Decals and Transfers

I can produce a set of decals or transfers either for use by me as part of a larger construction project, or for you to use in the construction of your own models. See below for further details of the types of decals I can produce, and associated prices. As well as fully custom decals, produced to your precise requirements, I also have a range of standard and semi-custom decal sets for you to use on your own models

Standard Products

I am currently preparing a range of standard decal sheets, each available in a selection of scales, from 2mm:1ft (N gauge) to 16mm:1ft, depending on the size of decals included in each sheet. The sheets currently available or in preparation include:

In the list above, those items with active links are currently available (the link will take you to the relevant details and ordering page), the others are in various stages of preparation. If you are particularly interested in any of the latter, please contact me to encourage me to produce them, or even commission them as a (reduced-price) custom order.

Semi-custom Decals

I am also preparing a range of semi-custom decal sets, each available in a selection of scales, from 2mm:1ft (N gauge) to 16mm:1ft, depending on the size of decals included in each set. These differ from my standard decals in that a limited amount of customisation is needed to produce a set of decals to your requirements. The sets currently available or in preparation include:

  • Loco markings, such as numbers, crests, company identification, etc. Customisable for such features as loco number, power classification, shed allocation and lettering/crest sizes. Can optionally also include decals to simulate cast plates such as loco name, number (cabside and/or smokebox door) and shed allocation, or headcodes and destination blinds.
    • BR Steam Locos
    • BR Diesel and Electric Locos
    • BR Diesel and Electric Multiple Units
    • GWR Steam Locos
    • LMS Steam Locos
    • SR Steam Locos
    • LNER Steam Locos
  • Passenger coach markings, such as numbers, special function lettering, crests, door labels etc. Customisable for number, coach type and end/solebar markings, etc.
  • Freight wagon lettering. Customisable for number, wagon type, load and tare weight, special instructions, etc.
    • BR Steam Era Wagons
    • GWR Wagons
    • LMS Wagons
    • SR Wagons
    • LNER Wagons
  • Diesel and electric multiple unit headcodes and destination blinds. Similar to my standard headcodes product, but also including destination blinds. Customisable for destination text, and size of blind and headcode panel. Also available as part of the full multiple unit decal sets above.
  • Railway carriage seat covers. In plain colours or patterned, optionally with anti-macassars and/or seat division markings, customisable for seat size.
  • Station and signal box nameboards and station signs and notices. Customisable for station/signal box name and size of nameboards.
  • Bus/coach destination and route number blinds. Customisable for destination, route number and size of blinds

In the list above, those items with active links are currently available (the link will take you to the relevant details and ordering page), the others are in various stages of preparation. If you are particularly interested in any of the latter, please contact me to encourage me to produce them, or even commission them as a (reduced-price) custom order.

Custom Decals

If you have a specific requirement that is not currently covered by my range of standard or semi-custom decal sheets, I will be happy to produce a fully custom set for you; please contact me with full details of your requirements to request a quotation. I will need full details of each decal, including size and/or scale, colours, etc., together with an indication of what pictures or other information you can supply for me to work from. Although full, detailed information is not needed at the quotation stage, I will need enough to gain an appreciation of the complexity of each decal, and the number of them, together with an indication of the quantity and quality of the detailed information you will be able to supply. If you are not able to supply me with sufficient information and/or suitable pictures, you are welcome to commission a preliminary research project for me to find the necessary information for you.

My range of standard and semi-custom decals currently concentrates on the railway modelling field; this is because this is where my personal modelling interest and experience (and thus knowledge) lies. I will gladly, however, produce decals for you for any other modelling subject (or indeed non-model application), provided that you can supply me with the necessary information.

Decal Types

I will normally print your decals onto waterslide paper; that is, the decal paper has to be soaked in water for a few seconds (typically 10–20) to release the decal from its backing paper. The decal is then simply slid into place on your model and finally fixed by pressing with a paper towel or a cotton bud. Alternatively, for special applications or simply if you prefer, I can print your decals onto self-adhesive paper (i.e. commercial sticky labels), or even simply plain paper.

