Decals are an important aspect of my modeling style. I make my own decals a lot and have been designing and making my own decals for more than 8 years. I use a Canon MP560 inkjet printer. I've used Canon printers for many years because they have a separate print head and individual cartridges for black, photo black, and magenta, cyan and yellow. I have used Experts-Choice Decal Film from Bare Metal Foil, Testors decal paper and Papillo. The clear papers for all three brands have all worked well for me. Currently my favorite is Papillo because it appears to be slightly thinner than the others. My least favorite clear is Testors because it is sold in half-sheets (8.5" x 5.5") which is wasteful because the sheets rapidly become too small to feed through my printer. All three brands print sharply and cleanly for me using the glossy photo paper and high quality out put settings on my printer. My source files are usually 600 dpi. The problem described above regarding ink failing to hold on the paper sounds like a problem I had with Experts-Choice Decal Film after several years when the paper become old and had accumulated some residue on it. Switching to a new stock of paper solved the problem. You can also get that problem if you attempt to print over paper that has received a coat of decal sealer or clear coat (i.e. sealers such as acrylic clear, Future, etc.). Of course if you don't use a sealer once you've printed on the bare paper the ink will run when you soak your paper. These may seem like obvious mistakes but, despite all my experience I have made them all! White decal paper is a whole other matter for me. All white decal papers I have tried (all three brands listed above) are much thicker than the clear variety. So thick, in fact, that they don't handle at all like clear and also leave a visible white edge where they are cut. I found the Experts-Choice Decal Film white paper totally unacceptable. It was inflexible, didn't lay down well, and had poor adhesion. It also didn't take ink as well as the other two brands. The best was Papillo which laid down OK, had good adhesion, printed very well, and was thinner than the others. It was still too thick, however, not to show a white edge.
Unfortunately Ron died a year ago last winter and to date no one that I know off has picked up his line. There was someone who claimed to have, but they couldn't follow through reliably and fell away rapidly. I'm not sure why his web site is still operational. I used his stuff quite a bit, and he was a nice, approachable person, with good quality offerings and fair dealing in every way. He will be missed.
Amen brother! Since the major "upgrade" last year (?...or was it longer than that), two functionalities are gone. The first, using the "Insert other media" button followed by the "insert from URL" option, has never worked for me, as has been mentioned by many others. I now either use the image code string from my Photobucket account, or when linking from a third party, I use the old IMG tag HTML syntax. Secondly, the Preview function has disappeared, so I must edit my posts offline in order to get a reliable result. I find the best approach for posting here that's reliable is to edit off line, save my post in pure text using the most basic HTML coding (like the IMG tag and similar tags for underlining, italics, bold, etc.). and then pasting the result into the reply box. That's how I do my w.i.p. and Under Glass posts. Before the "upgrade" I didn't have to do any of that. I think posting photos here can be very discouraging if you're a basic Internet user, with unreliable image linking and no way to check your work without first posting your message. Please at least reinstate the Preview function. Fixing the "insert other media" button so it didn't hang indefinitely would be nice, too.
Thanks everyone for more kind words. The ,Hippy-Eye made it to the NNL in one piece - open wheel cars often haven't in my experience and require a last minute fix-it on Friday evening, but this year everything got through OK. It was good meeting up with you Bradley, and I'm looking forward to seeing your two highly detailed Deuces next year!
Thanks Bob! That's a nice sampler of what was there. It's hard to photograph when there are so many fine models to see and appreciate. There was a pretty strong turnout this year and it was great to have you and the ACME members at the show. I really enjoyed spending time with both you and Pico Elgin discussing the beautiful models you brought.
Thanks for the link, Bill. I've added it to my favorites to help keep me informed on trends in the trade from a Designer's perspective. With the heavily legislated conformation of today's cars the designer's job is a difficult one at the best of times. I particularly like the fact that the example article you linked referenced quite contemporary and "mass consumption" examples which helps give us an insight into a Professional's perspective on things.
Thanx Richard. To get white lettering you have 2 choices: Choice One is to use a decal printing service that can use printing technology that can print white (and metallic) inks. Choice Two is to print your own decals on white decal paper. The decal paper which you refer to in your comment is almost certainly clear decal paper. Unfortunately conventional home printers such as inkjet and laser printers "assume" a white background (the paper stock you would normally print on) in order to print white tones. So in this case if I had printed on clear decal paper the logo would have been body colored. This second alternative requires the areas that would normally be body colored to be matched to the paint color. This second method is what I did - so I in fact did print on decal paper, but it was white decal paper The downside of this method is that white decal paper is a great deal thicker than clear and the white edges inevitably show to some degree. (I have tried any number of white decal paper stocks and the problem is universal.) In the ultra-close, high resolution photos I created you can see those edges. That's what you commented on. Fortunately, in scale and viewed normally this flaw is much less apparent. Incidentally during this past year I tried mightily to find a reliable decal supplier that could print my art from the 600 dpi bitmap images I normally create and provide me with single layer decals with white or metallic areas printed to clear. To date my search has been unsuccessful. I will forgo naming names or detailing my experiences but suffice it to say it involved some pretty well known potential suppliers. Decals are an important element in many of my modeling projects. Apparently, I will need to learn to create vector graphic art to use these services, a skill I do not currently possess. It's either that or bear the additional cost and time to have the artwork redrawn in vector form.
Thanks Dennis. Funny you should mention the small block. I actually started two motors for it, the SBC you see and a Flattie as well, but I thought an expensive to build antique flathead was far too "serious" and bucks-up for the "Genuine Stolen Parts" concept. I felt a slightly warmed over small block with the aggressively showy headers but little else was much more to the point. I was quite conscious about finishing the motor in factory GM engine orange with standard valve covers and a single 4 barrel. And wouldn't you know it, when I brush painted it with Testors Acryl the paint went on perfectly. I briefly panicked that I wouldn't be able to get it to look dirty enough!