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I am in the process of starting a build on a Model Shipways Benjamin Latham. Is there anywhere I can get the lettering and scrollwork around anchor. What do you normally use for these items. Wondering if anyone makes these as decals I can purchase or am I going to have to print my own. Just wondering what you all do, so I can get some ideas for when the time comes to do the lettering on this one. Thanks, Ron.

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You can get blank decal paper that works in inkjet printers.  Draw the lettering or scroll work using a program like paint or a cad program like designcad  or turbo cad.  Print the artwork on the paper and apply the resulting decal.  I believe these sheets are called water slide decal sheets.  There are two types, clear and white.  Use the one that works best for you.

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You can also get sheets of transparent labels - inkjet-compatible ones - onto which you can print your lettering.  That's what I did when I completely messed up the decal lettering that came with my USS Enterprise kit.  The labels stick well to wood that's had a coat of sealant, and the nameplate on my Enterprise still looks good as new after 3 years.

Labels are easier to manipulate than decals.  Imho.

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  • 1 year later...

I spent years as a graphic artist when 'Letraset' was part of the stock-in-trade in a vast range of choices. It was never cheap, but there were other products available. A lot of fonts came in colour choices, including gold and silver. I can't believe it isn't still available; try professional graphic supplies outlets.

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I agree, Bob. Ultimately, everything degrades. It's the properties of physics (entropy) I guess.

I think it's important to not loose sight of the fact that many of us enjoy the process of 'doing', hopefully to a level we find satisfying. As often happens, once we shed this mortal coil, the things we personally value now will be in tomorrows dumpster. It doesn't mean we can't enjoy what pleasure we can while we are here.

The model-makers in the 17th century, I'm sure, would be amazed and delighted that we can appreciate their work today. But oh! How much has been lost? Sometimes I get a chill when I think what would be destroyed if just one of the major collections was lost through fire or some other disaster. There aren't that many. It's like most of these 'eggs' are in a few scattered baskets.

We are fortunate and lucky to have what there is. It's our love and enthusiasm which is the best preservative of all.

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6 minutes ago, shipman said:

I agree, Bob. Ultimately, everything degrades. It's the properties of physics (entropy) I guess.

I think it's important to not loose sight of the fact that many of us enjoy the process of 'doing', hopefully to a level we find satisfying. As often happens, once we shed this mortal coil, the things we personally value now will be in tomorrows dumpster. It doesn't mean we can't enjoy what pleasure we can while we are here.

I was talking about ten, twenty, thirty years, not all eternity. :D  As they say, "Your mileage may vary." 

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Bob, I have a few plastic model kits built up to 30 years ago. Apart from my catastrophic dropping of a few, they look as if they were built yesterday.

Gregory, I'd say that paintwork is untouched, other than years of dust and smoke being removed.

Once I was lucky to get a look at paintings in the National Portrait Gallery, London, where cleaned areas were next to un-cleaned areas, with no other 'restoration'. The results were truly astonishing.

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1 hour ago, Gregory said:

Any insight as to what materials and methods have enabled this art to last for almost 300 years.

Probably oil-based paints -- just like portraits that have lasted for hundreds of years.

 

Of course, having a museum curator around doesn't hurt either.

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27 minutes ago, shipman said:

Bob, I have a few plastic model kits built up to 30 years ago. Apart from my catastrophic dropping of a few, they look as if they were built yesterday.

I'm sure that's true. Were they painted with acrylics 30 years ago? Even so, they may look fine today. Obviously, you've taken good care of them. It's a dicey business. Some do apparently last well for such periods of time. Others, not so much.  We don't have to wait 300 years to see how permanent styrene plastics are though. Plastic begins its process of "plastico-porosis" the minute it's made. It has a half-life that is relatively short and which can be radically accelerated by adverse environmental factors. It's decidedly "non-archival." Nobody expects it to last longer than what it does. (This degradation, however slow, is the only thing that has prevented mankind from becoming totally inundated in plastic garbage!)

 

I expect anyone who has held on to a model that had decals applied for any length of time will have noticed that the clear edges of the decals frequently begin to cloud up and discolor after a few years and after a few more years, will eventually "dry out" and start to crack, flake, and peel off.

 

Seriously, though, I think all modelers who put many hundreds, if not thousands of hours into building good models, should give careful thought to using the most long-lasting methods and materials. You never know. Maybe 300 years from now, your model may have survived and is then one of the very few models of its subject in existence, a true historic "museum quality" model. However long it does last, if anyone comes to own and enjoy it after you, they will certainly appreciate the fact that you did consider the permanence of the materials used. It also makes a huge difference in the monetary value of a model, should that be of any concern to the builder or the builder's heirs. 

 

I realize few of us will ever be good enough at the game to build a model that is worthy of being considered "museum quality," whatever that may be, but I think we all like to think we strive to do the best we can, or should. Every little bit brings our work closer to excellence.

Edited by Bob Cleek
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