Decals, Decals, Decals - What How Who?

Bell_Creek_Raceways Tuesday, 7/25/2023

If I missed this topic elsewhere, forgive me, but of all the fiddly little things one can do to customize a car, the one that has me the most fustrated is decals/tampos.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not frustrated by applying decals but rather by sourcing them.

If you've tried to make your own custom decals or used any of the custom ones you can find (or at least that I can find) online, you likely already know my gripe: unless you print em on white or place them on a white background, they're semi-transparent and can look weird or washed out.

Worse, if they're printed on white, you gotta cut 'em out. Try that with a fine line flame job at 1:64 scale. I dares ya.

So, my question is - is there a solution to the custom decal situation I have described? Does someone out there produce custom, opaque waterslide decals  or ... do I just need to suck it up, buttercup? 

Thank you!


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dr_dodge 7/25/23

I've used autoworld it's decent, low selection

used train, and military stuff, too

but with the slot cars, and a biweekly hot wheels event (label my cars)

I bought a p-touch sticker label maker Brother PT-900, like I use at the cal lab

they are a sticker, but pretty decent tiny resolution

peal back off and clean up w/ alcohol

plastic, not paper, tough as a hogs nose

happy for now, I'll take some pics


I just reprinted the empty club logs
camera doesn't pic it up well, but they are readable
but, not a water slide crappy pic but you get the size

a better picture, and the 1/32 too

this loaded as a picture

instant print is nice, offs   lol

  • So that's printed opaque on a clear plastic sheeting? Interesting. I wonder what mil the sheet is? If it doesn't leave much of an edge profile and can be clear-coated ... — Bell_Creek_Raceways
  • it's black on white — dr_dodge
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SpyDude 7/25/23

Paging Josh Pauffler at Rust Belt Customs:
You have an interested party in decals and waterslides.

(You can also find him on the Book of Faces at Rust Belt Customs.)

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FeralPatrick 7/25/23

I have a Cricut that I mean to use, just haven't taken the time yet. But they and other vinyl cutters can be used to cut out decals if you have an .svg or .eps file of your decal sheet. I do my decals in Illustrator and print inkjet so it s/b easy enough to figure out. That's my plan, anyway. My other plan is to buy a b/w laser printer and white toner. 

  • Oooh - fascinating idea. I do not have a cricut (sob) but I think that's what the youtuber baremetalHW (or was it diecast resurrection?) used for cutting out masks. Great idea. — Bell_Creek_Raceways
  • Diecast Resurrection/Austin used a vinyl cutter, and that's where I found out about it. — FeralPatrick
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redlinederby 7/26/23
Site manager

Stop by the My Custom Hot Wheels folks. They have a TON of 1:64 decal sets ready to go for all sorts of themes, brands, etc. They are really well made and are transparent as you would find in normal model kits. They can make custom if you contact them and ask. They're pros.

They produced Redline Derby decal sheets for me and they turned out wonderful. It was not cheap but you can't argue the quality. Depending on how complicated you wanted your sheet to be, they might do some of that leg work for you. I just gave them my RLD logo and they arranged the layout. I would just reach out them and see what they can/could/want to do on commission.

Here's a past article about water decals...making them, applying them...good reference links in there too. There's also a collection of Painting & Decals topics in the forum.

Decals on the Porsche were made by MCHW and are on transparent background like you would normally find. Please ignore my poor decal application all-white car was a bad idea, lol.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. My only issue with the custom decals has been the "semi-transparent or you have to cut em out of a white background" issue. I go too spoiled by years of pro decals on store bought models and a project I am working on has completely stalled due to my inability to apply a flamejob (I'm attempting Vyv's Ford Anglia from the Young Ones, if that rings any bells). Hoping My Custom Hot Wheels can help. — Bell_Creek_Raceways

Hey man, stop by my Facebook page and I'll get you set up.
If you don't have Facebook, you can email me at

  • I will - thank you! — Bell_Creek_Raceways
  • I cannot endorse Josh here enough. His work is fast, professional and exceedingly affordable. All my decals are done by Rust Belt Customs. — StarCorps

There's a lotta good options on EBay as well, if you need some street style decals quick, there's a few good sellers on there.

more expensive guys are usually from Taiwan or Malaysia, but DAMN, do they put in the work. You'll be hard pressed to find higher quality, but being on the other side of the world means it's gonna take awhile for it to get to your local.     White toner decals, ships from UK but very high quality           His YouTube channel, seriously talented guy.

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dr_dodge 11/14/23

I just discovered something cool!

tiny water slide decals for nails on amazon

I am ordering a short stack for some testing, but there is quite a variety out there

keep y'all posted


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dr_dodge 11/21/23

wow, these nail decals are amazing
will post more info (pics and test results) later


  • That is what Schotty uses... can;t find any in my small town — G_ForceRacing
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StarCorps 11/22/23

Nail Decals are cool - but they are limited and usually very repetitive from Amazon. 

For good custom decals, I use Rust Belt Customs on Facebook. He is just fantastic. He custom designs them in a very short turn around, and his prices are super affordable. 

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G_ForceRacing 11/23/23

I use phtotshop to create mine, but your'e right; using white ones only works on white painted cars. I like the idea of using a cricut, also Ferals idea of a laser printer with white toner.

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