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dadooronron
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PostSubject: Decal making using a home printer   Fri 30 May 2014, 12:20 pm

Decal making using a home printer.



Important: Using a home printer has it’s limitations...it will NOT print white !
so the decals are only suitable for light coloured paintwork.
This is because the printer colours are transparent - but Black is very strong.

If you decide to go ahead, you will need sheets of A4 Clear Decal paper,
which can be sourced from various craft company suppliers on the Internet.
Decal sheets are largely supplied in packs of ten for adding designs to Ceramic mugs,
and come in different qualities - but always choose the best.
I initially bought a cheap pack, but the film was too thick and it didn’t stick.
There are packs of White Decal paper available - which can work on dark backgrounds,
but will require clever cutting around individual decals.

You will also need a clear transparent spray lacquer to seal your decals after printing and is specifically made for the job.
I’ve tried other lacquers, but they all failed in one way or another.

I’m lucky enough to have a sign programme that lets me draw out lots of lettering styles,
but if you have Microsoft Word or similar on your computer, you can reproduce suitable lettering to fit your models too.
In fact, anything you can print onto paper, you can print onto decal paper, and that includes pictures and logos too,
all of which can be downloaded from the internet.

It’s important to do a pre-decal test print on paper, to make sure the sizes are correct before printing out your decal
and resize to suit - it’s cheaper to waste a few sheets of paper than the decal film.

Once you have printed your decal sheet, leave it to dry out thoroughly, then add a coat or two of the spray lacquer. ...again leave to dry.

Then just cut up, dip into warm water and use like normal decals.
It’s worth a try....it’s just a pity it doesn’t work for all models, and all coloured bodies.

After my original poor results I finally sourced my items from www.craftycomputerpaper.co.uk here in the UK.

Happy decal making !!!
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RetiredMike
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Fri 30 May 2014, 3:23 pm

Decals are fun to make yourself. Thanks for that Ron.

If I might add - white decals are possible to make, but a little more involved. Shoot a bit of your model's color on a plastic knife. Scan that color into your computer and do some print trials, adjusting brightness, hue, saturation, etc. until it matches the knife's color. Then, using that color as the decal background, compose your white lettering on top of it. Cut the decal so its edges butt up next to edges on the model to hide lines.

That was how I created decals for the 1917 Model T Ambulance recently.

Have fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Fri 30 May 2014, 4:50 pm

Great tips from both of you. I have tried printing decals but they are very transparent. Now I am learning that the base color has a lot to do with the finished decal.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Fri 30 May 2014, 11:52 pm

I thought that white background decal paper is also for sale, right? I believe I saw some work done with it on another forum, but still dark body colors STILL darken decal light colors and necessitate placing a second decal over the first.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Fri 30 May 2014, 11:54 pm

Great write up! Decals looks great!
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 31 May 2014, 12:02 am

Using an ALPS printer is the only real answer to printing full colour decals
- but they are expensive !
I'm only into the experimental stage, but I think I may have found the answer :
All my models requiring decals will be painted white in future!
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 31 May 2014, 3:12 am

I get both the clear and the white decal paper. What Mike said is how I use the white background paper and it works good, you do have to play with the body color to get it close   
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 31 May 2014, 12:17 pm

I can see times when white will do the job, and I think I will purchase a pack when I re-order more clear film.
Liking all the feedback..Thanks.

But I have been playing about with a few unfinished models today and with careful thought regards colour,
home printed decals can work on other body colours other than white...







..and I managed to finish off the body sides of my little Dodge Wagon !

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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 31 May 2014, 2:40 pm

Ron, white decal paper will allow the use of color on a dark colored model.  I did a 1909 Lozier Racer in black last year with red decals.  On transparent paper, they all but disappeared.  But the white paper provided enough brightness behind the red to work well. The area surrounding the red is colored black. The only white that may show might be the very edge of the decal where the cut is made - Use very sharp scissors, not a knife.



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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sun 01 Jun 2014, 12:06 pm

These are great tips for anyone making their own decals. I have avoided doing this mostly because I am too cheap to tool up for supplies .   

Resulting in that I don't use kit decals because I like individuality.
Mike, I really dig that 1909 racer !
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 3:41 pm

Ron,
I have just received my DIY decal stuff from Micro Mark. It is probably a cheap version and thick as you warn, but this is intended to be a one time deal for me.
You say to let the printed sheet dry before applying the clear ink sealer. The instructions that came with the kit say to clear immediately after printing. They sent clear acrylic and not lacquer, but I'll have to live (or die) with that also. Should I wait to seal it? or not?
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 5:54 pm

I don't wait to seal mine. Just carry them from the printer to the paint booth and spray them with a couple mist coats, then a fairly good wet coat.
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dadooronron
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 6:27 pm

Personally, I wait an hour for the printer inks to dry, before spraying with the sealing spray
to avoid any possibility of bleed.
I originally used lacquer and it worked okay for me, but now I use a specialist spray made in Italy
but the instructions on the can are in Italian so I have no idea if it is acrylic based or not.

I don't think it matters which way you do it,
as long as you don't touch the printed sheet prior to sealing.

.....but good luck !
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 7:54 pm

I would wait until the ink dries. It's drying time varies depending on whether you use draft, normal or high quality printing modes on your printer. Testors decal kit recommends normal mode, but the decal looks much better on high quality - it also takes a while to dry. If you use white based paper, the sealer can cause a colored haze (bleed) around the printed area into the white and darker colors into lighter if not dry.

Print a couple of sets (there's usually excess space on the paper). Cut them apart and try sealing one right away. Seal the others after dry. It's always good to have spares just in case.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Wed 23 Jul 2014, 10:41 pm

I'm thinking waiting a few hrs to half a day to let inks dry fully makes sense. No need to rush things. Originally, lacquer was the preferred sealer, but now with so many options drying time and possible affecting of ink means caution is smart. Thanx for the tip on matching body color for background. BTW, the truck and Lozier fotos are excellent. Can more be said about the building of them?
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Thu 24 Jul 2014, 6:15 pm

I guess I should say I have a laser printer, not an ink jet, so when my decals come out of the printer they are warm and dry.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Thu 24 Jul 2014, 10:08 pm

My decals are on !~
I used the white paper, so there was some close trimming, but they covered the orange well and look pretty good !   
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 6:08 pm

Sweet.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 7:07 pm

Ron:  The timing of this thread was excellent for me.  I just got my new laser printer and am going to make my first attempt at decals in the next few days.  I really appreciate the information you have provided.  Many thanks.

Clay:  How about a photo of the decals you made so we can see how high the bar is set for a first try.  

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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 1:09 pm

Like I said, John, I had pretty good luck with my first. I followed the directions they sent. I had trouble filling out the whole sheet. Not really into decaling with generic kit stuff. I prefer individuality..
The Rams heads are for the Big General.  I plan to clear them for protection and then work them into my design with airbrush  and some hand work.


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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 2:53 pm

Great looking decals. Nice work, Clay.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 3:01 pm

WOW !!!...............


........that is all.
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 5:55 pm

 
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 7:32 pm

Fantastic !

  
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PostSubject: Re: Decal making using a home printer   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 8:20 pm

You can hold your head high Clay.

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