Newbie with Questions


New Member

Please forgive, as I am new and at this time bring no experience to this forum. Also, I have a host of questions that I hope some kind person or person can help me out with.

That said, I have been considering purchasing a vinyl cutter/plotter to make vinyl decals for model cars that I do. These are not the small plastic 1:24th scale models, but the larger 1:18th scale diecast cars. Currently I make all my decals using Corel Draw 8.0 and an Alps printer. The printer is no longer manufactured and as is, it has its limitations in printing certain colors, namely orange. I will keep the printer for the very small decals but am considering a vinyl cutter for the larger stripes and such. The larger decals are also monotone, which makes the vinyl cutter ideal. I've looked at some of the small Roland Stikas but before I drop money on one, I'd like some opinions as to whether such a device will suite my purposes. My question are below.

  • Can I use my Corel Draw program to feed my information to the cutter as I do my printer? Or, do I have to utilize another program? I read something on this but it left me confused.
  • Will the cutter cut letters and numbers accurately to the size of 1/8th inch?
  • With stripes that have multiple lines, will I be able to relocate placement, much like I slide a decal around to position it?

Any comments or recommendations on equipment for my needs would be most appreciated.

Many Thanks,



New Member
you don't want to weed anything at 1/8" for a very long time, and if are new to applying vinyl it can be very frustrating to start on that scale.


New Member
I agree with LaKe, that small it'll be a PITA to weed (weeding = removing the vinyl you don't need so you end up with the sticker you want)

If you apply the vinyl wet you can reposition it, but again, it'll be a PITA with small stuff

I'd also think that regular vinyl would be too thick for this scale and wouldn't look too good on your models

Might be best to take one of your Corel files (save or export it as .eps) to a local sign shop and have them cut some stickers for you, so you can get an idea of what to expect


New Member
Thanks for the kindly welcome and the comments. However, the decals that I am considering doing with a vinyl cutter are not that complex and they are of a single color. Essentially, they are stripes, some slightly curved, some straight with very few text items. In most cases, I may have a max of four items, so I wouldn't think there would be that much to weed really. Am I missing something here?

If you check ebay, item # 290014886394, there is a seller there doing exactly what I want to do. This particular auction is for 1:18th scale but he also does these for smaller scale. If he can do this, then I should think it possible.

Lastly, how does one determine the size at which a cutter will cut? For printers dpi is used; for cameras pixels.....what about these cutters?

Many Thanks,



Premium Subscriber
Welcome from PA.

Is this a hobby or do you make a living at this ??

That will tend to be what dictates the direction you should take or level of tools you should consider.
This being a hobby makes it a little tough. Honestly speaking, the inexpensive machines were never designed for precision work. We are not 100% sure about the Roland Stika, or the new Grapghtec, being capable of .125". We are sure that the many other inexpensive machines cannot.

Question, why wouldn't you prefer printed decals?

For as few decals that you will do, It will be better if you had someone cut or print them for you. The shelf life of vinyl and the expense of the machines to cut or print will take a lot of models to pay for. Someone may do them for a small fee if you let them know that you will do all the weeding. Good luck

:Welcome: to :signs101: From Oklahoma


New Member
if you practice,, you will have the ability to PAINT those letterings onto your model cars much faster, better, and have a higher value when done.
This is FACT. I watched at least 6 men at a meet last week paint names and lines that would fit onto grains of rice. One man was outlining names that would fit on peas. It looked great and had value. More important, the lettering was fully legible.

Finally. You do not want to cut 1/8 letters. IT just is not worth it and very few machines can do it consistantly. Plus. Many letters with interiors will be impossible to pick out.