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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I’ve found a livery that does not seem to have a corresponding set of decals available.

I have a pack of water slide decal paper that is A5 in size. I am wondering is making decals a case of search internet for said decal/logo then paste into image editing software of choice and size to fit the model add to A5 document. Repeat for all decals or until the A5 doc is full then print via the inkjet printer?
 

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Basically yes. I would print from you image editing software as you will probably be able to print at a higher resolution. I normal change the resolution of the image to match the highest setting on my printer and then copy and past in to the print page. This normally makes the image larger but when you scale it down to fit you don't lose so much detail. Just remember you can't print white so you need another way of doing this. You can either put a piece of whit decal in the correct area first, or paint it, the other way is to print on white decal paper but you have to trim really tight to the image and printing a border colour matched, as close as possible, to the body colour helps. You also need to find a varnish or lacquer that doesn't react with your ink to seal the print before use.
 

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Phil Kalbfell
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If you have some time and want great results,then download “ Inkscape” and try and find Vector images of what you want.Vector give a lot better and sharper result than working in a photo program.
 

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Kevs Racing Bits
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If you have some time and want great results,then download “ Inkscape” and try and find Vector images of what you want.Vector give a lot better and sharper result than working in a photo program.
Vectors are 100% scalable too without losing resolution.
 

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Rich Dumas
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If you need to use white decal paper you can set a background color for your graphics that matches the color of the car as closely as possible. If you do that you will not have to be so fussy when you cut out the decals.
 

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As an experiment I tried using "Evergreen Goods" "High Quality Self Adhesive Sticky Glossy White Photo Paper" 100GSM . Printing the "sticker" on a Epson XP-8500. Giving the body shell a coat of clear gloss varnish after applying,the stickers. Hard to tell that they are stickers and not decals from any distance.
The paper comes in the normal A4 size,

Evergreen Goods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your replies, I have managed to get a print out. Its a bit cart before the horse though, I now need to wait to finish painting the car :)

Its all a big experiment at the moment, I think I have clear decal paper, its been a few years since I bought it and did not really use it back then. As most of my images require white I will need to try one of the options for backing the decal mount point. Or I can use these as testing only and get some white decal paper, not sure at the moment.

First up I will try to seal the test ones I've produced. Ive got a normal "Halfords - if your UK based" motor shop clear coat spray and a Tamiya clear coat spray. I will try the Halfords one and see if it seals or makes the decals bleed and run.

Should have done this years ago - thanks all.

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.........download “ Inkscape” and try and find Vector images of what you want.
I'm no expert, but once I found my way around Inkscape I was (still am.....) getting great results. I haven't, yet, printed my own, though as every sheet I've drawn so far has had white on.
 

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Vector graphics are most definitely the way to go as you lose no resolution if you scale them, as others have said decals with white in are the difficult ones to do. There are a number of methods to do this, using white decal paper is a good start, but getting an area fill of colour to match what you have on the car can be difficult. if you are planning to do a significant number of decals, then you can get white toner for a lot of laserjet printers, but that doesnt help much if you have an inkjet. Another alternative, but is becoming very rare these days is an ALPS printer, which uses ink cartridges which come in white, metallic gold and silver as well as colour.
Another thing to think about if using an inkjet is the quality of ink. Most cheap inks do run really easily, especially if the decal is cut (quite possible if using white decal paper with a colour fill) so the decal needs to be sealed after being printed. Microscale decalfix is a useful product for this job. Spray on laquers can be a bit thick.. Original ink has less of a problem with bleeding as well.
Hope that helps a bit
Kevinoz
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah not sure what to do about the white bits, however the sealer (aka Halfords clear coat) has not caused any “bleed” so far.

Might just paint a white box beneath each decal, I’ve also just grabbed some white decal paper off Amazon, although who knows how transparent it will be? We will see.
 

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Rich Dumas
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There are printers that can do white, but they are very expensive laser types. Epson had a white cartridge for their printers, the hitch is that you have to put it in place of the black cartridge. You print the white areas first, stick the sheet back in the printer, swap back to a black cartridge and print again. There would be a chance of registration problems using that method. You would need to have two sets of the graphics, one with just black areas where you will need white and one with the regular graphics.
It is usually a good idea to coat the decals with clear before you cut them out. Some clear coats will attack decals, you would need to do some testing. I have used Testor's Decal Bonder, that may no longer be available. Future will work in some cases, but it is water based and may cause some inks to smudge. Another possibility would be Minwax Polycrilic. I have also used Krylon Crystal Clear, I have never tried Halfords clear.
 

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I've used Halford clear lacquer with no problems on Mr Decal sheets with HP ink. For small prints I tend to brush on Microscale liquid decal film. Make sure you leave the ink to full dry, I wait 24 hours. I have also found that I can cut decals from the sheet with a knife and the reuse the sheet for more prints and have had no feed problems.
 

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I take a close-up photo of my painted body and import it as the background color, then put the logo images with white in them on it or type in lettering and set the font type to white for names, etc. and print out on white decal paper. This gives me a very close match to the actual painted body shell.
 

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White decal paper is often a bit transparent, so I usually print 2 copies of the bigger decals which need white backgrounds, then apply one on top of the other. Don’t worry too much if the colour underneath seems to show through when you first apply them - they usually get less transparent as they dry.

I‘ve used various different lacquers and varnishes. My current favourite is an acrylic varnish made by Montana, which I get from an art shop. It’s designed (and I use it) for giving a high-gloss finish to acrylic spray painted things. It is very thin and I’ve yet to have any problems with it attacking other paints or inks. Being impatient, I tend to leave it on decals only until it is touch-dry before applying the decals. If anything, they seem to be more flexible and robust while the varnish is still soft!

Good luck with the decals.

Mike
 

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Mike,
That's an interesting point about flexibility. I seem to observe less flexibility / comfortability after the laquer is dry but I am using Rust-Oleum Clear Enamel, which might be the issue. I will admit to having struggled with waiting, and having ruined some decals thereby. This led me to wait, but then they don't seem to lay as well. I have seen the Montana line, might give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
All good tips, thank you so much for helping out. The last coat of paint is drying on the car, i'll give that a couple of days to cure then apply a couple of layers of clear, two more days after that and I should be ready for decaling - sometime around the weekend.

I realised that I missed a couple of decals off, one is the windshield/screen banner which I believe will need to be created from scratch, unless there is a site with banners on?
 

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It’s not only white that can be difficult. Wanting to add the Prancing Horse to my new slot.it 512, I printed the Ferrari logo on a clear decal sheet (on the left). When applied to the car the yellow disappeared. It was too translucent to show up on the red car. So I used the procedure I described above and printed on a white sheet.
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Will need a clear coat after drying overnight.
 

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I've recently done my own print on our Canon MP250 inkjet. We use genuine Canon cartridges.
I found the colours a bit weak, particularly lighter ones - specifically orange. The darker colours are just about acceptable.
Usually I send .png files of my Inkscape drawings to Wraith and he prints them for me, but I did this batch myself because I wanted the white parts I couldn't avoid excluded.

I've used Halford clear lacquer with no problems
I used Halfords satin lacquer, seems to work fine for me too. I can't remember what brand of paper I bought, it was quite a few years ago now, it's the clear variant.
 
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