login   |    register
Modeling in General: Decals
Trouble with decals?
How would you handle hand painted signs?
Visit this Community
British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: March 16, 2010
entire network: 470 Posts
KitMaker Network: 58 Posts
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2018 - 11:14 AM UTC
Lots of fonts can be used , as a sign guy I would use a block font or brush script .It also depends on what you want to warn about.
I'd just print the design out on adhesive vinyl sheet and stick it on a suitable backing.
This one is painted on brass sheet using vinyl masks I made:

A lot of research went into the creation of the highway sign , getting info from a retired CHIP officer.It is period correct.
Visit this Community
Colorado, United States
Member Since: January 20, 2005
entire network: 6,527 Posts
KitMaker Network: 902 Posts
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2018 - 04:43 AM UTC
I have hand painted signs on balsa, but if the lettering is too small you can do this, which I have also done:

1. Paint the lettering color first as a base color.
2. Apply dry transfer lettering available in many fonts and sizes, (including Arabic)to represent the text you want. Color does not matter.
3. Airbrush the entire sign, over the lettering, in the sign color.
4. Use very sticky tape to remove dry transfer lettering, leaving text in desired color underneath.
5. Admire your handiwork.


Robin's method works, but getting paper to look like wood is difficult. As a variation to his method, print the image in reverse. Spray it with Valspar Clear. Currently I have a can of Tree House Studios Clear Acrylic - it seems to work just as well. Spray the clear acrylic on the wood as well.
Heat both surfaces with a hair dryer, and burnish the image face down on the wood. Remove paper.
Visit this Community
New Jersey, United States
Member Since: December 08, 2003
entire network: 2,687 Posts
KitMaker Network: 158 Posts
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2018 - 11:09 PM UTC
Find an appropriate hand lettered font and type it in MS word and print it out.

Using photoshop one can add textures and some weathering.

There are thousands of fonts out there. You can even play with letter size and kerning (that's width between letters and uneven lines)
Blambot is a good place to start any search for a free font, but there are quite a few preloaded on the computer that people never notice.
The last few times I did 1/1 signs I cut stencils. Spray painted signs look like si much graffiti.
Staff MemberDirector of Member Services
Visit this Community
Stockholm, Sweden
Member Since: November 29, 2006
entire network: 5,317 Posts
KitMaker Network: 752 Posts
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2018 - 09:37 PM UTC
Make a real hand painted sign, maybe not in 1:1 scale but maybe 1:10. Use small paintbrush, nr 2 or 4, and paint the sign you want on the desired background. If it is difficult to get it right simply make a larger sign with a larger brush. In the worst case you have to make them in 1:1 scale to get the right size of the runs where the paint has run and dribbled.
When you are happy with the sign you scan it to your computer.
Open/Edit the image in some image handling program, Windows Paint or even PowerPoint could work if you haven't got anything fancy.
Scale down the image to the desired size and print it on plain paper or on printable decal paper.
The plain paper should work, unless the paper thickness becomes an issue.
If you already have images of the real signs it is even easier ...

/ Robin
Visit this Community
New Zealand
Member Since: May 13, 2013
entire network: 148 Posts
KitMaker Network: 21 Posts
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2018 - 04:59 PM UTC
Hi guys. I need to create some custom signs in 1/35 for a dio. Its going to be a warning sign painted on a wooden board by the side of a road. I had a go with the airbrush to simulate spray painting but I'm not all that happy. I would prefer decals but it has to look hand painted, like slogans on the sides of Russian tanks. I don't know if there are decals out there like that. I know there are plain lettering available and I could paint over them and have the paint running down, but the letters themselves would look too perfect.

How would you guys handle something like that?