MAKING MY 

OWN MODEL KITS 

DECALS

 

by John Mansolas - March 2009 

 

This page will tell you how to design and produce your own decals for your model kits . I reveal here the experience I got via experimentation which lead me to the point to be able to reproduce almost everything in this domain. Definitely and old model kit freak for static aircraft models since 40 years I was forced to discover this hobby accidentally , when cheated by people to whom I ordered and paid special decals for my kits. Of course my previous experience with 2D aircraft profile making was an advantage as I was familiar with design software. Then I explored the blank decal paper domain where I learned again the hard way. Last but not least I learned to produce faithful color prints with laser printers. Well if you manage all that then be sure you have done 98% of your way to ...perfection

 

THE REASONS WHY

Now why one should ever bother do that ? Well , I have discovered 7 main reasons for it , which are the following ones :

 

  1. You can not find those very personalized ones you want to do . A model is something of your own choice , part of your own motivation and you mean to do this particular model you have into your mind with those particular decals  
  2. You may find similar ones but you cannot  get them at the scale of the model you make 
  3. They are at times lousy and old with some rare vintage kits and worth only throwing them away. 
  4. They are often expensive - at times very expensive - and if one is destroyed you have to buy them again 
  5. You can reproduce them as many times as you like or correct them re-edit and reprint them 
  6. You may be cheated , as I had , if sold to you by someone else .  Once I ordered them , I paid for them and the guy simply forgot me for ever. Another one produced them on a wrong paper type and never cared to replace them . Overall I have lost in this business something like more than 300 dollars and when at wits end  ....I decided to learn how to do it myself 
  7. Although rare , however it happened to me twice : decals bought by a famous model shop where wrong for the scale and became useless for my model

 

THE PRINTER

 

You should only use a LASER PRINTER based on 4-color toners of YMCB or Yellow, Magenta , Cyan and Black. Although some people advertise ways to produce ink jet decals I found out that these are simply impossible to survive water even if covered by special liquids that are supposedly made to protect them. That , expensive stuff , never worked with me . On the contrary I never had to do anything additional to those printed with Laser Printers. The color there burns deeply the thin film layer of the decal paper and penetrates into its pores so that it finally stays unharmed even if left for too much time in the water - I tried one for about 1 day with absolute success !! 

Before you tell me that a laser printer is expensive , I say this  : Do you have a friend who has one and will let you use it ? If so , don't bother for the money. 

If you have to buy one then now there is a solution and it is called SAMSUNG CLP-315 , available in most countries at a price ranging from 120 to 190 euros ( I bought it for 150 ) it is the smallest , cheapest and effective for the job . 

SAMSUNG CLP-315

Despite some hard - at times horrible - comments in some web pages by 'experts' , I tried it with a friend  who has bought one for his normal color printing. I discovered that all comments were biased and most of them untrue to the bone ! After having done some experimentation I rushed to buy one and I'm pleased for my choice . As with all laser printers the ink is the most expensive part , but ...wait a minute ! Which is the printer that does not cost as much or even less than the ink you pay to replace ? The four toners of the SAMSUNG CLP-315 cost me around 140-160  euros but even a normal ink jet printer on the market that is sold around 60-70 euros needs cartridges that cost around 40 euros . Luckily the SAMSUNG CLP-315 is priced far below the 600+ euro range  

SAMSUNG CLP-315 opened to see the emplacement of the 4-color cartridges

You know , with your personal decals you are more than demanding . The only limitation is that with laser printers ,of all kinds , some light colors are printed at a bit lower strength. Even with commercial decals the case is similar and at times even worse. This you may either accept as is or , why not , correct accordingly with your software after some trials . The design software has easy ways of changing any colors to any strength thus overcoming the printer quality shortcomings

 

  THE PAPER

 

