Tips for creating your own decals

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skupilkinson
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Tips for creating your own decals

Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:33 am

Hi again,

I'm fairly new here, and have only recently restarted my passion for Star Trek models. Before, I was never really interested in acurizing models and thought that my brush skills were top notch. Until I dragged out my old models from storage. They were terrible. I can't believe I ever thought they were good.
Anyway, this time I wanted to do them properly. thing was my brush skills are seriously lacking. I wanted to use the choice of aftermarket decals but didn't want the extra expense of buying them( the wife hates my hobby and wouldn't have sanctioned my buying the aftermaket stuff).
I tried to create my own but with little success. Then one day I tried taking rubbings of the model surface with a sheet of A4 and a HB pencil. I then scanned the rubbings into the computer. Using paint shop pro, I removed excess crap and only kept surface lines and details and from there began to draw over the scans to create my own detail decals. They work quite well and am thinking now of doing sets for others to use.
Thought they'd come in handy for people on a budget. I'm no expert and I know of other free to download decals here but would like to contribute.
Anyway, thought I'd share my discovery with you.
There was no need for the story but I do tend to go on a little.

Hope it comes in handy.

Skip

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John P
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Post by John P » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:02 am

Time to ditch the wife!

;)

m5multitronic
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Post by m5multitronic » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:28 am

Nah, no need to ditch her....

Tell her she's right about modeling: it's way too small-time and inexpensive for your tastes. Tell her you've decided to take up playing in a rock band. First, you'll need to take expensive lessons, and practice (at high volumes) constantly. Then you'll need several thousand dollars worth of equipment. Once you put the band together, you'll have to get together with them and practice even more. And, just to be fair, about once a month, the whole group will come take over the living room for a week or two, and practice at your house every other night. Every year or so you'll need a brand-new, thousand dollar guitar, or effects processor, or amp, etc. And be sure to pick the prettiest young girl you know (aside from your wife) to be your stage tech.....

She'll either kill you, divorce you, or --best of all possible scenarios-- decide that modeling is a pretty unobtrusive hobby after all! :D
"Come now, my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest?"
Kenneth Patchen, "But Even So"

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:42 am

Now Now gents,

She's not bad at all. She just hates this hobby. I have a tendancy to jump from hobby tohobby and back again so she doesn't really have the patience. Plus we're due to move house so we've been saving up for that too.
Anyway, the story wasn't important, I was just trying to share my tip. It may come in handy to someone.

If anyone's read my other post about 1701-D decals could you reply to it. I'd really like the advice.

Thanks
Skip

DocTor
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Post by DocTor » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:44 am

No, tell her you want to buy and restore an old sports car. You'll need to take over the garage AND driveway and use all your retirement savings as well. When she gets mad, tell that you love her and to make her happy, you just go back to building models.

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Arthur Pendragon
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Post by Arthur Pendragon » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:59 am

All my decals are made this way.

First, buy some Firsket film.

Then, cut some pieces, and rub over the model, where the decal should be.

With a 2B pencil, trace the detail or countour you want.

Scan, and then start your desing work.

Use a high definition setting (800 to 1000 dpi). The images will become heavy, but the quality of the printed image is outstanding.


The true and most important fact in doing a decal, is to have a REAL planification of the area covered by the decal. I ONLY can be obtained with a real planification, made over the model part.

:wink:
Last edited by Arthur Pendragon on Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
For in much wisdom there is much grief; and he who increases knowledge, increases sorrow.
Ecclesiastes, 1:18

CaptainHawk1

Re: Tips for creating your own decals

Post by CaptainHawk1 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:22 am

skupilkinson wrote:Hi again,

I'm fairly new here, and have only recently restarted my passion for Star Trek models. Before, I was never really interested in acurizing models and thought that my brush skills were top notch. Until I dragged out my old models from storage. They were terrible. I can't believe I ever thought they were good.
Boy, does this describe me to a "T."
Anyway, this time I wanted to do them properly. thing was my brush skills are seriously lacking. I wanted to use the choice of aftermarket decals but didn't want the extra expense of buying them( the wife hates my hobby and wouldn't have sanctioned my buying the aftermaket stuff).
2 things: first I tried to sneak $185.00 of aftermarket parts/decals past the wife on the credit card and it when over like a fart in Church. I realized that if I had just ordered what I needed for the particular model that I was working on on (instead of buying for the next 3 projects after this), she wouldn't have cared. But, like a dope I bought it all at once and had my a$$ handed to me. My advice is that she probably won't care if you do it a little at a time. Second, my wife doesn't hate the hobby, she hates the fact that I'm not spending time with her because I'm working on the 1701-A. She also has no use for Trek, though, but that's another story. Anywhoooooo... I've learned how to balance bench time with wife-time (which is easy to do because my wife is 8 months pregnant and naps a lot) and it's working out well. I also do a lot of chores around the house and home improvement projects so she keeps off my back about the bench time. I have discoverd that a successful marriage for a man is defined by being able to balance your time perfectly so you don't piss off your wife.
I tried to create my own but with little success. Then one day I tried taking rubbings of the model surface with a sheet of A4 and a HB pencil. I then scanned the rubbings into the computer. Using paint shop pro, I removed excess crap and only kept surface lines and details and from there began to draw over the scans to create my own detail decals. They work quite well and am thinking now of doing sets for others to use.
Thought they'd come in handy for people on a budget. I'm no expert and I know of other free to download decals here but would like to contribute.
Anyway, thought I'd share my discovery with you.
There was no need for the story but I do tend to go on a little.

