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A quick look at Black Lion Decals

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Kimmo, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Kimmo A Fixture

    As the title implies, a quick review and test on custom decals from Black Lion.

    I needed to get some custom decals made for a current project, I ended up ordering from Black Lion Decals (http://www.blackliondecals.nl/) as they had the best price I could find, by far. I'm happy enough with the decals, they aren't perfect in terms of crispness, but they are more than sufficient for my current needs. A break down on my thoughts...

    Price: Excellent when compared to other suppliers. Usually for decals there is a minimum order of 20+ local bucks, but in this case you only pay for the size of the sheet.

    Printing quality: For a home printer (I'm assuming it's a home printer), not bad. Not the greatest, but acceptable and for certain applications may not even be a concern. For some colours you will see a dot matrix at extreme magnification. This will get muted under a clear coat, and may disappear entirely with a wash. As a bonus, they can print white.

    Decal film: Ultra thin. This is one of the thinner films I've worked with and lifts off the backing paper very easily after a 30 second soak. The entire sheet is film so you have to cut out individual decals.

    Delivery time and postage cost: Delivery time is going to be a bit of a problem for some I think. Because they offer partial sheets, this means you may have to wait until they get a full sized sheet to print, I ended up waiting a bit over a month. This wasn't a huge deal for me, but bear that in mind if you are in a hurry. Postage was very reasonable and sent letter post which took a few days in my case.

    Price: As mentioned, I'm happy enough. For a small sheet that measures 70 x 35 mm with multiple colours, the sheet cost was 7.50 euros. Not bad for custom work. They were also kind enough to do a bit of the fiddly work for me which others might have charged for.

    Now onto some photos. First, the sheet:


    And a crop


    The stencil text is supposed to look distressed. I have another project lined up that will need a bunch of stencil text and this is was a great way to do a test. The height of the text is 1mm, not too shabby if you ask me. There is a faint matrix of red on the yellow.

    I needed to do a test of the decals to see how the film reacts, and to test opacity. My test bed with a gloss coat showing the importance of properly cleaning your brushes when using blue. The folds and creases are perfect for this test.


    The decals went down nicely. You do have to be careful because they are ultra thin. I used Vallejo Decal Medium, which is a rather mild decal solution yet really works well, and everything snuggled down quite admirably. I didn't do a second application so there were a few tiny air bubbles and minor silvering. Impressive considering the folds and creases it had to adhere to. A gloss coat and then flat. A note on the flat coat(s), I tested out 3 different mattes: Vallejo Mecha (white side), Vallejo Model Color matte (left blue) and Green Stuff World Matt (right blue). I had always wanted to do a comparison...spoiler: the Green Stuff World is a touch flatter and brushes on a bit easier.


    And a crop


    As you can see, the film all but disappeared as did the red matrix, the opacity is excellent as well. It looks much nicer in situ, doesn't it?

    So to sum up, I can honestly say you will get your money's worth from Black Lion. You may have to wait, but if you need custom decals printed and are working on a budget, give them a shout.

    harrytheheid, 1969 and arkangelo like this.
  2. arkangelo Active Member

    Thank you for reviewing Kimmo greetings

  3. 1969 A Fixture

    Very useful information that I will bookmark for the future.

  4. Kimmo A Fixture

    Cheers Ark and Steve! Sharing is caring...

  5. Kimmo A Fixture

    arkangelo likes this.

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