Hmmm. Believe it or not the blank paper on which you have to print your decals is rather rare on the market. I have found so far only 2 sources for it, one in UK from a special modelers shop and the other in US. For some reason the first one sells limited quantities and at a double price than the US guy. The US guy sells plenty of them on-line and half the price in comparison ! So try this link to Tango-Papa Decals : http://www.tangopapadecals.com/ and particularly on the order page : http://www.tangopapadecals.com/prod01.htm for decal paper where you'll see this :

 

Pricing                   

Clear Decal Paper

 

Price per sheet

 

White Decal Paper

 

Price per sheet

Letter size (8.5" x 11")

 

$1.00

 

Letter size (8.5" x 11")

 

$1.00

Legal size (8.5" x 14")

 

$1.00

 

Legal size (8.5" x 14")

 

$1.00

A4 (8.25" x 11.75")

 

$1.00

 

A4 (8.25" x 11.75")

 

$1.00

BE SURE TO SPECIFY SIZE WHEN ORDERING - if not specified we will send letter size

Minimum order is 30 sheets (combined total)

 

Also Available: SAMPLER PACK - 4 sheets/letter size - $8.50 (US shipping included)

 

 

For High Quantity Users

500 to 2000 Sheets                    

$0.75 per sheet plus shipping

Full Ream of Clear Letter  (2,000 sheets) 

$900 plus shipping

 

Shipping in United States

30 - 100 sheets letter 

$7.50

 

Any other quantity or size of paper ships by weight.  Call or e-mail for rates.

 

Orders over $150 must have postal insurance added.  See All Shipping page.

 

Overseas shipping costs - call or e-mail for rates.

 

If you have problems with our decal paper, we will replace it (up to 6 months from date of purchase).

Problem paper must be returned.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The guy so far has been proved extremely reliable and I'm satisfied with him. The most important choice here is to select the A4 only paper size. The US letter size does not properly fill the Samsung tray while the A4 is just the thing

The next choice is Clear Decal Paper or White Decal Paper. The answer here is more technical and you should consider the answer according to the following hint you will read below :

Laser Printers never print white !!  

This is  a bold statement, which you may have never known so far. Clear paper actually means Transparent , that is there is a transparent film where the decals will be printed on and when the background paper will be removed or separated after dipping into the water  the surrounding of the printed decal area remains simply transparent. In case you put decals on a model painted white ,as the case is usually with many airliners, you should only use this type. The same goes for aircraft say of the US navy painted white or very light gray. 

See the picture of the model to the left to get the idea. This AEGEAN Regional Jet in 1/144 scale (Revell) is all painted white above and light gray below. All the decals where printed on  Clear Decal Paper and as you see they all contrast  with the model's background. In areas where few white is necessary it is printed transparently by the printer on the decal but due to the white below that is complementing the loss of the white from the printer , there is nothing wrong at the end with the entire impression made. 

If however you want to produce , say white letters on a dark blue model background you should remember that the white you put from your software to be printed will never appear ! Transparent will only be seen where you have put white to be printed. 

You may of course try to paint previously on the model a white area where the white is expected to appear while the rest of the decals is printed around in the model's say dark blue as if you produce a masking effect. This can work albeit not in all cases and the need is of course to match successfully the decal all around color with the exact one on the model . I tried it successfully 2-3 times but you may do almost the same and even better by using the White Decal Paper. Here , the background film where the decals will be printed is white and will print white where you designed so with the software. This white however will stay there for the surrounding of the white numbers too unless you mask it around with the exact  model color. This ' exact ' color can be achieved with the software of course but in the worst of cases you may use with a tiny brush the very same model paint after applying the decal . This work is not very difficult and works pretty well sometimes - you should only remain cautious with your brush. 

See the picture of the model to the left to get the idea. This F4F Wildcat model in 1/48 (HobbyBoss) depicts the personal plane of Cpt John Thatch at the Battle of Midway with 3 kills , Felix the Cat ( his personal emblem ) and the white numbers 23 on the fuselage , large in middle and small aft . By the way until that time I had not yet applied the US star insignia, that's why they are missing for now.  

