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Homemade decal paper


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#1 crazyjim

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:12 AM

I need a couple of decals.  I have the software but am concerned about the decal paper to use.  Any suggestions?



#2 Casey

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:21 AM

Tango Papa: http://www.tangopapa....com/prod01.htm



#3 Tom Geiger

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 07:02 AM

I'm no big expert, but here's what I believe you will need.  

 

You said you have software. Depending on whether you are drawing your own decals or just reducing existing images to size, you may not need anything special.  I generally do my work in Microsoft Word.  I import the jpg  I need and then reduce / enlarge the image until it's the size I need.  I then will print it on paper in a few different sizes on a sheet, settle on one size and then print several of the same decal. Note that if you print a few, some may not come out well so you can pick the best one, plus if you mess up somewhere in the process you have a few to burn.

 

For lettering I will use the many fonts in Word.  I will print those the same way as the images above, on the same sheet.  I use Micro-Mark clear inkjet film. It comes in 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, 5 to a pack. I paid $7.99 for the pack at a hobby shop, so it's not all that expensive.  Still, I don't waste an entire sheet for a few small images.  I'll print the images I need onto a sheet of regular printer paper. Then I carefully cut a part of the decal sheet that will cover the image area and tape it over the images, only on the top edge.  Then run the sheet back through the printer, and your decals should print just fine. The extra thickness shouldn't matter.  

 

Then you will need to coat the decals. I generally will let the ink jet ink dry over night.  If you put one of those directly in water to use, the ink would come right off the sheet.  You will need to coat the decals.  Marty recommended the Testors Decal Bonder Spray, which comes in the same small cans as Testors regular colors.  I believe it's just a clear lacquer that's not too hot, so it doesn't distort the decals.  Do a very light coat, let it dry and maybe a light coat or two more. If the  ink runs at all,  you've put on too heavy a coat of fixative.  Once that's dry, try one of your decals (why we printed many).  If it stays stable (as in the ink doesn't run) you are good to put it on your model.  I have no experience with decal solutions, others may comment.

 

Some guys use other clear paints like Krylon over their decals.  I just took Marty's advise and it worked fine.  I know Duplicolor clear is too hot and the decal ink will run. Been there, done that!

 

Note that your ink jet printer won't print white, gold or silver.  And it prints pretty thin, almost opaque onto the decal, so you'll have to keep in mind to put decals onto light colored surfaces.  I will set up paint schemes on my models so that I'm doing so.  

 

Good luck!


Edited by Tom Geiger, 12 March 2013 - 07:04 AM.


#4 crazyjim

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 07:46 AM

Thanks, Casey but the Tango Papa place clearly states their paper is NOT for ink jet printers.

 

And thank you, Tom.  I understand that HOK SG100 undercoat is excellent for coating the paper.

 

I hear Testors paper is not so good and is expensive.  I'm just looking for suggestions of where to purchase good quality paper at a decent price.



#5 Tom Geiger

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

I hear Testors paper is not so good and is expensive.  I'm just looking for suggestions of where to purchase good quality paper at a decent price.

 

I've never used the Testors paper.  I got the Micro-Mark at a hobby shop in New Jersey. Can also be bought from their website. www.micromark.com



#6 crazyjim

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:52 AM

I hate buying from Micro Mark - they're usually very expensive.  Nice stuff though.



#7 Jantrix

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:13 AM

I think BMF sells decal paper sheets as well as foil.

#8 kalbert

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:35 AM

Thanks, Casey but the Tango Papa place clearly states their paper is NOT for ink jet printers.

 

And thank you, Tom.  I understand that HOK SG100 undercoat is excellent for coating the paper.

 

I hear Testors paper is not so good and is expensive.  I'm just looking for suggestions of where to purchase good quality paper at a decent price.

 

I use Testors from time to time because I can get it locally when I want it vs placing an order and sitting on my thumbs for 3 days waiting for it. it's not the greatest thing ever, but I've been pleased with the dozen or so license plates and things I've printed on it. The key (for me anyway) was to print more than you need because some will smear during the printing, some will smear before you get the sealer on, and some will smear when you put the sealer on. I'm too impatient waiting for the ink to dry though, however long I wait I should wait twice as long and go make a sandwich before touching it or trying to seal it.



#9 wisdonm

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:41 AM

I have used both BMF and Testors papers successfully. I can get Testors at 40-50% off at Hobby Lobby, so I usually use that.

 

There are four types of decal paper. Be sure to use the right ones for your printer. There are inkjet papers and there are laser printer papers. They are not interchangeable. Both types also come in clear and white.

 

I disagree with several of Tom's statements. I have used Dupli-Color clear without problems, but I usually use Krylon Krystal Clear to seal the decals first. Mist coats are important for success. Unlike ink jet decals, laser decals do not need to be sealed before applying. Second, ink jet decals are sadly far from opaque. They are very translucent and therefore do not show up well on dark colors. You can try layering decals, but it is hit and miss.


Edited by wisdonm, 12 March 2013 - 09:43 AM.


#10 CadillacPat

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:30 AM

Duplicolor Clear DAL 1695 is fine for a Decal Fixative,  However I use House Of Kolor InterCoat Clear and I use only paper from Papilio.com

 

Here's the Tutorial I put up a few days ago,

 

http://www.modelcars...showtopic=71031

 

 

 

 

" Decal Fixative Alternative "

 

Something for those of you interested in making your own Custom Decals------------------

 

“Decal Fixative Alternative”

 

For coating my Decal sheets as they emerge from the printer I've tried lots of products with good to excellent results.

