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CanMilAir Decals FAQ 


What are decals?
The word "decal" is actually a shortened form of the word "decalcomania", which is a printing technique for transferring decorative pictures or designs to glass, wood, plastic, etc. by printing on specially prepared paper. The origins of this art date back to at least 1868. CanMilAir Decals are designed for use on scale models of Canadian military aircraft by scale aviation hobbyists and are meant to be used along with the kit-supplied decal sheet.

Who is CanMilAir?
CanMilAir Decals is a one-person, home-based, part-time business operated after work, during the evenings and on weekends.  Therefore my priorities for time management result in that my family, my home and my 35+ year job come first. Time spent with my decal business is primarily during my free time after all other commitments are looked after. Most week-day evenings are spent doing administrative matters like catching up on the days emails, working on or researching new material, updating web pages and preparing orders for printing. Most decal printing occurs during the weekends, so I ask that customers be patient as their orders may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete and I process all orders in the order they were received. 

What are the decals printed on?
CanMilAir Decals are printed on premium quality, ultra-thin, clear, water-slide decal paper. The carrier film on this paper is continuous. This means that every individual element must be closely trimmed before applying. But then, experienced modellers do that anyway!
By popular demand CanMilAir Decals can now be printed on one of three types of media. The default choice is for the familiar water-slide decals, optional choices include Avery brand clear self-adhesive full-page labels and a clear self-adhesive vinyl both of these options are suitable only for very large scales. Contact CanMilAir for further details. 
  
Markings for RC scales LARGER than about 1:10 scale can often be produced using cumputer cut, self-adhesive cast vinyl. This is often much less expensive than the waterslide decal method but is not capable of cutting very small items. Often a combination of the two methods works best for these large scales. These projects would all be custom priced so contact CanMilAir for a quote.

What are the decals printed with?
For traditional water-slide decals, printing is accomplished using an ALPS MD-5500 "micro-dry" thermal printer. These printers do not use ink or toner in the regular sense, but rather a resin-based dry pigment contained in ribbon-style cartridges resembling old audio cassettes.  Since the inks are dry, they produce a water-proof, smear-proof  and fade-proof product ideal for use on scale models. While the dithered 600 dpi or 2400 dpi resolution does not produce as high a quality as "silk screened" decals (which require large and expensive print runs), they are perfect for the cottage decal manufacturer.

Should I apply a top coat?
It is recommended that before application, you give the decal sheet a thin clear top coat. My personal preference is MicroScale Liquid Decal Film or Future brand acrylic vinyl floor finish. Because of the extreme thinness of the decal film and their delicate nature, CanMilAir Decals are intended for experienced aircraft modellers.

Where can I view the decals?
In the "catalogue" section, you will be able to view representative aircraft photos and low resolution images of the ACTUAL decal artwork. Most CanMilAir Decal sets contain white, or very light, elements. The white or light elements on the Decal photo will appear with a slight shadowy outline. This is simply to show these lighter elements against a white background. Rest assured, this outline effect is NOT present on the actual decal sets.

Are the decals opaque?
Light coloured elements are under-coated with two layers of white to prevent the underlying background colours of the model showing through and they then receive two complete colour printing passes for excellent colour density.

How do you deal with SAR Fluorescent Red-Orange?
Please note that in decal sets containing SAR bands and RESCUE titles, the Fluorescent Red-Orange colour is a close representation only. It is not possible to print fluorescent colours with these printers. Model Master offer a very good match in the form of "FS28913 Fluorescent Red-Orange". For a good effect, after the decal has been applied it can be over-coated with clear, and then used as a masking guide for a very light spray of FS28913.

How are the decals packaged?
After printing, the decals are packaged in clear "zip-lock" poly envelopes for storage and protection against humidity. Each decal set comes with a colour brochure grade 8" x 11" information sheet containing detailed instructions for use, several reference photos and often a scale drawing of the subject aircraft as a guide for placing the decals on the model and sometimes some interesting historical text. 
  
  
Will CanMilAir make custom alterations to the decals?
Absolutely! I will change the squadron or individual aircraft codes, the serial or registration numbers or the buzz numbers on ANY decal set (within reason) and at no additional charge. There is a field on the checkout page to list your required changes to the sets. CanMilAir Decals will not be responsible for the overall accuracy of the finished model if these numbers are changed.