 

 

Since white can never come from the printer I had to use White Decal Paper for the white to appear. At the same time however I had to 'mask' the rest around the white of the decals with a color that was equal to the 'middle blue' of the model.  You'll see later that whatever the color , you can match it with the software so never mind that I have used a non-standard mixture to achieve this middle US navy middle blue. 

 

Watch below the printed decal how it looks like before I put it on the model 

 

I create a colored area of masking around each decal which I can later cut-down to what is a necessary minimum before applying. Preferably I cut as close as possible to the decal's periphery . I then correct if necessary with some model paint around it . 

On the contrary the black No 23 on the wings and the black strip walk-on strip were made on Clear Decal paper because as their color is black there is no need for any white color to appear , although , even so I could have used the same technique as the black is a color that is printed by the printer . In that case of course the white decal background is useless but even if used can still serve for the production of this particular decal 

 

To the right you see another one of my projects. This is a F9F-Panther jet scale 1/72. The model was taken from an old cheap Matchbox kit for the Blue Angels. I wanted however to create the plane depicted in the film "The Bridges at Toko-Ri" , starring Wil. Holden as Lt  Brew baker with this 209 , B group , VMF 192 plane. The model exists with Monogram in 1/.48 but there are no decals in the world for this scale. So I made them , all with White background and masked around with the dark sea blue equal to the the Revel paint SM350 enamel which I used for the model .

 

 

 

 

 

A similar job was done to honor my friend Col. Steve Sprios Pisanos the American Eagles and USAF ace and at the same time my modelist friend Bill Bell from New Jersey. We both bought a P-47C from an old Revell kit in 1/32 and wanted to reproduce faithfully the 'Miss Plainfiled' Spiros was flying with. The decals are sold with Hannants for the 1/48 scale , except that they are wrong (!) as Spiros himself told us and provided us with the correct ones. These decals were of course very large so I dedicated one whole file for them and I printed it 3 times , the second one for Bill and the third for a friend of his who admires Spiros too . By the way I do not do a commercial business here , it is just between friends that I only do it and for free 

These decals are of course unique in the world and I'm proud of  it . We also added the name of the pilot below the cockpit. Well....this did not exist in 1943 as such but ...we can do whatever we want with OUR decals , No ? 

Much was the work of course with the nose art for 'Miss Plainfield' , it took me 2 days , but it did worth the effort 

The upper surface color used is the acrylic Tamiya XF-51 khaki green and lower surface the light gray Tamiya XF-19 

 

So everything depends on what color backgrounds you'll need and you order accordingly. In general both Clear and White decal papers may have to be used and that's why I usually order enough quantities of both . 

 

THE SOFTWARE

 

And here we go to the most beautiful part of the art. In theory any software that can finally print seems to do the job but for the needs of sophisticated decal making you need something with many options and tools . I guess there is a variety out there of photo-printing stuff but if you ask me nothing , or few , compares with the Paint Shop Pro of Jasc software.  I know there are a number of versions out but for simplicity and effectiveness reasons I use the Paint Shop Pro 5

 

It has all the advantages of a simpler version with the majority of the necessary tools needed. The official site of the company is : http://www.jasc.com but I think this , rather old version , can be freely downloaded or is shareware. I found this link for free downloading : http://www.oldversion.com/download_Paint_Shop_Pro_5.0.html , as for me I have bought it since years ago ( somewhere in 1998 I think or even before maybe ) . The present advanced version is the 11 and on this link you may download until version 9 but ...I do suggest the 5 as the more simple for the daily user 

The main advantages and utilities needed for decals are mainly the :

I'm sure other similar products can do the same (Corel Draw , Illustrator ) but it is essential not to get lost with many other functions that serve many other objectives such as photography effects etc 

All my examples shown below are made with the Paint Shop Pro 5 ( PSP5 )

 

Define PSP5 preferences & A4 paper size for your paper

 

Upon choosing New File to create a new decal drawing file you are presented first with the option of the size of its background , like this :

 

