custom decals

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by Trebor, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

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  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It's the same as the other ink jet decal ppers on the market, but has the CD with it. They work OK, but remember that unless you have an ALPS printer, you can't print white. Any need for white has to use the white decal paper, which merans careful planning of the design, and probably some very close trimming of the decal for use. The clear decal sheets are fine on some backgrounds, but you might find certain colours aren't dense enough once transferred to the model. For instance, a red number, transferred to a dark background such as dark green or black, virtually disappears, and a light grey number will appear very dark grey or black on similar backgrounds.
     
  3. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I do NOT recommend it. I'll snap some photos later, but my dad made Swastikas with it for his Bismarck, and it doesn't print solidly.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yes, some papers are better than others. I've been using Experts-Choice, from Bare Metal Foil co, and also tried CCP. They are both very similar, and print well. However, it's the printer which isn't up to the job fully, any inkjet printer. The image will look fine on the printed decal sheet, although fine-line work can easily 'bleed' if not handled carefully. On the sheet, the density is OK due to the white background, but once transferred, on 'normal' clear sheet, as there is no white base, the density of the printer ink isn't heavy enough to reproduce correct shades/tones.
    Better results can be obtained from a laser printer, but still not to the quality of traditional litho or silk screen printed items.
    If you can print on white, and are able to trim extremely accurately, then the system is usable. If printing, for example, black lettering or numbers on clear, then it is passable. Any 'fancy' work, where a clear background is essential, will not only lose any white areas, but will also be a bit disapointing, at best.
     
  5. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

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    alrighty! duly noted. I won't get them :)
     
  6. al49

    al49 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I currently use Testors decal paper, both clear and white and I find them fine but with all the remarks made by Airframes.
    I don't have an Alps printer and I use an HP ink-jet choosing between clear and white according to the subject I have to do. The very important point is that, after you have printed your decal sheet you MUST spray it with a coat of clear acrylic paint (the one supplied with the kit should be OK).
    As an example, the following decals have been done in this way:

    The "Veltro" logo on the rudder of this Macchi C 205
    [​IMG]

    The Devil logo on the cowling of this Fiat G-55
    [​IMG]

    The Italian roundel on the air-brake of this Canadair CL-13
    [​IMG]
    that, as you can see, has been printed on white decal paper.

    I think there are no other option if, for any reason, you want to make your own decals.
    Cheers
    Alberto
     
  7. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, yours turned out a lot better than ours. Must be the printer!
     
  8. al49

    al49 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it could be the printer.
    I retired from business at the end of 2007 and one of my first task as "free man" was to recovery many family photos and slides and , in order to be able to scan slides I needed to buy multifunction HP C8180 printer that costed me about 400 USD: with that price I got good quality prints as well.
    But I still have one of the problems mentioned by Airframes: I tried to add the red printed MERLIN name on the engine of my Tamiya Spitfire and didn't worked: too transparent for a dark background.
    Alberto
     
  9. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Well that would do it, my printer was nowhere near $400, more in the $150 range.
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Something that might help, if you're able to do it, is to overpaint the printed decal. I've done this on some designs, where I've known the density of the printed colour will not be heavy enough.
    Using slightly thinned acrylic paints, and a fine 'spotting' brush, the required colour was painted over the same coloured printed decal, after one coat of the acrylic clear varnish had been sprayed. This was allowed to 'set' for at least three hours, and then a further two coats of varnish applied, allowing at least an hour between coats.
    this was where clear decal sheet needed to be used - the white decal sheet will hold the density fine in most cases, without overpainting.
     
  11. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I bought it and was very underwelmed by the numed of supplied images on the CD. Though truth be told I never actually used it. I wish I hadn't purchased it.
     
  12. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    The Wespe wings and white S on my Bf-110 in post 144 here http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/start-finish-builds/eduard-1-48-bf-110c-17793-10.html were done with the Testors paper and sealer system. I did not get the CD. Rather, I scanned the images from profiles, cut and the scaled them with photoshop. The Kodak printer I used was a piece of crap and it took several tries to get a good set to print. The decal paper kept getting jammed in the rolls. Chucked it and bought a new Canon but have not tried it with decal paper yet.

    As you can see, and as Terry stated, printing onto the white paper requries some finesse since the cut edge of the decal becomes very visible. In my examples, careful trimming outside of the black borders is needed.
     
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