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Making and applying decals for my Comp 4 redo

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blackjack2564

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There has been a lot of interest in how to make and apply decals with a standard paper and printer.

Recently my Comp4 had a bad flight where the M-1500 research motor toasted the airframe. A complete rebuilding of this and several other rockets that needed fixing was documented here http://www.rocketryplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2792 Along with techniques for fixing holes in tubes and replacing broken fins.

I just finished painting the repaired Comp 4 , and will document the decals here to show how it's done.

All that's needed is some 3M super 77 adhesive, a plain paper printer, and some clear coat with UV inhibitor. This keeps the color from fading in the sun,and waterproofs them.

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blackjack2564

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To start I found the Fonts and size I wanted for the lettering in Microsoft Office under Word. Then Googled "road runner" images to find a suitable picture. Clip art is another great source for finding art work.

Printed out the image and lettering on plain copy paper, after fooling around to size things right for the airframe.

Spray the BACKSIDE of decal with clear first to seal, notice in the pic the paper becomes translucent. Depending on the colors and lettering, especially if white, I'll use a light coat of white paint on backside, so the decal will show up better against the airframe color.

Then coat the FRONT with the clear. Since the back is already sealed, the front will be glossy with the first coat and ready to go. The clear coat soaks into the paper.

My poor rocket looks naked, so it's time to cut out the decals, and do the lay out for positioning.

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blackjack2564

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Since these are script letters with a black outline, they would not show up well on dark blue background. Leave a little white around the letters to make them show better. Some letters look better if left connected, rather than all separated. In this case separate the words.

If they were block letters, I would have done them individually.

Slightly rounded corners hold up much better than squared ones.

A line of tape squared up on airframe to insure alignment of decals on tube.

Final placement of decals.

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blackjack2564

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Once in position, place some tape on each side of decal, make a small key mark on tape and decal. Normally a tiny pencil mark that won't even be seen is used. For the pics, I used a sharpie so it would be visible. The pencil mark on the decal is to small to be seen.

Now when the decal are sprayed with Super 77, you will be able to re-align them, quickly and in the proper position

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DAllen

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This is one of those threads that I would put under the "revolutionary" category. The thought of doing my own decals was daunting at best. It's also frustrating when I already have a nice printer and I constantly think to myself, "Why can't I just do it myself?" Thanks for the info.

-DAllen
 

blackjack2564

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Don't feel bad. When I first started doing them, I needed my nephew 14yrs old to show me how to use Word to do simple letters.I was amazed when he showed me how to shadow, fade the colors, change them from horizontal to vertical etc.

You can also get your basic fonts and artwork, e-mail it to a sign shop, and they can do them in vinyl if so desired.

Have to wait till tomorrow to finish, I'm not spraying Super 77 in the house!
 
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DAllen

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Say...just came across something interesting:

http://www.rustoleum.com/cbgimages/documents/RO_RefGuide08.pdf

Look at page 7 at the very top. That product appears to be the same thing that blackjack is using. Under the product restrictions column it states not to use it in applications where the temp will get over 200. Is that going to be a problem here with decals on the fincan?

-Dave
 

ben_ullman

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Say...just came across something interesting:

http://www.rustoleum.com/cbgimages/documents/RO_RefGuide08.pdf

Look at page 7 at the very top. That product appears to be the same thing that blackjack is using. Under the product restrictions column it states not to use it in applications where the temp will get over 200. Is that going to be a problem here with decals on the fincan?

-Dave
I would think not. There is a maximum temp motors can run at per TMT testing. Those #'s I amnot sure. I will find them. Plus it would suprise me if it gets up to 200 degrees since its a 3" mount in a 4" BT.

Ben
 

DAllen

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I think you're right Ben because I looked at some projects I have that have flown that were coated with paints with similar restrictions and I've never had an issue.

Once again...I am worrying about nothing. :rolleyes:

-Dave
 

ben_ullman

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I think you're right Ben because I looked at some projects I have that have flown that were coated with paints with similar restrictions and I've never had an issue.

Once again...I am worrying about nothing. :rolleyes:

-Dave
What would you do if you didn't have stuff to worry about.

Ben
 

blackjack2564

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Sorry for the delay guys, kinda put this on the back burner while working on my top secret project......

CHERRY BOMB...............

IT will be introduced to all soon.......it is da BOMB!!!!!!!! If the weather holds I'll fly it this weekend. Still needs its Fire Engine Red paint and bomb decals.

Any how, I finished up the Comp 4 tonight ans it's lookin good!

Decided to trim up the decals a little and use another roadrunner cartoon that was more horizontal on the rocket. So here is the finished project arisen from the ashes and ready to fly again.
Ya'll give it a try, making your own isn't that hard, and allows for a lot of creativity!

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