You should choose first the unit of measurement , for me : centimeters , and then the  background paper dimension in centimeters or pixels. For A4 the centimeters is Width = 21 cm and Height=29,1 cm . The resolution 100 pixels/cm will show on a ruler pixel dimension in 2100 X 2910 . The background color is unimportant but the default white is OK for general purposes and of course you have to go for an Image Type of 16.7 mil colors 

Set the ruler by using the menu option View and check in the boxes for activating the Ruler - and you may like to add also Grid

Then set on File > Preferences the number of Undos you may want to be able to do ( more is better than less . I prefer at least 10 - the default 3 is insufficient  ) and the amount of maximum RAM for an image  - I usually try 30 Mb

 

 

For the time being ignore the checkered background you see on this one (which stands for transparent - non color ) . Rather pay attention to the values indicated by the rulers and become familiar with measurements. Be careful : the zoom in/out affects the details you see on the ruler. In full size you get divisions every 200 but if you zoom in , in an area , you can get more and more . I have also given a name to this file and can be anything you like . Now ...shall we make a different file for each different model ? Although yes is a valid answer I'll tell you to think otherwise . You rarely have so large decals that will cover an entire A4 page unless you get very big models needing many decals. Normally you have many smaller ones and trying to economize on decal paper you've better stuff together as many as possible. If this is the case you can collect 5 or 6 or even more decal models in one file. 

You'll see  later that by using layers you'll be able to introduce more individual pages to work for each model separately. This however will make your memory very large until , if not careful , your RAM will surprise you ! I usually make files up to some 10-15 Mb large but no more . Then only I start with a new file 

 

The model details

 

PART 1 : Find profiles ,Pictures and Logos

 

We decide to do a VIKING MD-90 from the Hasegawa scale 1/200 kit. Start searching for profiles , pictures and logos. There are many that can be provided from existing kits (instructions page) , others that you get from friends or magazines or you may easily advise this rich link of 3D views of profiles on the internet :

 

http://richard.ferriere.free.fr/index.html

 

You may systematically search for similar profiles and build up easily a library or some friends of yours have done so . For this one Google was enough : First page of Google Search Pictures comes already with a MD-90 profile and on later

 

 

 

pages we identify even nicer and better ones (there are always more than one usually) enough for our purposes . Even with copyrighted stuff we will not reproduce pictures or modify them and say it is ours. We’ll only use part of them for guide lining material without even showing them.

 

We finally chose the picture below :

 

 

MD-90 profile

 

You may consider to fill-in with white all colored areas but this will not affect your final drawing as you’ll use only the outline of this profile to put on your own decals. You may as well do a search for the picture of a Viking MD-90 which leads us to this picture from Google :

 

Viking MD-90 picture

 

So will do this model with the present decals and registration . Try also to find the Viking Logo in Google which provides us with this picture :

 

Viking Logo

 

Fine ! An excellent picture that will provide for all decal parts we need , notably the Viking head for the tail and the Viking letters for the fuselage . Windows and doors we can directly copy from the MD-90 profile or we may use our own artistic talents to design them – it usually gives the same results especially for small sized models

PART 2 : Prepare a resized profile that suits your model size

 

The procedure is as follows :

 

Open the MD-90 profile and cut down to the limits of the picture that correspond to the nose-to-tail distance using the selection tool , preferably the rectangular one

 

This area you have to Select by using the Selection Tool with  the rectangular symbol . Keep always the Controls View open where it is indicated that you have used the rectangular shape to select (square , circle & ellipse are other option) .