Do you do commission work?
I will take under careful consideration, all requests to design decals for Canadian military aircraft. If it is of a Canadian military subject, AND I can add it to my catalogue, I do not charge a fee for designing the decal set. NOTE this does not apply to "What-If" subjects.  FYI - completion time is often measured in months.
However, if the request is for decals that cannot go into the catalogue as an actual Canadian military subject, a flat rate fee of $125.00 will apply for the time spent researching and designing this artwork. Normal pricing (as outlined below) will then be added as appropriate for the scale the artwork is to be printed in.

How can I contact you to suggest a set?
If you have any questions or want to suggest future projects - just go to the "contacts" page and send me an email. The list below contains future releases, sets currently under development and suggested sets already submitted. 
Please bear in mind, that CanMilAir is not the "Santa Claus" of the decal world. Just because you think it would be cool to have a certain decal made, it may involve far too many hours of work to produce just to satisfy one person. I decline more suggestions than I take on - but I take on quite a few!

Are the images of the decals on the site, images of the actual artwork?
Yes!
Images are of the actual artwork in 1:144 scale. The arrangement will be exactly the same for 1:72 scale. What you see is exactly what you will get.
However, all decal sets ordered in 1/48 and larger scales, will be re-arranged on the sheet to fit the width of the decal paper.
 
Do you offer a guarantee?
All CanMilAir decals are 100% guaranteed - but sometimes mistakes do slip though as the old Mk 1 eyeball isn't what it used to be. If you notice any problems with the decals you receive, simply return them in UNUSED condition with an explanation and I will gladly send you a replacement set at no charge. 
If you should loose or misplace a small piece, or if an element should become unusable for any reason, let me know and I will mail out replacement elements. 
Where can I see completed models that were built using CanMilAir Decals?
Please take a moment to visit my "Customers Gallery" pages showing photos of hundreds of finished models built using CanMilAir Decals that have been sent in by customers. I encourage all my customers to send back a photo of their completed work along with a short description.

Do you offer a discount to Canadian veterans or CF members?
I certainly do! If you are . . . 
     1) a Canadian veteran, 
     2) a serving member of any branch of the Canadian Armed Forces or the Canadian Coast Guard, 
     3) a past or retired member of the Canadian military or CCG, 
. . . you are entitled to a "Free Shipping" discount. 
NOTE: You MUST contact me BEFORE placing your order and I will explain how easy it is for you get your discount. I ask that your service "rank" be included in that message.
Unfortunately, I am unable to offer this discount after the order is placed - so contact me before!! 

What is the "Login" feature for?
This feature has been disabled.
  
 
How long will it take before I receive my decals?
All decals are printed as they are ordered. With over 625 sets available in an unlimited number of scales, it would be impossible to have pre-printed stock in meaningful quantities. 
When you submit your order it is placed into a queue with all other pending orders. Orders are then processed in the same sequence in which they were received. 
Typically you should expect to receive your decals 4 to 6 weeks after placing your order. In reality, since this is all very dependant on how many orders are ahead of yours, you can hope for 2 to 3 weeks and pray it doesn't stretch to 7 to 8 weeks. Turna-around times have been as short as one day and have never, ever exceeded 7.5 weeks.
  

Prices (unless specified otherwise)

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Decal prices are directly proportional to the scale and the overall size of the set, therefore prices will vary for different decal sets, but most will follow the chart below. Remember that this is a custom printing business. Decals are printed one at a time and are often altered to suit the customers requirements. There is no stock of pre-printed decals on hand. 
 
Also keep in mind that a decal set printed in 1:72 consumes FOUR times the ink than it would if it were printed in 1:144 and the same decal in 1:48 scale consumes NINE times the ink as compared to 1:144.  A set in 1:18 uses SIXTEEN times more ink than if it were printed in 1:72 scale.
  
All prices are in Canadian Dollars and Canadian customers will have the appropriate taxes added to their orders based on their province.
 
Many other custom scales are available upon special request. Unusual or the old "box" scales can be printed to 3 decimal places for the utmost in accuracy. Please read the sleft idebar for some printing stats in various scales.
 

  1:144 1:72 1:48 1:32 1:24 1:18
Relative
overall
size of
decal
set
Small $12.00 $24.00 $36.00 $50.00 $58.00 $74.00
Medium $13.50 $27.00 $40.50 $56.25 $65.25 $83.25
Large $15.00 $30.00 $40.00 $45.00 $72.50 $92.50
X Large $16.50 $33.00 $49.50  $68.75 $79.75 101.75


Payment Methods:

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Payments can be made in one of three ways. As you go through the Checkout process, you can choose between "Pay using PayPal" or "Send Payment by Mail" or "Interac e-Transfer".

