First off I am not a big fan of ebooks. Sorry but I am old school and prefer the feel of the paper itself. However, I am a big fan of info on the internet and do have a few ebooks on my Kindle so there is always a chance for me.
That said, Mr. Marmo’s book on making your own decals really interested me as I have a bunch of decals I need to make for certain projects and even though I shelled out for a nice laser color printer and picked up some decal paper I really didn’t know where to start so let’s take a look at what Richard says.
This ebook is 65 pages long (a little too much for me to print it out, remember, I love paper) and covers the subject in pretty good detail. The chapters cover the equipment needed (scanners, cameras, printers, etc.), decal paper, fixatives, capturing the image, restoring old decals, what about the missing white, resizing, creating a new image, printing the decal, sealing the decal, applying the decal, alternate techniques and some links.
We all know why we want to print our own decals. We want to resize a sheet for a different scale or create a subject that doesn’t exist on the market. His chapter on restoring decals was very interesting and one idea I hadn’t even thought of.
The chapter on equipment is set up to give the reader a broad view of what types of equipment to look for. He brings up the point that as fast as technology is changing the specific machines he mentions are likely to be already off the market. But knowing the advantages to the types of machines really gives you what you need to know for your own purposes.
The same applies to the decal paper and fixatives though these don’t change as often other than new manufacturers coming into the market. Richard gives test results for the different types of paper and fixatives he used.
The two options he gives for capturing an image are a scanner or a camera and he gives good information regarding settings to use to get the best image for decal use.
I really liked the chapter on restoring old decals. He uses Photoshop for this, a program I don’t have. He goes into some details regarding the full process to restore the images. Very interesting.
What about the white? Unless you have the good fortune to own an ALPs printer you know you can’t print white. You either have to print the decal on white decal paper and then trim it closely or print it on clear and put white (either decal or paint) on first and then apply the decal over it. Again he gives good information to help you do this.
The resizing chapter deals with taking a 48th scale sheet and reducing the markings for use on a 72nd scale kit. Again, pretty through as long as you can do basic math.
The other chapters are all pretty self-explanatory and the information is very useful and easy to understand.
Overall this gives a good overview on how to do it yourself but there are a couple of things I would have liked to have seen added. Mainly information on printing with a laser printer. Due to machine costs he sticks completely to inkjet printers. I would like to know if fixatives are needed on laser printed decals. Also he focuses on using Photoshop and is pretty detailed on using that tool. But if you have a different image program you are going to see different options.
Still, if you are using Photoshop and an inkjet printer, this ebook gives you what you need to make your own decals and that is what is really is all about.
Thanks to Smashwords and IPMS/USA for the review sample.