 

 

 

You may also use on occasions the ‘lasso’ symbol below especially for Point to Point or Freehand selection of certain detailed areas

 

 

The part of the picture thus selected will be this one below :

 

 

 

 

Use the copy & paste tool in the Edit Menu selecting the Paste as New Image option here . We choose this option because we want to work and modify independently this picture . The other options integrate it without a possibility of change afterwards

 

 

 

We’ll get this result :

 

The present pictures measures some dimension on the ruler where the nose-to-tail distance is something like 635 pixels (never mind this number) . We want to use a profile where this distance will be the same as in our model. We measure it on the model to be 19,4 cm and we thus decide that this makes Width = 1940 in pixels for our page  

We then use the Image>Resize from the Menu of PSP5 , where we pay attention to keep checked the two boxes on the bottom for Maintain Aspect ratio and Resize All Layers , the usual default setting. That way the Height will be calculated automatically in the adjacent window. Same thing is if we know exactly and we so set the Height , then the Width is calculated automatically. The principle is that

 

“ if one distance is resized on scale then

every other distance of the picture is accordingly resized to this scale

 

The new resized picture shows  like this :

 

 

You check that the number 1940 is verified by the ruler’s pixel indication as the width of this picture . Now that is a picture we can use at last for our purpose and we can integrate it to our drawing page because it is the correct size for our model

 

PART 3 : Insert a layer with the profile & create other layers to work decals on

  

We open , or we already have opened , both this picture and the basic A4 decal page we will draw on . Be Careful here : Commands are passed from the same menu but to different pictures , the proper one you work on is indicated by a highlighted Title-Bar on top  - as with all Windows applications Be careful to make sure where you are working at a time as we will often jump from one to another . If in error use the Undo Option ( I do use it very often I am afraid ! )

 

Now will copy the profile image and transfer it to the A4 decal page

 

Use the Edit>Copy for the MD-90 profile image

and then select the A4 decal page and use the Edit > Paste > As New Layer option . A new layer is now created into the A4 decal page  

Note : All selection and layer actions are terminated by right-clicking on the mouse

You’ve better change the name of this layer to remember what this is ( a very good precaution for later on ). Use from menu Layer > Properties and let’s name it MD-90 profile . We also introduce a new different layer where we will draw the decals on ; use from menu the Layer > New and name it , say VIKING

 

 

Layer Control

 

From now on the layer control becomes too much important so let us highlight few things :

 

Layer Control > Order

 

You may see on the Layer Tool these two layers we have .  

By right clicking on a layer’s label you may as well delete or rename it – or even do some other changes not often used for decals though

 

You change their order by click + and + drag on their label up and down having into your mind that the decal layers should be always above those used as profile guidelines. So the VIKING layer should be always put above the corresponding MD-90 profile – not the other way round . That goes for all other layers you may use in the same page . Actually you may use one such file for many decals and profiles but eventually the RAM memory will explode somewhere if you overdo it

 

Layer Control > View and Work with

 

  

This is very important and mistakes are very often here. You have to click on a layer label to become active and have access on it to work . In this case this layer , VIKING here , has a brighter color label than the others. This means that any work done is actually affecting only this layer . You may work with only one layer at a time

 The other layers are simply visible or not ( if you do not want to see them ) by clicking  the view on/off icon next to them . That way you may work on many different decals and profiles but select to see only 2 layers at a time – or as many as you would like to see or not see.

 If you want to deny access to any layer by fear of accidentally destroying their content after a clumsy input you may set / reset  the locker icon next to them

The slider next may vary the transparency of the layer between 0 – 100% if you would like to have a quick partial view below . This is not as useful ; you may use the view on/off instead if you want to check how a layer is matching the one below or how it looks alone. But …does not harm to have it just in case , of course

 The most often mistake done here is to confuse the layer(s) you see with the one that is actually active . So it might be you want to cut and paste from the VIKING layer but you have active the MD-90 profile layer. If so , you actually destroy the profile below without doing what you want on the VIKING layer. If you are liable to this mistake for a long time then lock the layers you are afraid to destroy accidentally and the program will tell you that this action can not happen because the layer is not active , if you try anything on them, Unlocking them is so easy when you decide to

 

PART 4 . Importing picture files onto the decal page

 From our internet research we have saved the Viking Logo . We’ll use the Viking’s head for the tail plane decal – as in the full MD-90 picture of the true plane we have seen :  

We have to open this picture with the PSP5 as New Image and then measure on the profile the size it should have , here 106 pixels 

 

  We accordingly resize the Viking Logo picture to this width =106

 

   

 

 

I zoom in properly and I estimate this width distance in pixels to be 106 . Now I return to the Viking’s head picture and I’ll resize it from whatever it is at the moment to a width = 106 . Here of course you may ‘play’ with your own feelings about the real size but this will only vary the distances by some 10 % - rarely more .

