Making decals

Here's a place to share and exchange finishing techniques.
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Mike_R
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Making decals

Post by Mike_R » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:49 pm

There are sheets made for doing this. I've tried one in the past but was a bit to thick.
Fox Transfers sell blank sheets but I think only suitable for Laser printers (they are the best for this work anyway as they heat seal the toner).
I have a pack of Lazertran Inkjet paper that I haven't tried yet. The instructions say that no sealer is needed. This one is white, although if over coated with solvent finish will dry clear.
I bought it from here http://www.londongraphics.co.uk/product ... sheets-A4) The London Graphic Centre.

I have also clear and white sheets from Bel Inc. in the US. Once again haven't got around to using them (I've had them since 2004 so the post mark says!!) I had planned to make up sets for a fictional commuter line, one day! These do need a sealing coat before applying.
http://www.beldecals.com/model_decals.htmll
These are advertised for model use. Min order is 10 sheets with $30 shipping to here so at least $40 plus duty, but they do make 17" x 11" sheets for those larger models. If going to Miami they are based there.

As I said a laser printer is best (there are different sheets for them), note that includes photocopiers. They normally do not need over coating.
Mike Ruby

Mike_R
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Making decals

Post by Mike_R » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:09 pm

Thanks for that link.
I see they do dry transfer paper, I do like that for flat surfaces, would be good for cabside and number board numbers, I have plenty of UP locos that have the wrong numbers from UP's big renumbering project several years ago. UP also has the advantage that loco numbers etc, are not done in white.
Mike Ruby

mikehughes
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:51 pm
Location: Worthing, West Sussex, England

Re: Making decals

Post by mikehughes » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:28 am

I've just purchased some Crafty decal paper. I've read the instructions and also taken note of what's been written here but would like some confirmation and or further suggestions.

I want to produce some decals to put on to one or more box cars.

The instructions say that you should print (I'm using an ink jet) in the best quality possible. I have no problem with that part.

Then you should spray with vaenish. Should this be matt or gloss? One coat or 2,3 or 4 thin coats, leaving minimum of 30 minutes between coats? Then leave for at least 24 hours to set.

Application. I've very limited experience of applying decals but I remember one instruction that you should spray with a gloss varnish before applying the decal to get a better surface for the decal. Anyone want to comment on this

When I've applied the decals, removed excess water and let it dry I want to add matt varnish afterwards. As the cars may be handled fairly frequently (they are to go to various layouts / shows, etc) would you put more than one coat on?

As a quick aside. I am only too well aware what can happen if you try to apply varnish before the decals are fully dried, although if left long enough it does give a very nice slightly weathered look!

Your thoughts please.

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Gloriousnse
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Re: Making decals

Post by Gloriousnse » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:33 pm

mikehughes wrote: Then you should spray with vaenish. Should this be matt or gloss? One coat or 2,3 or 4 thin coats, leaving minimum of 30 minutes between coats? Then leave for at least 24 hours to set.
I'm assuming what you have is inkjet waterslide? Varnish finish doesn't matter, it's not the top coat, all you're doing is sealing the printing to the decal paper. If you're matt varnishing later then no problem with it being gloss.

I also varnished after cutting the decals out, to seal the edges of the decal, I found that worked better. (Though it makes it harder to remove the decal from the backing)
Application. I've very limited experience of applying decals but I remember one instruction that you should spray with a gloss varnish before applying the decal to get a better surface for the decal. Anyone want to comment on this
It's a good tip, depends on your base though. For instance sometimes I use car spray paint for the base colour, if i've done that then it's already gloss, no need to add a further gloss coat then.

You'll probably find the resulting decal is both a little thicker and stiffer than you're used to with Microscale etc, I found it's worth doubling up on your printing so you have at least one spare to hand just in case.

Good luck!
Martyn Read

mikehughes
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:51 pm
Location: Worthing, West Sussex, England

Re: Making decals

Post by mikehughes » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:02 pm

Thanks for sharing know-how Martyn.

As for doubling up the number of decals, I'm intending to have more than that as I'm expecting to make mistakes and previous experience tells me the fewer backups you have, the more mistakes you make!

It'll be a few weeks before I do all this but I'll post my experiences when I've done it so that we can all share know-how

mec_alf
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Making decals - ALPS printers

Post by mec_alf » Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:25 pm

ednmra wrote:Making Your Own Decals

Years ago there was an ink jet printer called ALPS, which could be used for making decals because it used white ink, as well as black and colours. These are occasionally available second hand, for example on e-Bay.
Martin B
The ALPS printers aren't ink-jet but dye-sublimation ones, using a bank of specialised single-colour cartridges and overlay each colour on the previous one(s). The model 4000, which I have, does not recognise the white cartridge (or the metallic ones) but there's a fix for it: the colours are bar-coded onto the cartridge so by swapping the bar code from one of the other cartridges you can fool the printer, but you need to be sure that you're ONLY using that one colour, otherwise the decal will be a strange hue.

They also appear under the Oki label from time to time.
From Rigby Yard to the Hill - MEC and SP live on.

mec_alf
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Location: Cheshire

Re: Making decals

Post by mec_alf » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:50 pm

I've just cobbled up some decals for the Maine Coastal Railroad (please don't ask) using the GIMP software package and a downloaded Railroad Roman font. If I can find a Windows 7 driver for my MD4000 I'm going to dig it out and use it.
If successful I'm going to print out some white letters. If all goes well then I might be able to produce custom decals for people, subject to the vagaries of time/money/urgency etc.
From Rigby Yard to the Hill - MEC and SP live on.

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