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JockMcPlock

* Mass Bespoke Decals * RECOMMENDATIONS NEEDED

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Posted (edited)

I am looking for some information and possibly recommendations.

 

I have decided to undertake a task of large proportion whereby I will need a lot of bespoke, made to requirement decals.

Having never done this before, I'm not conversant with what the capabilities are out there.

 

Some of the questions I'm looking to have answered are below:

 

  • Are there specialised decal companies that will produce mass orders to client requirements?
  • Are there companies that will create 'nose art' decals from a rough black and white photo? 

 

  • If there are and can to the above - can anyone recommend places/companies or can do it themselves and interested in producing some simple and some very difficult work?

 

To give an idea of what I am looking at having done - I am going to attempt to replicate an entire squadron from World War Two of which my grandfather was a pilot in.

It will just cover the period that he was in the squadron for and this rings out at 52 aircraft, the lost and the survivors.

 

Mac

 

Edited by JockMcPlock
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Mac,

 

Are you after lots of copies of one item, or single copies of a large item (if you see what I mean...?). I've used Draw Decal in Canada for one-off custom-made decals, and the service and prices were very good indeed.

 

I supplied the artwork myself, however, made with Adobe Illustrator.

 

Simon

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6 minutes ago, Simon said:

Mac,

 

Are you after lots of copies of one item, or single copies of a large item (if you see what I mean...?). I've used Draw Decal in Canada for one-off custom-made decals, and the service and prices were very good indeed.

 

I supplied the artwork myself, however, made with Adobe Illustrator.

 

Simon

Hi Simon,

 

I'll edit my original post and add information, but I am looking to create an entire Squadron Plus of aircraft. 

There will be certain elements that will be duplicates, but there will also be quite a few unique parts. 

 

Mac

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Just curious, but what scale and type of aircraft are you looking at?

 

Unless you plan on marketing the printed decals to sell, I would not opt for a mass order.  Even if you did one aircraft per sheet, 52 would not be considered high enough as a small order.  Mass order just means printing out repetitive copies of the same sheet.  Even if you just needed 10 sheets, they would still charge you like it was a low end order (min. 200 sheets?).  Unfortunately these type of printing outfits are the same ones that would offer the best print quality.

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

Your next best bet are those independent decal makers, that tend to be modellers themselves, and own an Alps type printer that is capable of printing white.  They can have decent prices, and usually charge by  sheet size.  Their drawback is limited colours.   From my experience, their colour sample is limited to something like this:

 

w8eUVkY.png

Now of course, if you want a colour that requires 'mixing' at their end, they can screen print, but it won't look good.  The dots will be noticeable, even more so when dealing with lighter colours.  

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

I'm certain some will do the art work for you, but expect your costs to rise.  I can easily see four hours spent on a medium detailed piece of nose art, if not more,  and am certain their hourly rate is more than minimum wage.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

I've not tried Draw Decal, but I wished their site had some info about custom decals, or at least I don't see any?

https://www.drawdecal.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

regards,

Jack

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, JackG said:

Just curious, but what scale and type of aircraft are you looking at?

 

52 in 1/72

4 in 1/48

 

I fully expect to be paying quite a lot for this, and initially I had thought that it will come down to perhaps the independents who have just mastered the skill themselves. 

At this point, I will look anywhere and everywhere. 

Obviously each kit will come with the basic things each aircraft will need, roundells for example, what I am after is the creation of the serial numbers, codes and some nose art that I think will be tricky.

Quote

 

 

 

Edited by JockMcPlock

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If your project is in 1/72 you should start by looking out for the relevant Modeldecal sheets with roundels, fin flashes, serial and code numbers. Many people on here are experts at producing their own decals using computer art programs, colour copiers and/or printers and clear decal sheet.

 

For the 1/48 requirements you could scale up/down from/to the 1/72 sheets.

 

If you let the forum know your specific requirements you'll be amazed at the  spare decals which may wing your way.

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Indeed, seek out aftermarket sheets for the roundels/national markings.  This allows you to concentrate on specifics like nose art, and makes it easier to fit all what you really need on one custom sheet.   Same with fuselage codes, these are already available as sets based on letter height and colour.

 

For serials, yea I can see why you would want that custom created because I wouldn't want to cobble together individual decal numbers for 52 models either. 

