How to Make Custom Decals

By Terri Deno
Make Custom Decals

Building scale models is a pastime for many hobbyists, but building the model is just one part of the process. Many scale modelers also enjoy the process of customizing their creations with custom decals. These decals can show the creator's name, branded logo, or any other design she wants to feature on the body of a scale model. Custom decals are easy to make and apply to the model with the right tools at hand.

Purchase decal paper. This type of specialty paper is available online or from scale model shops. The paper comes in either white or clear and is made for both inkjet and laser printers.

Print your custom logo or design onto the paper. It is important to print a test page of your design before printing on the decal paper. This allows minor adjustments to be made for the size and shape of the design.

Spray the clear acrylic paint onto the decal sheet. This seals the ink onto the paper. For best results, use a glossy finish instead of a matte finish.

Dry the decal sheets overnight. Once the sheets are no longer limp or damp, it is dry enough to cut out the decals and place on the model.

Apply the decals to the model. Use Micro-Set to affix the decal to the surface and a dab of Micro-Sol to soften the decal to conform to the texture of the model surface as it dries.

Warning

Choose decal paper made for your specific type of printer. Inkjet decal sheets and laser printer sheets are not interchangeable.

About the Author

Terri Deno is a freelance writer living near Indianapolis. She holds a B.A. in English from Ball State University. She has a passion for research; this passion is the driving force for writing about antiques, literature, genealogy, shopping and travel.