typography techniques


New Member
hey there, i'm fairly new to model and prop building ... but i am a designer ... i'm curious what are some of the standard techniques of applying small and intricate fonts / symbols? stuff that's too detailed for an x-acto and needs more durability than stickers.

any advice, ideas and guidance are welcome, i'm curious as to any general techniques use for this stuff. thanks so much!
Another technique is to obtain some small dry transfer lettering sets (such as produced for the railroading hobby or through Archer Fine Transfers - http://www.archertransfers.com). Then first paint the color you want the final lettering to be. Once dry, create your verbiage with the dry transfer, applied as normal. Then, immediately paint your top color. Allow some time to for that to dry but not a full "hard" cure, then using a cellophane type tape or similar, 'rip up' the dry transfer lettering to expose the tiny lettering design.

Obviously, this technique has many variables so some experimentation with your specific materials is indicated. But the painted-on look is remarkable - because it *is* painted on! You also have no problem with coverage (no bleed through) and white lettering is possible as well (though most dry transfers seem to be offered in white...)

And don't overlook using the dry transfer directly if the appropriate color.

Another method is to make (or have made) thin brass photo-etched stencils and spray paint the design using them. Really useful if you have to repeat the same design over and over (Star Trek Aztec patterns being a well known example.) Google for 'making photo-etched parts' to find out how it is done. A bit involved but nothing mysterious about it. ;^)

Regards, Robert
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