Finally after several days of practically non stop, the livery decals are available. I must admit that there aren’t as many quantities as I wanted just yet, one of each isn’t much, but because it is the start, quantities are a little bit limited.
As I still don’t know very well which livery will be requested most, more stock will eventually be produced. There is more material on the way, it is a start, so it is my goal to keep these available, so part of this update is to say that from now on, availability of these will be more frequent.
I wanted to share a few photos that I took of the first prints, I really hope that these will be of your liking. You will find more at the store for every specific livery.
Work will continue this weekend with the LEAP-1A engine and I am also going to do a review and a list on steps that have to be done next with the B737 cockpit project.
Last weekend I wasn’t able to work and give an update on the 747 cargo and Leap-1A projects since I am very busy working with the decals. Everything is being finished and printing will start very soon as decals will be available on Friday.
I have been writing down some extra information for certain decal sets in which I give a tip for that specific livery on how to place a particular decal, specially cheatlines. I wanted to give as much information as possible.
Three new liveries will be available; the A350 Air China “Horticultural Expo ’19” colors, the Hong Kong Express A320Neo and the Brussels Airlines A320.
All other liveries will also be available with the exception of the A320 Lufthansa “Starhansa”.
I will be updating the product images during the week.
I have been doing lots of testing during the last months and set up the decals to be printed as best as possible, I really hope you will like these decals!
Finally I have been able to finish what was the decisive decal test, the A320Neo Hong Kong Express. I can’t say it is a project I enjoyed because I was feeling that everything was being delayed. This model should have been finished at least a couple weeks ago, but I had some issues with the approach I took to place the decals and I had to re make the model.
It is not perfect, I think the Zvezda kit does not only have the windows too big, but they are also too high, it was a mistake to follow their height but overall I am satisfied with the decals and this was a final test for them. I have to reduce a little bit the nose door registration, the green line decal inside the engines has also been modified afterwards to have a more saturated color.
Since this was supposed to be a quick out of box build, I did not do a mixture for the purple color, I used the best match I had on my shelf but the “Hk” decal is actually a closer match to the real aircraft rather than the paint I used for the tail and engines.
I can see that the decal sets will be bigger than an A4 sheet since I will be including enough decals for the white underneath the needed colors. The instructions also have to be redesigned in order to point where white underlaying goes and other tips for more complex liveries as well as a black/white decal layout to see everything in detail.
Since this film carrier is very thin, it is not troublesome to use white layers first for some specific areas because the decal dries and sticks to the surface very easily and rather quickly. So far this kind of film is the thinnest one I ever tried and it practically does not show the edge around the cut, at the same time, the film is very resistant. As always with all decals, placing the decal must be done with still the backing paper holding it and on the airplane surface just sliding the decal to place to avoid the decal to fold itself.
As you can see from the photos, this model also features my previously made PW Neo engines which include photo realistic pylon decals. After the completion of this model I can finally start working on the LEAP-1A engine.
Next step will be to finally resume the projects I have started and start the LEAP-1A engines. I will also be making more units of the out stock items so I hope to set them available in due time. I expect to have the livery decals available a month from now as I have to do these minor modifications to the instructions as well as print everything.
Hopefully I can upload some progress on the current projects on next week!
I have been and still working on the Hong Kong Express A320Neo which I hope to have finished during the next weekend. I had to start over because I did not like how the project was going, my first approach was wrong and I am not sure why I did not do as I did with the China Airlines A350.
Here is an example of what was done:
1- I placed the windows with normal paper to check where the cheatline goes, you can also do this by simply adding the windows decal first.
2- I added the cheatline decal and hkexpress.com logos.
3- I clearcoated (and this is very important) so that I could protect the decal from the masking tape and I masked all around the cheatline and logo.
4- Once the masking was done, I painted the tail section.
While adding the cheatlines, it is very important to keep a good symmetry for both sides, a good reference can be the panel lines.
Currently the model is 85% decaled and so far so good, did not have any issues with the decals which is a good sign, I did a quite extensive test on this model and I am very happy with this decal paper, this was a really important test for me.
I hope to have this finished by the end of the week as I am really excited to continue with the current projects as well as start the LEAP engines.
Very busy days but I will get back on track again and prepare more stock units once this A320Neo is completed.
This is the first entry of the year and I am hoping that everyone has started this 2019 successfully and with positivity.
I find myself currently working on an A320 which ended up being a Neo variant with the Hong Kong Express livery colors.
