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Correct font for RAAF serials?

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I was having a play last night at making an RAAF skin for the TW expansion pack Vampire, based on the RNZAF skins released a week or so ago. It was all going great until I got to the serials. I wanted to create a set of serials reflecting the RAAF naming convention for this aircraft (A79-XXX), but I wasn't sure what font to use. A web search turned up a TrueType RAF font (RAF_PW_ATH) which I found in several places but wouldn't work in Photoshop on my Mac.


Are there alternative similar fonts I can use, or a better version of that font? What does everyone else use for RAF and Commonwealth aircraft serials and markings?





This is my RAAF Vampire skin so far.

Edited by harryleith

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I rarely, if every, use PS for interting the text .. I just don't like the way it handles text; sometime hard to get the font size I want


What I've been using in IrfanView ... it' free and really easy to use, and access ALL fonts available on your machine.

On the down side, it adds a few extra steps. (but still, I can make 24 serials in well less than an hour)


1st Extra Steps:


In PS, create a black bmp ... 128x128, white background

Save As ... (in my case) SNum (for SerialNumber)

Put that in your 'working decals' folder

Open that bmp with IrFan, select the font and size (about 28pt works good for 5-6 digit numbers)

type numbers, insert text, "save as..." SNum***.bmp -where *** is 000 - whatever. Do up all numbers needed.

When done, NOW open PS, and create the decals those bmps.


This is where some of the other steps come in...

The numbers in the bmps will most likely NOT be centered in the image, so you'll need to outllne them with the rectangular marquee tool, CUT and PASTE them, which will center them. Now, this has a nice side effect, for now you can adjust the opacity of the numbers -I usually use between 90-85%. Gives a slightly faded, painted-on look. Merge the layer down.

Outline the ENTIRE image, COPY. In the channels, "Add New Channel" (it'll be the Alpha) PASTE the image in, then INVERT. That'll switch and leave the open section over the numbers. "Save As..." SNum***.tga w/alpha (image with the black decal, with the 'whiteish 12')


as you can see in the screenies, for the MirageIII0, I used 2 different fonts ... AmarilloUSAF for the serials, and the RAF font for the ID number. A-USAF looked closest to my eyes, from the photos. Also, the RAF font dosen't have a dash ( - ), so you'd have to paint EACH one in using a 1 or 2 pixel square brush. Too much frakking work!


Like I said, it's a few more steps, but once you do it 8 or 900 times ... it become really easy! :rofl:


I'm sure you already know about adfserials.com, of course!! <grin>



kevin stein

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Thanks for the replies, and for the detailed workflow. I actually installed Photoshop on the PC and it worked with the font, so I created a set of 10 serials for the aircraft. They are not accurate for any unit, but I got a valid serial range from adf-serials.com, a site i had never seen before.


This aircraft isn't really accurate, as the RAAF operated F.30 and F.31's, and the single-seaters all had a prominent equipment bulge just forward of the cockpit - but real enough for fun.


Thanks again for all the help.



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The "most standard" font that's used in the RAAF for its serials and stencils is Helvetica (I asked the paint shop at RAAF Richmond).

But as with anything there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, when aircraft are delivered from the manufacturer they might be different (eg. Super Hornet, C-17, C-130J-30). Also, the earlier post-war birds like the Vampire will be different.


Hope it helps.



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From the man that flys them!!! Good enough for me!! :good:


Thanks Dels!!

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