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I made some decals with the Testors kit. They're fine, except they seem a little thick. Are there thinner papers than Testors, or is this just the nature of the inkjet/clearcoat process? (I used the white paper, haven't tried the clear yet.)Thanks

P.S. The Testors sealer made the black ink run, Painter's Touch clear worked fine.

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i ordered couple of sheets from ebay, ill tell you when i get em

I've used a number of different decal papers and never noticed any real difference in thickness. I don't see that it really matters much as long as you printer handles the paper ok. This all gets discarded in the end. The key to the sealer is a couple thin, misted, applications so it doesn't run the ink. I have used the Testors product and never had problems but that was applies with a few mist coats anyway. Your specific printer's ink is a factor, so just keep what works. :D

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I don't see that it really matters much as long as you printer handles the paper ok. This all gets discarded in the end.

I guess I should be clearer. It's not the paper itself, it's the finished decal when it's applied to the model that seems thick to me. Thanks for the help so far!

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It's the sealer that made it thick. As mentioned, light coats. That will make for a much thinner decal. I actually did the same thing on some my first decals, lighter passes with the selaer did the trick.

A few more tips, let them dry overnight before you try to clear them. Spraying the too soon will make the ink run. Also, there have been many reports of black doing badly in inkjet paper. I've had this happen to me on different brands of paper, with black "craking". It only seems to happen if the black area is relatively large, thin lines seem to do ok. If you have a somewhat large black area that need done, you may consider editing the image to change the black to a dark gray. That seems to eliminate the cracking problem, and is not noticable in the final product if you get the shading dark enough.

One more tip, on the inkjet clear papers, the image will be translucent. You'll want to make sure to compensate for this in your color selection, or paint the area the decal will be located in white to prevent the decal from changing color/disappearing in the surrounding colors. Thsi can work to your advantage, if you ue a gold/silver under the decal, you can get some pretty nice metallic/candy effects with the decal.

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Thanks Longbox, I will try to go easy on the clear. Also, if I apply clear decals over white, I'm guessing I need to print the decals a darker shade of color, to compensate for the translucency? In other words, putting a blue decal over white is kinda like mixing blue paint with white paint, you end up with light blue. Does that make sense?

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Thanks Longbox, I will try to go easy on the clear. Also, if I apply clear decals over white, I'm guessing I need to print the decals a darker shade of color, to compensate for the translucency? In other words, putting a blue decal over white is kinda like mixing blue paint with white paint, you end up with light blue. Does that make sense?

the idea is right but you still wrong, you see, when you print the computer makes the assumption you use white paper to print on

so it mixes the paint to look the colour you selected based on a white background

thats why you can print a nice deep orange decal on clear paper and have it almost disapear when you apply that decal to a windshield...it is missing the white background the computer presumes is there

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the idea is right but you still wrong, you see, when you print the computer makes the assumption you use white paper to print on

so it mixes the paint to look the colour you selected based on a white background

Ah hah! Boy I'm glad I ask you guys questions! That makes perfect sense, plus it makes life easy. I pick the color I want, print on clear, apply on white, done deal. Thanks, eelco, and thanks all.

Edited by basher
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Ah hah! Boy I'm glad I ask you guys questions! That makes perfect sense, plus it makes life easy. I pick the color I want, print on clear, seal it with a clear coat ,apply on white, done deal. Thanks, eelco, and thanks all.

no problem

one last thing to mention (and this has only happened to me the one time) but there is a shade of aqua blue that every time i printed it came out fine, but when i clearcoated it it changed hues on me.

depending on how big a deal (and decal) it is i would suggest printing the right colour, one a tad lighter and one a tad darker. that way you should be all set

(or if close is good enough one decal will do)

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its all good

like i said, i only had it happen to me onces

but it happened to be a decal i was making for a fellow modeler that was going in the tail end of a superbee and had to be colour matched to the (allready painted) interior)

so it had to be close to perfect

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  • 4 years later...
  • 11 months later...

If you are doing a lot of custom decal type work, you definitely want to invest in good blank decal sheets and sealer.

I use Tango Papa decal paper and in my opinion is the best out there. Very thin and excellent printing.

tangopapadecals.com

After printing and allowing the ink to dry properly, I use the microscale decal solution to seal the ink. You can put it on thick and it dries very thin and makes the decal sturdier.

 

MI-12_126x350.gif

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If you are doing a lot of custom decal type work, you definitely want to invest in good blank decal sheets and sealer.

I use Tango Papa decal paper and in my opinion is the best out there. Very thin and excellent printing.

tangopapadecals.com

After printing and allowing the ink to dry properly, I use the microscale decal solution to seal the ink. You can put it on thick and it dries very thin and makes the decal sturdier.

 

 

I noticed this on the Tango Papa website:

This decal paper is the same high quality paper used by many of the model decal makers around the world, with one major difference:  IT IS LESS EXPENSIVE!

 

The paper is true water-slide paper and can be used with most laser printers, ALPS printers and color copiers.  Before making multiple copies, always check to make sure the paper is compatible with the printer or copier you are using.

 

Because of the nature of decal film, ink jet printers WILL NOT WORK with this paper.

 

The main use of this paper is for making decals that will be placed on plastic or painted cardboard and wood surfaces.  It may work for other applications - but it may not - be sure to check before purchasing or using in large quantities.

 

 

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Plain clear-film decal paper is for decals made by either hand-painting the images over the film, or printing using dry or wax inks/toners (laser printers, Alps MicroDry, or Xerox solid ink printers).

For ink jet printers (which use liquid inks) you have  to use decal paper specifically designed to work with liquid inks. That type of paper has the clear film, but on top of that film it also has a special ink-absorbing coating.  That layer absorbs and retains the ink where it was printed.  If you try to use the plain clear-film with an ink jet printers the ink will just bead up on the paper surface.

As far as sealing the image after printing goes, that is required for ink-jet-printed decals. That ink is water-soluble and if not sealed it will run when immersed in water.

Laser-printed decals also benefit from sealing after printing because the toner deposited on the clear film will often flake off when flexed.

Alps MicroDry printers use wax ink which is waterproof and won't flake off, so no sealing is needed.  By sealing Alps-printed decals all you are doing is adding more thickness to the clear film.  But the Alps-printed decals should be coated with clear after being applied to the model (because the wax ink can be scratched off easily).  The clear coat (after the decal is applied to a model) will also hide the clear decal film.

I've been printing decals on Alps printed for over 10 years and I have never found a need to apply clear sealer to the printed sheet - only after the decal is applied to a model.

 

Also a word of warning: Never use the ink-jet paper in Alps printers. That ink-absorbing layer is not compatible with the Alps printer - it can cause broken ribbons or even worse, damage to the print head. Alps used to include a pink-colored sheet with the new printers warning users not to use ink-jet print media. That warning sheet is usually lost when buying a 2nd hand printer.

Edited by peteski
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