I was designing this livery and at the same time thinking that it would be a challenge because of its design with white colors and that was something that I needed to fully test.
I must say that I am adjusting the A350 decals (as well as fine tuning some aspects of the A320 decals after the experience with the HK livery).
The approach I took with this livery was to have white decals instead of purple decals that would wrap the end of the fuselage.
This decision was taken after seeing that the purple decal would be just too big and difficult to place and also because the colors of the engines must match the color of the fuselage.
So I saw this livery “in reverse” making the background of the tail instead of the purple design.
Now, I was able to fully test the white opacity and also test a little bit further the decals positioning.
I must say that the film is very thin but it is surprisingly resistant, the edges are practically invisible. I hope to post a video soon of some of the process I did while placing the decals.
I would like to write my opinion about white decals in general.
I won’t state this at 100% because I haven’t tested white decals from model kit manufacturers but, I do believe that it is near impossible to have white (and I mean, pure white) on a dark surface in one go, (with decal papers) you can though see it white when the white decal isn’t big enough to tell the difference.
I have to clarify that the small white decal on a dark surface looks indeed pure white, but when decals are big such as the background of the Hong Kong Express tail, you can start to see the difference when comparing to the white of the fuselage.
This makes sense, if we take for example that you want to paint a dark surface with a white spray can, the normal procedure would be to apply thin layers until getting the desired finish. Decals are thin regardless of the ink used for the white, so we are simulating the way we would paint a surface.
My approach for this Hong Kong livery was to use 3 layers of white decal for the tail section, this allowed for a whiter surface that gives the desired result. The film I am using is only 7 micron, so having 3 layers of decal on top of each other is no issue at all for the specific properties of this film.
You can always opt to use two white layers if the result is already satisfying for you.
I am very cautios about which decal goes where and more importantly, which color is beneath which decal. For bright colors going on dark surfaces such as the now old yellow crane of Lufthansa onto the blue tail, I will be including two white underlaying decals for the bright color to stand out.
Of course it is optional how many decals you want to use, but from my point of view I must give as many possibilities as I can.
I will also be giving specific tips or instructions if a livery has a cheatline that divides two or more colors.
For example, I should have done a method that I did not do for this livery but that I did in my previous A350 China Airlines build. This consists in; first, painting the whole fuselage white, then applying the grey cheatline and once dry, apply a gentle gloss coat over it to protect it.
Once protected, mask tape the outline of the cheatline and proceed to paint the purple color. This is specially needed when a cheatline goes across a certain section of the fuselage and we don’t know exactly where to divide the colors.
Besides the specific tips, I also include a black colored decal sheet printed on a regular paper in order for you to easily see which white decal is what.
I will keep on working with this project and post the photos of the finished model very soon.
I can finally present a few photos of the new livery decals; in this particular case, decals for the Brussels Airlines A320, livery that I decided to make since it has white-on-dark decals on the tail area and can be very useful for this test build.
The decals have been rearranged, they are now placed in a more intuitive way and below their category name. There is the white layer decal which needs to be printed separately from the colors, however I do believe it won’t be a big nuisance to place some of the required white decals first. Most of the airliners are white anyway, but I do provide white underlaying decals in case where there is a background color other than white.
The sheet for white decals actually has the same decal numbers as their color counterparts for better understanding.
The generic decals will be available in two configurations, one for white fuselages, the other for fuselages other than white (including more white elements).
I took the chance to add a few details such as subtle people silhouettes on the passenger windows.
It has been a very hard way to come to this result that I present today in form of photos, hopefully in the next month, with a completed build. I had to redesign many lines from the previous artwork and had to change the colors almost on all objects.
Price wise these decals will be practically half cheaper than the previous digitally printed ones, naturally the two techniques are completely different and so are the costs of printing them. My time working on them will be exactly the same because I wish to continue making detailed decal liveries in the future not just for the A320 and A350.
As always, color in the photos may be different from the color seen in person, and even then it will be different than once placed on a white surface, that is why I always double check with a color chart printed with the exact same printer and do decal tests first. Decals may tend to look bluish because of the backing blue paper, but the true colors will show once placed on white surface or on white decal.
Examples above may have just too much contrast in some cases, I find difficult to photography decals, mainly due my camera having difficulties to focus, but as I explained in previous entries, I tried to make the color for the different markings to be as subtle as possible in order to keep a good balance between color/scale.
Hope you like the progress so far! Now it will be time to try them out, will record a video while doing so.