Hope it comes in handy.

Skip
All good, brother! Hey, post some pics so we can see how they came out!

-Shawn :smoke:

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:57 am

I say you've got it good. I'm a full time dad so I do all chores, look after the kids and shop for food. My other half is career minded so works alot. When she's home though, she wants me all to herself which is nice. However, it's sods law that she happens to have the night off when I've got some qualitiy time planned with my models.
About spending the money, she can't see why I even need to buy aftermarket decals. Shje says,' DON'T YOU GET STICKERS WITH THE MODEL?' Stickers? No matter how often I try to include her in my hobby, that comment just goes to show that she doesn't listen.

Besides I enjoy designing the decals. It gives me a break from sanding or painting.

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Keptin Barnes
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Post by Keptin Barnes » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:31 pm

What is with it with these wives? Geez! These women are really weird. I hear it from men a lot, "I can't do this because my wife'll get angry." "I have to get rid of my RX-7 because my wife says I don't love her."
Then she goes off and buys $200 dollars worth of shoes that she already has "...but these are in different colors. That's why."
Ugh!! :x

Holy Chrome!! I mean c'mon women, get your priorities straight. All yer husbands are doing is wanting to buy models, or aftermarket parts, or decals. At least they aren't out with other women, or spending $2000 on a fur coat (for the other woman).
He's at home, enjoying himself. While you are in the house as well.

Argh! :[

Sorry. Women like that just bug me (and my sister as well. She's a mechanic). And before some of you may be upset, First, I'm a girl. Second, I know you guys love your wives, and that is great! I just wish they'd be more understanding. Third, I just needed to get that off my chest. Now I'm done :).

Those of you who have an understanding wife, and those of you who have ones who may even join you in your hobby. Like John and Linda. Congrats! :) Not all of us females have a problem with money being spent on a very worthwhile hobby.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound as though I am flaming or trying to start a fight. I'll shut up now. Again, Sorry. :oops:

Anyway...Skup, let's see some of your decals. You've got my interest peaked. I wanna see, I wanna see. =P~
"Now Father Jack. What do you say to a nice cup of tea?"
"Feck off, Cup!!"

Namaste--The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you. We are One. :please:

NEW STORY PUBLISHED! Check it out. My first Novelette!. April Welles:

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:38 pm

Maybe I should've married you. Ha Ha.

Give me an hour or so to get the kids to bed and I'll see if I can host some pics somewhere. Any recommendations?

Be warned, I've only just starte trying this so my first attempt needs some work. I just wanted to try it out and then saw the potential.

Skip

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Keptin Barnes
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Post by Keptin Barnes » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:49 pm

I have my pics hosted by www.webshots.com.

After I have uploaded my pics, I open the particular pic (to make it bigger) and highlight the address in the Address bar. Copy it, and paste it into this Starship Modeler Message area.

That seems to be the easiest way.

Sorry if I seem to be patronizing you. That is not my intent. It's just that some people aren't certain how to link their pictures to this forum (I didn't for a long time. ;) ).

I am waiting with baited breath (ewwww. That sounds gross :sick: ).
"Now Father Jack. What do you say to a nice cup of tea?"
"Feck off, Cup!!"

Namaste--The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you. We are One. :please:

NEW STORY PUBLISHED! Check it out. My first Novelette!. April Welles:

More of my builds:
http://s209.photobucket.com/albums/bb10 ... oductions/

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:54 pm

Not patronized at all, don't worry. I know how to link, just needed a decent host.

Just let me get the kids to bed.
Thanks.

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Keptin Barnes
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Post by Keptin Barnes » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:57 pm

YW 8)
"Now Father Jack. What do you say to a nice cup of tea?"
"Feck off, Cup!!"

Namaste--The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you. We are One. :please:

NEW STORY PUBLISHED! Check it out. My first Novelette!. April Welles:

More of my builds:
http://s209.photobucket.com/albums/bb10 ... oductions/

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:19 pm

Ok, I've posted some pics.

The first link here is for my first attempt. It's nothing to write home about but it got me started. Also it's lost clarity when I saved it as a .JPG.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/553 ... 0978ofpKCS

One of my rubbings.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/553 ... 0978vtFsBz

This is of my current project, resizing arthur pendragon's decals for the 1/2500 3 piece set. I'll be asking his consent before making these available. If anyone's interested then let me know. Otherwise I'll just use them for myself.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/553 ... 0978IoMLwv

I also would like to do decals for the Romulan Warbird, Ent-C, and Ent-B.

