Saturday, May 7, 2011

Modeling: Making Custom Decals

Most, if not all, Games Workshop kits come with water slide transfer sheets that allow for some customization on your miniatures. However, while these sheets are a great starting point they might not provide everything you are looking for. For the hobbyists out there looking for something unique or a very specific symbol, type of lettering or name you can try and search through thousands of decal sheets out there for kits from airplanes to tanks, but its far easier to do what the manufacturers do - make your own.

Anyone know where I can get some WWI ammo crate markings in 1/6th scale?

First find out if you have an inkjet or a laserjet printer, the water slide transfer paper is specific to the type of printer, laserjet paper wont work in an inkjet. Once you know your printer, go Here you can buy 75 sheets for 115 bucks, OR go to ebay and get 5 sheets of the stuff for 5 bucks (I got mine on ebay and I'm still using the same first order a year later)

Next, find the art you want to use.

Print out a 'test' transfer on plain paper, cut it out and make sure its the right size and shape. After 3 or 4 tries, you will have it sized correctly for what you want.

Once you have your art sized correctly to use the ink paper, make sure you put the art at the bottom of the page so you can use the page again! I have been using the same page for the last 6 months by working my way up the page slowly from bottom to top and not wasting an entire page each time I want a transfer made.

Now cut out the water slide transfers and give them a light coat of Matte Finnish. You will need to give it 3 light coats of Matte Finnish to seal the ink onto the paper. If you try and use the decals without matte finish, as soon as you put the decals into water the color will run everywhere and ruin the transfer!

Apply the water slide transfers and blow / pat them dry. Next apply your decal solvent to put them in place permanently! Matte finish the mini and you are good to go!

Squadron Command Sentinel (Palms):

Wing Man 1 (Jolly Roger):

Wing Man 2 (Pheonix):

Little tricks and tips like this will really help you add a bit of personality to your forces without breaking the bank or burning up tons of time searching for a manufacturer made sheet that meets your requirements.

Hope it helps!


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