 

regards,

Jack

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8 minutes ago, iainpeden said:

If your project is in 1/72 you should start by looking out for the relevant Modeldecal sheets with roundels, fin flashes, serial and code numbers. Many people on here are experts at producing their own decals using computer art programs, colour copiers and/or printers and clear decal sheet.

 

For the 1/48 requirements you could scale up/down from/to the 1/72 sheets.

 

If you let the forum know your specific requirements you'll be amazed at the  spare decals which may wing your way.

I might just do that, collate the information and drop it on a topic to see what can be dug up beforehand.

Each kit will come with the roundells and the generic markings needed, so it should just be a lot of serials and codes - with some nose art.

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I would second the recommendation for Drawdecal. There are others around also. You should have no real problems finding one.  The large companies (as mentioned above) work in units of 100 sheets and would be no use for you. I think what you need more than a decal maker is a decal artist.

We do have some experience in this area but I'm not offering to do 52 sets of serials for you (:->). PM me if you don't get anywhere.

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I’m just curious about the project, what’s the specific unit / squadron and time period that you are hoping to represent in kit form? Sounds like a lot of fun, but possibly could get a little mundane making the same subject matter over and over again. 

 

Cheers and good luck.. Dave 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

I would second the recommendation for Drawdecal. There are others around also. You should have no real problems finding one.  The large companies (as mentioned above) work in units of 100 sheets and would be no use for you. I think what you need more than a decal maker is a decal artist.

We do have some experience in this area but I'm not offering to do 52 sets of serials for you (:->). PM me if you don't get anywhere.

Yes it would seem that for those who know how, the serials and codes will be fairly straightforward and for a company, if they only look at things in excess of 100 sheets of duplications, then someone a little more bespoke is needed.

 

I'll keep you in mind if I have no joy.

1 hour ago, Rabbit Leader said:

I’m just curious about the project, what’s the specific unit / squadron and time period that you are hoping to represent in kit form? Sounds like a lot of fun, but possibly could get a little mundane making the same subject matter over and over again. 

 

Cheers and good luck.. Dave 

Hi Dave,

 

It is 158 Squadron from summer to winter 1944 sporting the Halifax III's.

I do agree that it may turn out to be quite mundane and I had thought of perhaps considering doing a factory line process and construct multiple at once.

I'm also considering having other interested parties construct a few for a fee if that can reduce the numbers.

There's also individual dioramas to consider amongst this also.

Edited by JockMcPlock

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28 minutes ago, JockMcPlock said:

It is 158 Squadron from summer to winter 1944 sporting the Halifax III's.

And I thought it was possibly a Spitfire or Hurricane squadron.... Halifax's??? my lord, you do have your work cut-out.

Each build will take that much longer to assemble, mask and paint. Can you actually lay your hands on 52 Halifax's 

Seriously, besides the decals, I'd also consider the possibility of making a whole series of canopy and camouflage masks as these will save you serious time. 

 

Cheers and even more good luck.. Dave 

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10 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:

And I thought it was possibly a Spitfire or Hurricane squadron.... Halifax's??? my lord, you do have your work cut-out.

Each build will take that much longer to assemble, mask and paint. Can you actually lay your hands on 52 Halifax's 

Seriously, besides the decals, I'd also consider the possibility of making a whole series of canopy and camouflage masks as these will save you serious time. 

 

Cheers and even more good luck.. Dave 

That might not be such a bad idea infact, to have the masking sets. Very good point!

 

I have about twenty 1/72 Halifaxes that I've gradually picked up from eBay over the last two years, and not spent more than £10 per kit, so i'll continue to trickle them in that way until such time as I run out and need to pay a little more to get more through the door.

The four 1/48s I have were a little more expensive at about £200 a kit.

 

I still have the individual dioramas to think about...

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I'd second getting the aftermarket codes and serials - it'll save you time, if not money! Xtradecals do excellent sheets of RAF codes and serials.

 

The tricky part is the nose-art. How many of the 52 Halifaxes actually have nose art? And do you have good quality photos of the nose art itself? This is the decal I got printed by Drawdecal for my R.A.F. Liberator:

 

 

 

lib-160

 

Simon

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Simon said:

I'd second getting the aftermarket codes and serials - it'll save you time, if not money! Xtradecals do excellent sheets of RAF codes and serials.

