Your Guide to Model Car Decals – The What, Why & How
The Decals we apply to our custom Hot Wheels and Diecast Cars is called waterslide decal because of the type of paper it is printed on and the way it is applied. Waterslide Decal Paper is made of two layers, a thin top layer on which the actual images are printed and a white paper backing layer, and when placed in water for a matter of seconds these layers come apart. Simple yes but there’s a couple of things to keep in mind…
CLEAR Vs. WHITE Decal Paper
Since the decals are printed on a layer that separates from the white backing underneath we have the option of choosing whether this top layer is clear or white.
If the decal paper is a CLEAR version then anything you see in white on the decal sheet product examples will appear clear – well, not at all technically.
The obvious main advantage of using a clear backed decal over a white backed one is the fact that you don’t need to be precise when cutting around the small logos and lettering associated with racing livery and motor racing in general. So Far So Good?
When using a WHITE version of the decal paper you get a slightly brighter and clearer image (due to the background being solid) and you also get anything printed in white actually appearing. For this reason I have made sure that decals that are best suited to a white backing are grouped with other decals of the same nature.
Obviously I have done the same for decals requiring a clear backing – which to be honest is the majority of them anyway.
TIP: If you have a decal with white in or on it and it’s printed on clear decal paper then simply apply a small amount of white paint to the section of the vehicle where you know it will show through. Decal appears white where it needs to and rest of decal covers edge of your painting. Problem solved.
How to Apply Your Water-Slide Decals:
Note that instructions on how to apply and care for your decals will come enclosed with each and every order.
- Cut out your desired decal and place it into a small cup or bowl of water.
Wait 10 – 30 seconds.
- Using Tweezers, remove the decal from the water.
You may notice the back separating from the decal image already.
- With your (clean) fingers, gently pinch the decal and slide your fingers apart
This forces the backing paper to slide off AND leaves the decal resting gently on your fingertip
- Take the decal from your finger tip with your tweezers.
make not of which way around it is so you can apply it easily – and correctly!
- Gently apply the decal to your custom hotwheels – roughly in the spot it needs to be.
Once the decal is applied you have a minute or so before it doesn’t want to budge
- Using a Cotton bud (Q-Tip) or your finger gently manoeuvre the decal into the desired position.
I prefer the finger because it is more precise but as a habit try not to touch the decal too much as it can taint the decals quality
- Once in position gently wipe away any excess water droplets and run it over the surface of the decal.
Some of the smaller decals will move when you try this step so consider them ready for ‘clear coat’
- With the decal in position (and assuming there aren’t more to come) apply Spray Lacquer or Clear Coat to the surface.
Clear Coat is a spray lacquer that locks the decal in place and sticks it down permanently.
- You are done! – Reattach the interior and wheels and enjoy your new custom creation with it’s awesome decals.
Note: Clear Coat Spray Lacquer comes in Semi Gloss and Full Gloss. The Semi Gloss should be called Semi (Semi Semi Semi Semi) Gloss because if applied to a gloss coat of paint it will almost completely remove the luster and shine of your wonderfully glossy paint job. I use and always recommend sticking with Full Gloss Spray Lacquer – reserving the semi gloss for the times when I need to decal a custom with a matte finish….which hasn’t happened yet.
How to Remove Car Decals
It’s one thing to be able to apply decals to your model car but what if you made a mistake and want to remove car decals from your latest build? Or even worse, what if the original model you are working with came from the factory with horrible decals (also known as Tampos) and you want to know how to remove these decals before you apply your own quality decals from My Custom Hot Wheels
In order to be able to safely and easily remove car decals from your model you need to make sure the area is clean and that all paint and polish that you may have been using is clear from the surface and you are working with a clean model. Next thing you are going to need is some Nail Polish Remover.
Using cotton buds (Q-Tips) or a clean cloth wrapped around your fingertip dip the end in the nail polish remover and then apply to the body of the plastic or diecast model that you are working with. If you push too hard you will also start to take off the paint as well and it will also take away paint from the edges like door trim and headlight areas – so be careful! If you want to remove car decals put on by the company – a decal application that is known as Tamping or Tampos – hence the name. Removing these is the same process as removing car decals with the only difference being that tampos or factory applied decals are much more stubborn and require a bit more elbow grease.
