Custom decal work is available. If you have subject matter you would like reproduced, I will consider reproduction after viewing your proposed images.
I have produced decals as small as 1/350 and as large as 1/1.
Custom work by my definition is anything that I do not already have finished in my computer art library or has a lot of editing to do to prepare for printing. I do not do anything that is commonly available commercially such as “stars & bars”, roundels, etc…I have an extensive library of race plane associated art already done.
I have about a 3-6 week lead-time. Simple stripes, registration numbers or lettering will not require as much time. Unique script lettering, nose art, logos, etc. are often projects unto themselves and will be charged as such. The size of the decals usually is not a factor in the cost. The primary factor in your cost will be in the amount of computer time needed to prepare your image for printing. A 1/72 decal sheet still requires the same amount of computer time to reproduce in 1/32 scale.
I don’t want to do all the “homework”. The more information you supply me in terms of profile, size, color, etc., the less your cost. If I am required to do additional research for a better image of your subject, you will be charged accordingly.
There are 2 ways to print images to decals, by bit-mapped using Photoshop or by vector, using Corel Draw or Illustrator. I do not like to “scan & print” images (files ending in .jpg, .gif, tif). I will only use PhotoShop if the image is too complex or has too many tonal graduations. The trouble with re-coloring and resizing a scanned image is apparent in the pixel resolutions. This can be seen upon close inspection of curved or diagonal lines where the line will appear as a series of jagged, stepped pixels, a.k.a. the “jaggies”. Also the resized image itself often loses resolution when re-sizing, resulting in blobs of color, the result of a low resolution scan of the original. Think of it as a photo copy of a photo copy of a photo copy...
I do most of my art in CorelDraw 9, a vector based program (extensions ending with .cdr, .ai). I will redraw the entire image in Corel. With Corel theses problems are not issues. Curves will appear as one smooth, continuous line and are easily scalable to any size.
If you want me to just print art you have already prepared in a bit mapped program, i.e. “scan & print” your work, I am able to do that, but I will not guarantee the results were it done in Corel or Adobe Illustrator. If you already have your art prepared in a vector program I can reproduce it.
They will be printed them on a solid sheet of clear carrier film. They must be trimmed out individually. The printing process will either be the ALPS system or Digital Silkscreen.
The ALPS uses a thermal ink transfer process that is resistant to water and covers glossy, non-porous surfaces such as decal paper. The caveat is that the ALPS can also print white, gold and silver! They are very thin and fragile and respond well to setting solutions.
The ALPS does have some limitations. Admittedly while not the quality of screen-printed decals, they are very sharp and often indistinguishable. Opacity is good but typical of thin decals with light colors. My decals are always printed with a layer of white followed by the color to help opacity. The ALPS also has its issues when reproducing yellows or oranges accurately. So I try to avoid printing images with large areas of those colors when possible.
I also use an outside printing company that employs the Digital Silkscreen process. Digital Silkscreen is a similar process to the ALPS with different limitations. The advantage of digital silkscreen printing is that they are much more durable than the ALPS and able to print areas up to 18” x 24”. Accurate color reproduction is better. Drawbacks are that they are heavier and do not stretch. They take some coaxing to conform over compound curves.
The minimum cost for any custom decal is $15. This is for typical military lettering or civil registration numbers with common fonts or simple stripes, this cost includes computer time and printing. You will typically receive extra decals, depending on scale and spares for troublesome markings.
Custom art that requires re-drawing the entire image, such as unique nose art, unusual script, etc., begins with a minimum one time set up charge of $25. Any extra work required thereafter, you will be billed at additional $15/hour in addition to the initial set up charge. Computer time and printing cost are 2 separate costs. There is a separate charge for printing the decals. The final cost of printing the decals themselves varies with the area and colors to be determined before final printing. Decals with lots of white areas to print will tend to cost more, due to the higher cost of white ink vs. colors.
I will retain the rights to all art and their future reproductions unless otherwise agreed upon. Please make all checks or money orders payable to: Keith Davidson, NOT Red Pegasus.
Set up fee $25.00
2 hours computer time at $15/hr $30.00
Cost of printing decals (this will vary) $25.00
Total : $80.00
See Custom Decals Gallery for examples of my work.