Author Topic: Home Made Decals - First Attempt - Update  (Read 1952 times)

Offline Robomog

  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Home Made Decals - First Attempt - Update
« 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
>^-.-^<

« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 06:35:25 PM by Robomog »
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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.
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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 ---

Offline The Rat

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2020, 09:44:44 AM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.


In Canada there is CanMilAir, https://www.canmilair.com/, and Leading Edge, http://lemdecal.com/, and I believe both will do custom printing on request, but I cant say for certain. Wouldn't hurt to ask. Might be expensive, but cheaper than buying a proper printer and then experimenting for ages to get decent results. And many people will vouch for the quality of both companies.
"Man, if you gotta ask, you ain't never gonna know!" - Louis Armstrong, when asked "What is jazz?"

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2020, 07:57:28 PM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.


In Canada there is CanMilAir, https://www.canmilair.com/, and Leading Edge, http://lemdecal.com/, and I believe both will do custom printing on request, but I cant say for certain. Wouldn't hurt to ask. Might be expensive, but cheaper than buying a proper printer and then experimenting for ages to get decent results. And many people will vouch for the quality of both companies.


@Dave (The Rat): Bill Burns at Canmilair shutdown his waterslide decal business in 2018 due to aging equipment. He still does vinyl decals and books. I can't speak to Dave Koss at Leading Edge. He does not reply to emails.
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

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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 #8 on: March 13, 2020, 10:12:07 PM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.


In Canada there is CanMilAir, https://www.canmilair.com/, and Leading Edge, http://lemdecal.com/, and I believe both will do custom printing on request, but I cant say for certain. Wouldn't hurt to ask. Might be expensive, but cheaper than buying a proper printer and then experimenting for ages to get decent results. And many people will vouch for the quality of both companies.


@Dave (The Rat): Bill Burns at Canmilair shutdown his waterslide decal business in 2018 due to aging equipment. He still does vinyl decals and books. I can't speak to Dave Koss at Leading Edge. He does not reply to emails.


I also had some custom decals done by JBot Decals, but his website says he's had a stroke and has closed the business. Although, most of Fantastic Plastic's new releases say decals by JBot --------   ???

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2020, 02:28:35 AM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.


In Canada there is CanMilAir, https://www.canmilair.com/, and Leading Edge, http://lemdecal.com/, and I believe both will do custom printing on request, but I cant say for certain. Wouldn't hurt to ask. Might be expensive, but cheaper than buying a proper printer and then experimenting for ages to get decent results. And many people will vouch for the quality of both companies.


@Dave (The Rat): Bill Burns at Canmilair shutdown his waterslide decal business in 2018 due to aging equipment. He still does vinyl decals and books. I can't speak to Dave Koss at Leading Edge. He does not reply to emails.


I also had some custom decals done by JBot Decals, but his website says he's had a stroke and has closed the business. Although, most of Fantastic Plastic's new releases say decals by JBot --------   ???


Good catch Robert. Jim Botitas has also closed down his decal business. I think I got his very last set of 1/72 RCAF Comet MK.I decals.

They are for sale for 500 rolls of toilet paper and 500 contains of sanitary wipes.  8)
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

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 #10 on: March 14, 2020, 03:26:07 AM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.


In Canada there is CanMilAir, https://www.canmilair.com/, and Leading Edge, http://lemdecal.com/, and I believe both will do custom printing on request, but I cant say for certain. Wouldn't hurt to ask. Might be expensive, but cheaper than buying a proper printer and then experimenting for ages to get decent results. And many people will vouch for the quality of both companies.


@Dave (The Rat): Bill Burns at Canmilair shutdown his waterslide decal business in 2018 due to aging equipment. He still does vinyl decals and books. I can't speak to Dave Koss at Leading Edge. He does not reply to emails.


I also had some custom decals done by JBot Decals, but his website says he's had a stroke and has closed the business. Although, most of Fantastic Plastic's new releases say decals by JBot --------   ???


Good catch Robert. Jim Botitas has also closed down his decal business. I think I got his very last set of 1/72 RCAF Comet MK.I decals.

They are for sale for 500 rolls of toilet paper and 500 contains of sanitary wipes.  8)


I'm pretty sure Jim Botitas and JBot are the same ---

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2020, 03:51:10 AM »
Are there any real decal printing services out there? Ie. -  not ALPS or Inkjet based and reasonably priced.


In Canada there is CanMilAir, https://www.canmilair.com/, and Leading Edge, http://lemdecal.com/, and I believe both will do custom printing on request, but I cant say for certain. Wouldn't hurt to ask. Might be expensive, but cheaper than buying a proper printer and then experimenting for ages to get decent results. And many people will vouch for the quality of both companies.


@Dave (The Rat): Bill Burns at Canmilair shutdown his waterslide decal business in 2018 due to aging equipment. He still does vinyl decals and books. I can't speak to Dave Koss at Leading Edge. He does not reply to emails.


I also had some custom decals done by JBot Decals, but his website says he's had a stroke and has closed the business. Although, most of Fantastic Plastic's new releases say decals by JBot --------   ???


Good catch Robert. Jim Botitas has also closed down his decal business. I think I got his very last set of 1/72 RCAF Comet MK.I decals.

They are for sale for 500 rolls of toilet paper and 500 contains of sanitary wipes.  8)


I'm pretty sure Jim Botitas and JBot are the same ---


Yes they are. My bad in not making the x-reference.
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline Robomog

  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Re: Home Made Decals - First Attempt
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2020, 06:33:35 PM »
Home made decals addendum

Since the original post I have had a couple more successful outings with home made transfers but these have all been with the transparent backing on bright colours such as white, silver, and yellow.

Be warned decals on transparent backgrounds do not work on black and probably other dark colours like extra dark sea grey.

I produced some light grey squares for panel detail and they just disappeared.



To get around this I  tried the white background decal sheet with the following recommendations.

 - The white background transfer material is a different medium to the transparent variety and handles in a very different way. It seems to be more like a thin vinyl and is not as strong.

 - If you are using long thin designs be very careful once it is off the backing paper as it has a tendency to stretch especially when the covering varnish cracks.

 - More importantly it does not "slide" as well so you will need to be  more more precise and use more water when placing in position.

 - You have to trim the very close to the design otherwise you will have a white halo around the finished decal.

 - If you want to produce an all white design edge it with a very fine black line which acts as a guide  when you cut it out.

Conclusion

Not as much fun as transparent backed decals so I will use only when necessary but I'm not ruling them out completely as they still allow for a bit of artistic license.

Results can be good

by Robomog, on Flickr

Hope this helps

Mog
>^-.-^<

« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 06:37:20 PM by Robomog »
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