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Educate me on decals

Postby vinceherman » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:28 pm

I am taking the next step. I have some motorized chassis.
I ordered some Shapeways shells.
I have been looking at the great paint jobs done here.
But I am clueless on decals. What are you using? Where do you get the supplies. Is there anywhere that covers using the material?
Are printable decals viable at 1:450? Or do you just use commercial sheets?
Someone told me to get some MicroSol but beyond that, I have no more info.

I am not expecting perfect scale reproduction. I've seen my work before and it is clumsy at best. But I think adding a pin stripe, a rail name and unit number will go a long way to making it look better.
Vince Herman
Strongsville Ohio USA
Mostly Z but starting TGauge
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Re: Educate me on decals

Postby dkightley » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:47 pm

Here's my results with decals: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=383&start=49
These were printed at 600dpi on an inkjet printer on transparent decal paper....which needs spraying with a coat of clear varnish to stop the ink running when you use water to slide the decal onto the model.

I've tried both the laser and inkjet decal papers....and I found that the laser decals ended up a little duller than the inkjet...which I prefer. Essentially...design your decals in a graphics package, print onto decal paper (I do two of each decal so I can practise with the first one), spray with varnish if using inkjet....and then once dry, cut out to slightly oversize and dunk'n'slide into position....adding a drop or two of decal setting liquid to seal edges and smooth of the finish.

I use clear inkjet decal paper from Mr Decal Paper through Amazon. The magic solution (Microsol , MicroSet, etc) is available on Amazon as well. Do a Youtube search to find one of the useful videos that run through the process. Applying decals is a tricky process that you'll have six failures before you get a good application.....but the end results are amazing!
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Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Educate me on decals

Postby vinceherman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:15 pm

Perfect! This was exactly the information I was looking for.
I have both a laser and inkjet so I will likely get both types of paper.
Knowing that the printer decals are usable, I will dive in to some videos to see the process from end to end.

I have been wanting to use North American models, with a few examples available on Shapeways.
Knowing that I will have the technical info for decals makes me more confident of a reasonable outcome.
Vince Herman
Strongsville Ohio USA
Mostly Z but starting TGauge
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Re: Educate me on decals

Postby mattinair » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:00 am

As a beginner I tried a number of decal options but found that plain typing paper worked best for me ... (for now)
DSCN6020_01.JPG
DSCN6020_01.JPG (106.19 KiB) Viewed 2288 times

DSCN6052_01.JPG
DSCN6052_01.JPG (154.2 KiB) Viewed 2288 times


But I plan to try some of the more advanced techniques I've read about like using solvents to mold decals onto non-flat or contoured surfaces etc. etc. ...(we'll see) :roll:
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Re: Educate me on decals

Postby jesse6669 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:52 pm

Hi Vince,

I found individual decals for logos, number, etc were just waaayyyy too small to cope with in T. So I started using what I call the "full side" decal which works the following way:

1. Design a decal to fit the entire side or even wrap over the top of the model.
2. Print on decal paper (available from MicroMark and other places) on your inkjet or laser printer.
3. Paint model white
4. Apply decal over model, using MicroSet/MicroSol to help it conform to the surface.
5. Touch up areas not covered by decal with matching paint.

If you go to my old blog you will find some details on making a 50' boxcar using this technique. See: http://jessestmodels.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2013-06-09T10:35:00-07:00&max-results=7

This isn't perfect but beyond pad printing your own models it seems to work best for me. Getting the knack for making your own decals takes practice, as does designing the decals in Photoshop or other-- but it can be done. And the decals are fragile, so using decal setting solution can sometimes destroy the decal; Fortunately, the decals are so small, printing multiples is pretty cheap.

Jesse
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Re: Educate me on decals

Postby vinceherman » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:17 pm

Hi Jesse,
I did stumble across your blog while trying to research this. That is a lot of good work!

Based on comments here and what I have found across the web, I have been acquiring items for this effort.
Printable decal paper in 4 flavors, inkjet clear, inkjet white backing, laser clear and laser white backing.
Microsol/Microset.
Paint - can't remember the brand but it is spray paint for models.
I still need to get some sealer for the inkjet decals - I plan on getting Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear High Gloss which is available locally

I have purchased enough to do testing on other objects before I try on my shapeways shells.
Vince Herman
Strongsville Ohio USA
Mostly Z but starting TGauge
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Re: Educate me on decals

Postby jesse6669 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:27 pm

My findings were that inkjet printing is the best quality for decals; The white-backed decal paper was too thick (hence why I paint models white which also serves to prime them). I sealed decals on the paper with Dullcote, but I think any good lacquer-based clear coat will work. Lacquer is best because water based clear coat may be affected when you dip the decal in water. Good luck and please do share your results!
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