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Decals in register?

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  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • From: Tampa, Florida USA
Decals in register?
Posted by zeno67 on Monday, July 16, 2018 4:53 PM

So I am completely new to scale modeling and I have run across many reviews of model kits were the reviewer has referred to decals being in register or not. I hope I do not sound to much like a noob, but what are we referring to when talking about "decals being in register"?

Suprisingly a Google search has not helped me decipher this and a search on here did not lead to anything.

United States Navy Veteran

Navy Corpsman Caduces

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:22 PM

Decals are printed in a series of applications when silk screened. An initial film layer, then successive colors, then a clear top layer. Each layer has to be “registered” to the previous ones. Often you can see the “reg” marks at the corners of the sheet. They look like bullseyes.

For instance, a RAF would be a white circle, followed with a blue ring, followed with a red dot.

If the decal printing was out of register, the red dot would possibly not be centered in the blue ring.

A giveaway would be that the bullseyes visibly weren’t directly over each other.

Theres no way to fix it. It’s registered or its not.

I would imagine that digital five color printing is the way of the future, similar to what you can do except for white on an inkjet printer.

Its worth learning which decals are most highly regarded, both for color accuracy and registration.

Cartograph has always been top notch in mass produced kits, Microscale another.

  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • From: Tampa, Florida USA
Posted by zeno67 on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:21 PM

Thank you so much GMorrison, that is what I thought it might be referring to. And the infromation on who makes accurate/reiable decals is very useful.

United States Navy Veteran

Navy Corpsman Caduces

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:46 PM

My suggestions for decals was tied to major model releases. Usually others like Revell and Trumpeter provided decals of unknown origin. Those are the ones that cause me the most trouble.

There is a huge range of after market decals out there. Quality varies all over the map, so reading reviews online is essential. But, those can provide all kinds of markings that otherwise you'd never see.

I recently bought a set of decals for the revell C-54 kit, in livery of a small outfit named "Santa Fe Skyways" after the railroad that briefly owned it. Provided by a vendor "Vintage Flyer".

There were four C-54s total in the line, and you get numbers of all of them. Imagine, I'm probably one of ten people who ever bought the set. But what customer service! Included in the envelope were several of the markings reprinted with the explanation that he wasn't 100% satisfied with the registration of the originals, also included. I could not tell the difference, and it's in my line of work.

Thank you for your service.

Bill

  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • From: Tampa, Florida USA
Posted by zeno67 on Thursday, July 19, 2018 3:12 PM
I like that we have the option of going outside the manufacture and finding gems like you just described. By the way, I did understand in your first post that you were referring to the decals that manufacture includes in their kit. Thank you for your insight into this particular subject.

United States Navy Veteran

Navy Corpsman Caduces

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, July 21, 2018 7:46 AM

There used to be some aftermarket decal folks in the past that reduced the problem by reducing the color layers and then had a couple of layers printed as decals, so for each decal the builder then had to do some of the registration.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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