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Found 8 results

  1. I thought I would start this thread, as I've had a few questions about how I make the decals for my airliner builds and this will hopefully explain the whole process from start to finish! My main interest at the moment is the British Airways 'Utopia' livery. I started to create my own decals for these designs about a year ago, after buying some online which turned out to be both the wrong size and generally incorrect! This was the one which started it all, from my 747-436 Tribute Build: I should explain that I am not an expert my any means. There are mistakes and defects on most of my models, many of which can be seen the the above picture! However, I am improving slowly and will point out any known pitfalls along the way... My objective at the end of this thread is to have a model 727, with a bespoke design on the fin. This may take a while, as the kit needs building too! The kit is from Airfix: And the tail design will be the 'Scotland' tartan livery, shown on the bag below: At this point I will admit that the design process for this particular model has the potential to go badly wrong for two reasons. Firstly, the tail on the 727 is very complex, with more curves than a normal fin due to the air intake for the centre engine... The second potential problem is the geometry of the intended design - the tartan artwork is all straight lines and right angles, so getting it to conform to the tail fin/engine intake/rear fuselage whilst not looking distorted will be a real challenge. If it becomes too much of a problem I will resort to a different design from the above selection - probably the 'Waves of the City' design at the top centre - this one will be much more forgiving! The first step is to get the design into a digital format. I scanned the bag (at 600 dpi) and opened the design in Photoshop: I played around with the colours, using reference photos from the internet. The blue is now darker and the green, red and yellow are more vibrant. If this was not done, the printed decal can look dull. I needed to scan the 727 kit (also at 600 dpi for commonality), to create a template for the tail: These two images were then combined. You will notice that the tail fin has been flipped over, as that better suited the diagonal lines on the tartan design: As this livery is completely fictitious, I can have the latitude to amend the design as much as I like to try and create something that looks suitable and attractive, whilst being practical to apply to the model. This version was not my first attempt and it may get amended as the process continues! Once happy, the excess pattern is removed, leaving the bit I need: I'm already concerned about how easily (or not!) this will apply to the model! Which brings me nicely onto the next stage of the design process - making very rough paper copies to see how well they fit: These are then dry fitted, using clips to hold them into place: I can see four immediate issues, most of which are not a surprise...! The areas marked in blue need to be extended, to allow them to wrap around the top of the fin and engine intake. There is a gap (marked with the red line), where the decals do not conform to the curvature of the model. The third issue is more of a problem regarding the practicality of applying the decals - the joint between the fin and the rear fuselage has a very complex design, with multiple colours and shapes. If the entire design was moved down slightly, this would make it easier to apply. Finally the design on the fuselage is not level; it is sloping down at the front... The first issue is simple to fix, the others are more of a challenge!
  2. Those who have followed my recent builds will know of my affinity with the 747. Whilst my current 747-436 tribute build is stalled (I'm still waiting for replacement decals), I thought I would turn my attention to some more modern 747 kits. Hopefully they will be far less hassle and go together much more easily than the venerable Revell 747-400! The only modern version of the 747 is the -800 variant. Both Revell and Zvezda have 1/144 versions of this aircraft, but which is best? There's only one way to find out - build them both! To start, here are the two boxes: First impressions - the packaging on the Revell box is superior, as are the decals. The quality of the sprues looks pretty comparable - time will tell as the build progresses... More on that later! Regarding the schemes, I am going to venture into the world of custom decals and build these two as 'what ifs'. Both models will be finished in a 'Utopia' or 'World Image' livery, used by British Airways at the turn of the century and then dropped in favour of the current 'Union Flag' scheme. It was a bit marmite(!), but I quite liked it and thought it would be an interesting side project to design something completely different and previously unseen on a 747. One model will be finished in the 'Youm al-Suq' design, representing Saudi Arabia. This scheme was only ever used on two aircraft - an Embraer 145 (G-EMBJ) and a 737 (G-GBTA). Images of these two aircraft can be seen on the artist's website: https://www.shadiaalem.com/british-airways-utopia-project I purchased some decals designed for the 737 and set to work on photoshop, amending the design to fit a 747. Here's the original decal: Then after many, many hours of work, I created something 747 sized: The other airframe will receive a variation of the 'Colum' livery used on my tribute build. This design was quite well received and there were several different versions of this design in use. I am basing my decal on G-BGDR, a 737-236. I bought these decals earlier in the week and have a few hours of work ahead of me... Here's how they look, compared with the 747: Obviously they need enlarging and I will have to make a few modifications and additions along the way! I hope to turn my attention to these two models soon - I need a break from the endless round of filling/sanding/priming which seems to be happening with all my other projects at the moment! Just gluing plastic together will make a pleasant change...
  3. Hi all. I am looking for a solution for cutting my own shape decals for a custom 144 airliner livery. Essentially, ideal would be a decal sheet like you'd get with a kit, but containing just one flat colour (I'm specifically after red, white and silver). It seems like this should be available out there, but i'm struggling to find anything apart from plain inkjet decal paper for printing. Not sure if it's not something you can get or if im just using the right search terms. Help appreciated! Thanks in advance.
  4. It's time to present my next project: F4U-4 Academy 1/48 I am working on some custom decals to recreate this shameful aircraft that got what he deserved for landing on the wrong carrier I haven't seen one built on the internet yet, so this is the perfect opportunity to experiment and develop new skills.
  5. Here's my 1/72 AW101, finished in the colours of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, built for the helicopters group build. It's converted from the Revell Merlin HC.3, which required a change of the window configuration and a few other detail differences. Decals were (mostly) custom printed, paint was Tamiya and Gunze (although I think the dayglo was AK real colour). Thoroughly enjoyable build, experimented with a few new things, windows didn't work out quite as planned but I learned a lot. Build thread is here. thanks for looking Julian
  6. Hello everyone... Ive got a few subjects that I’d like to build as future projects. I know @Timmas is offering to create free files to print them yourself. However I neither own a Computer or a printer so couldn't do that. If Timmas could make the files for me, is their anyone willing to do the printing ? Ive got some $€£ now and would like to get these projects into the future build rather than future dream. Please let me know and we can figure out compensation. Dennis
  7. I have a couple of questions to put out there: 1st: Black Lion Decals, are they still operating? I am looking to get some one-off decals printed, I've been using them couple of times before, no hassle, great result, but it looks like that there is breakdown in communication somewhere on the line this time, so wondering what's the story. 2nd: Just in case that the above question brings negative answer, does anyone knows who will be able to print some 'Alps' decals, including white? I have A4 sheet in .cdr X5 file ready to go and I am under a bit of pressure on it. Irish Nats just around the corner and nothing done Thanks PS: Not really sure if this is the right box for this, but haven't found anything suitable, so there... Admins, feel free to move
  8. My stash of decal paper is close to exhaustion. What brand of decal paper do you use for your custom decals and why? Where do you buy decal paper in UK? I'm interested in inkjet printing
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