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What can I use for raised letters?


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#1 mopar68

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:53 AM

G'day fellow modellers :D

I've recently started playing around with scratch building wheels in various scales, and now I'm starting to think about scratching some tyres too.

I'm confident about getting some form of generic tyre shaped up, but I'd like to go a bit further with the detail if I can. All potential copyright infringements aside, what could I use to get the raised sidewall letters?

I've spoken to a mate who does vinyl cutting, but his attempts to cut stuff that small have proven unsuccessful. Now that I think of it though, I'm not sure if it's like that with all vinyl cutters or just the bigger ones? He has a pretty big one I think, for doing signs and stuff.

I've looked at resin decals, but it seems no one does even generic letters.

Custom PE would be awesome, but I imagine getting that done would turn out expensive. Even doing it myself with one of those kits would probably cost a bit by the time I finally got a useable piece(s).

Obviously cutting the designs from styrene wouldn't be impossible, but it certainly wouldn't be easy.

Ideas anyone?
Thanks ;)

#2 southpier

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:50 AM

some railroad guys have the courage to use these: http://www.railwaymo...log/materials/7

these are 2 mm which is about 2" in 1/25 scale. style leaves a little to be desired

http://www.railwaymo...ontent/2mm-highhttp://www.railwaymo...ontent/2mm-high

pickup an Optivisor if you don't already have one!

Edited by southpier, 30 September 2012 - 04:54 AM.


#3 Chas SCR

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:10 AM

you can do the scrip in solder .015 and it comes out real nice. This is how I change the engrave valve covers to a raise letters for the valve covers.

#4 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:28 PM

you can do the scrip in solder .015 and it comes out real nice. This is how I change the engrave valve covers to a raise letters for the valve covers.


Photos please.....I'd really LOVE to see the technique.

#5 Harry P.

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:34 PM

It's true that the lettering is raised up off the surface on the real tires, but at the scale you're dealing with that effect would be almost invisible. Decals are the obvious way to go.

#6 Chief Joseph

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:05 PM

Photoetch is how I do it. The letters are raised 0005" off the surface of the sidewall, which translates into about 0.12" in model car scale. That's about double the thickness of actual white letters, but it works well for painting. 0.005" is about as thick as I like to go to preserve fine detail, and I use a relief-etch technique that keeps all my letters together with the proper spacing and arc. Photoetching is single best skill I've ever learned for scale modeling.

#7 mopar68

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:04 AM

Thanks Jim. I agree limited styles, but it's something at least. Might be worth looking into more, thanks :)
Yea, I'm on the lookout for an Optivisor, ever since I saw Dr Cranky using one in his vids :D At least I think it was an Optivisor :wacko: lol

Genius idea Chas, thanks :D

Thanks Harry, you're probably right actually. I'll get my mate to do up a few tyre decals soon and try those out. If I were to sell at some stage though, would people rather use decals or raised letters? I suppose like you say, they'd be too thick to be realistic, so most serious modellers would probably rather use decals.

Thanks Joseph. I don't suppose you sell any of your PE work? I can think of many parts other than tyres where raised letters/designs would be useful too.

Thanks for the replies and suggestions fellas, I appreciate it ;)