Decals Manufacturers

Are there any other decal manufacturers besides Accu-cal, Microscale, Herald King and Champ.

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There are many more but most are small outfits. Somewhere there was a publication that listed them all but forgot where that was. Seems like a whole page of them but most all reachable by smail only. There are also custom decal makers.
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Billm wrote:

Helald King has been out of business for many years
Champ is filling orders from stock, but is not printing many if any new sets. Most of the decals are availible. Russ Myers of Champion Decals passed away in the last year. His family is continueing the business.
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Champ is continuing to print popular existing sets, as well as selling from stock. I have purchased sets from them very recently.
Less than popular items may be dropped when stock is exhausted. I don't think there will be any new sets created unless there are some changes in the family run business. At least they're not nearly as 'dead' as was feared would be the case when Rich Meyer sadly passed away.
Support them. They've served the hobby well for MANY years, and continued support from customers will likely have a LOT to do with their future.
Dan Mitchell ========Howard R Garner wrote:

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<snip>

future.
I might use 'em again if their product wasn't such crapola. Sure, they do a lot of stuff that others don't (mostly steam, IMHO), but their decal quality is just sad. I had to put two layers of white Champ decals on a black model for it to actually be white, otherwise they were grey (IOW, their opacity is poor). Yellow on green is just as bad (and I would want to decal a model twice because...?) The immursion is full sheet and the thickness of armor plate. And, to top it off, the printing is neither crisp nor is it uniform in thickness (at least, in the dozen sets I have used). I wish somebody would take over his artwork and print them on a modern decal machine on modern decal paper, as there is nothing wrong with the artwork, just in the way it's made.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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The quality of their sets does vary. The artwork for some sets is VERY old, but some have been updated. They are vastly better than most of the old Walthers' decals, the only other company that made an extensive line of pre 1960's decals.
Their decals are often superior to Microscale, which tend to be thick and often incorrect (they ARE more opaque, it's true). Sometimes their ink is thicker than their decal film, producing almost a raised letter effect. The thick glossy film of Microscale decals is often hard to hide with thin overcoat sprays. IMHO, the opacity of the champ decals isn't much of an issue, as 'pure' 'solid' colors are usually too intense for modelwork, especially if weathering is later desired. If white turns out gray against a black background, that's often desirable anyway, and saves the need for a black or gray mist to tone the decal down. Yes, it CAN be a problem, but rarely is a big one.
Proper use of decal setting solutions will cause a Champ decal (and many others) to conform well to irregular surfaces, or stick well to 'flat' surfaces. A gloss finish, while preferable, is NOT necessary for good decal adhesion with a decent decal. Decals can even be applied to rough real wood surfaces and made to adhere, and the film nearly disappear. One of the worst errors many make is to overcoat a decal BEFORE it has been made to adhere to the surface. This assures a mess, with 'white' or 'silvered' decal film that looks terrible at some light angles.
The long gone Herald King decals were famous for disintegrating as soon as they hit the water. Their quality control was TERRIBLE! Their decal film was so thin it was sometimes nonexistant. Champ decals RARELY do this.
The film of very OLD decals of any make often 'yellow', and it gets brittle. Except on the lightest surfaces these can often still be used by very 'tight' trimming, minimizing the visible film surrounding the lettering (a good idea anyway).
Nothing is perfect, but Champ decals, as a group, are average or above for the model RR hobby, and they are 'the only game in town' for about 90% of what I model.
That's how I 'sees' it anyway.
Dan Mitchell ========Pac Man wrote:

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That goes without saying. :-)

Microscale's reputation is that they have the thinnest decal film in the business (and I would have to agree with that by my experience). Champ decal film by comparison is very heavy. And they are "often incorrect"? Which set(s) is/are incorrect (they have well over 1000 sets these days)? Microscale touches up older decal sets constantly, and if something is wrong, I'm sure they will try to correct it.

One would hope that the ink is thicker than the film, since they are silkscreening one on top of the other.

Huh? Are you sure you are not talking about Champ, here? :-) Because my experience has been 180 degrees from what you have said.

That's kind of a stretch, isn't it?

Heh. Try mixing Champ decals with custom decals like I did. Don Manlick custom decals using our club logos are bright white on a black hopper, while the data decals from Champ are grey! What a mess. Then, try to mix them in with factory painted models, who all have bright white or yellow ink on them while any Champ product is faded out grey. Or, better, put yellow decals on a green model, and see how they look.
<snip>

