It was just after I’d bought the 01 Pilot drawing pen that I thought it would be a good idea if someone – anyone - made a set of decals for me to stick to signposts rather than try tortuously scribing something with a 00000000 brush! This and a general sense of frustration that I’d never be able to paint adequate maps! If only I could combine my background in research with Chris’ skills as a graphic designer I was sure we could come up with something original.
Several months later and we feel confident to share the fruits of a labour with you and even offer them for sale to Model Dads readers. But before I get into all of that, we wanted to share a few thoughts and reflections with you .
Historical accuracy is important to Chris and I. Not slavishly so, but it’s important to us that things look, well, ‘right’. The Normandy decal pack contains 155 decals all of which, wherever possible, have been sourced from photographs of the Normandy campaign. So you’ll find 28 Normandy road signs, 16 German military directional markers and 24 of the now obligatory minen! signs as well as 19 maps. We’ve also thrown in what we are calling ‘flavour’ pieces. These include a variety of order sheets, paybooks, the British Army’s Guide to France and copies of the German magazine Signal. We debated whether or not to include a National Socialist flag and, after a review of the photographs, we decided to add it to the set. This is in no way intended to glorify or endorse the tenets of the Third Reich.
- 28 Normandy road signs
- 19 maps
- 16 copies of the German magazine, Signal
- 16 German military directional signs
- 22 Minen signs
- 12 small orders papers
- 12 Top Secret orders papers;
- 12 paybooks
- 6 large orders papers
- 4 National Socialist flags
- 4 British Guides to France
- 2 AchtungMinen! Signs
Why so many? Well, having practicised applying really, really tiny decals you’re bound to make a few mistakes. So we’ve included duplicates just in case you make a total hash of it. Like I first did. Don’t worry, though, you’ll also find a set of instructions to help you on your way and they’ll be a photographic tutorial appearing shortly that will take you through the decal application process step-by-step-by-step.
The decals are printed at a very high resolution on 2 small sheets of high quality Experts-Choice white decal paper and then sealed with liquid decal film.
As the decal paper is white you’ll have to cut carefully around edge to avoid a white line around your images. Don’t worry if you’re not too precise. We’ve tried to match the decals to standard Vallejo colours so any touch-up work should be relatively easy. When applying, I heartily recommend Microscale’s Micro Set and Micro Sol products, particularly the later. This helps decals conform to the surface of your model.
Our decals may be slightly thicker than some you may be used to and can stand slightly proud on some flat surfaces. This isn’t an issue where the decal matches the exact size of the model and can even be a boon when working with maps and paperwork, but this may be an issue where smaller decals are applied to larger areas. Once applied, always seal with a layer or two of matt varnish to protect your decal. That done, the world’s your oyster. Chris has applied a range of subtle weathering to each design, but don’t let that stop you from adding your own effects. I’ve found that the application of successive layers of thinned wash weather the signs wonderfully.
The road-signs, directional markers and mine signs are designed to be compatible with both Peter Pig and Battlefront’s range of signposts. We scanned these in digitally and matched the decals to them, but it always pays to check with a dry run before you apply. Alternatively, why not make up your own signs up by cutting small squares of blister pack plastic and sticking them to cocktail sticks or applying directly to your barbed wire and mine field markers.
Remember those tables that came with your artillery staff team? Well, the map decals really add value to these pieces,
What about adding a map to your tank commander’s turret, or draping one over the seat of a jeep or the bonnet of a half-track? Why not scatter documents and pay books over your objective marker or add to a custom diorama you’re building? The pack enables you to be creative in your modelling.
To order a set of Model Dads Normandy: Mines, Signs and Maps decals will cost £5.99 if you live in the UK and £6.99 for the rest of the World. This price includes postage and packing. Look for the blog entry and webpage on the website in the next few days. We’ll be using PayPal to accept payments and you can expect to receive your decals within 7-9 working days in the UK with Worldwide orders slightly later.
Our intention is not to make a huge profit, but to cover our production costs with any surplus going towards the costs of hosting the Model Dads website and blog.
Any feedback would be warmly welcomed and, if this set proves popular, we will consider more Model Decals sets in the the future