(brass?) letter template(s) to spray markings?

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by jjp_nl, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    I have a habit of picking subject (as far as markings go) for which no after market decals exist. Ofcourse I could try and piece together the markings I need from various decals sheets and end up with somewhat right markings, but lately I've been thinking about maybe spraying markings rather then use decals (I'm thinking that in the long run this will be much cheaper rather buy 5 decals sheets at a time to piece together markings for a single a/c).

    So I was kind of wondering if there is such a thing as letter templates in the appropriate styles and scales (for example in RAF font style, or Luftwaffe font style). Preferably re-usable, like a brass set of sorts (not unlike the tools one would use for scribing little circles and odd shapes and such)

    Thanks in advance!

    Jelmer
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Can't say I've seen any in model scale sizes. I've seen plastic versions, used for lettering on paper etc, but of course these would be no use in modelling. Have you considered making your own decals? Usable results can be obtained, apart from white, although some colours don't hold density very well, and may need over-painting.
    Or of course you can always cut the design from Tamiya tape and reverse mask.
     
  3. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #3 jjp_nl, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
    Hmmm, making my own is an option too, thanks for the heads up on that. Never thought about it. It would require me to gather some information on the sizes of markings used by a given airfoce and/or a/c type. I think white can be done too, provided one uses white decal paper, rather then transparant.

    Plastic template versions just might work as well (provided they'd be resized to the appropriate size depending on which scale/type I would need to for). You mentioned it as being used to do markings on paper, so I was thinking, what if this paper where to be decal paper (either white or transparant) I'd spray the markings needed using a template and seal it with some sort of decal paper sealer (Microscale has something for this I believe) or future or something. Might be worth a try.
     
  4. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Some clever stuff can be done with masking Jelmer. Seems to be a bit 'long winded' to spray a design on decal paper and then apply, why not spray directly on the model? There are business that specialise is making custom masks too..

    Here's one that may be of interest, although I haven't used them.

    Home - MIRACLE PAINT MASKS
     
  5. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    that was just me being being careful. I was thinking I might spray decals on decal paper (first) and not on a model right away. If things get messed up the paint job isn't wrecked, just a piece of decalling paper, but in the long run, assuming that at some point I feel confident enough to go 'live' on a model right away I have to admit doing it on a model right away would be better.

    Thanks for the link BTW, looks promising indeed. I think I'll be shooting this guy a mail one of those days to see what the possibilities are.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I've recently reverse masked, with the Spitfire MkV trop build, but of course the letters were easy, being all straight edged. But even with curved letters, if you are able to cut the masks accurately enough, it's a fairly straightforward job. You can print the design, then overlay this onto the masking tape, and cut out the letters.
    By the way, you still cant do white lettering decals, even on white decal papers - you'd be printing white on white! It can be done, onto clear decal paper, if you have access to an ALPS printer though.
     
  7. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Ahhh well....there is a way which I've tried and been successful.

    It goes something like this. You do the design in photoshop (or WHY) and place the white letter on a dark, or most preferably, close colour to the aircraft camo. When you print on the white decal paper and cut away everything that is not white. I did this on a P-39 for the MTO GB. If you are not quite accurate with the cutting and a small outline remains, it will disappear in to the camo colour. Yes - trial and error involved!
     
  8. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    @ ozhawk40
    I was thinking along very similar lines as far as printing white decals are concerned. Use roughly the same camo colors surrounding the decals to outline the actual shape/size of a white letter.

    You seem to have worked with printing decals, so here's another question regarding that. Isn't this (as far as decalling paper is concerned) a very inefficient way of doing things. Suppose I want to markings for a single aircraft. Do the design and scaling in photoshop and print on white or transparent decal paper. What's with the rest of the decalling paper once you've cut out the markings you just printed? seems rather difficult to run a cut up piece of paper through the printer again.
     
  9. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Couple of tips. Even though you are only doing a couple of letters, make lots of duplicates on the same sheet. You may very possibly (probably) need them! Second, most printers will take small size paper for doing photo prints, for example. Read you printer docs and instructions. Cut your A4 or Letter sheets down the the smallest sized paper that you printer will handle.
     
  10. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    :thumbleft: Thanks, that makes a lot sence. Indeed my printer can handle much smaller size paper. There's some sort of movable paper guide in the paper tray which allows for the printer to be set to different sizes of paper (photo paper, envelopes etc.) I will look this up in the manual and see how I might go about this. I guess I need to configure the appropriate size of the paper in the photoshop printing options
     
  11. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I have been able to successfully run decal paper through my inkjet printer more than once without detroying the film. When you lay out the decals in photoshop or equivalent, use a canvas size that's the same as the size of the decal sheet and move your subject to the spot you want them printed on the sheet. Once done, make sure you cut the decals off before applying sealer because I've found that you can't print onto the decal paper once the sealer has been sprayed on. With this method, you don't waste any decal paper. Once the decal paper becomes too small or irregular shaped, tape it to a sheet of regular bond paper that's cut to the same size as the original sheet, with just enough of the tape catching the edges of the decal paper to hold it down and prevent it from dog-earing in the printer. Then simply move the subject in photoshop to the location where the bit of decal paper is so it prints onto it.

    Gerry just tried making his own for the first time on his current 110 project and did a wonderful job.

    I've seen references to the masking company that Peter linked in his post before and the results of these painted decals are quite impressive. Not clear to me though is whether these are re-usable.
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Andy's got it re the sizing and using the paper. The most important thing is the 'page layout', to allow maximum use of the decal paper, and provide space around each image, to facilitate cutting and removal later.
    Going back to the 'white' printing - I have done it the way Peter described, which can work, especially on white decal paper, depending on the background the decal will be applied to. Another way, for lettering at least, is to print the decals in, say, grey, then paint over them before sealing.
    One of the main things to be aware of is that these decals papers have a very thin carrier film, which is prone to wrinkling like onion skin, and the density of some colours (on clear sheet) is not as good, when in place, as conventionally printed decals.
     
  13. Coors9

    Coors9 Member

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    Airframes, you did a great job with your Spit.
     
  14. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #14 jjp_nl, Aug 24, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
    One way to find out if this could work for me I guess....give it a go! Two ways I can try, either masking certain thing or print decals.
     
  15. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    There was no such thing as an RAF font; strict guidelines were issued, regarding overall dimensions (height, width, thickness of stroke,) but the design of the letters was left to the individual Squadron and its artist. Bombers' letters were usually 48" high, with fighters 24", though late in the war Spitfire Squadrons were allowed to use 21" letters.
    Edgar
     
  16. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    Thanks for the information. Makes it a lot easier as far as RAF fonts is concerned.
     
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