A glimpse into my scale modeling hobby

Decal Success!

I have moved to a new workspace in my house, after we rearranged our rooms to make room for a new baby to arrive at the end of March! My desk is now right by the window with lots of great natural light to work during the day. It is also more open with lots of great space to display my stuff (for now, at least…).


New location of my workspace. Good storage and shelf space. My display case is now in the opposite corner.

With everything moved, it was time to lay down the gauntlet on whether to make my own decal for the Ford Tri-Motor. I had been waffling for quite a while about the merit of making my own decal, and I was actually leaning toward not until I did some research and discovered that it is not a difficult process if you have the right materials.


The photo I used to create the decal.

I started by finding a good screen shot of the plane door from the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Then, I imported the image into a photo editor and erased all of the background except for the red font. The result left the edges a bit pixelated and fuzzy, but it worked out decently for the small scale.

Once I was down to just the font, I brought the image back into Google Drawings and created several different sizes to check what fit best with the scale. Then I ordered decal paper and an acrylic coating spray, printed a few different sizes, and checked for the best size fit.


Different sizes to check for scale.

With a size picked out, it was as simple as any other waterslide decal. Cut it out, put it in water, apply it to the model, use some micro set to help it stay, and then put on some protective clear coats. I am glad I decided to go through the process because it adds extra nerdy flair and helps the model feel more authentic to the original from the movie.


Final application. Definitely worth the little bit of extra work for a more authentic result.

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