PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) vinyl is by far the most popular media
we offer. These decals are thermally printed on very thin cast vinyl
with an outdoor rating of 8 years. Colors are bright, vivid and
permanent. In most cases these decals are profile or contour-cut to
eliminate hand trimming. Unless otherwise requested, all Cal-Grafx PSA
vinyl decals are treated for UV, abrasion and fuel resistance with our
proprietary 4-step finishing process which results in a low sheen
painted finish, not the "cheap shine" you will often see in competitive
These decals are very durable and will last the life of the model. For builders that like to use a clear coat as the final finish, our decals can be clear-coated over as long as light mist coats are used initially. Because they are so thin and have an extremely aggressive adhesive, all but very small decals must be floated into position using Windex® or a soapy water solution. A squeegee is used to smooth the decal and remove moisture and bubbles.
Water slide media is the most familiar for modelers that have a long
history in the hobby dating back to the 50's. Unfortunately we can no
longer provide water slide decals as a standard offering. This
does not mean we have stopped printing them, rather, we will consider
requests for water slides on a case-by-case basis.
|Vinyl graphics is a decal or graphic
created by cutting vinyl on a special machine designed for precision
cutting and plotting. It is one of the core technologies for the custom
sign business, but it is also very useful for letter and numbers that
are frequently applied to models. With vinyl graphics there is no
carrier between the letters or numbers, so in that sense it has the best
"painted on" appearance.
There are some limitations however. At Cal-Grafx we do not build up multiple layers of cut vinyl because you quickly lose the painted-on look. Therefore, with rare exceptions, only a single color is available for a vinyl graphics decal, however, many individual colors are available.
Vinyl graphics are applied using a temporary tape or "transfer tape" that keeps all the individual elements (letters, numbers, etc.) together in the proper alignment until they are on the model. After placement, the tape is removed and discarded. Letters and numbers that are a single color and 1/2" height or larger are excellent candidates for vinyl graphics. For smaller characters, either of the other two media described above can be used.
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