Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

Custom dry-transfer lettering and graphics...including white


Recommended Posts

This may have been posted before, but I don't recall seeing it.

I've used this system to make custom-lettered aircraft panels and industrial design presentation and show prototypes, and though it's a little bit of a PITA to learn, it works very well.

I'm seeing it being used more and more by modelers, so I thought I'd pass it on.

The complete "kit" is about $100, and you'll also need a LASER printer and a small laminating machine.

https://decalprofx.com/index.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess you'd have to clear coat after application to a model body?

You can if you want, but you don't have to.

They seem to hold up pretty well on aircraft instrument panels with no topcoat.

They're not much thicker than a normal water-slide decal, and you can barely feel the edge with the tip or your finger.

Model railroaders have been using them for at least 40 years (I used to use the Letraset line made for graphic artists), and I understand military modelers use them too now.

Here's a company that will make custom dry transfers from your own artwork if you don't want to do it at home.

NOTE: I have not actually tried the ones in the link below

https://imagetransfers.com/blog/how-our-dry-transfers-different-from-letraset/

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an Alps MicroDry printer owner and a member of couple of Alps groups online I have been aware of DecalProFX system for several years. Alps owners have been looking for something to replace our aging Alps printers. From what we determined This system is quite cumbersome to set up and nowhere near the capabilities of Alps. Not something we found as a viable replacement for Alps printers. But I guess if someone starts fresh, it might be a viable option.

Their website is a pain in the butt to navigate, but watch all the related tutorial and videos to see if this is something you want to use.

Yes, dry transfers have been around for decades and used for hobby markings.  I have used them myself too.  I have also applied dry transfers to clear decal film and than applied them to the model as a decal.  It is often easier to do that then trying to rub the try transfer directly on a uneven surface of a model.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is interesting to me--I used dry transfer lettering from a local office supply store on a rat rod a number of years ago. I bought the only 2 sheets they had, ancient yellowed artifacts buried on a rack of stuff that hadn't been properly cleared since the '80s, judging from the products surrounding it. I missed out on that era of graphic design, managed to come in about 6-8 years after computers had completely taken over.  The dry transfers were fun to use! They applied reasonably well to a rough matte surface, which made them superior to waterslide decals in that particular application...no matte topcoat necessary.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an Alps MicroDry printer owner and a member of couple of Alps groups online I have been aware of DecalProFX system for several years. Alps owners have been looking for something to replace our aging Alps printers. From what we determined This system is quite cumbersome to set up and nowhere near the capabilities of Alps. Not something we found as a viable replacement for Alps printers. But I guess if someone starts fresh, it might be a viable option.

Their website is a pain in the butt to navigate, but watch all the related tutorial and videos to see if this is something you want to use.

Yes, dry transfers have been around for decades and used for hobby markings.  I have used them myself too.  I have also applied dry transfers to clear decal film and than applied them to the model as a decal.  It is often easier to do that then trying to rub the try transfer directly on a uneven surface of a model.

The system is somewhat "cumbersome" to learn and takes several steps (I believe I referred to it as a PITA) but once it's mastered, it really only takes a few minutes to make a world-class custom transfer. Owners of $100,000+ homebuilt and hot-rod airplanes can be a tough audience to play to.  ;)

Having been away from the hobby world for a long time, and having missed the whole Alps-printer phase, and also having used the DecalPro system very effectively on commercial projects where absolutely professional results were mandatory, I thought it might be of interest to some modelers here...as it's being used in this field more and more.

Another upside of dry-transfers is that they have no clear carrier film once they're on the model.

There's no worry about edge "silvering" because there's no clear edge.

The downside is that they can be difficult or impossible to get snuggled down over raised details like rivets...which are prevalent on railroad models. Pete's idea of applying transfers to decal film may just be the hot setup for that. I hadn't thought of it. :D

And it is a kinda PITA, like learning anything new.  B)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Bill - it is good to hear from an actual user of the system. The other possible problem is the resolution. I make decals mostly for N-scale model trains (1:160 scale). Some of the lettering can be really small (where the letters are about 0.015" high). I'm not sure if that system is capable of such fine resolution. Plus it really is quite messy when compared to Alps. But as I said, if that is the only viable (and affordable) option, then go for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...