And then I will import this picture to the A4 decal page . First I have to Edit  > Copy this picture , then return to the A4 decal page and there I do a Edit > Paste > As New Selection  . This paste is actually importing an outside image to another . I use my mouse cursor to drag the Viking head where I want to.

 

At this point you may permanently get rid of all other intermediate picture files as from now on we’ll work only on the VIKING layer – until we input another item from outside . This is the moment of some ‘perfection’ . While resizing and importing , details of the picture change or get degraded. PSP5 can help us here . Actually some expert people can work miracles with PSP5 five but with small models much of the detailed work passes unnoticed , so just be reasonable . First we clear the surroundings by using the ‘Lasso’ selection tool and then delete. Then we try to revive the colors and/or the resolution

 

The Brush tool can work like a pen and even down to a one single pixel level to correct details. The ‘Rubber’ tool can remove large or small details at any pixel level .

The ‘Bucket’ tool is used not only to fill-in with color but even to replace extended withered color areas of degraded resolution with an improved uniform coloring : just select the ‘bucket’ tool , select the new color and click on those areas wherever a change is needed. The ‘Eye Dropper’ selects existing colors and can change them

In my case I considered that the blue areas of the Viking head had to become a bit darker so that they will contrast better so I used a slightly darker blue in the color palette and used the ‘bucket’ to revive the more pale original blue

 Working in the same spirit I imported the ‘VIKING’ letters from the logo and added some ‘perfection’ there too. Then I draw over the windows and doors based on the MD-90 profile layer below . Use often to copy + paste to repeat a job : you are not supposed to make , say 40 windows , you just do a good one and you copy paste it 4-5 times then you copy – paste this group of 4-5 to make a larger group etc.

 At the end I added the Swedish flag imported and resized from one of the too many  you may find on the internet . Then I created the letters of the registration . Use the “A” icon tool to create text and try to use the size that fits best to the limits of the MD-90 profile . Duplicate with copy + paste all decals that will be used on the other side of the fuselage . The menu option Image > Mirror is often useful in such - but not all -  cases

 I end up with this VIKING Layer that contains all decals I need for my model

 

This can now be printed ….however : 

This is not much of a space to sacrifice a whole A4 decal paper page. It takes only some 5 cm X 15 cm in all for this decal . This is why we've create another layer where we bring together and as close as possible many more decals for other models to utilize effectively most of our blank paper page . We copy + paste from the various layers to this one allocated for printing . 

When ready :

These decals stick usually very well after 2-3 minutes only . With critical decals that may be destroyed on application I always produce more than one using simple copy + paste in PSP5 

See below the model of the MD-90 (scale 1/200) with the Viking decals and the SE-AJN registration (near the rear door) . By the way the cockpit window decals here came from another kit but you can easily make them too from the instructions leaf 

model of the MD-90 (scale 1/200) with the Viking decals 

For areas where the decals follow a curved surface we may use lengths by applying a flexible measuring tape to find the exact length that does not show from the 2D view profile . For example on this B737-500 model (scale 1/144) below where the profile indicates a nose-to-tail distance to be 20,8 cm , the actual curved distance is 21,5 cm. This is the one we'll use actually for our decal in the A4 decal page. This is necessary if we design long fuselage lines or decals positioned on important curvatures on a model 

 

 

 

On-Line Tutorial for the PSP5 can be found here :

 

http://images.google.lu/imgres?imgurl=http://www.woodmann.com/crackz/Images/psp5nag.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.woodmann.com/crackz/Tutorials/Psp5sc.htm&h=296&w=388&sz=34&hl=de&start=1&um=1&usg=__4wBvHQNkYmazX5D5fHfCY0-380g=&tbnid=idnh58bcBYCqYM:&tbnh=94&tbnw=123&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dget%2BPSP%2B5%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dde%26sa%3DG

