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Home-made Unit Symbol decals
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United Kingdom
Joined: May 20, 2019
KitMaker: 3 posts
Armorama: 3 posts
Posted: Monday, May 27, 2019 - 10:22 PM UTC
Hi all,

Has anyone any experience in printing their own unit symbol decals?

I need lots of German army tactical symbol decals for the DAK Battlegroup project I am embarking on, for example the tactical sign for a Panzer Battalion HQ Company.

I can draw the symbol in black using MS Paint and print it out small enough on MS Word on my monochrome laser printer, but I am a bit clueless how to print it in white on laser decal paper if I was to invest in a colour laser printer.

Anyone got any advice to share with me?
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United States
Joined: September 06, 2011
KitMaker: 186 posts
Armorama: 177 posts
Posted: Monday, May 27, 2019 - 11:58 PM UTC
I suppose you could sketch it/ draw it out. Then if you have a scanner scan it onto decal paper. That could be a way but Iím not experiences in this matter.
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
KitMaker: 2,828 posts
Armorama: 2,467 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 01:16 AM UTC
As far as I know laser printing in white on a printer you can buy for your home is not opaque. Either you'd have to layer the decals or send the sheet out for commercial screen printing--

Or find someone who still has an ALPS printer and white ink. Even that needs layering for optimal opacity especially on a light color.

Or do it in black or red. Those colors were used by DAK by certain units.

I'm using laser printed decals now and the results on olive drab are disappointing and that's with color over white. On a light color the white disappears.
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: May 29, 2019
KitMaker: 1 posts
Armorama: 1 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 11:30 PM UTC
Printing light colours on dark isn't easy but it is possible with a bit of forethought.

See my guntruck at: https://www.mafva.org/viet-nam-gun-truck-build-in-november-airfix-model-world/
The side of the truck was painted white (not shown in the story). The orange lettering with a black surround was printed on clear laser decal film. The orange is 'knocked out' of the black so the orange is directly on white but the black ink is opaque enough to block out the rest of the panel. Just needed to touch in the panel edges with black paint.

If you want black on white codes I suggest painting a gloss white area (or cutting white decal sheet) to make the background on the model. Then add the black on clear printed decal.

I'm currently working on a Vietnam chaplain figure wearing a camo poncho with a light blue cross on the back. The camo pattern was downloaded from the web, printed on clear and applied over a gloss white painted poncho. The cross was printed blue on clear, then soaked off the backing and applied face down to old decal backing paper. I then painted the back of the decal white, sealed it with liquid decal fluid and cut round it. Then I soaked it off, flipped it over and applied it to the poncho on top of the camo. Decal setting solution and a coat of matte clear finish it off.

If you want white codes on Panzer Grey, scan a sample of your Grey paint and use this colour as your background in your graphic program. Add the unit code in white. It will print clear as laser printers don't have white. Apply the decal over a patch of white and airbush the edges to blend to the grey painted model. Weathering will help blend it in.