How do you make decals with a computer? - RC Groups
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Feb 16, 2000, 07:00 PM
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Andy W's Avatar
Kevin (Cox), can we tell 'em about our (yours - that you shared with me for the F16) secret?
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Feb 16, 2000, 07:54 PM
Bf109G's Avatar
Feb 16, 2000, 08:26 PM
Speed Demon
GregG's Avatar
The suspence is killing me, what up wid dat?
Feb 16, 2000, 09:38 PM
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Kevin Cox's Avatar
Hi gang,

It is no secret and not really any magic involved. It may involve a little copyright law breaking

First off I normally buy a plastic model or a decal sheet that matches the desired scheme. I know that this isn't always practical and some hand drawn, computer art, or pictures that you took at an Airshow will work. I scan the image into the PC and enlarge it in a paint program (Adobe, PC Paintbrush...etc.) You want to enlarge it enough so that you can rework the colors if need be. For example the scanned red may appear pink or purple, you would select red from your palette and repaint it. The more you zoom in and clean the image the better the results. Check your work by zooming out it will start to look really nice after a little touch-up.

When you are happy with the image save it and print it out, you will need to play with the size until it is right. Carefully cut the image out. Using 3M77 adhesive or whatever spray the BACK of the image. and position it on the model. At this point, you can LIGHTLY coat the dried image with clear paint. It is important to do it lightly or it may run and ruin the decal. This also seals the edges to the model to give it a more flush appearance. If you don't seal it with clear (gloss or flat) it will run when it gets wet. I have done everything from the Blues Angels to an A-10 sharkmouth with this method it is actually fun I don't think I would enter it in the Scale Masters or TOP GUN but I'm happy with it

Andy, step in at anytime and tell us if you added anything else to this procedure. Or if I left something out.
Feb 16, 2000, 10:12 PM
Speed Demon
GregG's Avatar
Thanks Kevin, sounds like a winner to me! Alot easier than I had thought. Keep up the good work!
Feb 16, 2000, 10:16 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
You just left out the sanding of the back side of the paper until you're left with a really thin piece to stick on - helps keep the profile down. Also that it is best printed on the expensive InkJet paper = gives brighter colors, and is easier to sand to get it nice and thin. I ruined a couple, sanding thru the paper, but I just printed those ones again..
Feb 16, 2000, 10:21 PM
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Kevin Cox's Avatar
Oh yeah! That part DUH!
Thanks Andy!
Feb 17, 2000, 01:43 AM
Speed Demon
GregG's Avatar

How do you make decals with a computer?

I remember reading in a magazine an article about printing your own decals from your computer. That's all I can remember, I have forgotten the specifics. I guess I never thought I might do it myself. Well here I am, I need to make a set to finish my Islander twin. I have already designed a page with the logo and numbers that I want. Anyone have any ideas?
Feb 17, 2000, 04:24 AM
Registered User
Here is another way:

With my twinstar I got some pretty ok stickers (quite many) that you could decorate the plane with.

I also got a blank stickersheet - which went straight into my inkjet with excellent results..

This way I could print whatever I wanted on it and attach it to the plane..

I should think you could get these things commercially?

Have fun

Feb 17, 2000, 05:00 AM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar
Henrik, you got to it first! I have been looking for a little less expensive clear contact for the very same thing!

No glue no mess, and it doesn't have to be FUEL(FOOL)PROOF !
Feb 17, 2000, 11:11 AM
Registered User
Just one other little tip. The artwork samples that come with Corel Draw include most national aircraft markings as well as some squadron motifs. I used this to generate Australian Navy roundels for my Sea Fury and they were very effective and in the right colours.

I expect similar samples can be found in other drawing packages or somewhere on the www.
Feb 17, 2000, 02:58 PM
Speed Demon
GregG's Avatar
Great ideas guys, Kromannschmidt, were would one find blank stickersheet. The local hobbyshop has no idea what this is. Are you from Europe, is this something common there? Do you have to use a laserjet printer or can you get by with a deskjet? I have a Canon BJC 4300 and it wont print on clear Monokote or clear packing tape.
Feb 17, 2000, 03:02 PM
Registered User
Just head for your local computer store and look throught the different types of paper they have. Both HP and Epson make self adhesive sticky paper for inkjets.

One thing to watch though is that inkjet ink is not waterproof so you must overspray with clear varnish to prevent smear.
Feb 18, 2000, 04:21 PM
Registered User

Denmark/Copenhagen=Europe ;-)

Actually I have moved to Elsinore: There is something rotten in the state of denmark place.

If it was good enough for hamlet - it'll do for me..

Btw. Agree on the computer print sheets - you can get all kinds (including the sticky ones)..

Have a good weekend all

Feb 18, 2000, 06:18 PM
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Kevin Cox's Avatar
Yes, the sticky stuff works too. But the problem that I have with the stickyback sheets is the sticky stuff has a thicker profile when applied to the model. The high quaility paper method is a lot more work but worth in SOME cases. Also when you need to work around compound curves the sticky stuff will give you a hard time.

Good luck guys!