Tuesday, November 4, 2014

40K HOBBY TIPS: How to Make Custom Decals


How to Make Your Very Own
Custom Decals

by Thorgrim Bloodskull

Editor's Note: SMG has a new blog contributor! Please welcome Thorgrim Bloodskull 
to our humble roster of 40K authors. 

Greetings fellow hobbyists, Thorgrim Bloodskull here with a tutorial on how you can make your own custom decals.
Have a Space Marine Chapter of your own creation? Do you want custom decal  iconography for the shoulders, vehicles, terrain or whatever? Read on.

What you will need:

                Computer with Power Point
                Inkjet Printer (Must be ink and not laser)
                Decal transfer paper ( I use Testors from Hobby Lobby, don’t forget that 40% off coupon)
                Decal  Bonder Spray (again, Testors)
                Stock images for use.

First thing you’ll want to do is find a simple image. We are working with 28mm scale minis so the image needs to be small; a small image needs to be simple or when you print it the detail will be lost.

Once you have got your image you’ll want to get the size right. I did this using Microsoft’s Power Point.You’ll want to shrink it about as small as you can using the image resize function. The Aquila’s I used for my Knights of Terra chapter where around .13” x .34” while terminator sized ones where around .2”.

Print one of each size you intend to use on plain white paper then cut and size it to make sure it will fit your intended space. Just one Testors sheet can provide a lot of logos. After insuring the first logo will fit what I copy and pasted it again and again and lined them up in a neat row. You will want to make the logo is sideways (as you’re viewing on PP) because the sheets are not quite 8.5x11. For this reason, you’ll want to copy and paste the image both along the X and Y axis to make sure you are not wasting the decal paper.

Ok, so you have got your image scaled correctly (did some dry runs on plain paper to ensure fit and image clarity) and now ready to print the decal sheets. (A word on printing: ensure you change borders, headers, footers and all that to 0”). Ensure to follow the instructions on the packaging and place the paper in the appropriate direction for your printer.

Print your decal with confidence and let the ink dry overnight.

Using the bonding spray (again, ensure the ink is dry) spray several (I do four) thin layers of the bonding spray. Make sure it is dry in between sprays. Depending on temperature and humidity it can effect drying time but remember to spray, let dry, and then repeat. You will want to ensure that you spray beyond the edges of the paper because the spray is what is sealing your image; you’ll know very quickly if you missed a spot when you cut the decal out and dip it in water. Spray this stuff outdoors because it has a strong odor.

Now you’re ready to rock and roll and apply your decal. I like to use Micro Sol and Micro Set for aid in smooth decal application (follow instruction on the bottle)

I've added some images of the process and how they looks on a few of my Knights of Terra Space Marines as well as a link to my powerpoint file.

Please follow me on Instagram @ThorgrimBloodskull

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