By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

One-off signwriting for models

Creating adhesive numbers and letters

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
David Ramsden05/10/2020 22:30:34
avatar
58 forum posts
16 photos

Having covered my model in film, I'd like to create my own bespoke letters and numbers. Cutting them out of covering film with a scalpel is going to be pretty tricky. What are the usual ways of signwriting film covered models? Thanks!
David

Phil Green05/10/2020 22:38:17
avatar
1682 forum posts
349 photos

1) a vinyl cutter

or

2) a mate with a vinyl cutter teeth 2

 

shark1.jpgshark2.jpg
silhouette_8.jpgsilhouette_9.jpg

 

Edited By Phil Green on 05/10/2020 22:45:51

David Ramsden05/10/2020 22:43:00
avatar
58 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks Phil but that's a very expensive bit of kit if you only want a small quantity! (and don't have a mate with one). Surely there must be another way.

Dale Bradly06/10/2020 02:51:38
49 forum posts
13 photos

I get friendly with the local signwriter. I have found they enjoy this kind of thing as its a personal product for a client that cares, vs the normal business client just wanting a sign they don't have a emotional attachment to.

I design what i want and provide the information, fonts, sizes, colours etc to them (i.e. i draft up what i want on a word doc or similar) to make their job easy, and get them to produce them.

Two examples of mine below, both cost around 30 or 40 pounds each for the markings, roundels, etc and that might seem expensive, but i got a professional product, well made, and easy to replicate in future. I couldn't do that meself for that price, so i consider it great value.

img_20140824_105642 (2).jpg

20200823_164143.jpg

perttime06/10/2020 04:13:55
avatar
225 forum posts
14 photos

If you have a printer, it should be quite possible to print some decals. Regular printers don't do white, and they are useless for metallic colors.

leccyflyer06/10/2020 08:18:21
avatar
1749 forum posts
349 photos
Posted by David Ramsden on 05/10/2020 22:30:34:

Having covered my model in film, I'd like to create my own bespoke letters and numbers. Cutting them out of covering film with a scalpel is going to be pretty tricky. What are the usual ways of signwriting film covered models? Thanks!
David

Cutting the letters out of self adhesive covering trim film really isn't all that tricky, provided that the letters are of a decent size.

Simply print them out at full size on plain white paper and then attach that with a Pritt stick to the Solartrim or other self adhesive vinyl, secured by tape to a solid surface. Then just cut out the letters with a sharp scalpel - you can use a steel straight edge for the straight lines and just take your time on the curves - if you aren't that steady you can use a variety of round objects to help on the curves.

Once the letters are all done, if you use the warm soapy water and squeegee technique to mount them on the model, that will dissolve the Pritt glue and you can easily peel the paper away. It;s up to you whether to leave a thin piece of film between the letters as a register to preserve the correct spacing, which is cut and removed later, or just measure it out.

Peter Miller06/10/2020 08:24:36
avatar
11758 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

I use Fastsignuk on Ebay for my lettering. They will do a great job fast.

Good choice of fonts but they will search out one they haven't got if you send a picture in.

Price is extremely reasonable too..

My local people wanted £1 per letter!!!!! for the same job fastsignuk wanted far, far less.

Former Member06/10/2020 08:32:43
393 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

David Ramsden06/10/2020 09:43:53
avatar
58 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks Phil, Dale, perttime, leccyflyer, Peter, and Barrie.

I think I'll try leccyflyer's Pritt Stick method first and if that doesn't work out I'll look at Peter's Fastsignuk. Hopefully the adhesive on the back of Oracover won't be affected by soapy water. I'd like to have kept the backing paper on throughout the cutting process but it already came away when I unrolled it.

thanks again

David

leccyflyer06/10/2020 12:17:39
avatar
1749 forum posts
349 photos

Just to clarify David, I haven't used that method with covering film carrying heat-activated adhesive. I've always used the self-adhesive sticky-back trim films - so in your case that would be Protrim or Oratrim, rather than Oracover.