The waterslide paper is available with either a transparent or white carrier film. Like all desktop printers, my printer (a colour laser) does not use white ink, and only the black ink is really opaque. Therefore the transparent paper is only usuable where either the surface the decal is to be applied to is white or very light in colour, or the decal contains only black or very dark colours. Otherwise the white carrier film has to be used to achieve accurate colour reproduction.

This film extends across the whole sheet of decals, and has to be cut around the individual decals during application. For simple, straight-edged decals, it is straightforward to cut accurately around the decal outline to completely remove the excess white carrier; for more complex shapes, such as lettering, this is impractical and so the decal has to include a coloured background that matches the surface it is to be applied to. My semi-custom and standard decals include a specification of the paint colour the background has been matched to; for fully custom decals you will need to specify the paint colour that I am to match.

The white carrier film is sufficiently thin to be invisible around the edge of the decal once it is in place on the model, provided that it has been cut cleanly - use a very sharp knife. If the decal edge tears during cutting or application, so that some of the printed colour comes off and reveals the white film, it is straightforward to touch up the edges of the decal with the underlying paint colour. Because of this it is generally better to leave a small margin of background colour around the decal when cutting out.

The need for a coloured decal background can actually be an advantage, as it eliminates the possibility of the "silvered" effect that can occur with transparent waterslide decals when applied to a less than perfectly smooth surface (such as matt or even satin paint finishes), due to air becoming trapped under the decal. A slight mismatch between the decal background colour and the underlying surface can be less noticeable than a silvered transparent carrier.

Prices and Delivery

All of my decals are printed to order; I do not keep a stock of individual sheets. Standard and semi-custom decals will normally be dispatched within 1 working week of your order (and receipt of your cleared payment). If I am unable to do this (e.g. due to unexpectedly running out of blank decal paper or printer ink etc.) I will let you know within a few days of your order.

My standard decals cost £7.50 per set. Semi-custom decals cost £10–50 per set, depending on the degree of customisation needed, and fully custom decals will cost from £50 per set, depending on the number and complexity of the decals required, and the quality of the information you provide.

I normally supply decals printed onto paper up to A5 in size. All decal sets in your order, whether standard, semi-custom or fully custom, will be organised for printing to use the minimum number of sheets; depending on the size and number of decals in a set, a single A5 sheet can contain several sets of decals.

Where the size of the decals requires it, I can also supply A4 sized sheets, and the per sheet and postage costs will increase accordingly, and will be quoted on application.

To send the decals to you I offer three levels of service:

  • Economy. £1.25 per order. The decals will be posted by normal First Class post, and loss or damage in transit is at your risk (i.e. if the decals arrive damaged or not at all, they will not be replaced or refunded).
  • Standard. £2.35 per order. The decals will be posted by First Class recorded delivery, and will thus require a signature on arrival. Decals that arrive damaged, or not at all, will be replaced free of charge (or refunded), provided I can claim on the insurance included with this service.
  • Express. £7.00 per order. The decals will be posted by Special Delivery, will require a signature on arrival, and are guaranteed to arrive the next (working) day after I dispatch them. I will also endeavour to dispatch them as quickly as possible after your order, usually within 2 working days.

Electronic Files

As an alternative to supplying physical decals, I can also supply electronic files that you can use to print the decal sheets yourself, or get them printed by third party service. Since you will be able to print multiple copies of sheets supplied in this way, these files will cost £25 per sheet.

Note that my decal sheets are subject to copyright, and are licensed for your personal use only; you are not permitted to supply decals produced from them to anyone else, either as sheets of unused decals or applied to a model or other object (other than to dispose of your own collection of models on a second-hand basis). You are also not permitted to modify the files in any way, nor supply copies of them to anyone else, other than to get them printed by a third party.

If you wish to use a printing service that is capable of using opaque white or light-coloured inks, at extra cost I can supply versions of these files modified to accommodate the necessary carrier mask or colour separation layers; please enquire for further details.