How to Make Scale Model Lettering

Written by kara bietz
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How to Make Scale Model Lettering
Create your own lettering for your scale models, adding a personal touch. (avion modele reduit image by jerome scalvini from

Scale modelling is a popular hobby for adults and children. Often, you have to make your own decals and labels for your scale models -- perhaps the name of a ship, or advertisements on a model race car. Or, you will wish to create your own billboards and storefronts for a model railroad. You may do so by hand using stencils and pens, or, create them on your computer with any font or graphic you can find.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Peel-and-stick clear label sheet
  • Coloured permanent markers
  • Craft knife
  • Stencils
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Clear gloss spray

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  1. 1

    Use stencils to trace letters onto the peel-and-stick label sheets. Choose stencils that are small enough to look authentic on your scale model. If you are creative and have a steady hand, you can also draw your letters without stencils.

  2. 2

    Use the permanent markers to colour in your lettering. You can also use paint, but the markers cover more evenly.

  3. 3

    Allow the paint or markers to dry completely before handling the peel and stick sheets. Spray the lettering with a clear gloss spray to prevent the ink from bleeding or smearing.

  4. 4

    Cut around the lettering using a craft knife.

  5. 5

    Remove the wax backing from the peel-and-stick sheet and apply the lettering stickers to your scale model.

  1. 1

    Using a computer word processing program, create the desired lettering on screen.

  2. 2

    Print the lettering directly onto a clear label sheet. Spray the lettering with a clear gloss spray to prevent the ink from smearing. Allow the sheet to dry.

  3. 3

    Use a craft knife, carefully cut out the computer-generated lettering. Attach to your scale model carefully. This method provides a more precise and professional looking lettering job.

Tips and warnings

  • You can easily remove the lettering by peeling it off. Any adhesive left behind can be scrubbed with a soap and water solution.

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