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Trying to get the maximum out of this fantastic forum...

I understand that a lot of scratchbuilders are able to make their own decals on their computer. How exactly is this done? I'm a bit primitive with PCs, but I'd work hard at it if I thought I could make all the exotic liveries I want. I've bought several sets from Pattos, but they seem very, er, fragile, and a little transparent. I'm currently struggling with the different and odd shaped racing numbers that featured on lots of the Can-Am cars that I like to build. I've tried to hand paint them but they look- how can I put it?- Hand painted?

Any help out there for a poor confused old man?
 

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I have never attempted this but I do know that the favoured printers are those in the now discontinued Alps range. The main reason is that these are the only ones that can print white, where all others rely on their white being provided by the medium being printed on. Obviously this can be got round by purchasing white film to print on, rather than the usual transparent type. Again, not having done it, I don't know where suitable film is best obtained.

The other reason for the Alps preference is that they use a form of heated wax transfer technology rather than orthodox, water-soluble inks, which are presumably useless for water-slide decals. I don't know if there is a workaround for this.

So a lot of huge knowledge gaps to fill in!
 

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I've encountered this problem too, I've looked into the ALPS printers but I can't find one for love nor money, howvere I did find out the manufacturer (who is based in Ireland, I think!) is still trading, but in the UK I have found no one selling them.

One way around the problem is a type of transfer paper that can be run through a Lazer Printer to make water-slide decals, its called 'Lazertran' (www.lazertran.com). When I got some it cost around £20 for approx 15 A4 sheets.

This stuff can only produce coloured decals, so if you want to put white logos on a black car its useless, but it works great if your using a light coloured car (yellow, white, light blue etc.)! It is also fairly robust and is not too transparent.

Otherwise there is a chap in the US (on the SCI forum), who can make decals - they are excellent quality but a bit fragile. I'll dig out the link to the SCI article.

Gecko
 

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A bit more investigation:

Alps certainly do have a production facility in Ireland.
It makes Air Conditioner Units, Door Modules, Clock Spring for Air Bag System and Control Switch Units. Not really our field!

I think we can safely assume that the printers have been out of production for some time.
However, it might still be possible to obtain one.
I tracked down a pohotographic forum thread that might be useful to follow right through.
dp-now
One snippet in that thread reads,
QUOTE "24-Jun-03
I see that there are a lot of people looking for the Oki DP5000 or the MD5000. I can get hold of both printers brand new and boxed. The buyer must come and collect as I only accept cash payments. The printers can be tested before you pay. Contact me via email only if interested, leaving a contact telephone number and I will get back to you. "
This contributor was based in France
An indicator of the price elsewhere suggested €850, which is crazy money to me but might be worth it to a specialist who really needs this type of printer.
 

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also adding a bit of information that wasn't mentioned - as long as you accept that white is going to be an issue, then you can print all your other stuff on inkjet decal paper ( try www.beldecal.com ) available in white / clear, which is then lacquered over, to make the decals using clear acrylic.

As long as you have a sharp x-acto blade you can cut most complex shapes printed on white - at least you can get a better than hand painted finish.

Cheers

BIG"S"
 

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What I have done many times is hand cut the numbers out of stick on vinal sheet in black and apply direct to the body or on top of white roundels cut out of the same stuff in white. They are raised up a bit higher than decals but with a good thick coat of clear or Future floor wax the raised area blends in well.

Such as on this 1/24th vac bodied Ferrari 330P4.

Or you can get small sheets of water slide decals that just have white or black roundels on and some with just black or white numbers on. I am sure some dealers like PM or Abslots have those available. When I run out, I revert to the stick on stuff

 

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Goodness, where did this post spring from? 25 October 2003. Oh well, better late than never I suppose!

Just to add to Bigsasquatch's post I got my decal paper in the UK from here:

Crafty Computer Paper

This is an example of using white decal paper. The green backround is printed leaving the white (unprinted) number 41 to show through:

 

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Hi Alan

I have not got to the clear coating stage on my Lotus 15 project yet but I would expect this to be fine as, in effect, the decals themselves are already clear coated.

The process was briefly outlined by BIG"S" above but I will just elaborate a little more...

My decals were printed using a regular ink-jet printer. The ink is not water-proof so you need to "seal" the decal before you place it in water. For this you need three light coats of clear acrylic spray varnish (I used Citidal Colour Purity Seal from Games Workshop). Once everything is well dried out you cut out the decal and float it in water with a few drops of PVA adhesive added. The decal releases from the backing sheet quite quickly and you position it on the model as normal.

It is important to get good "clean" edges when cutting the decal. Otherwise if it tears slightly as you cut it the surrounds will be quite noticable when you place it on the model.
 

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Hi

If you are really desparate for decals and want to make them yourself you will have to outlay a pretty penny and then spend hours, nay, days getting things off pat. I wanted some simple Vanwall decals so I did the artwork on Paint shop Pro and sent the saved file as a jpeg to Bruce at "Pattosplace" I have to admit I can't recall what he charged but I didn't stall at the price. and I got a full sheet of water slide decals. If you leave them to dry for three or four days they will take a coat of Tamiya clear laquer no worries.

Drop him a line , it could be what you've been waiting for

Wixwacing
 

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Here's another possible printer option from Xerox.
This one uses hot resin rather than ink.
I know little else about it - just popping in a link Xerox Phaser 8400 for those who might find the info interesting enough to follow up.
 

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hi i was tidying my room
and on the floor i found a pc magazine dated july 1998 i had a quick flick through and what was the first thing i saw an alps printer it said just rleased but this was nearly 6 years ago it was £499 and it porovided a websitewww.alps.ie but this website only lists support for these printers
 

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QUOTE hi i was tidying my room and on the floor i found a pc magazine dated july 1998

Are you saying you haven't tidyed your room since 1998?
 
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