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I need instructions on how to make or someone that can make me some decals for a model I'm building. I need them for my Police cruisers and Taxi
Cabs for my 5th element model I am building. I can scan from photos, but
I need to make the decals.
Thanks
 

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MicroMark sells decal paper for inkjet printers. Either clear or white (if what you print requires the color white, then you have to print it on the white paper).

the "fixative" they sell prevents the water soluble inks from washing off when you soak the decal for application. But it's just krylon acrylic clear gloss spray.

Here's more.

I've used the stuff on an hp inkjet set to generic photo paper with fairly good results.
 

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I've been meaning to do the same but duplicate the markings on my patrol car. After scanning, would you run them through Paint or photoshop to clean them up or what?? And how would you scale them to the right size, say a 1/32 scale model?
 

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Yes: on the Paint or Photoshop. If you're only doing text then Word might be fine. Although I found photoshop elements to be helpful in arranging text. (see below)

As far as scaling, I suppose there is a way if you know the scale of the source material to do it scientifically.

I just print it out on plain paper until I get the size I want to make the decal just by eyeballing it. Also it helps if you print on plain paper and then cut a piece of decal paper, tape it on top of the printed artwork on the plain paper and run this back through the printer.

In this way you conserve decal paper and don't jam up the printer running "used" decal paper with chunks cut out back through the printer. My HP 5150 seemed happy with this arrangment.

Also if you have some "blank" decal stock left over from something else (maybe the maker didn't completely fill the sheet?) you can use this technique to recycle the leftover decal paper.

Try different printer settings, but I found that "generic photo paper" worked best for printing on decal paper. I also had trouble with the ink running while spraying the "fixative" (acrylic gloss). Clear lacquer might do better. If inkjet inks are water soluble it stands to reason they're also soluble under acrylic spray paint. Or just spray lightly and use multple coats.



To get white lettering I printed on white decal paper with photoshop set up to print white lettering on black background. Since anything besides an "ALPS" printer doesn't have white ink, the printer simply doesn't shoot any ink where the output is "white". Happily the model was to be basic black so I got away with this.
 

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You can resize images in Photoshop very easily.

First you'll need to know what the final size of the decal image should be. You can either measure the area of the model that you are working on to get a size, or measure the original image and divide by the model's scale to come up with the final dimension. Try to make sure the image is a fairly high resolution--300 to 600 dpi should work well. When you're ready to resize, click on the Image dropdown menu and click on Image Size. Here you can directly alter the image size by changing either the pixel count, the dimension size, or the dpi count (or any combination of the above). Make sure that you maintain the dpi count when you resize so that you retain as much detail as possible.

As for cleaning up the image...I've done it both before and after resizing. It depends on the results of the resize and whether certain details need to remain sharp, such as text.
 

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Testors decal bonder works to seal inks.....but so does Testors Gloss Coat. This is what I've been using on my last 3 model restorations when the decal bonder ran out for my home made decals. Works just as well, and I can buy lots of it for $2.50 at Walmart.
 

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Ditto the other comments (and thanks for the great tip about conserving decal paper!)

Yes, a graphics program can be used to resize, sharpen, clean up, or otherwise manipulate images. I did some decals for my (still unfinished ) PL J2, including details taken from online pics of the real set or mockups. In the case of the central flight console - that trisectioned circular display? There's a nice clear image of it online, but the photograph was taken at an angle. I Photoshop, I stretched and pulled it until it was truly circular again, resized, and sharpened. A perfect reproduction of the light patterns on the console, an actual photo turned into a decal.

I had clear paper instead of white, and discovered the Toy Biz Captain America had no decals for stars. What to do? Easy! The graphics program had a number of pre-programmed shapes including stars. Now, not having white decal paper and not having an ALPS printer (prints white and metallics), I couldn't print up solid white stars. Instead I did the opposite: found the color blue I wanted, and printed up blue squares with clear stars in the center. Painted the kit white where the decals would go, applied the decals, blended the decal blue with the blue paint applied later. Of course, that was just improv 'cuz I didn't want to order a whole sheet of white decal papaer just for three stars a forehead 'A'. It worked, and it's the smoothest decal edges you've ever seen - 'cuz there are no edges where you're looking (borders of stars and 'A'), and where the decal edges really are disappeared under the paint.

It's a nice detail on what sadly is not one of my better build otherwise. The base sorely needs redoing.
 

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Duhhhhhh, sounds simple as hell when it's explained. Off this weekend(finally)that is if Ivan doesn't move a little more to the west, so I'll probably be doin' some test shots. Many thanks to all!
 
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