Skip

Tracy Mann
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Post by Tracy Mann » Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:33 pm

Here's the very first graphic decal I ever made...

http://groups.msn.com/USSAbsolute/f5ati ... lbumlist=2

The project is almost done to! Been sitting on it for over 3 years now. Looks like it'll be a success.

Tracy

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:37 pm

Are you talking about the tiger head? It's very nice and looks great on the jet.

Tracy Mann
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Post by Tracy Mann » Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:41 pm

Yes, as well as all markings currently on the model at this time.

http://groups.msn.com/USSAbsolute/f5ati ... otoID=1437

Tracy

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:43 pm

I must say that I'm strictly a sci-fi man but, All modelling is a great hobby. I think I may still have a tornado in my attic?

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USSARCADIA
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Post by USSARCADIA » Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:54 pm

I may have to use these techniques for my own need, decals for this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72/u ... erandE.jpg

I have Tomita's decals for the saucer, but need to custom make something for the rest. I'm sure I can trace and scan, but I'm lost at the PSP stage. Any help would be greatly appreciated. This carrier project needs to be finished.
Did you eat your Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs this morning?

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:08 am

What sort of decals are we talking about?

trekjunkie
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Post by trekjunkie » Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:47 am

m5multitronic wrote:Nah, no need to ditch her....

Tell her she's right about modeling: it's way too small-time and inexpensive for your tastes. Tell her you've decided to take up playing in a rock band. First, you'll need to take expensive lessons, and practice (at high volumes) constantly. Then you'll need several thousand dollars worth of equipment. Once you put the band together, you'll have to get together with them and practice even more. And, just to be fair, about once a month, the whole group will come take over the living room for a week or two, and practice at your house every other night. Every year or so you'll need a brand-new, thousand dollar guitar, or effects processor, or amp, etc. And be sure to pick the prettiest young girl you know (aside from your wife) to be your stage tech.....

She'll either kill you, divorce you, or --best of all possible scenarios-- decide that modeling is a pretty unobtrusive hobby after all! :D
Wow, this makes me realize how cool my wife is. While I do not play in a band, I do have a full guitar setup...
DocTor wrote:No, tell her you want to buy and restore an old sports car. You'll need to take over the garage AND driveway and use all your retirement savings as well. When she gets mad, tell that you love her and to make her happy, you just go back to building models.
And I have a '77 formula sitting in the garage under restoration, all of this on top of the extensive model collection, she even buys models for me to build for her, she loves showing them off!

Sorry to hijack the thread, just had to share after reading all of that :oops:

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John P
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Post by John P » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:08 am

Arthur Pendragon wrote: Use a high definition setting (800 to 1000 dpi). The images will become heavy, but the quality of the printed image is outstanding.
File size is TINY if you use a vector program like CorelDRAW (or Illustrator for people silly enough to own Macs ;)), and you can print them out any size with perfect sharpness.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't know how anyone can do something that's supposed to be as sharp and well-defined as markings for a model in a raster program.

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Keptin Barnes
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Post by Keptin Barnes » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:28 am

Hey Skup,
Those are nice looking designs and renderings. It'll be nice to see them released. Hopefully yours will be easier to print out. I have Photoshop 7 with 512M of RAM and I still can't print some of the decals available here. Apparently, I don't have enough memory. It's a bummer.
I even had a professional look at them and he couldn't get them to work and he works with graphics in PS all day long (plus when he gets home).

Oh, well. Yours are looking good. Keep it up :) :thumbsup:
"Now Father Jack. What do you say to a nice cup of tea?"
"Feck off, Cup!!"

Namaste--The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you. We are One. :please:

NEW STORY PUBLISHED! Check it out. My first Novelette!. April Welles:

More of my builds:
http://s209.photobucket.com/albums/bb10 ... oductions/

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skupilkinson
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Post by skupilkinson » Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:21 pm

Can you not just reduce the size by say 50%? The image should print the same size if you select A4 paper. It'll just reduce the pixel count and therefore the memory? Being as Pendragon decals are of a large dpi the image shoudn't lose too much clarity when printing.
Correct me if I'm wrong.

Four Mad Men
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Post by Four Mad Men » Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:44 pm

Does your wife have a hobby? I've found that a reciprocal arrangements works well. She spends XYZ on her hobby you spend XYZ on yours. Of course being the gentlemen that you are you let her spend more than you do. I've got a workshop and a ton of tools aquired in this way.

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Feyman Shipyards
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Post by Feyman Shipyards » Wed May 30, 2007 3:01 pm

So, does anyone have a good recommendation for ink jet decal paper? I'm planning to start making my own decals for names and numbering. Now I need to know the best stock to print on for the thinnest and best adhering decals.

Thanks for the advice...Michael
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NNYGamer
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Post by NNYGamer » Wed May 30, 2007 3:16 pm

I just printed my first decals a few weeks ago, they went on the Traveling Model Project Team #5's Black Cat. Far as I know they worked fine, I know they were very sharp when I sent them out. I used an inkjet and the paper was what came in the Testors kit. I designed them at 600DPI, saved as psp file (since I have psp9).

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