 

and here :

 

http://images.google.lu/imgres?imgurl=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Platform/6606/basic1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Platform/6606/basics.html&h=407&w=596&sz=23&hl=de&start=18&um=1&usg=__vcaatteDZuipBLz_4NBf0_Z_k9w=&tbnid=l_HgsF3r1OT_TM:&tbnh=92&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dget%2BPaint%2BShop%2BPro%2B5%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dde%26sa%3DX

 

 


See here a collection of models made by my own decals using the above method

My own decals were produced either to create non-existing decals on the market or for

existing ones but on different model scales non available or very hard to find 

 

 

The decals for Sq Ldr J.Plagis IX 5J-K 'Muscat' are now available on the market 

by ICM's model kit in 1/48 , but mine have been produced 2 years earlier !

This is a 1/72 model for the Fiat CR-32 fought in the Spanish civil war carrying the 

serial number 3-61 for the francist ace Salas . In almost all similar models 

the 3-51 of Morato is depicted only

A I-152 of the Republican of the Spanish civil war with Mickey on its tail. This decal I made using 

many of the Mickey's existing clips 

This is a SAS DC-10 in the special Revell scale 1/320. The decals I made were based on a resizing of the 

ones used used in the Airfix kit for the scale 1/144

This Italian Fiat CR-42 was the typical fighter  that took part in the invasion to Greece in 1940.

I created the unique number of 357-12 from war pictures of those days

 

Greek Gladiators were 'freshly' provided from the N. African RAF squadrons in the early

days of the Greek-Italian war in 1940. The first ones flew under the desert camouflage. The very first 

had the serial number Δ196. 

A decal depicting the 'Sleeping Beauty' on a B-17 kit in 1/48. This decal I created from 

existing pictures  of nose-arts

A typical Spanish version of a modified Me109 used in the film 'Battle of Britain'.

I created the particular emblem of the eagle exactly as used in the film 

although it never existed historically 

A unique set of decals for the greek AEGEAN air carrier for this BA46 in 1/144 (Revell) - not available 

on the market anywhere 

Rare decals for this B737-800 for EUROCYPRIA. I used the logos on the website of the company.

The scale is rare too : 1/200 - from the Hasegawa kit

These are the very extra decals of an early Greek squadron Hurricane that fought under RAF in N.Africa. The FG-Σ

The FG probably stands for Free Greeks (?) and the Σ is obviously a purely greek identifier for this plane 

totally unusual for RAF planes (scale 1/72) 

This is a most special decal for a Spit V of the greek squadrons returning to the freed homeland

The idea came from an old picture of those days . The plane carries the RHAF logo under the cockpit 

and the sign referring to the anniversary of the 28th Oct 1940 of OXI against the Italian proposal for surrender 

(Revell kit scale 1/32) 

A very familiar plane in the Greek tourist skies this Britannia B7373-200. The decals are however made 

for the very special  scale of 1/125 of Heller. 

An old and almost forgotten french charter company of the 70s using old Caravelles SA-210 for this Airfix kit 

in 1/144 scale. 

These decals do exist on the market but it was very easy to make my own for this 

B737-200 of the British Airtours - Revell scale 1/200 

 

 

Here are some of my models made with my own decals  , almost all of them unique in the world !

