DECAL PRODUCTION UPDATES:
05-20-10 I have been running decals again, I believe I have contacted all people that had requested them over the last couple of years and have arranged to run their orders. I am not planning on doing this continuously because there's a lot of setup involved, so if you need decals then drop me a line and I'll let you know when the next run might be. I am no longer including bonus decals because they are a royal pain to run.
01-28-08 SORRY BUT DECAL PRODUCTION HAS CEASED. I may pick them up again in the future, but for now I have to quit offering them.
09-06-07 It is very likely that I will suspend this decal offer sometime around the end of this year (2007). Alps printer supplies are no longer being produced and are getting very difficult to find. As a result, the ink ribbon prices are starting to go up. Once the supplies dwindle I will keep enough on hand to make my own decals, but will have to quit offering the repro decals. If you need them then please act soon!
NEW INFO (05-20-10) TO ALL PURCHASERS OF THESE DECALS, PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS:
- I am currently shipping the decal orders in a bubble wrap mailer via regular mail. It can take anywhere from a few days to up to 10 days to arrive. I am happy to ship via priority mail at extra cost if requested.
- The decals are taped face down to a sheet of paper before going in the mailer. I do this so that the decals do not scuff against anything during mailing. By all means inspect them when they arrive, but I recommend taping them back down and storing them in the mailer until you're ready to use them. The Alps printer does not use traditional ink, it's more of a wax-based ink. It's impervious to water and even paint thinner (as I discovered by accident) but it is not real scratch-tolerant. Take reasonable care of the decals and they will be fine, but leave them laying around where stuff gets set on top of them and they may very well get damaged.
- The paper used for these decals is made by Bare Metal Foil. It is expensive paper and considered the best to use by the cottage decal folks. It is on a light blue backing, the backing is made this way so that it's easier to see white decals on it. The color is the backing only, it does not affect the decal color. The decal media is very thin and thus requires more careful handling than you may be used to with standard kit decals. I've applied a lot of these custom decals to my own models and here is how I do it:
1. Cut the decal (all the way through the backing) close to the image. Do not cut right up against the image, it's far too easy to accidentally cut into the image. Leave a border around the image and just cut as reasonably close as you can. Once the decals are applied the edges practically disappear and if you clearcoat over them then the edges do disappear, so don't worry about having a clear border when you're cutting them out.
2. Dip the decal and backing in water and immediately remove. Do not leave it in the water, the decal wil float off the backing! Only wet the decal you're ready to apply, do this one at a time.
3. Using a paintbrush, apply plenty of water (or decal setting solution, I use Testors) to the location where you will be placing the decal. You want the surface good and wet so you can slide the decal around if you need to. By the time you finish this step the decal will probably be loose from the backing and ready to transfer.
4. Place the decal (still on the backing) where you want it to go on the model, then slide the backing out from underneath it allowing the decal to transfer to the model. Personally I slip the decal about 1/8" off the backing on my work surface, then "stab" the exposed backing with the tip of my Exacto, then I place the decal/ backing in position by holding it with the Exacto, then I use my fingertip or a toothpick to push down the 1/8" of "loose" decal, then slide the backing out (still attached to the Exacto). This technique can be used to transfer some really tiny decals right where you want them.
5. Slide the decal into position. If it doesn't slide easily, DON'T force it! Using your paintbrush, brush a lot of water (or setting solution) on top of it and try to move it again. If you get it wet enough it should slide. I said not to force it because with the decals being so thin it is possible to deform them if they don't slide easily. As the decal sets it gets pliable and if you try and move it at that stage, it can deform the decal, so work swiftly to get it where it needs to go and then leave it alone.
6. Once it's where you want it, don't touch it again until it's fully set up. After 30 minutes or so check it and if there are any wrinkles on it then apply setting solution over the top and check it again in another 30 minutes or so. Usually one coat of setting solution is enough to flatten it out.
7. I recommend clearcoating over the decals to protect them. I've used Future Floor Polish applied with a brush, Testor's rattle can matte & gloss finishes and have airbrushed lacquer & enamels over the decals, all work fine. Clearcoating will make the decal sheen match the model and will also make the edges disappear.
A note about using decal setting solution- it works much better than water, it will pull the decals down tight and even make them conform into panel lines. I recently discovered it will eat into Future Floor Polish though, so if you're laying decals over Future then just use water. Once the decals are set you can brush setting solution over them, just keep it off the Future. It's OK to apply Future over them after they're dry, once the setting solution dries it's inert.
