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From The Plans To The Wood


Rotor Riot!
I'm soon going to write a tutorial on cutout pattern transfer. I will reserve the first posts for this purpose.



Rotor Riot!
So first step is to print the plans. You need to either photocopy the plans or use a laser printer. Ink printers will not work for this.

REMEMBER: When you transfer the plans they will end up mirrored! This usually doesn't matter, but if it does, you'll need to mirror the plans before printing them.

Then you cut out the parts you wish to transfer:

When that is done, you flip them over so the printed side faces towards the wood. Get the figure as centered and straight as possible. Mind the direction of the fibers in the wood.

Now get a rag, roll it up into a ball, and soak it with paint thinner. Hold the paper cutout steady and wet the paper with the thinner in the rag. This will dissolve the toner (ink) and it will transfer to the other side. Remove the paper when the toner has transferred.

Timing is important. If you leave the paper on for too long or use too much thinner, the plans will get blurry. If it's not long enough or the rag is too dry, the plans will only transfer lightly or not at all.

This is how it should look when the ink has transferred. You can lift the paper (while holding it in position) while transferring to check if you need more time.


It provides enough detail to work with!

Let the thinner dry away before you continue working with the parts.

Be warned that thinner (any kind of moisture) may warp thin sheets of wood (such as 1-2mm balsa sheets)


- This will not work for foam (Obviously)
- Increase the contrast on your photocopier to get darker transfer tones.
- Use vector files for printing instead of bitmap files.
- Use laser printers or copying machines. Ink printers won't work.
- Practice, it's the only way to get the timing right.
- Wear protection gear when working with thinner.
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Senior Member
Actually it WILL work on foam if you use a proper thinner - like turpentine or acrylic enamel thinner (from humbrol for example). I transferred many plans to depron this way and never had a single problem.