Making Your Own Custom Decals

By: Ed Clayman wclayman@houston.rr.com or Tel: 281-530-8925

Recent advances in imaging technology allow you to create, or recreate images for  placement onto a flying scale model. This process is the same as that you experienced when you built your first plastic model. Placing those decals exactly where the box top showed they'd appeared on the real airplane... more or less! This article describes a readily available method for creating your own custom decals.

In recent history, or since 1930, decals have been composed of four components:

                  1. Paper, 2. Mucilage, 3. Carrier, 4. Image

1. Paper: The support vehicle for the mucilage, carrier, and image. Paper comes in multiple thickness, grades, opacities, and colors.

2.
Mucilage: Suspension system for the carrier and image, acting as a lubricant for release of carrier from paper onto surface of the aircraft model. Typically, the mucilage is translucent, if not transparent, to not contribute to discoloration of the aircraft finish.

3.
Carrier: Here to fore typically lacquer (clear or opaque) painted onto mucilage in a pattern with a perimeter just outside of image.

4.
Image: Miniature text & artwork appearing on the original 1:1 scale aircraft, which is desired to be replicated onto surface of the scale model, making the replication of the aircraft more accurate, attractive and witness to the builder's skill and craftsmanship.

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