- The Alps printer uses a thermal transfer process through ink ribbons rather than traditional inket or laserjet. The ribbon has a width of about 1/4", so on images larger than that the ribbon has to make more than one pass. You may notice in the decal pictures here that there is a tiny line where these various passes overlap. It is very hard to see on most colors, but I wanted to mention it for those of you that are super picky :-) This is common to all Alps printers, so it's something you'll see on all of the decals being made by the eBay guys. If you clearcoat over the decals the "banding" disappears.
NOW... POSSIBLY FOR ONLY A LIMITED TIME... DEAL'S WHEELS REPRODUCTION DECALS!!!!!
Super Spurt and Ferd decals NOW AVAILABLE!!! Make your Funster Chevy look like the original Deal's Wheels model!
A NOTE ABOUT THE BELOW PHOTOS.... my camera is not producing the colors properly. I've gone to great lengths to match the original colors as closely as possible on my repro decals, but the pictures below do not show that. The actual blue is darker than these photos and the red is a bit lighter.
WHY AM I DOING THIS..... There was a guy on eBay that offered repro decals for a while, and I made the mistake of assuming he would always be around. Well by the time I needed decals for a Baja Humbug restoration, that guy was long gone!! I checked around for a couple of weeks trying to find someone that could do the decals for me, but the few guys that do this kind of work are so overloaded that it takes weeks to get on their schedule. Being the impatient person I am, I invested in an Alps printer myself! All the pros use Alps because it is the only reasonably priced printer that can print white ink, and many of the Deal's Wheels decals have white in them. So, now that I've sunk all this money into a printer and supplies, I will offer decals for a while and see how it goes!! Please note that Alps are no longer made and Alps now no longer makes the ink ribbons either. I have no idea how long I will be able to keep adequate supplies to be able to do this work for others, so if you want decals it's best to act quickly. If you wait a year and come here to order, don't be surprised if they are no longer available!
WHY DO THE DECALS COST THIS MUCH.... I've learned a lot about making decals, it is not as easy as I thought before I got into this. You cannot simply scan an original decal and print it out if you want the utmost in quality. First I begin by scanning the original decals at the highest possible resolution. Then I tap into my 20+ years of AutoCAD experience and import the scanned images into ACAD and draft a new image over the top of the scan. A separate image is needed for each color of the decal as the Alps printer prints each color in a separate pass. So a 3 color decal sheet is printed in multiple passes from 3 separate print files. I have over 500 bucks invested in the printer and associated supplies; plus countless hours drafting the decal image files for printing. And the decal paper I'm using costs 2 to 4 bucks a sheet!! This isn't a cheap effort!
HOW GOOD ARE THEY... Rest assured I would not sell them if they weren't at least the quality of the originals. But in fact these are BETTER than the originals! If you look closely at the original decals, you'll see the colors aren't registered very well. Plus there are the condition problems, especially on the white decals. The years are typically not kind to the original decals. These repro decals are crisp, bright and are printed on the best decal paper available!
WHICH MODELS ARE AVAILABLE... Eventually I hope to have all of the Deal's Wheels decals available. But it will take me time to get all of them drawn up. Below are the ones I have available right now. If there is something that you MUST have right now and it isn't below, contact me and I'll see what we can work out.
CAN I CUSTOMIZE THEM... Yes! The artwork files are generated as black images, I tell the printer what color to print each overlay. So the colors can be changed to something else. Even metallic gold, metallic silver, gold foil and silver foil! The foils are really cool, they look just like Bare Metal Foil! There may be an upcharge on custom runs, contact me for info.
OK, so here's what I have for sale right now:
NEW.... FERD PHONY CAR... 10.00 (Click HERE to contact me about ordering)
I finally got the artwork completed for these and I must say they really look nice! Three color decals like the originals. Two layers of white are used for great opacity.
NEW.... SUPER SPURT... 10.00 (Click HERE to contact me about ordering)
I just finished this artwork along with the above Ferd decals. These are also three color decals with two layers of white for the best opacity. Paint your Funster Chevy with Boyd's metallic green and slap these decals on and wala, instant original issue :-)
BAJA HUMBUG... 10.00 (Click HERE to contact me about ordering)
This is the one that started me on this printing adventure! I had a Baja Humbug I was restoring and needed decals for it. These decals are fantastic, they are printed with two layers of white ink to ensure excellent opaque qualities. The red text is also underlaid with white ink to ensure the red stays nice and bright regardless of the color the decals go over. I installed a set of these decals on my Baja Humbug and they look oustanding! The hood is painted black on mine and these decals are beautifully bright even on a black surface! Incidentally, the original Baja Humbug decals do much worse than any of the other models over time. If you have a kit, go check your decals right now. Yup, they're all yellow and cloudy! Get these while you can!
