How to Make Your Own Iconography and Put It On... Stuff, part 1.5

 It's been a little while since I've updated my tutorial on making and using custom iconography with different materials (actually, it's rather frightening that six months or so have gone by since I put up the first part here), and in that time I've accomplished several goals: I've been able to get a final finalized version of the iconography I want to use; been able to get my hands on full-size clear background high-quality waterslide decal paper from a RC/hobby store local to my current short-term contract job; and I've been able to print out my new-and-revised decal document accurately on a higher-end laser printer after some tweaking. At this point I can say I'm fairly happy with the output results, which is kind of why I put the tutorial on hold initially - I wanted to have some sort of usable finished version to show as an example, more or less just to make the whole thing have a definite point of reference that might be readily accessible to people reading other than writing things up entirely based on discussed concepts.

 I'll be finishing fleshing out the original post at this point, but here's an image of the current, finalized icon sheet so you can see where I'm headed with this:

 One interesting thing I've found is that a Word doc laid out with the images actually prints up cleaner than an Adobe .PDF of the same file - I'm assuming due to compression.

 As an aside, I've made a number of attempts at carving some sort of duplicable stamp of my insignia in different forms, but the bottom line is that carving details accurately at 6mm square or thereabouts for it to fit properly on CSM shoulder pads is just a little too fiddly for me to get shapes right, even splitting it up into components parts for multiple stamps, using size 1 linoleum cutting blades, or carving things to shape with a #10 blade and a low-temp pyrogravure. (On the other hand, I've refined my plastic carving/shaping skills as a result... muahaha!)

 I'd imagine that sort of thing might be workable in a much larger size or with a very simplistic insignia, but it's much cheaper in time and hassle getting a custom-manufactured stamp or something made from an image if that was the case. The down-side is that the initial source image needs to be at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) and in strict vector graphic form (Adobe .PSD format or something similar) to get a rubber stamper made of non-copyrighted iconography - for me that rules out outlines, multiple colors, or any of the sorts of things I'm trying to accomplish being easily duplicable but I can carry over in non-stamped format. Most of the places/dealers I've contacted locally (and there aren't many) also would make it as a "complete" stamper, including ink reservoir, handle, stamping block, etc. Ideally I'd only want the laser-cut/die-cut rubber stamp itself as I already have the rest at hand, and for a 1/2" by 1/2" custom-manufactured stamper, they cost locally about $15 upwards. Much better and more cost-effective for me to get a suitable black waterslide decal sheet for $4.25 and use my existing template document (now tweaked for Letter-sized paper!) to print 'em en masse.

1 comment:

  1. The main problem I've had with water slide decals is getting them to affix to Space Marine shoulder pads. The angles are just too aggressive for the decal to sit flat. I bought some Micro-Set decal solution which softened the decal enough to *almost* sit flat. I've also purchased some Micro-Sol which I hear is a stronger softener but I haven't used it yet. Have you had any problems with the adhesion or with the image "running" one applied? I've always been a little leary of ink jet waterslides for that reason.



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