This is the second F9F in the film 'Bridges of Toko-Ri' flown by Cmdr Lee , the PP (Photographer Plane) 21 thrown into obscurity by modelers as everybody was focusing on the star's W. Holden one (the 209) . Observe the camera openings on the nose before the number 21. The dragon emblem of VF-192 comes out from a snapshot of the movie itself. The kit comes from the latest Revell ( ex-Matchbox kit) in 1/72. No such  decals exist for this model and scale on the market 

This is a F2F Buffalo of  the  Marines in 1941 (Special Hobby kit 1/48). The only one with 2 victories against Jap flying boats during the battle of the Wake island. Only the serial numbers and the victories come from my decals

 

This is an A320 of the Condor-Thomas Cook European charter. The golden heart near the 'C' of the Condor name on the fuselage is a reminder of the company's 50th anniversary 

The model exists with Revell in 1/144 but under the Thomas-Cook decals only in blue-white liveries

This American ATLAS AIR B747-200 cargo liner  visits very often Luxembourg executing orders for Cargolux and Quantas . See the company symbol on the tail. It comes directly out of the company's logo found on the internet . The kit is from the special 1/320 Revell scale hosting only the B747-200 and DC-10 models. No such  decals exist for this model and scale on the market 

 

The first Greek jet airliner of Olympic a Comet DH-6 , was leased from BEA and carries the british  registration G-ARLJK. The symbol of BEA appears near the front door . No such  decals exist for this model and scale on the market  This is a notoriously famous Trident of BEA , lost in the Zagreb air collision, the G-AWZT. The kit is from the Airfix series 1/144. The decals do exist on the market but I did produce  the registration ones, that are not available  

This Luxair B737-200 was the old standard flight between Luxembourg and Athens until the early 90s. The model is from the Revell scale 1/200. No such  decals exist for this model and scale on the market 

Note : This Revell model is unique for this scale and stays around for quite some time now without interruption for 20 years. Although not exact in dimensions it allows , however ,  modelers to produce many different company models for this airliner thanks to its very small size and very low price ( at/below 5 euros ) demanding very small amounts of paint decal  paper and ink 

This is a typical B737-200 of SABENA in the 80s. The model is from the Revell scale 1/200. These old markings decals exist on the market for this model and scale but I produced my own  following the details from the archive of Airliners.net

Note : This Revell model is unique for this scale and stays around for quite some time now without interruption for 20 years. Although not exact in dimensions it allows , however ,  modelers to produce many different company models for this airliner thanks to its very small size and very low price ( at/below 5 euros ) demanding very small amounts of paint decal  paper and ink 

 

A Piper Cub 18 of the Atenhs Aeroclub (Revell kit 1/32) . No such  decals exist for this model and scale on the market 

A Fiat G50bis (Special Hobby kit 1/48) that took part in the aggression against Greece from Albania in 1940 , number 2-395 . Decals derived from the Osprey book for the Italian Aces. No such  decals exist for this model and scale on the market  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm particularly proud for this unique decals. It depicts a B737-400 of the Olympic Airways SX-BKC 'Apollon')  painted on the occasion of the Athens Olympics in 2004. The rear part decals consist of a whole sheet decal painted with all its details and applied as a whole sheet for each side made from white background decal paper.  The rest of the fuselage decals are also made up of whole decal sheets but this time printed on blank decal paper since the background color of the model is white. The designs of the athlete figures come from the official site of the Olympic Games. The kit comes from the scale 1/144 of Minicraft B737-400 kit. Needless to say that no such decals exist at all for this model on the market  

 

 

 

 

This is really a special decal set. Although the 1/144 Tristar kit exists with Revell and Airfix , the Saudia Airlines  decals can be rarely found especially with the liveries of the 80s. Initially I bought them from a private guy in US but as some 10 years later the decals have been withering and partially destroyed,  I had to produce new ones for the tail . I am not sure if one can find these decals any longer - besides , Saudia has totally changed the liveries ever since. 

One of the first RYANAIR (famous low-cost airline) planes , a conventional B737-200 that succeeded the BAC 1-11 in its original fleet. Painted with the company's old-scheme used to fly in those days from Charleroi to UK . The model depicts the EI-ACN 'City of Kork' . Today Ryanair uses mostly the B737-800 with new liveries. These decals do exist on the market but I did produce my own ones. The logo of the City of Kork comes from the website of this city on the internet , as well as the decals for Ryanair have been developed from the logos found in their flight-booking website

Note : From the Revell kit 1/200