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Thread: Let's talk about printing decals...

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    Default Let's talk about printing decals...

    I know that printing white is out unless you have a special printer, but how many folks have worked with laser color printers and decal paper, particularly with dark colors like browns, blacks, blue, etc? Is there a preferred brand of decal paper (Waterslide, clear decal paper, that is)

    Any tips or tricks?

    I'm still planning on having some decals made up professionally, but there's probably a lot I could do on my own as well...not for sale, but for myself.

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    I've printed some decals on Microscale decal paper but haven't gotten around to applying them yet. Used a color laser printer (HP M452dn at work). Instruction said to use a laser printer and not an ink-jet.

    I'll come back when I've applied them.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    I've had extremely good results with Micro-mark clear laser paper, but it seems to have been discontinued. I'm trying to find out where they got it from, as Micro-Mark is notorious about repackaging other peoples stuff. The part number was 82370.

    I've been successfully 'reverse imaging' decals for years and applying them over white paint to get white lettering. It's stupid, but it works. Do it in Excel, set the background color to black and the font color to white, do it as a bold font and see what you think. I've seen it legible down the about 2.5 point text.

    I've come to truly hate inkjet decals as no matter what you do and how much topcoat you put on, if you hit them with a setting solution they will bleed out from the bottom instead of the top. Sometimes it's not horrible, but it's never really good. In comparison, I've had truly great results with laser paper, you just can't kill them with Solvaset.
    Randgust N scale kits web page at www.randgust.com

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    This stuff seems to be priced right and popular. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076VFHV1F...v_ov_lig_dp_it

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    I know nothing about printing decals but what you have found looks to be a good deal. For $11, what do have to loose?
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    For $11, what do have to loose?
    $11.......

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    If your worried about risking $11 - your in the wrong hobby ......
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    If your worried about risking $11 - your in the wrong hobby ......
    I wouldn't say that. I'm not worried about risking it, but I'm not about to be a damned fool with my money, either. Whether I spend 50 cents or 50 thousand, I'm going to do my research.

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    Ordered from this guy a while back and the laser paper works well, nice and thin.

    http://www.tangopapadecals.com/paper.htm

    Andrew

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    Do not go gentle into that good night - Thomas
    Dana
    US ARMY Ret
    Oil Mill Creek RR - NY, NH & H

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    White-backed decal paper will work good on darker backgrounds (blue box cars,etc),but the white edge is difficult to conceal when you are cutting the odd shapes out. Working rectangular shapes can simplify this for you, but limits your design options.

    Decals printed on clear decal paper are often hard to see on darker backgrounds - the colors are not very opaque without the ability to print White. On the Alps printers, white would normally be printed first for opacity then the colors printed on top of that layer, or the white is combined with the color (I'm not a pro on these). So, these clear-backed decals are best applied to white/grey/light colored backgrounds. The light colored could also "tint" the shade of the decal, due to lack of opacity.
    Peter

    Layout Depot (share your designs with others): www.LayoutDepot.com
    My Build Thread: www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?28081-Green-Valley-Railway

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    Send your art to Highball Graphics. I had a 1/4 sheet with a variety of different projects on it printed for about $25. Printing is crisp and the film they use is sturdy. I have printed some simple things like black text on clear paper with my laser printer, but the quality was mediocre at best. Sending Highball art that is ready to print was too easy and the results were too good. I'd do that again in a heartbeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magi46 View Post
    I have used this paper and I LOVE it!

    The paper backing dries white but with a couple of applications of - get this - CANOLA OIL you can make the white disappear.
    See the 'How to' video on their website. I highly recommend this product.
    Mike DeSensi
    Pittsburgh, PA
    West View & Santa Fe N Scale Railroad
    June, 1945

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    I just did the custom decals for this one a couple weeks ago. The "JACK HERE" decals are reverse-image black over white painted areas. The corporate logos are .JPG's off the net. Letters and numbers are Word fonts. Dark anything over light anything works quite well.



    Yes, the reverse is problematic, but I've had some pretty good success with reverse imaging and painting the lighter color underneath the clear text. Decals printed in red reverse image, applied over white, and I matched the paint color to the decal color, not the other way around. You really can't tell how it was done that way.

    Randgust N scale kits web page at www.randgust.com

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    That's some nice paint matching. With black sure, but with an actual colour? Impressive!

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