 

The tricky part is the nose-art. How many of the 52 Halifaxes actually have nose art? And do you have good quality photos of the nose art itself? This is the decal I got printed by Drawdecal for my R.A.F. Liberator:

 

Simon

Very nice final product with that decal.

 

Out of the 52, as far as I know, just 11 of them have nose art and one of those is already produced with kits. 'Friday the 13th', so that saves a job on that one.

The images are small in size but you can work from them. Without knowing what is too small to work from or indeed the actual process of creating the image, I couldn't say for sure if they're suitable enough, though I have shown them to someone on here and they believe it should be possible.

I've just tallied the serials and letters needed - 112 serials and 1073 individual letters

Edited by JockMcPlock

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An ambitious undertaking.  Hope you have factored in the necessary house extemsion.

 

In your position I would have a chat with Ray Horwell of Fantasy Printshop (FP). 

 

https://www.fantasyprintshop.co.uk/about-model-decals/

 

FP are the printers behind quite a number of the smaller scale transfer producers.  I found Ray very helpful when I was considering getting a batch of Yellow FAA code letters and numbers run off.  If he can't help, at least you'll have a much clearer understanding of the practicality and cost of what you're proposing.  Note that the website says minimum order is 25 A4 sheets, which is pretty reasonable since a lot of printers won't look at you if you're talking quantities of less than 1000.

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1 hour ago, Seahawk said:

An ambitious undertaking.  Hope you have factored in the necessary house extemsion.

 

In your position I would have a chat with Ray Horwell of Fantasy Printshop (FP). 

 

https://www.fantasyprintshop.co.uk/about-model-decals/

 

FP are the printers behind quite a number of the smaller scale transfer producers.  I found Ray very helpful when I was considering getting a batch of Yellow FAA code letters and numbers run off.  If he can't help, at least you'll have a much clearer understanding of the practicality and cost of what you're proposing.  Note that the website says minimum order is 25 A4 sheets, which is pretty reasonable since a lot of printers won't look at you if you're talking quantities of less than 1000.

Thank you very much.

They certainly will take up a wee bit of space, but now i have an excuse to renovate one of the outbuildings.

 

I will give that place a buzz and see what they say.

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Posted (edited)

Have exchanged a few emails with Greg from DrawDecal, and he informs that the digital silk printer does not rely on dots to replicate colours - now that has me excited.  

 

Artwork has to be created in CMYK form, with white as a separate layer.    Client must do the prep work for the artwork, and 'pricing starts at $25 for an 8 x 12' page plus shipping.'  Am assuming those are Canadian dollars.

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG

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10 hours ago, JackG said:

Have exchanged a few emails with Greg from DrawDecal, and he informs that the digital silk printer does not rely on dots to replicate colours - now that has me excited.  

 

Artwork has to be created in CMYK form, with white as a separate layer.    Client must do the prep work for the artwork, and 'pricing starts at $25 for an 8 x 12' page plus shipping.'  Am assuming those are Canadian dollars.

 

regards,

Jack

Ahhh.. $US, Greg is in the USA

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Ray, thanks for the correction, I must have misunderstood when Canada was mentioned in post #2.

 

regards,

Jack

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12 hours ago, JackG said:

Have exchanged a few emails with Greg from DrawDecal, and he informs that the digital silk printer does not rely on dots to replicate colours - now that has me excited.  

 

Artwork has to be created in CMYK form, with white as a separate layer.    Client must do the prep work for the artwork, and 'pricing starts at $25 for an 8 x 12' page plus shipping.'  Am assuming those are Canadian dollars.

 

regards,

Jack

Thank you for the heads up. 

If that's the route to go, I'll need to find an artist to do the pre leg work as that's beyond my skills.

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1 hour ago, JackG said:

Ray, thanks for the correction, I must have misunderstood when Canada was mentioned in post #2.

 

regards,

Jack

No Problems Jack, I had read that post  but missed the Canada part. Greg is definitely based in the USA.

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Sorry, my mistake in post #2. Greg is indeed in the USA...d'oh! :doh:

 

Simon

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Simon, no problems - very thankful you brought up this decal maker.   Even at $25 USD as the starting price for a full sheet is still considered a good deal. 

 

regards,

Jack

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