Selecting  "Pay using PayPal" will take you to PayPal's secure site to finalize the transaction. Payment can then be made using a PayPal account balance, or by a credit card or your bank balance if you have linked those to your PayPal acount. Note there are no fees associated with a purchase using PayPal. All the transaction fees are paid by the vendor (me). 

For Canadian customers (only) who use online banking, selecting "Interac e-Transfer" will allow you to purchase just like using your bank Debit Card. The funds are instantly removed from your bank account and I will receive a notice of the transaction. There will be a security question involved in the process and you will need to email me the answer to the question you have used. Note there is a transaction fee of approximately $1.50 that you will be charged from Interac. 

For mail-in payments you can submit (in order of preference): 
     1) a postal money order, 
     2) a bank money order, 
     3) cash (do not send coins - you will need to round up your total), 
     4) a personal cheque (these require 1 week to clear after arrival)
 
NOTE:   All forms of payment should be made payable to "CanMilAir Decals" 

If you wish to pay by some other method, please contact me before placing your order.

You will be emailed an itemized receipt that you can print. (I recommend you print two copies as you will need to include one copy of the receipt when you mail your payment)
  
If a mailed payment has not been received after 14 days, a gentle reminder notice will be emailed to the address provided with the order. If you wish to cancel your order, please let me know so I can delete the order from the system.

If a mailed payment still has not been received after 30 days, and if I have not received some sort of a message of explanation, the order will be cancelled and deleted. This will generate an automated email notification as outlined below.

Shipping:

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Shipping to Canada:
$4.00  for 6 items or less
$6.00  for 7 to 12 items
$8.00  for 13 to 18 items
$10.00 for 19 or more items

Shipping to the USA:
$6.00  for 6 items or less
$9.00  for 7 to 12 items
$12.00  for 13 to 18 items
$15.00 for 19 or more items

Shipping to anywhere else in the world:
$8.00  for 6 items or less
$12.00  for 7 to 12 items 
$16.00  for 13 to 18 items
$20.00 for 19 or more items

For decal purchases only, you can upgrade to the premium expedited Canada Post  Xpresspost service with a tracking number and insurance. You will find this feature in the Decals section of the catalogue. Just select the appropriate service for your destination and add it to your cart like any other item. 

If you are a Canadian veteran, a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces or the Canadian Coast Guard, even a past or retired member of the Canadian military or CCG, you qualify for a "Free Shipping" discount. Contact me BEFORE placing your order and I will explain how you get your discount. Note that this discount only applies to my standard shipping rates and NOT to the premium expedited service mentioned above. I will require your service rank. Note this discount can not be offered retroactively - so contact me BEFORE you place your order.

Oversize :

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If you would like any of my aircraft markings in very large scales, I can produce my vector artwork in scales from around 1:10 to 1:1 full size, using 2mil (0.002") coloured self-adhesive cast vinyl and a computer controlled cutter. 
 
If this is of interest to you, email me for more information and I will arrange for a quote.
 
Click on the "restorations" link in the Main Menu to see examples of previous 1:1 scale orders.

Email Notification:

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All customers who purchase decals  will be entered into our Mailing List. This is used to communicate important notices to all customers or for special announcements. 

As your order progresses through the printing and packaging process, you will receive automatic updates informing you as to the stage your order is in. The following are the stages and a brief explanation of each:

Order Received: 
This is the initial setting for all orders. Since orders are placed automatically, this lets you know we have received a copy of your order. If you are going to mail your payment, please send along a printed copy of the automatic receipt email you received when you placed the order. There should be a "Print This Page" button on the bottom of your receipt for this purpose.

Waiting for Mailed Payment:
If you have chosen to send your payment by mail, this notice will let you know that we have received your order.  At the bottom of this notice  will be important information about how you should send your payment. 

Waiting for eCheque to Clear:
If you have paid your order through PayPal, but the funds are coming directly out of your bank account, this is just like a paper cheque in that it must clear before I can proceed. This usually takes about a week.

Payment has been Received:
If you have paid for your order using a PayPal account balance, or with a credit card, if we have received your mailed payment, or I have received notice from PayPal that an eCheque has cleared, this message confirms that we have received your payment and placed your order in queue for printing. In all cases, we have already printed your packing slip and our working copy of the order.  All orders are queued according to their Order Date.

