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obermartin

Stars&Bars decals with white borders

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I like building colorful aircraft with high conspicuity or arctic markings, which frequently require white outlines around insignia. And doing this by hand is very tedious and usually not entirely satisfactory. 

So I spent quite some time searching for a generic sheet of white-bordered stars&bars in various sizes, to no avail. Does something like this exist? And if so, where can I find it?

 

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Those look like the same sheet printed 3 times: once in white (underlays), once in blue and white (WW2) and once in red, white and blue (post 1947).  As such the white-only sheet may only provide a denser white underlay to the national marking (useful in its own right on a high perspicuity finish) but not the border you want.  You might need something off the 1/48 or 1/32 sheet to give the outline you require.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Seahawk said:

Those look like the same sheet printed 3 times: once in white (underlays), once in blue and white (WW2) and once in red, white and blue (post 1947).  As such the white-only sheet may only provide a denser white underlay to the national marking (useful in its own right on a high perspicuity finish) but not the border you want.  You might need something off the 1/48 or 1/32 sheet to give the outline you require.

Ah, you right! It's described more clearly on the individual product pages.

 

If these specific decals do not exist, it's fairly easy to design the enlarged underlay, or even a complete decal. I've drawn the star&bars earlier in CorelDraw, and just added a white border of 1/8 R (not sure whether that's correct though, I couldn't find the spec). You could fill an A4 with the design in various sizes and have it printed.

 

Rob

 

usafborder.jpg

 

 

Edited by Rob de Bie

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21 hours ago, Rob de Bie said:

Ah, you right! It's described more clearly on the individual product pages.

 

If these specific decals do not exist, it's fairly easy to design the enlarged underlay, or even a complete decal. I've drawn the star&bars earlier in CorelDraw, and just added a white border of 1/8 R (not sure whether that's correct though, I couldn't find the spec). You could fill an A4 with the design in various sizes and have it printed.

 

Rob

 

usafborder.jpg

 

 

Yeah, so far I've been printing my own on white decal paper. But I abhor cutting them out because it usually needs a lot of tries to get the circle contours right.

Oh well, seems I'll have to look into custom decal printers who can print white.

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13 minutes ago, obermartin said:

Yeah, so far I've been printing my own on white decal paper. But I abhor cutting them out because it usually needs a lot of tries to get the circle contours right.

Oh well, seems I'll have to look into custom decal printers who can print white.

Indeed I assumed a custom printer that can print white. I've got a list here: Custom Alps decal companies . Below it is a list of 'Custom decal companies using other printers', but it's just a start.

 

Rob

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3 hours ago, Rob de Bie said:

Indeed I assumed a custom printer that can print white. I've got a list here: Custom Alps decal companies . Below it is a list of 'Custom decal companies using other printers', but it's just a start.

 

Rob

Awesome, thank you! 

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Posted (edited)

Or you could draw and then cut masks if you are fortunate enough to have that facility. That way you can do white and NMF. :)

Edited by RidgeRunner

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50 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

You could use an ordinary decal on the next size up white backing

Yes, that was my thinking.  Or, if that gives too big an increment, see if there's a background from the 1/48 or even 1/32 sheet that gives you the diameter you need.  Let's see: 48" diameter roundel.  If you want a 4" border, that'll mean a 56" dia backing.  You may be lucky and find that offered on the sheet.  Or look on another sheet for something that would be the same size: if working in 1/72, divide your diameter by 2/3 to get  the equivalent 1/48 diameter: that gives you something like 37" so you might get away with 36".  Or divide the 1/32 size by 4/9: there 56" is slightly smaller than 25": 24" may be close enough.  Sorry to be boring about this but I've been doing a lot of this with these sheets to ensure the thin-looking and variously sized transfers on my Roden WW1 kits get good opaque white backings.

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The other way is a bit long winded but you get there.

 

Photo copy the insignia so not to damage the original

Measure the size of the insignia but include the white border around it

Use a circle cutter for the disc and cut the bars from masking sheet

Paint the area white and put on the cut mask

Spray the red/orange and remove the mask to reveal the white underneath

 

That is what l did on my F-89 Scorpion 

Robert

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Hi Obermartin,

 

Doublecheck your photos before adding those white backgrounds - in nearly every case the US just masked around the national insignia before applying the arctic or conspicuity markings; when the masks were removed, the original background color remained - usually aluminum.  During the ten years or so that fluorescent paint was applied, a coat of white went down between the primer and the day-glow, but again the markings were masked before the primer and white undercoat were applied.

 

You've got the same problem, and this didn't solve it, but you might want to rethink the white border.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Dana

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11 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

Or you could draw and then cut masks if you are fortunate enough to have that facility. That way you can do white and NMF. :)

Not quite yet. But something like a silhouette cutter is on my wishlist. 😊

 

9 hours ago, Robert said:

The other way is a bit long winded but you get there.

 

Photo copy the insignia so not to damage the original

Measure the size of the insignia but include the white border around it

Use a circle cutter for the disc and cut the bars from masking sheet

Paint the area white and put on the cut mask

Spray the red/orange and remove the mask to reveal the white underneath

 

That is what l did on my F-89 Scorpion 

Robert

Note to self: Add circle cutter to wishlist.

9 hours ago, Dana Bell said:

Hi Obermartin,

 

Doublecheck your photos before adding those white backgrounds - in nearly every case the US just masked around the national insignia before applying the arctic or conspicuity markings; when the masks were removed, the original background color remained - usually aluminum.  During the ten years or so that fluorescent paint was applied, a coat of white went down between the primer and the day-glow, but again the markings were masked before the primer and white undercoat were applied.

 

You've got the same problem, and this didn't solve it, but you might want to rethink the white border.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Dana

Yes, I am aware of that. Though the subjects I've been thinking about are USN trainer/transport aircraft and antarctic aviation (mainly because my inner 12-year-old finds the squadron name "Puckered Penguins" hilarious), which frequently do feature white bordered insignia.

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Here's another way. Usually only works for spray painting. 

Put on the base colour, including the surround colour. Use an oversize decal, put that on. Spray top colour, over decal as well, Remove the decal, then apply smaller proper sized decal.

Its a use for those odd coloured or out of register decals

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What Dana said.

 

Also, since you usually have to put a layer of white down before you apply the dayglo or orange or red, I usually just cut Tamiya tape masks to the same size as a slightly oversize decal (You can use a larger cut-out decal to draw the mask pattern), apply the masks to the me white layer, and after the red/orange, etc. topcoat is dry, remove the paint masks and apply the correct sized decal, leaving the painted border surrounding the decal.

 

Ed

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I would agree with the idea of using masks rather than an underlying decal. If you are not sure of how to cut a mask of that shape, Robert's advice is the best option: just cut a circle and a rectangle, place one on top of the other and you have a mask of the right shape.

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4 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

I would agree with the idea of using masks rather than an underlying decal. If you are not sure of how to cut a mask of that shape, Robert's advice is the best option: just cut a circle and a rectangle, place one on top of the other and you have a mask of the right shape.

I had thought about doing it this way before, but was afraid of paint seepage at the points where the rectangle overlaps the circle (hence the silhouette cutter on my wishlist, for cutting out masks that already have the correct shape and don't need to be pieced together). 

 

Well, I'll have to give it a try.

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