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UH-34 D nose art decal

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  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
UH-34 D nose art decal
Posted by Bobstamp on Thursday, January 9, 2020 6:33 PM

My next model will be a 1/72 scale UH-34 D Sea Horse helicopter, by Italeri. My plan is to model it after the Sea Horse that transported my Marine Corps squad into combat in Vietnam at the beginning of Operation Utah, on March 4, 1966. If the Sea Horse didn’t save my life, it or another one like it certainly made my life easier. I was shot in an ambush while I was trying to save the life of a gravely wounded Marine (I was a Navy hospital corpsman). A Sea Horse evacuated me to a field hospital for emergency care, then to the U.S.S. Repose hospital ship for surgery.

The Sea Horses were flown by HMM-363 (Lucky Red Lions). Here is a cropped portion of a photo that I took as my squad ran toward the helicopter. On the nose you can see the squadron’s nose art:

Sea Horse Nose art

I would like to create a decal to use on the model, based on this drawing:

Sea Horse nose art decal drawing

The decal would consist only of the lion and the surrounding four-leaf clover. My problem is that I can’t image how to print the decal and then trim the black away; the clover would be slightly less than a centimetre across. Perhaps I could successfully trim the black away with a sharp blade, but I thought I would ask if anyone has a better idea.

Bob Ingraham

Vancouver

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by LonCray on Friday, January 10, 2020 6:54 AM

Instead of black, could you make the background the same green as the surrounding paint?  Even if it wasn't exact, you could go in with a brush afterwards to blend it all together.  

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, January 10, 2020 8:21 AM

Hello!

First of all - that's a very interesting story! How come you live in Canada now, if I can ask you that?

Now for the decal - I don't know how you want to print it, but when I was preparing my custom decals I was drawing them in CorelDRAW and then it was easy - the background colour of the drawing area was ignored by the decal maker, meaning only the pattern that I drew were printed, the remainder of the decal sheet was left clear. Some programs let you define an "ignore colour" or "transparent" - meaning the areas left in that specific colur are handled as unprinted, clear.

If you like, I could draw the pattern you posted for you in CorelDRAW, and send you a file, then it will have the .cdr format. Or if you need some other format, maybe we can work something out - write me a PM, if you like. I would also need to know the exact size you need the pattern to be.

Plus - it would be cool to draw up nice colour profile of the aircraft you have in mind - if there was something like that, maybe a professional decal maker would bring out decals for that?

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Friday, January 10, 2020 11:00 AM

LonCray

Instead of black, could you make the background the same green as the surrounding paint?  Even if it wasn't exact, you could go in with a brush afterwards to blend it all together.  

 

 
Thank you for your suggestion. I thought of that possibility. I think it would be virtually impossible to replicate the I colour of the Tamiya spray paint that I plan to use for the exterior of the Sea Horse. I could decant some of the spray paint to use, but I'm not sure I'm steady enough with a paint brush enough to successfully "hide the evidence".
 
Bob 

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Friday, January 10, 2020 11:15 AM

@Pawel:

My wife and I emigrated to Canada in 1969, following my graduation from university, to take a jobs in Ottawa. We liked Canada a great deal and have been here ever since. We are now Canadian citizens. We live in Vancouver. 

About my decal problem: I will be using Experts-Choice White Decal Film with my inkjet printer. I've used their clear decal film with good success. This helicopter decal is difficult because the outermost part of it will be white, and of course I can't print white with my printer.

I appreciate your offer to create a design for me, but I'm happy with the drawing I'm using. My tour of duty in Vietnam was early in the war, and the evidence from HMM-363 Squadron photos on-line is that the nose art was done quite crudely, by hand, so that's what I'd like to try to replicate, although at 1/72 scale no one will be able to tell without close scrutiny.

I have thought about the possibility of making a stencil in the shape of the four-leaf clover, but that would be as difficult as cutting out the decal after it's printed. 

Bob

 

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, January 10, 2020 11:33 AM

Another option is to use clear decal paper and leave the white part white in your design.  This will not put down any color and be a clear area.  Paint the area where it will be on the nose white.  Then you can go back and paint the area around the decal that gets left after trimming the fuselage green color.

