Sunday, 7 September 2014

DIY adhesive stickers - an alternative approach to decals

I've never been a fan of decals. Some may experience difficulties with applying them to models and to get them into place, without ripping them apart. My problem with them has been, they've always looked  too shiny, or too much like stickers applied to the model. I'm aware of the multitude of hobby supplies concerning this issue like Tamiya decal softener etc.

But my second problem with decals is, often they are not the size, symbol, letter or number I need/want. That's when I had the idea of making a stencil of the whatever I need. So I went and bought some a4 adhesive sticker paper for my ink printer. "Designed" the sheet I wanted:


Yes, I also copied an imperial decal sheet on my adhesive sticker paper. Wanted to give it a try how it works out.

I then cut a piece of what I needed out, and used my cutting knife (hobby tool) to cut everything black out in order to make the stencil. E.g. I used the TCS - 1 (Tempestus Command Squad - 1) sticker, and cut all the black letters out (ARMY font). You need to be careful when cutting with the edge of knife not take too much away. Here's how my stencil turned out:

(It is already black around the letters because I've already put it on the model)

 Now remove the back of the adhesive sticker and put it on the model whereever you want it, then paint over it, in the recesses and take it off, before it dries (Do not take too much paint though, or it will show on the model).

Sticker on the model with paint in the stencil. Now carefully remove it, without ripping the sticker apart.

And it can look like this. I'm happy with it, it doesn't look perfect, which is totally fine, I like when it looks a bit weathered, and paint chipped. Of course you could have a perfect outcome if you took great care in creating your stencil.

I've applied this too my two Taurox Prime. (The chevon on the roof has also been applied with this technic)


  1. This is a really cool idea. I think you could take it one step further, by doing it earlier in the model process, so it gets hit by washes and various paints, to break it up even more.

    Regardless though, the taurox looks great, and the "stickers" (feel bad calling them that), just add to them!

    1. cheers m8, and you are right. But this idea just kinda materialised itself in the last couple of days. I'm planning on doing it in my next project, and at an earlier stage.