Printing Decals:
This is the message you've been waiting for since you placed the order. It tells you we have laid out the artwork necessary for your order and your decals will be printed during the NEXT print run. If you have a large order, this may take more than one print run. All decals are printed only when ordered, paid for, and when I have a full sheet. We do not stock printed decals waiting to be purchased. They are always as fresh and new as possible. Printing typically occurs during the weekends.

Printing Decals - Waiting for Payment:
Sometimes, I need to fill a sheet so I can proceed with the printing of PAID orders. To do this, I will pick decals from orders that I am still waiting for the mailed payment to arrive to do this. This is far more likely to happen with smaller orders that conveniently fill the space I require.

Printing Inserts:
At this point your decals are all printed and I have started to print the colour brochures that come with the decals. When the brochures are printed they are combined with the decals and are packaged in clear "zip-lock" poly envelopes. I sometimes add a couple of "advertisement" sheets that help prevent creasing should the envelope be inadvertently folded by postal employees who can't read. Please share these ad sheets with those who may be interested in them.

Printing Inserts - Waiting for Payment:
If I have used a pending order to fill a space on a sheet, to allow me to complete a print run, I will continue to fill the order and it will be ready to ship once payment has arrived.

Order Completed - Waiting for Payment:
Ready to Ship - Waiting for Payment:
These two messages are basically the same and are for those customers who are mailing their payment, but I have gone ahead and printed their decals before receipt of payment. This message indicates your decals are printed and packaged and will be mailed upon receipt of your payment. I am far more likely to do this for repeat customers in good standing so I can mail their decals out as soon as I receive their payment. 

Ready to Ship:
When you see this message you will know that your order is complete, it is packaged, sealed and ready to ship. Actual shipping normally occurs the afternoon of the next business day.

Order has been Shipped:
When you get this message, I have returned from the Post Office and your order is now in the capable hands of Canada Post. It will arrive in your mail box at their earliest convenience. Obviously, this could take anywhere from a couple of days to weeks, depending on where you are.
From placing the order to arrival in your mail box, please allow 4 to 6 weeks.  Sometimes it may be less,  but during peak periods, it may increase to 6 to 8 weeks.

Order Cancelled:
For Payments sent by Mail - If payment has not been received within 30 days your order  will be cancelled.  I send one gentle reminder notice after 14 days, but I do not want to "hound" my customers for their payment.  Since I can't hang on to stale orders forever, I feel 30 days is more than enough time to mail a payment in. 

For PayPal Payments - If your  transaction with PayPal was not successful, I send a notice advising you of this. If you do not respond to the notice to make other arrangements within 7 days, your order will be cancelled. 

Another reason for this message would be if the customer notifies me that they wish to cancel their order.  All cancelled orders are immediately deleted from the system.

Most customers send me a brief message telling me they have received the decals, which I appreciate receiving, but please keep in mind, I don't always have the time to respond to all of these messages, unless you are asking a specific question.

After you finish building your model, please remember to send me a picture of it, to include in the Customers Gallery!!

Future Releases:   (in no particular order)

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Use this link to send your suggestions: decals AT canmilair.com
De Havilland Vampire
 
Short Stirling
 



 


 
 

 
  
   
H-34A CH-126 "Choctaw"
 
Handley Page Hampden
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Abbreviations used:

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RAF 
Royal Air Force (RCAF pre 1947)

RCAF
 
Royal Canadian Air Force (1947 - 1968)

VC 
RCAF markings from 1947 to 1951

AB+3  
RCAF markings from 1951 to 1958

RCAF+3 
RCAF markings from 1958 to 1965

New Leaf  
RCAF markings from 1965 to 1968

NM  
Natural Metal

Camo 
Camouflaged

Sqn
 
Squadron

CA  
Canadian Army

UN  
United Nations

CSMA  
Colour Scheme and Markings Arrangement

CF
 
Canadian Forces (post 1968)

CAF  
CF markings from 1968 to 1973

SYM  
CF markings from 1973 to 1983

FIP  
CF markings 1983 +

SAR  
Search and Rescue

OA  
Overall (finish colour)

FS  
Federal Standard 

ATU  
Air Transport Unit 

RCN
Royal Canadian Navy (pre 1968)

FAA  
Fleet Air Arm

BPF  
British Pacific Fleet

SEAC
 
Southeast Asia Command
 

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