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Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

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  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, January 10, 2020 3:21 PM

Hello Bob!

Thanks a lot for your explanation!

I did a quick redraw in Corel and here's what I have come up with:

HMM-363 logo by Pawel

If you print this out on a white decal sheet, you can trim along the black line and get the logo you want this way. If you wish, I could easily make the black line a little thicker. The trick here is the black line should hide any problems with the cut and shouldn't stand out much against the green background. Or, if you want, I can make the line dark green, too.

Hope it helps - I sure would love to see some pictures of your model when you are that far with the build. Good luck with it and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Friday, January 10, 2020 6:34 PM

HeavyArty
Another option is to use clear decal paper and leave the white part white in your design.  This will not put down any color and be a clear area.  Paint the area where it will be on the nose white.  Then you can go back and paint the area around the decal that gets left after trimming the fuselage green color.

I'd thought of this approach, but I think the brush work would be too fine for either my skill level or the size of my smallest brush. And I've learned in my brief "adult modeling career" that less paint is more! But I appreciate your take on my problem.

Bob 

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Friday, January 10, 2020 6:58 PM

Pawel
Hello Bob!

Thanks a lot for your explanation!

I did a quick redraw in Corel and here's what I have come up with:

HMM-363 logo by Pawel

If you print this out on a white decal sheet, you can trim along the black line and get the logo you want this way. If you wish, I could easily make the black line a little thicker. The trick here is the black line should hide any problems with the cut and shouldn't stand out much against the green background. Or, if you want, I can make the line dark green, too.

Hope it helps - I sure would love to see some pictures of your model when you are that far with the build. Good luck with it and have a nice day

I think you've got it, Pawel. I downloaded your drawing, pasted it into my word processing program (Apple's Pages), made six copies of the image ranging in size from .5 cm to 1 cm in width, then printed it. The .5 cm version seems to fit best, and I don't think it will be too difficult to trim the resulting decal. Any errors will be so small as to be nearly invisible.

One request: Please do provide me with another large copy, making the outline about three times thicker and changing the color to a green matching Tamiya's TYS-28 Olive Drab spray paint (digital swatch available at https://www.tamiya.com/english/products/85028/index.htm — I realize that you won't be able to perfectly match the colour, but any "olive drabish" should work for our purposes). And I certainly will post photos of the completed model. It shouldn't take me more than two or three years at my present high rate of model building — I make a lot time-munching mistakes!

Thanks very much for your help.

Bob

P.S. After looking at your web site, I understand now why you are so interested in my project and in the Vietnam War. You might appreciate browsing through my web site, "37 Days in Vietnam — A Navy corpsman with the U.S. Marines": http://www.ephemeraltreasures.net/37-days-in-vietnam.html.  

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    September 2015
  • From: The Redwood Empire
Posted by Aaronw on Saturday, January 11, 2020 12:54 AM

Decal film is very thin and doesn't go over dark colors well. The white film is transluscent and will not maintain its color well. 

I would suggest one of two options.

#1 Paint the area where the decal white first. Then cut out the decal shape on a piece of tape and mask the white area, then repaint the OD which will leave you with the white clover. From there you can either put your decal over the white spot, or simply make a decal of the lion and apply it over the white paint.

 

#2 make multiple decals, and apply one over the next until the color is right.

 

Option #1 is the best in my opinion, but I've done 2 and it will work after you get the 3rd or 4th decal in place. If you go with 2, I would print several without the lion and only apply the decal with the lion on the last layer. That will help to hide any slight misalignment of the layered decals. Since it will at that point be a good white background the single layer of red will be fine.

 

  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posted by Bobstamp on Saturday, January 11, 2020 1:13 AM

Thank you for your suggestions, Aaronw. I've only worked with transparent decal material, so your concerns are certainly worth noting. I think #1 just might work. 

Bob

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, January 11, 2020 5:39 PM

Hello Bob!

Here you go, I hope it helps you:

HMM-363 logo by Pawel

Thanks for the link to your web page - I started reading it and the photos you made in 'Nam are really something special! Looking forward to seeing your model - good luck with it and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

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