Customer Interaction => Emergency Vehicle Model Discussion => Topic started by: RichIQ on March 06, 2021, 12:43:01 PM

Title: Layering decals
Post by: RichIQ on March 06, 2021, 12:43:01 PM
A few years ago, I started to print separate layers of colors for decals. This is for a couple of reasons. Foremost, it allows for much crisper graphics. And from an artwork standpoint, layering does not require the tedious task of trapping lighter colors under the next darker. Commercial screen printed graphics, are constrained to .004, or four one thousands of an inch. If the outline of your lettering or graphic is below that, it just wont print. However, if you make the outline a solid object, and then the next color over it, you can obtain those very fine outlines. By layering, I can get graphics that are otherwise not possible to print as one. There are a few drawbacks. One being, you have to let each layer dry completely. And layering is more time consuming. However, I am never in a hurry, and prefer the results of layering, especially on a model I just took weeks to build. Layering is probably not for the beginner, but you can get the hang of it pretty quickly. Another thing that layering requires, is careful study of the vehicle, and how the graphics are actually done. I will provide to very different examples below. 
Title: Re: Layering decals
Post by: RichIQ on March 06, 2021, 12:47:30 PM
In this first example, the Detroit Fire Department is outlined in black. The outline would be too small to print on its own, so it is done as a solid object. But, Detroit also uses a drop shadow. In this case, as in most cases of fire related lettering, the shadow drops to the left. The three images on the left, are what gets printed, a black, white and yellow. They go down in that order. What I like to do, is put the black layer on where it will reside, and let it dry. Then when its time for the white, I use the top right corner of the black for alignment. You just lay the white down where you have an equal space to the top and right sides of the black. You can see the example in the photos. Once that is dry, you just lay the final color, in this case yellow/gold down over top of the white. The white actually determines the thickness of the outline, and the depth of the drop and left side shadows. You can fudge a bit if you want a more bold outline, and less drop shadow. Done this way, you get to do what looks best to you.
Title: Re: Layering decals
Post by: RichIQ on March 06, 2021, 12:49:54 PM
In this example, the Phoenix Fire Department does not use outlines, but has white around the letters, on a black drop shadow. Again, the shadows drops to the left. With this style of lettering, there is not much in the way of alignment required. You place the black in its final resting spot. When dry, take the white and lay it down over the black, in the far right corner, at the very top. Because there is no outline, no black should show on the right side, or on the top of the lettering. When the white is dry, the yellow/gold goes down over the white, centered.