For a full description and guide on how to remove Tampos from Hot Wheels and other diecast cars follow THIS LINK HERE
Caring For Your Model Car Decals
As the final step above mentions, it is imperative that you cover your decals with clear lacquer within a few hours of applying them to the vehicle. The natural glue within the decal paper only works for so long and if you don’t apply clear coat then you will find all your beautifully placed decals starting to peel up at the ends. A good single coat of spray lacquer is more than enough to make sure your decal stays where it is supposed to for the life of the custom.
Speaking of life – if you want your unused decals to last then make sure you store them in a drawer and away from direct sunlight and heat sources like your HDD under the table. Other than that there is not much more to know when it comes to applying and maximising the effects of 1:64 scale Hot Wheels Racing Decals. All that’s left to do now is check out the range of decals and race livery currently available…
Hi there. I’m from Malaysia. How do I order from you guys.
Our order forms allow customers from all four corners of the globe to order and in fact we have many happy customers from Malaysia so you should have no issues Ahmad
I’m living in Japan and I have hobby shop
Can you shipping your decals to Japan?
If you do, please advise for payment method
I can using VISA or Paypal
I’m looking forward hearing from you soon.
Sorry for missing this comment for so long?! – yes of course my friend – I ship worldwide and accept Paypal (who in turn will accept Visa failing a Paypal account). I also offer free worldwide shipping on all orders over $50AUD
Thanks for your enquiry Isao Ikeda
Hello, I have decal paper but my question is, I have a 1:24 scale diecast that I need to put some lettering on the doors to replicate a movie car. Wont you see the edges of the decal paper itself once its applied to the car? If so, do you have something that would do what Im looking to do?
Its hard to clearly explain what Im tslking about. LoL. Ok, think of it like your business say on your actual car that you drive you want to put your business name address and phone number on the door.
Thats what Im looking to do with this model but if I print all lines of text as one decal Im agraid you will see the edges of the decal, and of couse the letters are to small of print to try and cut out each individual letter?
Did I explain that clear enough and if I can use regular decal print paper donyou have something that can make my model look like it came with that lettering from the factory, like it was part of the original tampos that the factory used? Thabk you in advance for all your help!
hi Brandon, apologies for the delayed reply – you know how the holidays can get 😉
Regarding your concern, I am happy to report that none of the above concerns will be relevant if you purchase CLEAR backed decals from the store. The clear decals are printed on a transparent sheet so anything you see white would appear see through. This means you can enjoy writing and flames and other detailed factory looking tampos without having to worry about cutting them out exactly or seeing the edges of the decal when complete.
Check out my Volkswagen Tanker-back custom to get an idea what I mean. That thing is covered in VW and flaming livery but you cannot see the edges or where I have cut the decal out
I ordered a couple of your Racing Pack 3 decal sheets, the PayPal payment went though on 27 January.
The invoice number is MCH-Decals887. I was wondering if you could give me a shipping estimate or a tracking number for the order.
Thanks Very Much!
Your order was packaged and shipped to your Braidwood address on the 2nd February. Usually takes around 7 – 10 days (tops) to ship to the States from Down Under.
Thanks again for your purchase, I hope the decals find you well – and soon!
I am interested in both the Sparco & RedBull 1:18 scale sticker sheets for my custom SimRig build (no, won’t be for model cars)and was wondering if you could possibly show a pic/s of these with a ruler or tape measure along side so I can get an idea on the size of each element on the sheet and whether they’ll be suitable for my requirements.
Thanks in advance
Sure thing Seb! Sorry for taking so long to reply mate, been busy with work and family….among other things LOL
Give me a couple of days to get that together and I will add it to the listing so that when you choose 1:18 option the image will change and you’ll get exact measurements
No Stress on timing – completely understand! Could you perhaps email me once the pics are available. Cheers.
Do you think you would ever make a Porsche, Lamborghini, or Ferrari sticker pack?
Hi ordered some wheels last week. Can you provide a tacking number or confirmation of shipmemt? I order them on june 23rd.
I am confused- can we submit our own photo to create a custom decal? I don’t see this anywhere on your website.
