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Homebrew decals
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:33 am    Post subject: Homebrew decals Reply with quote

I'm gearing up for the massive prime and paint phase of my fleet preparations.

I have a big envelope of decals ready and waiting for all my Federation warships, and I plan to order more, to label my Klingon fleet.

However, for my civilian ships, I really wanted them to be personalized. My father-in-law was a merchant marine and I've always been into local railroads where I grew up. I thought it would be fun to have my large and small Freighters, Prime Traders, and APT's be in the livery of real companies that mean something to me, or of companies that I made up.

I picked up the Testors Decal System at my local hobby shop. It's a decent package with a couple of sheets of inkjet and laser-printer compatible decal paper, decal creation software (more on this in a moment), and spray-on sealant for the printed sheets.

The Testors system appears to be good stuff. I haven't printed to the decal sheets yet, but test prints on bond paper look crisp enough. Not up to the ALPS-printed quality that some folks sell, but acceptable.

I will point out that the software they include in the box package is "crippled" and will not allow you to import your own images, etc. It only allows you to use its extremely limited drawing tools and included clip-art set. That was annoying to find out after I had opened it.

I went ahead and paid the upgrade fee to get the "Standard" version as an online download. This version is more full-featured. It's still kind of basic, but I'm probably not being fair to it (I'm used to using GIMP and other Photoshop-like image-editor suites).

For what it is, the Testors (actually 'SureThing') software does the job. Here's the art for my first sheet, as it stands right now:
Freighters and Prime Trader Decals

I'm still tinkering with this, but it's nearly there.
In order, they are:
Pod LV426 owned by the Weyland Yutani Corporation (Alien movies)
Pod from 'Bandit Shipping' (Smokey and the Bandit)
Pod owned by the Great Northern Spaceway (a play on Great Northern Railway, which served the little towns in Montana I grew up in)
Pod owned by the Banzai Trans-Dimensional Shipping (Buckaroo Banzai movie)
Pod owned by Sea-Land (the shipping company my father-in-law sailed with the most)
Pod owned by FedEx (I just *had* to have one from Federation Express)
Different sizes of the Planet Express logo (for Prime Traders, etc). (Futurama)

I'll be adding a few more before I print the thing for real. Anyone else who wants to use this art for anything is more than welcome to.


Last edited by djdood on Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:36 am; edited 2 times in total
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4466
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, now I'm hopping mad... <hop - hop - hop - hop>[Sorry, I just rewatched "The Muppet Movie" and that was one of my favorite lines...]

I've been thinking of doing up all of my myriad freighters in various livery (both real and imagined - some from literature, some from film, and some home-brew) but somebody beat me to it.

And they did a darn good job of it, too.

DJ, I hope you don't mind if I use some of those. In return, I'll do a few of my favorites and post them for you and others to use.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to wiat a few more days, I can have the finished version (and at a better resolution) up for everybody.

At lunch today I decided I need to have "Wing Kong Exchange" and "Pork Chop Express" pods (from Big Trouble in Little China...)
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jmt
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 394
Location: Plano, TX

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man - and I just free handed "Virgin Galatic" for a small freighter and "Starbucks" on a large freighter (uh, make that a Grande Freighter Cool )
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmt wrote:
Man - and I just free handed "Virgin Galatic" for a small freighter and "Starbucks" on a large freighter (uh, make that a Grande Freighter Cool )


So a small freighter is a Tall, large freighter is Grande, and an ore carrier is a Venti.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in the Seattle area. I guess Starbucks and Seattle's Best pods should get done too.

Last night I realized I need to add the Colonial Movers (from the Battlestar Galactica rag-tag fleet) too.

I might do one in the Boeing house-livery too.
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junior
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Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget Interplanetary Expeditions, from Babylon 5.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't much of a B5 fan, so I'll have to Google that.

I did think of another few I want to do this morning:
Slurm (Futurama)
Red Bull (cause I drink them a lot)
J├Ągermeister (cause I mix this with the Red Bull from time to time)

All of those have interesting "can" graphics that will translate well to the cargo pod shape.
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junior
Captain


Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interplanetary Expeditions was a supposedly independent company that funded survey missions to distant planets. But their name kept turning up in things involving the Shadows.

They were the ones who funded the ill-fated expedition that Anna Sheridan joined that went to Zha'ha'dum (sp?). And iirc they were also linked to the excavation site on Mars. And the name turned up at least a couple of other times as well. They were never a direct presence in the series (i.e. I don't think we ever actually saw a member of the company), but the name kept popping up in suspicious places.
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
I wasn't much of a B5 fan, so I'll have to Google that.


The best seasons were 2 and 3. I'm a big fan of the series but also enjoy the Star Trek universe.
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Rindis
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 45
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Homebrew decals Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
I went ahead and paid the upgrade fee to get the "Standard" version as an online download. This version is more full-featured. It's still kind of basic, but I'm probably not being fair to it (I'm used to using GIMP and other Photoshop-like image-editor suites).

For what it is, the Testors (actually 'SureThing') software does the job. Here's the art for my first sheet, as it stands right now:

Is there any reason you can't use Photoshop/GIMP (or better yet for this type of thing, Illustrator/Corel Draw) and just print on the decal sheets (other than included clip-art and the fact that you paid for it)? i.e., could someone just buy a 'refill pack' and work from scratch?

Freighter suggestion: An ADB freighter? Twisted Evil (Gotta get that shipment of CL#350 to the starbase....)
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4466
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Homebrew decals Reply with quote

Rindis wrote:
Is there any reason you can't use Photoshop/GIMP (or better yet for this type of thing, Illustrator/Corel Draw) and just print on the decal sheets (other than included clip-art and the fact that you paid for it)? i.e., could someone just buy a 'refill pack' and work from scratch?

Freighter suggestion: An ADB freighter? Twisted Evil (Gotta get that shipment of CL#350 to the starbase....)


Actually, CorelDraw is what I use. I have the Testors Decal program - but din't like it. It doesn't have enough features and I'm much more comfortable with Corel.

I can lay-out a full, 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheet of images and then print out one sheet on our color laser printer at work.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4466
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Homebrew decals Reply with quote

Rindis wrote:
i.e., could someone just buy a 'refill pack' and work from scratch?

That's what I do. Several manufacturers sell sheets of decal paper in both white and clear in sizes ranging from 1/2 sheet to full sheet. If you "scrunch" the images up and get them close enough together... you can do a whole fleet of ships on a single sheet of decal paper.
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Last edited by Scoutdad on Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Scoutdad said.

I'm currently without a legit true-scale vector drawing program (all I have is Flash, which is geared to animation and doesn't print well) so I went ahead and bought Testor's software just to make sure things print at the right scale.

I probably could've made things work from GIMP, but, hindsight is 20/20.

I have a feeling I'll be doing more of these in-time, and I needed Freehand or Corel anyways for drawing projects, so I'll end up there eventually.

I've been converting a lot of the logo graphics to vector, so the transition would be pretty straight-forward.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little more progress.

Updated decal art:
Freighters and Prime Trader Decals

and

An initial run a art for my APT (from the Return of the Juggernaut story in CapLog 33):
U.S.S. Cedar Falls
I still need to stare at the mini and see what will fit on it.
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