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Thread: Decal Problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Chesapeake, Virginia, USA.
    Posts
    644

    Default Decal Problems


    This has nothing to do with train-sim or trains for that matter. But I took a job to model a semi truck ( Mack 613 ) with a fuel trailer. I bought the truck and trailer blank so they would not have any lettering or names on them and order the decal paper. This is where I need the help from you modeler`s out there. Every time I get the "CROSSROAD fuel service inc." printed out, the ink will smere all over the place. Is there something that else I should have ordered or did I just happen to by bad sheets of paper? Thanks for your help.

    Andy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    .
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    1,544

    Default RE: Decal Problems

    >
    > This has nothing to do with train-sim or trains for that
    >matter. But I took a job to model a semi truck ( Mack 613 )
    >with a fuel trailer. I bought the truck and trailer blank
    >so they would not have any lettering or names on them and
    >order the decal paper. This is where I need the help from
    >you modeler`s out there. Every time I get the "CROSSROAD
    >fuel service inc." printed out, the ink will smere all over
    >the place. Is there something that else I should have
    >ordered or did I just happen to by bad sheets of paper?
    >Thanks for your help.

    Andy, did you order some spray fixative when you got the decal paper? You definitely need that stuff, you spray it on in thin coats after printing the decals, and it will protect the ink from running (somewhat).

    One such product (that Micro-Mark shipped me last time I ordered) was Krylon "Crystal Clear' Acrylic Coating #1303A. You may be able to purchase it in arts/crafts stores such as Michael's, Ben Franklin, etc. cheaper than ordering it from Micro-Mark and paying shipping costs.

    One thing about do-it-yourself decals....I have found that it is best NOT to immerse them in water to free the decal film from the backing paper. Best thing to do is....wet a paper towel with water, squeeze most of it out. Lay the towel on a flat surface, then, when you cut out the section of decal you need to apply, put it on the wet towel and gently press it against the wet towel. It takes just a few seconds longer to release the decal from the backing paper, but you are not "drowning" the decal to a point where water affects the inks.

    Not sure if those new Epson moisture resistant inks are any better, my old printer hasn't crapped out yet so I'm still using the old stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Chesapeake, Virginia, USA.
    Posts
    644

    Default RE: Decal Problems


    Hey, Thanks for the help and the advice. See ya around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Beckley,WV
    Posts
    96

    Default RE: Decal Problems

    Sounds to me, that you are using the wrong type of ink. I print mine on a epson 820 printer with the dura ink, it cost more, but I do not waste the time and the paper, because of runs.
    I also let it dry, 48 hours or more.
    And in my experience with home printed decals, use only water based coatings, to help it stay in place, spray on one coat before applying. And last two after, make them very light coatings.
    Good luck and have fun
    Roger

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Chesapeake, Virginia, USA.
    Posts
    644

    Default RE: Decal Problems

    Hey, What kind of coating should I use? I just tried using "Dupli-Color Auto Spray" but all that did was fade the ink to where it wasn`t the right color red it was supposed to be. I`m going to Hungates later today so I`ll try to find something if no-one replys quick enough befor I leave. Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Default RE: Decal Problems

    Andy
    A couple years back I built the AMT/Ertl repop of the Space 1999 Eagle,the Moonbase Alpha logos that came with the kit were (1) little more than black blobs and (2) about 4 short in number so I printed up a sheet of the logos and here's what I did.
    I printed out the master sheet then with a sheet of blank decal paper went to a local Alphagraphics and had them manualy feed the decal sheet through the color copier and then used Testors Dullcote to seal the toner to the sheet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    5,102

    Default RE: Decal Problems

    You need to find someone with an Alps thermal wax printer to print the decals. I have done so in the past to create decals using white and metallic colored ribbons designed for this printer. Be sure to have the alps print a seal coat to the decal as well. Also, a special ribbon designed for the printer.

    If you are using colors over a dark object, the Alps can print a white underlayment over those areas where color will be printed.

    Now for the bad news. The Alps printer is no longer available. Used ones are highly desirable by hobbist that want to use them for decals and custom T-shirt printing. Ribbons are becoming scarce.

    Older Fargo Primera thermal wax printers may still be found. Nobody seems to want them anymore. However, they are low resolution, 200 to 300 dpi and ribbons may be no longer available.

    If you are printing black, any laser printer will do. You may also try finding someone with a color laser to print the decal. As laser printing is a thermal process, the printing will be waterproof.

    There is a special kit available for making decals using ink jet printers. It comes in white and transparant sheets. Once printed, you have to apply several coats of fixative. Do that outside as the fixative is very toxic. Unless you print them using a pigmented ink, only available on the seven color Epson photo printer, results are going to be less then acceptable.

    SRV Ron


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Beckley,WV
    Posts
    96

    Default RE: Decal Problems

    You asked about coating names
    1-vitachrome
    2-scalecoat
    3-mircoscale
    Check at the local hobby shop, they may have it, or can order it for you.
    In my experience, laser printers are not the way to print decals, they burn the decal film.
    I have both types of printers, and I got the 820 out of retirement, to print the decals.
    Roger

  9. #9
    Night Train Guest

    Default RE: Decal Problems

    Andy , pls post a pic when project is finished.
    would like to see your work.

    Ive made 12 truck models spanning 15 yrs ago, still have them,
    nothing special, some are custom paint , custom wheels, modded exaust stacks, fuel tanks, sleepers etc.

    mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Kingston, PA, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default RE: Decal Problems

    Nobody seems to have mentioned the obvious...if you have an inkjet printer, you need to buy special inkjet decal paper. Do a search online for some retailers, as it's not as common as regular decal paper. The difference is that it's formulated to allow the liquid ink to soak into the paper. Regular decal paper is not, so the ink just smears on the surface and can't dry properly. Even with the special inkjet decal paper, you still need the clear overspray though. Some manufacturers sell it in a kit with the paper. Acrylic-type sprays are best since they're less likely to harm the decals, whereas lacquers and solvents can dissolve the ink.

    The ALPS printers are nifty, I have one of the lower-end models which I found for $5 at a thrift store, but they're limited when it comes to color. Because the solid inks can't be mixed the way liquid inks can, it has to print in layers, and colored artwork just doesn't quite come out that well. The top-of-the-line MD-5000 has better resolution, but obviously those are rare now. So anyway, I can make black and white (and silver!) decals easily, but I stay away from colors.

    I have yet to try making decals on my inkjet, but I'm sure you can get great results as long as you do it the right way.

    Alex Stroshane

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