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  • Self-Adhesive Vinyl

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    I make my own graphics using the simple
    Microsoft PC Paint program that comes standard
    with every version of WIndows since.....forever.
    It has all the tools I need: cut & paste, transparent
    copy, sizing, rotating, etc.
    I mostly go online, Google images & choose a
    topic. Then just use image capture & start editing
    the .jpg file on PC Paint.
    I spent a good deal of time putting together a
    scale by inches to apply to the graphics I'm editing
    to get the approx size I need for the model including
    the file length & width proportions.
    If you have one, you can further tweak the file using
    any photoshop type software you have.
    I print from a simple $50 HP inkjet printer I've been
    using for years.
    I use either decal paper or as of late self- adhesive vinyl.

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    Visiting headquarters one day, the General gave me
    some inkjet vinyl product she had used to take
    home a give a try. I've been using it almost
    exclusively since.
    The ink dries quickly & is VERY permanent.
    I print a page & almost immediately cut & apply it.
    I've even wiped off a paint smudge or two with a
    light swipe of acetone with no damage.
    The results are much brighter & sharper than I get
    with this cheap printer using decal paper.
    I sometimes use a heat gun to get it around an edge
    or two & it doesn't seem to mind that either.
    It's so much easier to apply a large "Wrap" with this
    stuff than fooling with a large water slide.
    You don't need to clear coat either.
    It might not be the material to use on a compound
    surface, but I haven't tried that yet. Might work with
    a heat gun?????????????
    I sometimes have to patiently coax the vinyl
    through the printer because of it's thickness,
    but that's a minor inconvenience & I'm sure a better quality printer wouldn't be an issue.

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    This is my template for the latest dirt late model
    I've been building.
    I include any notes & the inch/scale on the file
    along with the properties to set the file to for
    I Lay out the graphics first then, using transparent
    copying, I copy the body panels over the graphics
    giving me the exact size I need. I won't go into
    details, because you would have to be familiar with
    PC Paint.
    Suffice to say, it is not very difficult.
    I add numbers, sponsors & any other additional
    flotsum & jetsum now.

    This is a finished file.
    I print using the best print option on the landscape
    The result is, all the printing will be at the top of the
    8 1/2 x 11 page.
    I cleanly cut off that portion so I can reuse the
    vinyl material a couple more times.

    ......................The End: Brew

    Attached Files
    Last edited by strangebrew; January 31, 2020, 11:07 AM.
    Dave J
    Millstadt, Illinois

  • #2
    Very interesting for those who make their own graphics. Thanks for sharing!



    • #3
      I do something similar, but I use Powerpoint. I can set the display size to match the printed size. I have been using white waterslide decal paper. Years ago I used some clear peel and stick media and that really gave great results if you did not need white. This past year we switched to using Lexan bodies on our NASCAR type cars and I bought Pattos peel and stick decals for those. The decals are a little tricky to position correctly, but they seem to be very durable. The finish of the decals is not shiny, so I give them a coat of Future. I will have to order some of that ppd media.
      Last edited by RichD; February 1, 2020, 06:51 AM.


      • #4
        Thanks for the info. I've used Microsoft Word to make decals for years but will try PC Paint.

        I'm not building many new cars these days since most of my classes have toped out at the max 20 cars I can run in a simulated feature. But, if a driver I have a car for shows up at a 1:1 race with a neat new paint scheme or sponsor sometimes I just have to make their car a new body.

        A new year of dirt racing is only 2 months away now, so this is apt to happen before too long.


        • #5
          Thanx for sharing Mr. Brew.
          Dickie Pearson
          Canterbury, NH

          HOST - Home Operated Slot Tracks
          MSR - Main Street Racing


          • #6
            Thanks for this tip. I just ordered 20 sheets. Not a bad price either.
            Team SCANC
            Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
            OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
            Leadfinger Raceway


            • #7
              Question Brew since you’re using a cheap printer the vinyl sheets are white so graphics like the lightning bolts and checkered flag will show properly. Am I correct in assuming this?
              Peterborough Ont


              • #8
                Originally posted by 4424ever
                Question Brew since you’re using a cheap printer the vinyl sheets are white so graphics like the lightning bolts and checkered flag will show properly. Am I correct in assuming this?
                This is correct.......Not many printers print white, so any non-covered space will show the material color (in this case white).
                I've bought some clear vinyl also....but haven't tried it yet..........Brew
                Dave J
                Millstadt, Illinois


                • #9
                  The Okidata laser printers are the only ones that I could find that print white, those are VERY expensive. There are several problems with printing on white media. The first problem is that often dark background colors will show through the white areas. That might be more of a problem with waterslide decals. In that case you might have to stack two decals. Another problem with white media is that your decal will be surrounded by white, so you would have to cut the decal out very carefully. One solution to that problem is to make the background color match the body color as closely as possible.


                  • #10
                    A sharp knife or scissors will do a nice job of trimming around individual items. In this case I surrounded the pieces in black & trimmed for a shadow.
                    I always use a color matched marker on the edges after I've cut them so the white edge does not stand out. On this car I clear coated the body after installing the
                    graphics, which also helps hide the edges.
                    There is no need to clear coat the graphics after printing as you do with water slides. Also there is no need for double printing, as the
                    vinyl is dense enough to avoid any "bleed through" from colors underneath.
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                    A couple more examples ...................... notice how bright the colors are on the sportsman. These are not double printed. It shows there is no "bleed through" from
                    a darker color underneath.
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                    On this car I printed a single "wrap" for the sides & hood & applied onto a black painted body & it shows no compromise in brightness even over black.
                    I do the same for any color of car. I just just closely match the backround color to the painted body.............The End: Brew
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                    Dave J
                    Millstadt, Illinois


                    • #11
                      Very nice Mr. Brew.
                      Robert- Shoreline Model Raceways Club
                      Connecticut, U.S.A.