Friday, 1 March 2013

Making your own decals

Continuing with my recent efforts to update some of my older miniatures I've turned my attention to the original tactical squad and particularly the lack of any identifying icons so I decided they'd need some decals. I could've just bought the Forgeworld ones but to ensure all the icons look roughly the same across the whole any and be consistant with the other models such as the standard bearer I decided making my own would be best.
There are plenty of tutorials out there, the one on From the warp is probably the best I've come across, so I won't go into all the details here. Ron does a far better job of explaining everything than I could anyway.

I went ahead and bought some inkjet decal paper, both white and clear and also the sealant spray too. One think I realised is that I really didn't need to be printing off a full A4 sheet and if I did I'd only get one shot. Luckily I have a printer which has a 6x4in photo paper tray so I cut up the A4 paper into quarters which is only just smaller than 6x4. Whilst I was at it I cut up some normal A4 paper too so that I could print off as many trial sheets as I'd need without using up my decal paper.

I then spent a few hours on Photoshop making, re-sizing and test printing trial sheets. By the way don't worry if you don't have photoshop. Free software such as is perfectly suitable for something like this. Because my Terminators have green should pads I decided to try using the white decal paper first of all, the printed sheet can be seen in the photo below after sealing with several thin coats.

 Next came the tricky part, the application. At this point I have to say decal softener is an absolute must. I've tried this before with just water and its hopeless. I used Micro Set and Micro Sol that I got off an ebay shop and I'm suitably impressed with the results, a few coats of the softener and it looks great. I didn't trim the decal exactly so the shot below shows the model after some touching up of the white around the decal.


 Overall impressions so far is that this is definitely something worth doing to really enhance the paint job and overall effect. I may print off a clear sheet for the others in this squad but I'll let this dry completely and have another look at the model then!

Thanks for reading



  1. Well done on pulling this off! I try'd once before and failed miserably!

    Also I just got photoshop my self for this purpose though I'm not sure how to use it to make decals, do you mind telling me how you went about it?

    1. Thanks Snake88,
      I'll try to do another post in the near future on using photoshop for making decal sheets. In the meantime my biggest tip would be to make sure you use layers to build up the icons and the overall sheet so things can be moved around and altered far more easily! Good luck!


    2. Thanks, I'm not all good with photo shop as you can probably tell!