 

I started out using cheap Painters Place Enamel #20014 in the aerosol can from the spray paint department at WalMart.

It wasn't bad and only cost 90 cents.

 

Then I used Duplicolor Clear Lacquer DAL #1695 also in an 11 oz. aerosol can from AutoZone.

This was a better product that dried much quicker and thinner for $4.59.

 

Then I used DEFT Clear Gloss Varnish in the 11 oz. aerosol can in the Paint Stain Dept at Walmart, about $5.

By far, this is the best of the aforementioned and makes the edges of the Decals disappear after final ClearCoat.

 

However, all I've used for the last 10years is House Of Kolor InterCoat Clear.

InterCoat Clear is a product used to protect your art as you lay down progressive layers.

It's used to coat an existing layer so it can be taped off without fear of raising the paint.

It's also used as a carrier to lay transparent colors or pearl powders over basecoats.

 

Well the results are fantastic.

One 1/4 oz. AirBrush cup filled 2/3 way with a 50-50 mix of InterCoat Clear and RU311 Reducer is enough to coat a full page of Decals.

It dries to an almost negligible thickness in a matter of minutes.

With this InterCoat Clear the edges of the Decals disappear as they are laid down.

The extra control of applying the InterCoat Clear through your AirBrush instead of blasting some other product out of an aerosol can gives you the ability to lay down just the barest minimum needed to seal the ink on the Decals.

The Decal film remains just as thin and pliable as if there was no coating at all.

 

Nothing is wrong with the DEFT but this InterCoat Clear is giving far better results.

 

--CadillacPat the UnCustomizer--



#11 TooOld

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:51 AM

I don't print my own decals very often ,  usually some license plates or a few logos .  I use Testors paper only because my LHS has it and for about $6 I got 3 sheets of clear and 3 sheets of white paper .  I don't see any problems with it ,  but if I were doing more involved decals ( like for a race car ) I might look at some better quality paper .

 I also do the "cut and tape" trick for my decals ,  it saves me from wasting a  lot of paper .   As for decals printing transparent ,  I usually try to use the white paper and use MS Paint to match the background to the color  it will be applied to .



#12 crazyjim

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:26 AM

Okay, Bob.  What's the "cut & tape" trick?  I ordered 1o sheets of ink jet clear from a place on ebay and they should be here Saturday. 

 

I don't use decals often and this build needs a custom decal on the trunk.  This will be my first shot at making my own.

 

Since I happen to have HOK SG100 laying around, I'll try that for the clear.


Edited by crazyjim, 12 March 2013 - 11:26 AM.


#13 CadillacPat

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:25 PM

Alternate to running pieces of tape through your Printer,

You can divide your full sheets of Decal Paper into smaller pieces.

Choosing specific measurements in your Printer Settings allows you to run smaller Custom sized pieces of Decal Paper.

 

If I'm doing a large run of Customs I use a full sheet but I can fit 3 full sets of Sides, Roof, Hood and Trunk on a single 3.6" x 4.25" (6 of these from a sheet of Decal Paper) section for most HotWheels I create.

 

CadillacPat



#14 TooOld

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:15 PM

Okay, Bob.  What's the "cut & tape" trick?  I ordered 1o sheets of ink jet clear from a place on ebay and they should be here Saturday. 

 

I don't use decals often and this build needs a custom decal on the trunk.  This will be my first shot at making my own.

 

Since I happen to have HOK SG100 laying around, I'll try that for the clear.

 

I print a test decal on plain paper first .  If it looks good I cut  a piece of decal paper about 1" larger than the decal and tape it right on top of it with scotch tape .  Insert the paper in your printer and print the decal .  This way I can make sure the resolution and size are correct and print one small decal at a time without wasting decal paper .  It goes thru my printer just fine since it still isn't as heavy as most quality photo paper .

 The SG100 will work just fine ,  just make sure the decal is lying flat when you spray it .  If it is hanging vertical the color will run right off when you spray it !   I always use what ever clear I plan on finishing my model with so that it's all compatible .



#15 crazyjim

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:21 PM

Yo Bob  and Pat - thanks for the suggestions with decals.  I created, printed, shot too much HOK SG100, but it'll work for me.  They went on the build yesterday and I cleared with 2 part urethane today.  I'm happy.

 

Another question for you experts.  I printed gray, red, and blue on clear decal paper and shot the results with SG100.  The car body is HOK nova orange and the blue isn't really blue anymore.  How are you supposed to get the real color of the decal show up? 



#16 TooOld

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

When you use clear paper the ink will be transparent and the body color will always show thru and alter the decals colors ,  some worse than others .  The only sure way to stop it is to use white paper ,  but unless you can match the background to the body color that's not an option most of the time .  Depending on the design of the decal ,  I have painted over the proper color with a small brush before clear coating .



#17 crazyjim

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:20 PM

I didn't think of it until just now, but I wonder what would happen if I laid 2 or even 3 decals on top of each other.  You ever do that?



#18 TooOld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:01 AM

I'm thinking about doing that for an old Funny Car build I'm planning .  It should help but it might get too thick and the edges show up under a clear coat .

 If you try it send me a PM and let me know how it looks .