MAKING MARKINGS FOR PLAIN PAPER OR TRANSFERS
MAKING THE MARKINGS
The markings are made using Microsoft Word shapes (found on the toolbar at the bottom of the Word screen) and various Fill, Line and Font colours. Lettering can be inserted in a Text Box and sized using the Font Size (try 100 at first). Different Fonts can be explored to get close to the real thing. Ariel Narrow is about right for British WWII codes and serials. The text box can be filled with colour to (almost) match the aircraft main colour. Red codes on Black fill for a matt black aircraft is perhaps the most successful, but equally good is text on white eg for the Sopwith trademark.
GROUPING AND CHANGING SIZE
Individual Markings with a number of components can be locked together. Hold down Ctrl and click on each part of a marking, then right click, go to Grouping and click Group. To change part of the marking, you must first Ungroup.
Having grouped a marking, it can then be changed in size or aspect, in one go. To do so, right click on the marking, go to Format Object and click the Size page. Enter the desired width and height in cm and click OK.
To change the proportion of the components of a marking (eg to enlarge the red disc), right click the marking, click Grouping and then Ungroup. You can then change the dimensions of any of the components of the marking. To re-group the components, press the shift key and click each in turn, then right click and click Group then Regroup
You may find it difficult to get the discs centred exactly if you make very small changes. The easiest way to do this is to enlarge the grouped marking to a large number (eg 15cm) where each component is a whole number (eg Blue 15, White 9, Red 3). When centred, the components can then be grouped (hold down Shift and click each component in turn) and the whole thing resized.
With a bit of practice, USA, Russian, German and most other markings can be approximated. Have a go, or let me know what you would like and I’ll see what I can do – files can of course be sent by email or printed versions by post.
PLAIN PAPER PRINTS
Markings printed onto thin copier paper can be very effective when used on profile or semi-scale models, where the appearance of the marking deceives the eye into seeing a better finish than actually exists! They are also very cheap and a good way of “proofing” your finished markings.
Simply cut the marking from the sheet using a sharp knife, scissors (or “Olfa” cutter – see below) and stick them to the model using Pritt or similar glue stick. Make sure the glue goes right to the edge of the marking or it will lift and spoil the illusion.
Naturally, the white areas of the markings will be white on the finished model, hence the need to cut the markings out exactly to the outside edge.
LAZERTRAN WATERSLIDE DECAL PAPER
The uncoloured part of this paper dries to a white finish when applied to the model, but the white is not dense enough to cover a coloured or camouflaged background. I have had very successful results by masking off the area to be marked (a roundel, for example) and applying the transfer after painting and mask removal. This works particularly well on white Depron. On other base colours such as tissue or balsa, the white part of the marking should be sprayed on the covering before the transfer is applied. This will give a good dense white.
To make the “white” parts of the decal clear (round a serial number, perhaps) apply 2 or 3 coats of any oil or spirit based varnish such as Plasti-Coat or Kleer-Coat (try hobby stores).
APPLYING TRANSFERS USING MICRO SET AND MICRO SOL
These products are available from model shops (I got mine from Channel 4 Models near Poole)
First, cut out the marking as described above.
Brush Micro Set where the transfer is to be applied to the model, soak the marking in water for 10 seconds, or until the transfer can just be freed from the backing sheet. Too long in the water will dissolve the glue! Slide the marking into position.
Using a soft brush, gently apply Micro Sol onto the transfer, being careful not to move or touch it afterwards until it is completely dry.
USING AN OLFA CUTTER FOR ROUNDELS
It can be difficult to cut out roundels by hand. The answer is to use an Olfa circle cutter (I got mine at Bookends in Christchurch, but any good stationer should have them). You can’t just put the point in the centre – you’ll damage the transfer – so some sort of rest is needed. I use a set-square. Set the cutter for the right radius, taking into account any white edge to WWI roundels.
Lay the acute-angled end of the set-square over the centre of the roundel and by trial and error, find the exact centre of the marking, then cut the portion of the circumference that you can reach. Re-site the set-square so that the uncut part is uncovered and the cutter exactly follows the previous cut line, and complete the cut. Just the roundel part of the transfer should float free when dipped in water.
Mike Roach, November 2006 Tel 01202 477553
Waterslide Decal paper for Inkjet printers from www.lazertran.com 01545 571149