Do you remember making AIRFIX kits when you were a lad? And what was the last thing you did after battling with Polystyrene cement and those Humbrol Enamel paints? You got into another mess with the transfers, didn't you? They all floated off together or you tore them trying to remove them from the backing paper too quickly, or where a wayward spot of glue had sealed their fate. Well, you can enjoy that fun and failure all over again for transfer paper for Inkjet and Laser Printers is available in A4 sheets for you to decorate your latest model, scale or otherwise.

As you may have seen already on my Contents Page I revamped my old aerobatic model, the RUMOUR, with a repaint, some new servos and graphics and I 'graphicked' and my latest one, the AEROBAT, too. I use Adobe Photoshop for image manipulation but any piece of graphic software, even the ones supplied with your digital camera, will produce smart images. If you're really stuck try 'Googling' the image or font you are looking for or simply use Microsoft's Paint or Microsoft Word's 'Word Art' facility for fancy lettering like my title graphic above.

If it's something special you want for a scale model, or you can't find the exact font of typefaces, that's easy enough too just use a photograph of the original graphic. If you're photo-manipulating skills aren't up to much there must be someone in your club from whom you can ask advice.

METHODTypical A4 sheet with early design

It quite easy to do, just print your designs on to a sheet of transfer (decal) paper, allow to dry and spray the image with clear gloss acrylic spray (light coats) to waterproof the transfers and you are set to get into a mess all over again. When the lacquer is DRY cut your designs from the sheet and soak them in warm water for a minute or so just as you did all those years ago.

That's the idea but there are a few pointers:

> An A4 (210x297mm) or US letter size (216x280mm) sheet can hold a surprising number of small images.
> Small images are much easier to slip off the backing paper and apply to a model than larger ones. (I have struggled applying larger ones so I know.)
> Use the best colour setting available on your printer, I set my Canon printer to the Photo Paper Pro setting. You may need to try a tiny test piece it first in the corner of a sheet, mind you.
> You can seal the images mounted on your model with another coat of clear varnish otherwise they may slide off when it rains!
> As I said above, you are not simply restricted to text since you can use photographs, (I'm thinking here of 'Memphis Belle' type designs.)
> Use Gloss rather than Satin spray to waterproof the inkjet paper ink.

Inkjet Printable Self-Adhesive Vinyl

This is also available from eBay. It is much more durable than a transfer but thicker too. Once again you will need to seal the Inkjet ink with a clear lacquer. This paper is available in clear or white.

WSheet of inkjet paper showing backing paperHERE?

I got my Inkjet transfer paper from Ebay. Just search for Decal, Waterslide or Transfer Inkjet paper and you'll find it easily enough. I searched for it in February 2010 and found that 10 A4 sheets cost 11.49 + 1.99 p&p but like I said, one sheet will hold a lot of images. Single sheets are available too, albeit at a premium.

Perhaps an enterprising soul in your club would like to make the effort of a 10 sheet order as a trial? The decal paper is available in Clear or White (the background that it is). I use the clear. My printer doesn't print white, how about yours?

As for the aerosol clear gloss acrylic spray/varnish, I got that in B&Q or Homebase, I can't remember, but any art or craft shop should carry it too.


Airfix - (in case you're tempted)
B&Q -
Ebay -
Hobby Craft -
Homebase -