March 3, 2017 - Posted by
Guillem • Filed under
Some time ago when I started to make the ground service models for
the 1/144 airplanes I felt that these models needed something that
could make them more complete and realistic.
There has been always a limitation to produce high quality decals
for me and so far I made them in a homemade level for myself but
without being able to achieve small details and without being able
to print white color, thus not being able to provide good decals to
After a quick search on Internet I found many users offering
printing services using the Alps printer but searching just a little
bit more, a printing service caught my attention for their
professional website and for using a more advanced system than those
from the old Alps printer.
Wessex Transfers was the first of the list I would inquire about and
decided to write them regarding their decals service and very kindly
I received their reply the very next day.
The company is based in Australia and at this point I have to say
that, if you live far away, shipping won’t be a problem as it
roughly takes only 10 days to arrive to Spain in my case using
standard shipping amongst other options offered such as insurance.
Robert from Wessex Transfers has also provided guidance while
designing the decals with both PDF files and explanations that have
helped me to design the decals that nowadays you can use with the
models of the store.
About the decals service:
One of the strongest points for me and small business in general at
first is that there is no minimum order quantity; the relation
quality/price/service is unbeatable, even if you have only one
project for which decals aren’t available, it is worth the print as
you can make your desired design (including metal colors if you like)
for your model.
As stated on Wessex Transfers website, the whites are fully opaque
as are the colors, I have proved that with the catering truck by
placing the yellow stripes on the black surface and not only the
colors are fully opaque but the detail his Roland printer can
achieve is outstanding.
Here is close up example; the letter “a” from “a gategroup member”
is 0,57mm tall and 0,48mm wide.
is another example of how small and still these readable letters are
so you can get an idea of what you can achieve.
Applying the decals:
These decals printed digitally are not very different than those
found in long run kits, they need to be cut, placed in water and
then removed from the base paper and applied on the model.
The small difference between the screen printed decals and the
digitally printed decals is that the coating agent is placed onto
the full decal instead of on every particular item of the decal as
performed in the highly cost screen printing services, but as I show
in below photo, this is not a problem if you cut properly along the
particular case, these green leafs are not a vector design, but a
part of an image meaning that not only you can print using vectors,
but you can also print bitmaps maintaining a high quality finish.
decal itself is thin enough for it to adapt perfectly to the
surfaces but strong enough to be manipulated onto position and after
applying the decal softener and the clear coat to seal the decals;
the edging is no longer visible.
I have used many decals from several brands in the past, such as
Cartograf (for Tamiya kits), Hobbyboss, Revell, Italeri… and I found
that the decals printed by Wessex Transfers, being those digitally
printed, are at the level of these mass producing kit brands and in
my experience, they allowed me an excellent decal placement being
these thinner but yet stronger than some others I tried before.
It is important to notice that for best results, the surface must be
clear coated and shinny as this rule also applies in all decals in
You have a small (or big) business for which items are lacking
decals? You are a computer artist and like do design decals for
trains, liveries for airplanes, cars, bikes… and would like to
create your own commerce? You have a dream project but the lack of
decals is stopping you?
I would suggest contacting Robert at Wessex Transfers as I had a
great experience designing the decals and having made these come
true, I have learned more about the decal design with software such
as Corel Draw and have been helped any time I needed.
There is no minimum quantity limit, thus even if you have only one
project for which decals are needed, the result is worth it.
I would like to finish this review with an image to illustrate the
realism that the decals can give to your models and that if like me,
you are a modeler who always wanted to have their own decals printed
in a model maker standard at a best price; it is finally a dream