I am having issues with the littlest thing of allowing attachments within comments so you can do just that but for now have to humbly ask that you email me your requirements to email@example.com
How do I make my own decals for my 1:64 scale diecasts. Sizing etc.
I use photoshop and Ai to reduce images down and vectorize if necessary.
It’s trial and error regarding sizing and once you have done a few then you can use them as your template moving forward
Do you have any specific brand you lean towards when working with clear backed decals? I’ve been looking for a while, and Testors paper doesn’t like to work with my printer.
How long will the shipping take to arrive at Miami, Florida, US?
Sorry for the late reply Mike, shipping usually takes around 2 weeks – never more than 3 to the US from down under
Good afternoon, I would like to buy these wheels that you sell the ones that come 4 wheels and 4 axles worth 10.00, I would like to know the freight to Brazil for 10 sets. thankful
Everything is out of stock? Is this due to the holidays or do you no longer supply the wheel packages?
New stock just arrived 🙂
What are the measurements for these decals? I just want to know, I want to try and print some of my own decals, I just want to know what are the general measurements for 1:64 decals and what they are for the tops of slightly larger vehicles like dairys and drag buses. Thanks!
buy some and find out 😉
Sorry but getting the measurements just right took time and if you want to steal my hard work the least you can do is buy one sheet – I’m sure it’s what everyone else does LOL
Looked all over your site and others about buying custom wheels where the axles are completely covered and the the axles do NOT stick out. The custom wheels/rims you offer look good except the **UGLY** axle sticks out and looks cheap. Are there any 2 piece rims you sell? This way, the axle is covered up similar to the high end HW collectibles or high end Kyosho or M2…
How long does it take from there to Korea?
Did I order something right?
Order number 2698
13 business days my friend – glad you recieved your order ok – sorry for the late reply :p
I ordered a couple of your 1/64 Alloy Wheels – N004, the PayPal payment went though on 25 January.
The invoice number is MCH-Decals2695. I was wondering if you could give me a shipping estimate or a tracking number for the order.
Thanks and best regards!
Mario (Chihuahua, Mexico)
Have you recieved your wheels yet Mario? Let me know as I will chase this up if I have to my friend
Please tell me how to do the shipping inquiry where and how
How do you order different sizes of the decals ?
When ordering your decals of choice you will have a dropdown option which displays all the various scales you can purchase. Pick the size and the type (clear or white backing) and purchase away 🙂
Fast and Furious set does not show any sizes to pick from. I was looking for the 1/24th scale set
I only have the evo and GTR parts available in 1:24 – although when it is enlarged there isnt much room for the Eclipse and RX7 livery anyway. If you are happy with that then just specify at checkout that you want 1:24
Do you do custom decals, say I want wording of my choice to suit the car I’m doing. 1/64 scale can you guys do that ?
sure do Chris, shoot me details and images to firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I determine the right size of wheels to put on each hot wheel car? I want my cars to roll even though they’re for display only. I see some say cars won’t roll good on certain cars and don’t want to have a car that won’t roll.
A lot of my customs are rocking Alex’s decals for good reason. High quality details and diversity. Anything I’m wanting to work on has already been sorted, printed & ready for posting. Recommend to anyone in the bizz for all things shiny and nice. #cthulhu_customs @cthulhu_customs
When will wheels be back in stock?
very soon actually – like within a few weeks. (just ordered more KREAuto wheels and also JRota wheels)
Hi Alex, looking to have you make me some decals and was wandering on prices. Would need for 1/24 model.
Sorry for the delayed reply Mike – but if still interested then sure can do that. email me email@example.com with more info and I can give you a quote (but no more than $24 for a custom sheet)
Can you order something to ship to the USA and get it before Christmas?
Do you have any plans on making 1/64 Initial D figures? Fast and Furious figures?
Also, will you restock the regular people? they seem to be out of stock?
No sorry, I had a friend who was hand painting the figures but he got tired of it and was unable to keep up with demand so I sold all stock and do not plan on getting more in the immediate future
Hello .the prices are in Euros?
