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The Making of a Decal Part 1 Don Prudhomme 1/24 Snake I front engine dragster

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I'm not related to the "andy" in the first post ( I can't even see the first post..lol).. But my tiny little side "hobby/kinda business" is Andy's Alps Decals .I'm a prize sponser in the SMA big spring contest going on. yes I have some guitar decals floating out there on the internet along with a bunch of model rocketry stuff

I have 2 machines and I also have a vinyl cutter as the good Dr. Cranky brought up ..

vinyl cutters and the alps printer require vector drawings ,,, even if you just want to draw your own decals and have them printed and/or cut it would be very beneficial to learn a vector program rather than spend that valuable time learning photoshop or any of the other raster based programs.

since I'm here I will offer to do some decals ... the reason I don't advertise or have a website is, I started mainly to do them for myself and a few friends.

It seems like every category is covered by the other decal companys already available ,, and I don't desire to compete with them.

sadly that would probably be the only way to make a few bucks back from all the investment I've made.

so If someone has something they need that may not be available elsewhere I will be happy to attempt it ... I'm pretty good with drawing up decals.

the cost ,, well that depends on how complicated or time consuming the job might be.. I have a regular job like everyone else here...heheh.

I just charge what any other company would charge ... If you have something drawn up (in any format) it really helps me get them done and out quickly.

In most cases no matter how good the artwork ,,If it's not vector I have to re draw it .( and often have to redraw those too.! )

I'm not in it to make money ( not many alps decal makers are making profit worth bragging about), but I actually like drawing decals and keeping my illustrator chops up.

As far as the Alps printers ...they are not available anymore,, not new ones atleast ... and finding a good used one is like a needle in a haystack...

also it's like playing the odds if it even works properly,, and doesn't have a pixel or 2 out,, that leave hairline streaks in every decal.

as fas as the cartridges ,, they are still being produced for at least the next 4 years... but the cost goes up every other month it seems ,,, even tho there are plenty out there... If anyone needs cartridges for their alps,, shoot me a message and I can direct you to the main suppliers and best prices.

I was able to build up a fair supply thru the last few years , buying a batch of colors once a month for a good while (to help ease the pain)..lol

sooo if someone needs some decals ,, shoot me a message ,, I'm not working heavy hours at the current time ...

any questions about decals ,, printers ,software... ect .... go ahead and post it.I've been around the 'ole decal block a few times by now.

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Cheap-o that I am, I found a way to do inkjet decals with white areas. It does require a little patience and, depending on the decal, a steady hand. All it boils down to is this: print a reversed version of your decal on clear decal paper, clearcoat, and then brush paint the white and lighter colored areas with Testor's flat white. Let dry and then simply apply the decal paint side down. Here's a few I did this way using a ten-year-old 50 dollar HP printer...

The Pennzoil decal is from a kit sheet but the Frankenstein image was done using the method described.


These decals were done the same way except they were painted with decanted Testor's one-coat Inca gold...didn't even clearcoat 'em.


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Cranky, are you talking about a machine to die-cut vinyl?

If so, you could only do one-color "decals" (stickers, actually).... the color that the vinyl sheet is. Right???

Wow, this post went all over the place. Since the original theme of the post is lost and I'm chiming in four pages in I simply wanted to respond to one issue. I don't know a lot about home grown decals as I can merely create simplified decals on an inexpensive ink jet printer that suit my needs but I did come across a gentleman on another forum that was posting pictures of his drag builds utilizing vinyl cut decals. They looked great so I inquired about getting some made for my own use. What you see below is primarily vinyl decal. The flames and the side panels (which are multi color one piece decal) are vinyl and the contingencies are all waterslide. I don't remember what the exact thickness was listed at but I can tell you that they are super thin and don't look like stickers at all. You do have to get it right the first time to avoid any issues with screwing up the decal if it has to be moved but other than that went on with little effort. They are even thin enough to burnish down into any contours and they hold that shape. Yeah, a little bit more money than conventional decals but if the decal doesn't exist one may be willing to pay to get what you want, especially if it works. These ran me $35 for the set and I had another set done for a future pro mod build that cost $50 to have done. This is probably not for everyone but I at least wanted to show that vinyl decals do work.

I don't know what type of machinery is used to create these so your guess is as good as mine.



Edited by 1320wayne
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