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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've managed to download some images and resize them for use on a couple of fantasy liveries I'm planning. Now I have a couple of questions.........

Would this decal paper be any good?.... http://www.craftycomputerpaper.co.uk/.-Dry...l-Paper_159.htm If not, what's best to use?

I'm not all that good with computers, so I have to work with what I have and am used to in the way of software - which is pretty basic stuff, nothing artwork-specific.
Would the images I've downloaded (jpegs, I believe) produce acceptable decals, bearing in mind that they're only small, printed through an HP 4100 3-in-1 printer? I've done a test sheet on normal letter paper and it looks fairly good, but I've no idea if the decal paper throws-up anomolies.

Do I need special ink?

My thoughts on refinishing the cars go like this......
Strip, prime, colour coat, decals, lacquer. Is that right? Or will the lacquer do nasty things to the decals? If the decals can't be lacquered, what can be done to minimise the risk of them getting damaged when I crash the cars?

TIA
Stuart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for ^^^^ that.


I need to source a laser printer, then.
 

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Phil Kalbfell
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You can use an Inkjet printer,but yellow is very weak and the decal will need coating after printing. I have used Testors decal bonder to seal inkjet decals. You also need the inkjet paper. I am told that you can use other products like Microscale to seal the inkjet decals.
 

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Do all the printable white decal papers have a really thin decal layer? I don't remember the brand I use (lost the package), but it can take 3-5 layers to properly cover a dark surface. Also the thin decal is really tricky to put to place.
 

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David J
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You don't need to get a laser printer, a half decent ink jet will be fine, you do have to laquer the decals before application though.

I used a basic ink jet and decal paper and produced these decals....





I only used basic programs on the PC, resized things in Microsoft word, takes a bit of practice to get the settings right but not too difficult at all really. Bit limited because youu can't do white - helps if the car is white really. Also think about whether you need white or clear backgrounds on your decals, I used a combination of both. You may also need to colour the background of the decal to match the colour of the car. Have fun.
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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I have attempted ink jet printed decals on both the white paper and the clear. I'd rather working with the clear film but it requires planning.

The clear option has its limitations due to the fact that ink jet ink is transparent. The clear decals that I've tried were much nicer to work with though. Laser printers are also a little limited printing on clear film as the toner powder once melted in place is translucent. For this reason clear home printed decals will never give true intensity of colour unless they are applied onto a white base.

I used Tamiya clear to seal ink jet printed decals with some success. However, I discovered that the coating needs to be fresh. If left to cure properly (12 hours or more) it will crack with handling and colour will leech off the decals in the position of the cracks.

I have used Microscale's Liquid Decal Film quite successfully. It is a brush on product and makes for quite robust decals that are easy for the novice to handle, however it does make the decal quite thick and may mean the project requires more clear coats of your choice to disguise this thickness.


This was done with clear decal paper printed on a Canon 9100i (about 5 year old 6 colour inkjet) and sealed with Microscale Liquid Decal Film.

The white decal paper requires less planning but it has problems all of its own. I found the white paper to be thicker and the image is more fragile. It was more temperamental and disliked handling much more. However, application can be practiced and different sealing coats can be applied until you find one that works for you.


This was my very first attempt at home made decals, printed on the white paper, and my first attempt at applying them. I think I used about 7 copies of each of the main decals. It doesn't show in the photo, thankfully, but the application is far from perfect and there is white paper showing through where the print has rubbed off due to over handling. Not the fault of the decal. However, there is a visible white edge to the decal, although I trimmed the decal into the printed area.

The white edge is more obvious, and annoying, on a dark project.

This shows the benefit of the white version of the decal paper. However, if you saw it in real life, it also shows the detracting white edge. In this instance the decal was printed larger than required with a thick black edge. The decal was then trimmed to size with a sharp knife. Once applied this leaves a very visible white line around the decal caused by the thickness of the paper. A bit of touch up with a felt pen or a paint brush is required to disguise this.

An experienced hand at appying decals would probably not struggle with some of these issues as much as I did. But I figured they were worth noting. Like many things, it depends on your patience, planning and the finish you require or find acceptable for your project.

Embs
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone, particularly Ember for the in-depth reply, for your input. I'm very grateful to you all. I'm starting to get motivated; but I'm hedging just a little because my first planned project is a blue car with quite a bit of white lettering.

Maybe I should do a white one first......
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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Depending on the decals you might be able to get the benefits of the clear paper as well as the white background. The pack of paper I bought to try was a mixed pack with both white and clear paper. Next time I try decals on a non-white car I plan to try applying plain white patches with scraps of the white paper and then apply the printed clear decal over the top. It'll take a decent amount of planning and probably some accuracy that I don't really have yet, but it should work.

Embs
 

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Slot Car Racer and Builder
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Putting clear over white does work Ember - not something I do regularly but have used it when I only had a small decal needing a white background so didn't want to print a white sheet. You can trim the decal once it is on the car with a sharp blade. Depending on the colour of the decal you may need two layers of the writing etc in order for it to stand out enough

cheers
DM
 

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Rob
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I printed all my decals with a fairly basic inkjet printer, mainly used white paper because the colours can be weak on clear, as previously mentioned. Sealed with Halfords car lacquer, a 'dust' coat first followed by a couple of heavier coats. Printing on white means you sometimes need to match the colour of the car too, which can take some trial and error. I used to trim my decals with a razor blade because the decal paper often wouldn't cut cleanly with scissors.
 

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Gerald Lambourn
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Tried to print some decals last night on my Epson Photo R265 six ink injet printer using Crafty supplied white decal paper but got a badly blurred result. Seems as though I have forgotten the printer settings! The same images printed OK about 6 months ago, I used Photo semi-gloss for the paper type and Test plus Image for the printer setting. Any ideas please. GeraldL
 

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Fast Reply it is... I've not read all the response's but here's my take......

1/. I prefer Clear to White as it seem's thinner and more flexible.
2/. When out ready to buy a Laser Printer, I was advised not to by a "sales rep" for a printer company. Can't remember exactly the reason's but he was adamant ink jet was the best. Colour saturation I think.
3/. Different printer's like different make's of paper.
4/. My Canon like's the Bare Metal Co. decal paper and the quality show's through when I've tried other's. Well worth trying a few different makes.
5/. Someone above use's WORD to resize there images. I do too. Just print a sample first on plain paper for sizing.

Michael.

PS. I print decal's for my figure's and you can get quite good image's even when very small.
 

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I always take a clean rag and rub over the surface of the decal paper before printing, being careful not to crease the paper whilst doing so. I also use a hair dryer to dry the decals after I've sprayed the decal bonder on it, it really speeds the curing time up. And also, I apply the decal bonder first in a light mist coat, then when thats dried off a bit I do a proper coat. Doing a full coat first of all risks the ink running and ruining the job.
Cheers.
 

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QUOTE To do decals properly you really need an Alps Printer.

Except they stopped making them some years ago, and the tapes are getting hard to find now as well.

I've been doing my own decals for some years now using PaintShoPro, an HP 6300 Officejet and Crafty Computer Paper decal sheet, both in clear and white, and using their acrylic spray to seal them. The great majority of my decals have been for aircraft models, but I've done some R/C model boats and some slot cars more recently too.
 

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Phil Smith
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QUOTE Except they stopped making them some years ago, and the tapes are getting hard to find now as well.

You can still buy them new, or rather a version of the Alps, and old ones can be reconditioned to be as new.
Ink is easy to get, there is no shortage.

But I will admit the printers are getting expensive (they always were!) but there is no better for decals as they actually print white.
....also they were always fragile, I have one working machine and three under the bench in need of repair!
 
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