Printing decals at home?

rskd0001

New Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
6
I have decided to try and scan some decals onto my computer to print at home should I mess up the originals, so now I have a few questions. I have tried already, and failed, but am not sure what I am doing wrong, are my expectations to high? Is it possible to get decals of the same quality as the originals when printing at home, or am I hoping for too much? I have an inkjet Epson XP-7100 printer and have tried inkjet compatible paper from multiple companies and have been disappointed. What settings should I use for printing? I have tried a variety of combinations of paper type and print quality and everything comes out somewhere from somewhat blurry to simply awful. Should I save as PDF or Jpgs? Should I get a different printer? Surely there has to be some way of printing high quality decals from my home printer, I just have no idea how right now.
 

Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
357
Back in the day, I tried doing home made decals with mixed success. Does the ink bead up on the paper or something else? I'm not familiar with your printer model, but I'd use the highest quality print settings. Would need more detail to be able to give you any advice really.

One thing I learned is that not all clear coats are equal. I used some Krylon clear that yellowed really badly. I finally just started using Testors Dullcote in multiple but light passes and that seems to work out better.
 

rskd0001

New Member
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Sep 16, 2020
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6
Sometimes the ink does bead up on the paper, but even if it doesn't do that, the lines are blurry and undefined.
 

Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
357
Hmm, I would guess it has to do with the print/paper settings. From my experience printing graphics, which is a lot, the paper settings can make a lot of difference depending in your print dialog.
 

stevethefish

My name's actually not Steve
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
95
Yeah, I use the laser printer decal paper on the laser printer at work and they turn out much better. The decal film for inkjets is too thick. Just recently I put down a blue design on top of silver paint and not only does it look great, but the edge of the film is nearly invisible. It looks great. The white decal paper, OTOH, is thick.
 

Jim62

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Oct 26, 2020
Messages
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I find it easier to make masks and paint as many of the decals as I can. Much more fun as well.
 

Quaralane

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May 22, 2009
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11,091
I've had varied levels of success printing decals at home. My biggest issue was with the clear ones wanting to curl up on the model.
Solved that by deliberately printing them backwards and applying them that way
 

JonW

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
54
I've actually had success with printing decals at home. I'm cheap, so I don't have the big name graphics program. I use Paint Shop Pro. I try to use very large graphics if it's something I'm downloading from the internet. I use 300 DPI in my PSP program. I save the files in PNG format. I then import them into Publisher to print. Depending on the model, I use clear or white decal paper. For printing, I use photo settings. My printer is a middle-of-the-line HP inkjet. As soon as the print comes out of the printer, I coat it with a light coat of Krylon Crystal Clear. Then I apply a 2nd coat at least an hour later. I let the paper sit for 24 hours before I apply the decals. Works great so far.
 

UKater

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Jan 23, 2021
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Hi JonW. I use almost the same procedure only that I use Micro Sol/Set for my decals. This way I can print and use decals of my own choosing and makes it a lot more fun to decorate the models at hand. I use decal paper and an HP photo printer. Works wel for me.
 

rskd0001

New Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
6
So my question to the people here who have printed at home.....do you make your own 100%, do you gather pictures from the internet and print those? Or do you just scan the set that came with the model as a backup set? My real burning question right now is how is the quality? I am stiff having trouble finding a combination of paper and settings that produces an acceptable result.
 

JonW

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
54
For my police cars, I either make my own or find some on the internet to scan. They key is getting the highest resolution scans possible. Mine usually turn out to be twice the actual size I need, and then I scale them down with Publisher before I print them. I print using the BEST print setting and photo paper settings.
 

Quaralane

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May 22, 2009
Messages
11,091
A little bit of both.
I'll do my own, use pics, or use the originals as a guide for doing custom registries
 

rskd0001

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Sep 16, 2020
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This is a picture of a recent attempt that I made, to show how bad they are coming out and drying. the ink pools in spots when printed and ends up with blurry lines.
 

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JonW

Active Member
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Feb 20, 2021
Messages
54
What do the decals look like if you print them on regular paper? If they are clear and sharp, maybe you need different decal paper.

Are you choosing a glossy photo paper setting when you print decals?
 

pro

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
32
I have decided to try and scan some decals onto my computer to print at home should I mess up the originals, so now I have a few questions. I have tried already, and failed, but am not sure what I am doing wrong, are my expectations to high? Is it possible to get decals of the same quality as the originals when printing at home, or am I hoping for too much? I have an inkjet Epson XP-7100 printer and have tried inkjet compatible paper from multiple companies and have been disappointed. What settings should I use for printing? I have tried a variety of combinations of paper type and print quality and everything comes out somewhere from somewhat blurry to simply awful. Should I save as PDF or Jpgs? Should I get a different printer? Surely there has to be some way of printing high quality decals from my home printer, I just have no idea how right now.
My friend has done some got decal film then printed it then had to spray it with some kind of set to keep it from smearing or dissolving when applying as the printer ink isn't permanent. There's articles about doing it in FSM. Also the best printer is one of those dry ink printers. Some company in Germany came out with it but now some Chinese company is making them or were about two years ago not sure if any are still available. But the write up for them was really good.
 

JonW

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
54
I use a regular HP printer then apply 2 coats of Krylon Crystal Clear to them. No issues at all.
 

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