printing decals, anyone here do this?

Kryptosdaddy

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Oct 26, 2011
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Columbia has no one that offers this service, so i thought I would ask. I already have the masters, two sheets -one BW the other mostly red with some yellow. I made these myself since they dont exist anywhere!

If anyone needs, I'll post them here. thanks. CR
 

Igard

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May 16, 2011
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Hey buddy. I take it this is for your scratch built shuttlecraft? Glad to hear to you've got the masters done.

I'm surprised you can't find someone to print these for you. Thought any print shop would do it. Maybe try some of the smaller, independant ones if there are any?

Or seek out friends and family. Home printers are pretty good these days, if it's good enough to print photographs, it's good enough for decals. Just be sure to set the quality to high and the paper to glossy photo paper.

And always test on plain paper first. That reminds me, do you have decal paper? Transparent is best.
 

Kryptosdaddy

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Yes it is, here is a copy of the insignia sheet I made last night with my ink jet printer...

This NOT the master, this is a scan of the decal on Bare Metal Foil ink jet paper-

decaltest001.jpg


it looks ok, BUT it's about 2/3 the size of the original! I found out today that Staples will try this if i bring in the paper, so I picked some up at the LHS. Only reason i picked them is they are a 1/2 mile away...

Hopefully they can make this a bit tighter, if not thats fine- it's a scratch build anyway! lol Scratching the decals would be a nice plus if i can pull it off. Don't forget my build is about 1/50, the decal sets offered online for the AMT kit are 1/32 and i already went to the trouble of learning to use Gimp to make these!
 

Grendels

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One thing to be careful about when printing your own decals is the color of paint you plan on using under them. When decal companies print decals, they put down a white layer then they print the colors on top.

Clear decal sheets don't have this white layer. So if you want to make a red decal to go over black paint, you can't use transparent film. You have to use white decal paper and very carefully trim out the decal.

Since this is for your shuttle, it shouldn't be an issue.
 

Quaralane

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May 22, 2009
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And make sure to be careful sealing them.
MicroScale Decal Film is the best solution I've found for my own sheets.
Using a spray sealer can result in decals that want to roll and fold if the sealer coat is too thick.
 

Kryptosdaddy

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Thanks guys, one of the fellas at Swanny's forums said he uses Future wax in a very thin coat to seal his laser jett decals, I will try this as a test. I havnt found a bottle of Microscale decal seal yet, but i do have a bottle of the setter.

And I did get the clear sheets, very careful with that choice- I'll trim the heck out of them and get it to work.

The shuttle is primed flat grey, when it's ready for the final it will be painted flat black (to help darken the next coat) , then sprayed with MM chrome silver as a base. Once this has cured i'll lightly give it a good detailing touch up on the highlights and edges with Alclad II aluminum- the normal tone, NOT the high gloss!
Then it gets a misting of Alclad II transparent blue on the edges, I tried this on my saucer and this works nice! it gives the colors an almost blue steel appearance. Then gloss to smooth it all out, decals and then a misting of Tamiya acrylic smoke (maybe) to help some shadowing- then it gets glossed again. I may not try the smoke depending on the final tone of the aluminum- sounds like a lot of work, and it is- but I'm gonna shoot for this thing to have a finish like glass.
 

Splashcoat

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Oct 9, 2010
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I agree that the most crucial step in the custom decal process is properly sealing the decal. My weapon of chioce is Krylon Crystal Clear.
K1303.jpg

It's an easy to use spray, doesn't crack or yellow, and has no adverse interaction with setting solutions.
As an added bonus, it's easy to find in most craft stores and even some large home improvement stores.
 

Grendels

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Splashcoat said:
I agree that the most crucial step in the custom decal process is properly sealing the decal. My weapon of chioce is Krylon Crystal Clear.
K1303.jpg

It's an easy to use spray, doesn't crack or yellow, and has no adverse interaction with setting solutions.
As an added bonus, it's easy to find in most craft stores and even some large home improvement stores.

This is the same spray I used the few times I have made my own.
 

Elm City Hobbies

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May 7, 2009
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Kryptosdaddy said:
Thanks guys, one of the fellas at Swanny's forums said he uses Future wax in a very thin coat to seal his laser jett decals, I will try this as a test. I havnt found a bottle of Microscale decal seal yet, but i do have a bottle of the setter.

And I did get the clear sheets, very careful with that choice- I'll trim the heck out of them and get it to work.

The shuttle is primed flat grey, when it's ready for the final it will be painted flat black (to help darken the next coat) , then sprayed with MM chrome silver as a base. Once this has cured i'll lightly give it a good detailing touch up on the highlights and edges with Alclad II aluminum- the normal tone, NOT the high gloss!
Then it gets a misting of Alclad II transparent blue on the edges, I tried this on my saucer and this works nice! it gives the colors an almost blue steel appearance. Then gloss to smooth it all out, decals and then a misting of Tamiya acrylic smoke (maybe) to help some shadowing- then it gets glossed again. I may not try the smoke depending on the final tone of the aluminum- sounds like a lot of work, and it is- but I'm gonna shoot for this thing to have a finish like glass.

Be careful using Future on them, as the future will dissolve when you put the decal into the water to release it from it's backing. Ask me how I know.

Maybe with a Laser printer it isn't an issue, however with Inkjets....the in is usually an acrylic ink. Hence...a decal done on an inkjet, over coated with Future will pretty much disappear about 10 secs after it hits the water.

I would use a Lacquer or Enamel clear coat over your custom decals no matter what you print them on. The Testors Do It Yourself Decal Kit comes with a spray can in it to overcoat your decals, which ends up being basically their Lacquer Gloss Clear with a different label on the can.

While the Krylon that is shown above is an acrylic, I believe it's carrier is a lacquer or enamel (please correct me if I am wrong on this) so it should be safe to use, as it won't dissolve once it hits the water.
 

Splashcoat

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According to Krylon's MSDS on Crystal Clear, it's carrier is Tolulene based so I'm thinking lacquer thinner. Its short drying time would support this as well. When I first started using this stuff I left a test decal soaking for well beyond the normal time and the coating didn't dissolve. I'm led to believe that once dry, Crystal Clear is completely water proof.
 

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