We currently are running two different machines to create a wide variety of markings.
|Before we send anything to our plotters, the artwork needs to be created. Some orders are easy, others a bit more challenging depending on finding documentation of particular schemes. Once decent photos have been found, I'll bring everything into our graphics program. To get the sizes correct, I'll use a three view of your plane and scale it to your models exact specifications. I then digitally draw the graphics on top of the three view to get the correct sizing. Some nose art, etc. can be rather tricky to recreate, since many photos of the schemes requested are from WWII or WWI and in grainy, black and white photos. In some cases, I can recreate the artwork by hand, and then scan it in my computer to create a digital file. If you're not sure if I can recreate something or not, feel free to Contact Us with your photos and I'll let you know what we can do!
|Our main workhorse is a Roland SP-300V printer/plotter. This works similar to an inkjet printer. This allows us to create all sorts of multicolored graphics, all on one layer of vinyl. We have the ability to print on clear or white vinyl. The printable area is 28" wide by 8' long. We use the thinnest printable vinyl we have available for this machine, at only 2.3 mil thick. (0.0023")
After the printer is finished printing, a CAD driven plotter then goes around the specified shapes and cuts each graphic out. It can cut items as simple as a square or circle, or complex as a pin up girl. This allows us to create realistic recreations of nose art, insignia, logos, warning labels, etc.
For the clear vinyl, unfortunately, we have some limitations. The ink our machine uses is transparent, so we typically only print dark colors on clear. This works great for black nomenclature items.
Our other workhorse is our Summa S2 T plotter. We use this for single colored graphics only. This machine is even more capable of making intricate cuts than our Roland printer/plotter. This machine can take rolls of vinyl 15", 24" and 30" wide. We typically only stock the 15" vinyl, but are happy to special order in larger rolls when necessary. The majority of our colors come in 2 mil, high performance vinyl (0.002" thick)
|After the graphics have been print/cut, it's then time to remove the excess vinyl. This is called "weeding". We simply remove all of the items that don't belong! After that, we apply a transfer tape on top for easy application. Once your graphics are applied, they look almost painted on! For information on how to apply our graphics, check out our Instructions page