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When Decals Might be Preferable


MikeC
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This may seem an odd topic for a forum dedicated to paint masks, but bear with me please. 

 

I take it that most, if not all, of us here are interested in masking and painting markings because we believe (rightly imo) that it give a better representation of a real aircraft's markings, and we enjoy the process (or we wouldn't do it).  But thinking about a Spitfire I'm just embarking on, it occurred to me that the red-doped fabric patches over the gun ports are better represented by decals.  The real thing was a doped fabric patch, so the decal is actually better at representing that; and a decal will shrink slightly as it dries (particularly if setting solutions are used) and thus settle into the gun port - again, like the real thing.

 

This made me think about other occasions when decals may be preferable to masks, and I can think of three:

 

  • As above, Spitfire gun ports: and many other types, of course;
  • Where you have to, such as:
    • Very small markings like data stencils - often these are decals irl anyway, I've even seen them with 1:1 silvering;
    • Complex markings like unit badges which are beyond the capability of the cutting machine or the modeller (without intending to be derogatory to anyone);
  • Dayglo strips on RAF trainers in the 1960s-70s scheme: these were adhesive strips (like Fablon) irl, and thus a decal will represent their slight thickness better.

 

Can anyone think of any more?

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Agreed entirely about stencils, there's no way the Silhouette cutter nor the vinyl can handle such small letters and numbers, but gun ports I would cut out of thin paper and secure with Gator glue or similar.  That way you can control the shape, size and colour of the patch.

Max

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On 2/26/2022 at 3:11 PM, Mozart said:

Agreed entirely about stencils, there's no way the Silhouette cutter nor the vinyl can handle such small letters and numbers, but gun ports I would cut out of thin paper and secure with Gator glue or similar.  That way you can control the shape, size and colour of the patch.

Max

Never thought of that,  perhaps I'll give it a go.

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