TRANS UM TIREBIRD... 10.00 (Click HERE to contact me about ordering)
UPDATE- I have obtained an orange printer ribbon, they're harder to find than hen's teeth but I did get one and have successfully tricked the Alps into printing it (the cart has to be relabeled to a color the printer recognizes). I am now printing these decals in the original orange and blue and they look great! I'll get a pic up soon.
One of the disadvantages of the Alps printer is it will not print true orange. In the above image, I printed the stuff that is normally orange in metallic silver. It can also be done in red, yellow, gold, etc. as well. I can do whatever color you want (except orange!) on this at no extra cost. Note that these stripes are not underlaid with white ink, so they're not recommended over really dark colors like black. I can undercoat them with white by request for a couple extra bucks. A project that I'm working on now that looks really cool is a set of these done in white and silver going over blue paint! Contact me if interested in custom colors.
LUCKY PIERRE... 11.50 (Click HERE to contact me about ordering)
YES! Throw away those junky paper stickers that come with your kit and use these instead!!! These cost a bit more than the car decals because they take up a lot more paper space and ink when printing. The decals are all undercoated with white and present well even over dark paint. There are 2 coats of white, two coats of cyan for the blue areas and one coat each of magenta and yellow for the red. So these are printed in a 6 pass process.
WEINER MOLDY'S MESSA... 11.50 (Click HERE to contact me about ordering)
Like the Lucky Pierre decals, these require a lot of paper and ink to create so cost a bit more. But imagine the smile on your face when you toss those original paper decals in the trash! These are printed with 2 passes of white and 2 passes of black for excellent color rendition. It is hard to see in the photo, but these are printed on clear decal material with the white ink corresponding to the cut marks on the originals (the originals were printed on white paper).
EXAMPLES OF SOME CUSTOM WORK
The above started as an old built-up Tirebird I bought in about '98 off of eBay. It had a nice blue paint job, but was missing its headlights, grille, turn signals, and had no stripes. Also the builder filled in the whole rear end. It lacked any detail, so I made up some decals for the headlights, turn signals and taillights. I ran off some Tirebird stripes, but used white and silver instead of the original blue and orange. The grille was created by running a piece of sheet styrene through the printer and printing black, then silver foil directly onto the styrene. Then it was cut and fitted into place. I posted it here just to give you an idea of what is possible with a printer!
The above was done for Keith Chambers who has a lot of custom work in the Gallery section. He is planning on doing a custom Firebird and wanted a mix of Trans Um and Funster Funbird decals for it. The stripe widths were tailored to his tastes. These are printed using gold foil, a 5pass process (4 underlaying colors to prime, then the foil layer).
Here's another custom job, this was done for Rob Riley's modified Zzzzz-28 (Grumpy theme) and another project he has going.
BONUS DECALS... (NO LONGER OFFERED)
Just for fun I've been developing some decals to play with on my models, and for a while I'm offering these free with all orders. On really big orders, I may include multiples, it depends on what I have on hand. Included in these bonus decals is a decal for the muffler of the Van model just as shown on the box art (but not included with the kit). Also there's the googlie eyes off the Funny cars, but done up in yellow. Then there's the "meaneyes", my personal take on the old Mooneyes logo. The "Bull Helmets" logo is great for installing on the helmet of the Baja Humbug or McLapper driver, or slap it on the car somewhere! The Farm logos are off the funny cars as well, plus a small version that I made for my Baja Humbug air cleaner. And forget trying to paint those tiny dash gauges, use this nifty decal!! I sand off the molded-in gauges and put this decal on the dash instead, instant bling! Then there's the peace sign hand, something I worked up for the sides of my Baja Humbug driver's helmet but they can be used anywhere. You can't tell in the photo very well, but these decals have white backgrounds so they'll show well on any color. Even the yellow decals are undercoated in white! These decals require a staggering 8 passes on the printer out of 6 different print files. Don't expect these to be offered free forever, they're quite labor-intensive!