When you need something new or something extra
Lately I’ve been creating some models for which a kit version is unavailable. Drawing sponsor decals from scratch was out of the question, so I went looking for some 1/43 racecar decal sources. I am happy to report that there are quality choices available. Herewith some of what I found:
I’ve purchased decals from Indycals several times now. The quality is outstanding and the service is fast. Most decals are offered in several sizes to please almost any model builder.
Indycals makes a wide range of decals for Indycars of course, but they have also delved into Can-Am/F1/LeMans/IMSA/F5000. The decals feature an all-over topcoat, so you must trim out all of the decals individually. It’s what you would probably do with any other decal sheet anyhow.
One of their best products are the tire decals for Goodyear, Firestone, etc. Instead of providing separate decals for branding and/or verbiage, they’ve combined it all into one decal on a black background. You simply trim out the inside diameter and carefully and closely trim around the outside diameter and place the whole thing on the tire. It looks so much better because it looks less like decals and more like tire printing. Indycals also includes the O.Z. verbiage for aero rings for some Indycar versions. Genius.
One of the nicest features that Indycals offers is the “OOPS! Guarantee”. If you mess up any of their decals, Indycals will send you replacements upon request.
I have used OOPS a couple of times. The replacements came wonderfully fast.
This one may be new to you. Patto’s Place is located in Australia and they offer a mind-blowing amount of racecar versions. Indy/F1/NASCAR/LeMans/IMSA/Speedway/Aussie Supercars and a whole bunch more.
Most decals are available in a wide array of scales and 2 kinds of decal types: waterslide or peel & stick. Patto’s makes decals for both static models and slot cars. The peel and stick are great for the slot cars.
About those waterslide decals: they are very unique in that they are designed to conform to the shape of the model. Decal setting solution is not needed and definitely not recommended. I used the waterslide decals on this Porsche* and they did in fact conform well. However, each decal here was very small and I cannot comment on how well larger decals would respond to shapes. I did spray some Testor’s Decal Bonder on some Patto’s waterslides for another project and the decals worked just fine with Solvaset Decal Setting Solution, which is quite powerful stuff. I suggest you test Patto’s decals with any topcoating on some scrap before using on the model you are building.
What I didn’t like was the carrier film that showed even though I cut out each white rectangle pretty closely. Yes, I did cut all those rectangles out individually!
Patto’s also offers “wraps”. Full color wraps that eliminate the need for painting. I suggest this for slot cars only as the decals may or may not fit your model perfectly. Patto’s does in fact mention this on their homepage.
All said, spend a couple of days wandering through the extensive list of racecar decals (and more) on the Patto’s Place website. Though I will not clean up after your mind blows.
As the name implies, LeMans Decals is all about sports cars that competed at the great race and elsewhere. Again, their decals are available in a variety of scales. Some of their decals are what I imagine to be repros of out-of-production kit decals like FDS.
Others appear to be originals (or great copies) like their sheet for the Jeff Koons BMW Art Car that ran at LeMans in 2010. These decals are not available from any other source as far as I can tell. Other BMW Art Cars also available are for the Roy Lichtenstein and John Baldessari cars.
There are plenty of choices for the modeler looking for something new to create. Or just to replace old kit decals that of dubious quality due to age.
Grand Prix Models
If your needs go to current model kit decals or accessory decals, there is no better source than our friends at Grand Prix Models. Plenty of choices from Tameo, Virage, Renaissance, BBR and more. If you don’t see it on their website, they are amazingly good at locating esoteric models and model supplies. Just ask.
So there you go. Look through the 1/43 racecar decal sources above for a while. There’s plenty of creativity to be found therein.
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*This car was called the “Blank Cheque”. Team owner Richard Lloyd wanted to create a “better” Porsche 962. The resulting car had a stiffer tub and better aero. He spent a absolute fortune on the car. Hence the “blank cheques” all over the car.