper so it would not run when soaked in water to apply them to the model.
 

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This is one my favorite topics because a) I am no artist and b) I make homemade decals all the time.

Creating the image. You will need a computer! Your choices are Google searching for the image (use the Google image search function!) or drawing it yourself. Being a drawing program dummy, I use Microsoft Paint - the abysmal drawing program that comes with Windows. I draw my image large, save it as a jpeg and then import it into MS Word to get the right size by trial and error. Of course, you could also take a drawn or printed image and scan it.

By using a large original and then just shrinking it down, you'll find these cheap image creation processes fairly forgiving. By starting large, the jagged edges you get with Paint are almost invisible when made smaller.

Laying out your decal sheet. After I have all the images I need, I will import them into MS Word (usally in text boxes) and layout the sheet. Always include multiple copies of each image (spares) and, if needed, always include an assortment of sizes. Try and include everything you might need, so you only have to to do this once!

Printing the decals. You can print on an inkjet but for best results print on a color or B&W laser printer. You can, of course, use a whole sheet of decal paper but if you only have a few decals, print your decals on a sheet of plain paper and cut a piece of decal paper slightly larger. Lay the decal paper over the image on plain paper and tape the leading edge (the edge that will enter the printer first) of the decal paper to the plain paper. Only tape the leading edge.

Clear or white decal? Laser printers (or inkjets) don't print white. Colored inks are also going to transparent.

If the decal is going over a light color, decals printed on clear should be OK.

If the decal is going over a dark color, you probably should print on white decal to retain the original design color. You will need to cut the design out very, very close to the edge to avoid a white border. Alternately, paint the area under the decal, white.

Applying the decals. Most decal sheet is thin. Spray the printed decals with Glosscote or Dullcote before cutting them out. If you spray after any cuts, the laquer will soak into the backing sheet and harden - making the decal unusable. The laquer coating protects the laser ink and strengthens the decal.

With a sharp knife, carefully cut around the decal image. Use a steel straight edge, if possible. You do not need to cut through the decal backing sheet and a light but complete cut is all that's needed.

When you are ready, cut the piece of decal paper with your decal from the main sheet with scissors. Soak in warm water and place on a clean, flat surface (a margarine tub lid works great). After a minute, gently remove excess decal film with and knife point leaving only your printed decal on the backing sheet. Wet the area of your model with water and slide the decal off the backing sheet into place. Remove excess moisture, position the decal and leave to dry. You can use a little decal softener (MicroSol) if the decal needs to snuggle down over detail.

If you have any questions, e-mail. I'm no JBot or JT Graphics but I do this all the time and am pleased with my results.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
sounds easy enough...in a difficult/ trial and error sort of way...ran into a snag though...the pics that i need are copyright protected...so i have to wait to hear back from the website that has some of the nose art that i need before i can start making arrangements...thanks for the info...i should be able to handle it...thanks a lot jim..ill let you know if i need any more help...anyone else who wants to give advice...feel free...
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Helps to have a good vector art program like CorelDRAW. ;)
 

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Never lost for words
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wrk-N-prgrss said:
ran into a snag though...the pics that i need are copyright protected
Provided you are not going to use the artwork for mass produced decals that you plan to sell online and make millions of dollar . . . well, you get the picture . . . here's simple workaround.

Get the desired image as large as possible on your screen and press PrtScr. If you have a photo editing software (Irfanview is free and works pretty well if you don't), paste the screen cap and crop what you need. Voila, image!

Of course, this assumes the image you are capturing has a white background otherwise you'll have to draw a white outline with a drawing program or, heaven forbid, MS Paint.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i emailed the 100th bomb group website and the president of Metal Blade Records returned my email and said that he would send me some high quality jpeg's this weekend...so looks like ill be set on that end...he also put me in touch with the museum in Kovarska, Czech. to get more info from them...so all in all...things are really looking great...and on top of that...just found out that im gonna be a dad...my first one...this day just seems to get better and better all the time!
 

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Congratulations WinP, Who said Friday the 13th was bad luck ?? I hope it turns out to be a new little modeler !! :thumbsup:
Dabbler
 
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