VitaCal Water Slide Decal Kit

Reviewed by Michael Benolkin

Not too long ago, with the advent of copy machines and laser printers, many folks began creating their own decals to represent subjects that were not covered by the various decal makers. With the advent of color laser printers, even more ideas were able to become reality, though color control was still a problem.

One day, Alps introduced a line of color printers that provided the hobbyist with the best-ever tools for making his/her own decals from the computer. Ironically, these Alps printers have now been dropped from production as more modelers get computers.

Throughout this entire period of time, nobody had been able to solve the great dilemma - how to make decals using common ink-jet printers. Standard decal paper won't accept ink-jet ink (all you get are colorful blobs on your expensive decal paper).

Enter VitaCal. They've created a line of products that will finally allow you to create your own decals straight from your ink-jet printer. They've produced this starter kit that includes two clear sheets of decal film, two white sheets of decal film (the ONLY way you'll get white on your decals using an ink-jet), and a can of sealant which will protect your artwork when you submerge your decals in water.

While most folks do not have the artistic inclination (or time) to create new decals, another great application is to re-scale decals that are currently available. This is especially useful for 1/32 scale modelers as there are not that many decal options available for the Tamiya 1/32 F-4 Phantoms (or many of the other nice kits on the shelf).

This system will allow you to buy the designs you want in 1/48 scale (for example), enlarge them to 1/32, print them on your ink-jet printer, and create a large scale subject that nobody else has done (yet). Better yet, you'll still have the original decals left unharmed to use on another project or for trading material.

We'll be giving this system a test-shot in an upcoming project, and we'll also compare it to the decals from the Alps. In the meantime, you can try these out for yourself. This system is available directly from the manufacturer - VitaChrome Graphics.

My sincere thanks to VitaChrome Graphics for this review sample!


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