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Help making small scale decals for figures

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  • Member since
    April, 2006
Help making small scale decals for figures
Posted by Irish3335 on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 12:09 AM

hi all, trying to make some custom decals for 120mm,1/24,  1/16, 1/35 figures, specifically police style shoulder patches and badges for uniforms - I have asked people who can do computer work (scan a 1/1 scale patch and scale it down to print on decal paper) but they look at me like I'm crazy!  Anyone know of a program or way to do such a trick?  Thanks for the help! 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 6:55 AM

Do you have a Mac or a PC?  If a Mac, can't help, but there are a number of programs that do this fine for PCs.  Also, you have your choice of CAD programs or photo editing programs.  CAD programs give you more precise rescaling, but I use photo editors myself because of better control over color, and better special effects.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 9:18 AM

I do that sort of thing with some regularity, using nothing more sophisticated than MS-Paint. It's not fancy...but it works.

The trick is to start with as clear an image as you can find. Somewhat counter-intuitively, an online image (if you can find one) may actually work better than a scan of the 'real thing'---the colors may be brighter, and the image sharper. If you need to correct or modify the image, any of several art or drawing programs can be used; but MS-Paint (I'll admit it, I'm cheap) does fine for about 90% of what I need.

Once the image is the way you want it, save it in a format that will maintain the image without degrading (i.e., not as a JPEG). I use TIFF, just because it seems to work. Then paste the image into a Work or Open Office document and resize it to your required size with the 'handles' on the image. [Not only is this quicker and easier than reducing it mathematically...it is ridiculously easier to adjust the size to 'dial it in' for your piece...which may or may not be 'true scale.']

Then print as for any other decal.

Good luck with your project!

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    April, 2006
Posted by Irish3335 on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 11:05 PM

Ok that sounds really simple, I like the no frills scan size and print - thank you both for the help, many thanks! 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 8:44 AM

Just a final thought....

If you've never printed a sized image from a particular program, you may need to tweak the 'screen view' a bit to make it match what actually prints.

As an example, printing in Open Office (which I use), I set the 'zoom' to 104%. For some reason, that size (on my computer screen) matches the 'actual' size the image will print out. You may have to fiddle a bit to find the adjustment (if any is required) for your particular screen/printer combination.

It's not so important for 'big' stuff, but in these tiny scales it can be critical.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 9:53 AM

I’d also add that I usually bracket my estimated size with slightly larger and smaller versions.

Because I haven’t figured out yet how to get multiple uses out of a decal paper sheet, I try to load them up with as much as I can.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 10:19 AM

GMorrison

I’d also add that I usually bracket my estimated size with slightly larger and smaller versions.

Because I haven’t figured out yet how to get multiple uses out of a decal paper sheet, I try to load them up with as much as I can.

I also 'bracket my shots' in that fashion. Also do at least three when two is all I'll need...just in case.

As to 'multiple uses,' I go at it from the opposite direction. If I need to print a small project...or occasionally even a single decal...I do a 'test' print on a regular sheet of paper, then tape a suitable smaller section of decal paper over that image...and run it through again. Really convenient, and it really cuts down on wastage of decal stock.

Just a caution: with my inkjet printer, I have to be sure to tape down the sides as well as the top of the decal scrap; otherwise the carriage will catch on the edge and smear, rip or jam.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:13 PM

Sounds like living dangerously. But I have a project and will give it a try.

  • Member since
    April, 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Sunday, March 04, 2018 6:51 AM

I have made many small decals of badges, logos, and signs. Using photoshop I get photos and GIF's off the internet. I then set them to 600dpi, clean them up if required, then resize them to the size required. Trimming small size decals is tedious but they come out great. I made all the decals for a 1/350 carrier hangar bays and decals for all the air wing. The air wing decals were from photos taken from my 1/48 scale aircraft I built and reduced down to 1/350 scale.

Let me know what kind of logos or badges you need or email me photos and I can make a proof where you can make your own. Or for the cost of paper and shipping I can make you a decal sheet.

Just need to know measurements of the size (height X width) of the decal.

Here are some samples of the decals I made:

Air wing Sheet A

1/350 S-3A decals applied

1/350 A-7's decals applied

Hangar Bay decals applied

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

Model Albums - https://www.flickr.com/photos/128642409@N05/albums

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2007
Posted by mitsdude on Thursday, March 08, 2018 4:09 PM
Also, test print to a sheet of paper until you get the image the way you want it. Lots cheaper than decal paper.
  • Member since
    February, 2016
Posted by fritzthefox on Thursday, March 15, 2018 5:58 PM

Wolfman, I think you just redefined the word "small" for me. 

  • Member since
    April, 2006
Posted by Irish3335 on Saturday, March 24, 2018 1:02 AM

Thanks for offer wolf an, sent you a private message! 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, March 24, 2018 9:55 AM

GMorrison

...

Because I haven’t figured out yet how to get multiple uses out of a decal paper sheet, I try to load them up with as much as I can.

 

My Epson printer will feed as little as half a sheet (vertical) before I have feed problems.  I cut the part I am printing on with a good paper cutter so I get a square edge.  You can merely turn the sheet around so the unprinted bottom part of the sheet becomes the top for the next print, for getting two decal printings on a sheet.  But I have gotten three or for prints from a sheet when I only need an inch or two for a layout, by using the cutter.

My graphics program has a feature called a print layout, where you create a layout for a single print from multiple files by arranging them on a sheet.  This feature also allows easy duplicates for spares.

If your graphics program does not have a feature like this, you can open several graphics files, and then create a new image set as a full 8.5 x 11, and copy each existing file, switching to the newly created image sheet and pasting the file, repeat for each existing file.  Usually when pasting a copied image you can arrange pretty well, to cram everything up towards top of sheet.

Ony thing to watch is not to get images too near edge of sheet, as clear coat sealer may wick into or around edge and prevent clean release of decals too near edge of sheet.  I find I need a clear border of only around 3/16 or even 1/8 inch if I am careful spraying clear coat.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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