I'm glad I don't play in that game. ;-) Microscale and Accu-cals makes most everything I need (New Haven), and I'm glad I don't have to mess with Champ every time.
Paul A. Cutler III ************** Weather Or No Go New Haven **************
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Obviously we've had differing experiences.
Thin decal films are easier to hide, but more delicate to work with. Thick films are more work to disguise (see my other recent post on sanding overspray coats), but more robust to position and work with. The worst for thin film problems were the old Herald King decals ... I swear these sometimes had NO film at all. Just set them in the water and the whole decal would DISSOLVE or turn to floating dust ... lettering and all.
Decals in general, Champ, Microscale, and all the others tend to be quite variable. This applies to both the blank film they print on (which most do NOT make themselves), the paper (which comes with the film), and the ink application that the decal manufacturer DOES do themselves (or hires done). As for Microscale and Champ. I've had to deal with both too thick and too thin films from both of them.
The thickness of both the film and the ink layers greatly affects the final result. More ink makes a more opaque, but inevitably thicker, decal. The ink itself can make sharp raised lines in the surface, every bit as annoying as the edges of the decal film. The effect is that of reverse-embossed lettering. I've had that problem with several sets of Microscale decals, but NEVER with Champ.
The age of the decal also makes a difference. The backing film may 'yellow', or become unmanageably delicate and brittle.
Good decals have NO 'adhesive' on their undersides (except to hold the film on the paper baking). That residual adhesive should be soaked off the separated decal BEFORE application to the model. Some poor decals, especially 30 or so years ago, often had a layer of adhesive that they intended one to LEAVE in place to 'stick' the decal down. You may imagine what a MESS that was. Even if you did manage a neat application, in a year or two the whole thing would turn white, or just crumble and fall off. HORRIBLE!
Personally, I use BOTH Microscale and Champ, and a few other brands as well. I don't have any real favorites among them, by make, but I like Champ mostly for the extensive line of pre-1960 prototype sets they offer. That's what I model, so the modern sets from any maker are of little interest to me.
I also work with military models, and the decals for that hobby are equally problematic.
And dry transfers are an equally variable and troublesome 'can of worms'.
Dan Mitchell ========Pac Man wrote:

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On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 11:12:24 -0400, "Daniel A. Mitchell"

Now I've always heard you shouldn't trim decals that are individually "set" on the paper, as that makes a sharp edge that shows vs. the sloped edge that is already present....
Jeff Sc. Controversy, Ga.
Don't bother to reply via email...I've been JoeJobbed.
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For a GOOD decal, that might be true. For a 'yellowed' one, the more film you can get rid of, the better.
Still, while a tapered edge may be more desirable than a sharp one on a 'bordering' film, if the trim is made really close there is almost NO border at all. Then there is hardly any decal film, or edge, to try to hide. This is not easy, and not always even possible on complex decals, but it's often desirable to see how close you can come. REALLY good scissors, a good light, and a good magnifier are mandatory.
Also, a good application (or more) of decal setting solution will soften the visible edge of the decal film, making it a LOT less visible
On smooth, glossy fished items, like well maintained passenger car sides, one friend of mine oversprays with gloss finish, lets dry, then wet SANDS the surface to bring the overcoat down to the thickness of the decal film, then oversprays again. Sometimes it takes a couple applications. The result is an overcoat the same thickness as the decal film BETWEEN the decals, and one final application over everything. There is NO visible decal film at all, not even under 10X magnification.
As you might imagine, this is tricky work. The overcoats must be JUST the right thickness, and the sanding must be stopped at JUST the right moment, or the decal will be damaged. Personally, I can largely hide the decal film with a lot less effort, but I won't claim to match his final result.
There's more than one way to skin a cat.
Dan Mitchell ========"Jeff Sc." wrote:

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------------------------------------------------ Great Decals, a manufacturer of decals, has a list of manufacturers:
http://www.greatdecals.com /
There are several decal manufacturers listed on my favorite sites page:
http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links-pg3
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Resources: Links to over 700 helpful sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore.html
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net says...

Especially some really neat oldtime decals by Art Griffin at:
http://www.greatdecals.com/Griffin.htm
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Sorry to say, but Herald King went out of business a long time ago.
Accu-Cals haven't been made in ages either.
The owner of Champ retired and orders will befilled from existing stock only, no new printing will be done.
That leaves Micro-Scale.
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Acutally, Accu-cals is alive and well (hmm...well, alive anyway). www.smp-mlw.com While the webpage hasn't been updated in a while, I have certainly not heard anything that would indicate that Georgie Bishop has hung it up.

And, totally not my point, but Micro-Scale is a different company than Microscale. Micro-Scale makes high quality craftsman-level kits of buildings. Microscale is the decal manufacturer. www.microscale.com
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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Thanks for the info
Billm wrote:

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Microscale,
At Walthers (http://www.walthers.com /), I find a couple of dozen manufacturers when I search on "decal." -- Bill McC.
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Highball Graphics, Oddball Decals, Manlick (custom maker).
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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Besides custom decals, Don Manlick produces a limited number of stock decal sets, mainly of upper midwest lines (CNW, DMIR, GBW). Send a #10, stamped, self addressed envelope to DM Custom Decals, 2127 South 11th Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220-6513 to get a price list and ordering information.
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