Author Topic: Home Made Decals - First Attempt  (Read 305 times)

Offline Robomog

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Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« on: July 05, 2019, 10:37:35 PM »
Hi All

I have recently had a go a producing my own decals and would like to share my experiences here.

First, I obtained some free aircraft serial number fonts off the internet and designed the decals using the Serif DrawPlus 6 software.

The decals were printed on a cheap £40 (two replacement cartridges are £37 !) inkjet printer using the highest resolution available, but not the glossy paper setting as this would not use A4 paper size.

My only warnings here are
-   do plenty of test prints on normal paper, the colours on the screen are not necessarily what comes out on the printer
-   Produce multiple copies in case one set screws up
-   Try and plan ahead (yea right !) so that you can fill an A4 sheet to avoid waste
-   Leave the printout for at least 24 hours to allow it to fully dry before applying the coating

I printed multiple copies as I wanted to do a bit of experimentation to find what would be the best sealer.

These were :-
-   Alt Klear brush applied
-   Spray Inkjet Print Sealer
-   Car Spray Lacquer
-   Humbrol spray Clear Varnish
-   Humbrol spray Satin Varnish

The results were Interesting...………...

by Robomog, on Flickr

The Alt Klear was a non-starter it immediately smudged the print-out, it would probably work OK if sprayed on but that would be a lot of extra hassle.

The Humbrol Clear Varnish went on a treat, just one swift squirt across the decals and it levelled and sealed without problems.


by Robomog, on Flickr

The Car Spray Lacquer also worked well but I put too much on which caused the Decals to slightly yellow. One swift squirt across the decals here too, don't go back.


by Robomog, on Flickr

The Spray Inkjet Print Sealer was a bit weird as it sprayed out very thick and the consistency of golden syrup, nevertheless I let it level but it dried with a pebbly finish so was not useable. To be fair to the product was a very old tin so maybe a lot more shaking and also applying a bit of warmth may make it useable.


by Robomog, on Flickr

The Humbrol Spray Satin varnish was another nonstarter not only did it make the print run, it seemed to attack the wider printed areas and cause them to wrinkle in a similar way to Micro Set on commercial decals, except that it didn’t go flat afterwards.

In the picture you can see it attacked the unprinted sheet as well. This satin varnish also reacted badly to spraying over the Car Lacquer but my rattle can was lacquer including a petrol resistant additive so that may have had something to do with the bad reaction.



The application of the home-made decals went on without any problems they accepted Micro Set and Micro Sol quite happily although Micro Sol did not have much effect.

My only gripe was they were a bit thick compared with the kit ones much like using fingernail transfers. However, a couple of coats of Alt Klear took most of the edge off them so they look perfectly acceptable.

I've only just started so perhaps somebody could recommend a thinner variety of transfer.

My first attempt at home made decals are shown here  Pics start at post #40....……………..

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=8537.30


So, in conclusion would I produce my own decals again, Yes, they will allow me to pursue colour schemes and conversions that I would not normally attempt because the markings aren’t available and its good fun designing something different.

But I will stick to commercial decals if possible, thinner and less time consuming.


Hope you find this helpful…………

Mog
>^-.-^<


Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2019, 01:36:02 AM »
Glad to see you were able to get a decent decal sheet without abusing your wallet.  Nice!
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2019, 02:34:02 AM »
Your effort is very good Mog  :smiley:  I've done a few home made decals using the Testors Decal kit which comes with paper and a spray can of sealer. Not done one with colours just yet, but I have a couple of projects where I'll need to try.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 05:32:27 AM »
I have an old, much hated ALPS 5000 printer that can print white, on regular decal paper. The results (after much swearing and effort) can look pretty good.

Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 12:25:52 PM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.
I'd like to know that, too, as there are some variations on existing decals I need, both a mirror image and with color changes to both.

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
  • I'd rather be dirtbike riding
Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 10:11:27 PM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.
I'd like to know that, too, as there are some variations on existing decals I need, both a mirror image and with color changes to both.

Greg Drawbaugh (Draw Decals) I 'think' will do that. I was chatting with him about modifying some of his C-5 decals so I could do a C-5M and he said it wasn't a problem. But that was a while ago ---