Prices are all in Australian Dollar AUD 🙂
So like half the price of Euro LOL
I HAVEYOUR AXLS THEY WORK GREAT BUT HOW DO I KEEP WHEELS FROM COMING OFF
either pinch the ends with pliers and it flattens the tip and prevents it sliding back out. Another method I use is to put a small drop of superglue on the end of the axle and turn it in your fingers over and over for a minute and then it dries evenly around creating like a tiny matchhead sort of block that holds wheel in place
Can you do custom decals in 1/64? Is it on a sheet because I’d like a few. How much please? I can send pictures through email.
Hi Blake, apologies for the late reply
Of course I can, send me the images to firstname.lastname@example.org and details of sizing etc and I will put something together
Cost is $21 ($7 more than a standard sheet)
when will you have more axls for sell
Sadly never, my supplier stopped supplying them and I haven’t been able to find another distributor
I don’t know if this was asked prior, but what are you diorama’s made of, Plastic, Wood, Cardboard…etc? Thank you
They are made of thick gloss paper, about 200gsm which is about same thickness as a greeting card
Greetings magnificent ppl.
I’ve just purchased 2 sheets of decals, been customizing for about 6mths.
Just wondering how long it takes to ship to our great state of Qld.
Thank you for being an awesome company for us customizes.
Jason my man!
Thanks for the awesome feedback and for your business
Shouldnt take any more than a few days to reach QLD…no matter how far North you are 😉
Hi! My name is Eduardo. Do you send to Brazil?
Yes of course, I ship worldwide
Cost is around $12 for dioramas and $5 for decals – and shipping to Brazil takes around 2 weeks tops
Hi, Can you make me four number decals for my 1955 Mercedes 1/18 Formula 1 diecast car? I need a red number 2 inside a white circle. They need to be 3/4 inches around. I included a photo. Let me know. Thanks, Tony
Apoplogies for the delay in replying Tony, but yes I can certainly do that for you if you still require them?
Email me the exact images and size requirements to email@example.com
How much is the shipping cost to Japan when you purchase the product?
Same as worldwide standard – so it is $5 AUD for decals and around $12AUD for diorama buildings
I placed an order on Wed May 15th, could you tell me how long it takes to ship to the USA?
HELLO….. cAN YOU PLEASE E-MAIL ME BACK AS TO WHEN I SHOULD BE EXPECTING MY PACKAGE!!! mY ACCOUNT WAS ALREADY CHARGED AS THIS IS MY THIRD E-MAIL…
So sorry Dennis,
Let me confirm when it was sent and give you a definitive ETA for delivery. I am at work atm but will email you again this evening – my apologies my man
Hey Alex, greeting from NZ! I’m keen as to buy a few sheets of the 1:64 scale sheets.
Having a hard time picking a JDM/JDM racing sheet or two that I like…
Is it possible to have half of one of the sheets and half of another?
If not it’s all good – just thought I’d ask before locking in an order.
yes and yes – Jesse ordered a bespoke sheet and is enjoying it as we speak – aren’t you brother
How long does it take to receive my package?
at the moment due to the Corona pandemic there is a delay of around 2-3 weeks for most international shipments unfortunately.
That being said if you’ve waited longer than 3 weeks over then I assume the worst and will resend along with bonuses to make up for it.
Everything is a mess at the moment sadly
going to be buying some packs from you very soon. do you have and plans for making a calsonic or HKS pack?
Probably not as the Calsonic livery is usually written in white and I sadly don’t print with white ink 🙁
Hey Alex let me know when you have sent the decals please, thanks again for everything in advance cheers Ken
Just wondering if the clear decals appear bold and bright against a coloured background, or more washed-out?
more washed out unfortunately. WIthout white ink all lighter colours appear rather opaque against dark or neutral coloured vehicles
Hola haces envíos a México, y cual es el método de pago y cuanto tardaría en llegar . Saludos
Should I get the carbon fiber decals for my matchbox Bugatti divo, and is there an alternative to the spray?
definitely, and what spray do you mean? The clear coat? Most brands are OK – if you can afford it use a 2K clear coat as it gives a much better shine
I am making a 1:64 replica of my friends food truck and would like to know if custom decals are available?
Yes they are, please contact me via the contact page or email firstname.lastname@example.org