kc06/10/2020 13:44:00
6916 forum posts
175 photos

The old Solarfilm video is still on Youtube and shows how to do trim including roundels. stars and bars etc. Useful if you haven't seen it before. It shows the technique of using a few drops of liquid soap in water to allow the trim to be moved around to correct place. I think this method can be applied to most ( or all? ) film and trim.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has tried any of the DIY sticky back plastic like Fablon or Wilko DC Fix for lettering or trim. Probably too heavy for our use except in small quantities.

leccyflyer06/10/2020 18:11:30
avatar
1749 forum posts
349 photos

I've used a matt grey Fablon type sticky black plastic for the letters on my Balsacraft Blenheim and was very pleased with the outcome. That was cut on my Silhouette Vinyl cutter though, rather than manually.

bblenheimxxvcolours.jpg

Allan Bennett06/10/2020 20:08:42
1791 forum posts
55 photos

Rather than using hand-cut or machine-cut vinyl or trim, you could print your own waterslide decals using paper like this. There's also paper for use with laser printers, which may give more-solid colours. With the injet variety I give it a coat of varnish from a rattle can, and let it dry, before cutting it out, to make sure the inks don't run when I soak it in water.

David Ramsden07/10/2020 00:32:28
avatar
58 forum posts
16 photos

Inspired by leccyflyer saying that cutting out with a scalpel really wasn't that hard I decided to give it a go. Rather than buying trim and sticking printed paper on with Pritt Stick I decided to do it dry straight onto Oracover then iron them on- cheap as chips and pretty fast.
I taped the oracover onto a cutting board then taped my printed letters on top. The small numbers were only 18mm high which was a bit of a fiddle but I'm pretty pleased with the result.
Thanks for the advice everyone.
26.jpg

leccyflyer07/10/2020 07:16:52
avatar
1749 forum posts
349 photos

Excellent work David - you should be very pleased with that. Good one.

Peter Miller07/10/2020 07:56:38
avatar
11758 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

Excellent!!!

Andy4807/10/2020 14:11:31
1570 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by perttime on 06/10/2020 04:13:55:

If you have a printer, it should be quite possible to print some decals. Regular printers don't do white, and they are useless for metallic colors.

You can get printer decal sheets that are white to start with not translucent. Try Amazon.

Andy4807/10/2020 14:12:32
1570 forum posts
1 photos

There's an easier solution. Get the OH into craft work, then buy her a vinyl cutter for Christmas. angel

Allan Bennett07/10/2020 20:15:41
1791 forum posts
55 photos
Posted by Andy48 on 07/10/2020 14:11:31:

You can get printer decal sheets that are white to start with not translucent. Try Amazon.

I think that's what my link was earlier in this thread. But in my experience, even white decal sheets are so thin that dark colours can show through. I paint a white patch where the decal is going to go.

leccyflyer07/10/2020 20:30:51
avatar
1749 forum posts
349 photos

If you can get hold of a thermal wax transfer printer they do print in white, or metallic colours and produce excellent quality home made waterslides. These are much loved by model railway enthusiasts because you can produce tiny, crisp, lettering suitable for OO gauge and even smaller model railways. White letters are no problem.

You just print a background of white beneath the colours and so they have full saturation - as on my little Piper Cub logo below. They are a bit fiddly to use, as the paper goes through the printer at least four times -once for each colour - five times if you want white as well as black - and they really don't like dust, The biggest downside nowadays is that the drivers are very tricky to get hold of - the last working drivers I have managed to find are for Win95, which means either having an old computer to run the printer, or experimenting with running the Win95 OS as a second OS. My Citizen Printiva hasn't been used for years as a result of the driver issue, plus it only has parallel and serial ports. I'd love to be able to get it up and running again - as I have a decent stock of print cartridges, but have had no success to date.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Slec
electricwingman 2017
Subscribe now
CML
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Sarik
Latest "For Sale" Ads
NEW POLL - has the pandemic altered your event safety perceptions?
Q: Has the covid pandemic deterred you from attending shows and events in 2021?

 No, I'll be attending just as many as I usually do
 No, but I'll choose my event with greater care
 Yes, I'll attend fewer events going forward
 Yes, I wont attend any where previously I have

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E!