Making your own decals

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


NYC_George

Well-Known Member
I started these painting / decal projects about a month ago and it's turned out good so far but I also wanted to create a few of my own decals so I picked up some Testors decal bonder. I haven't bought any decal paper yet that's on my list. What I did do is try to draw up some graffiti. I'm a long way form being an artist so I'll need lots of practice. I've been into magic for years (The Amazing Swal) so I drew up the Swal part and put it on a box car with in my computer to test things out.

Swals_box_car_graffiti.jpg
 
Last edited:

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
You're ready to head to the nearest rail yard and do your thing!!!
Maybe Greg. I have to get over to Hobby Lobby and pick up some decal printing paper and try this out. Michaels didn't have any. So maybe tomorrow I'll give it a try. I hope it works.

George
 

Renegade1c

Member
Another thing that will help immensely if you print them with a laser printer and/or photocopier using the transparency setting (does anyone use those any more?) This burns the ink into the decal film and doesn't run like inkjet ink.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
[QUOTES]wal What program are you using to create that image I have a bunch in eps format if you can use them[/QUOTE]
Jasc Paint Mike it handles eps files.

It's best to print decals on laser paper using a laser printer, with an ink jet you need to use a decal fixative.
Greg you mean like Testors decal bonder? I have a can of that.

I picked up some Testors clear decal paper to today. I also wanted to also buy some white but Hobby Lobby didn't have any in stock.

Swal
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
So today I picked up some decal paper and after about 5 tries I finally got one on the car. I won't be doing many. They don't move around easy once their on the car. To much manipulating and the ink starts fading. I 'll just do a couple of the (The Amazing Swal) from my magic days and that's about it.
George

Testors_Decal.jpg
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
Looks good to me. Did you use a decal set solution like MicroScale to help move the decals into position?
They say Walther's makes a stronger decal softening solution then MicroScale. I'll have to order some. I'll take a look at the Blair Line products. It's golf season now so I'll be switching over to playing golf most of the time with a limited amount of model railroading until October. I hope to check out other member's projects until then.
George
 

MikeOwnby

Active Member
So today I picked up some decal paper and after about 5 tries I finally got one on the car. I won't be doing many. They don't move around easy once their on the car. To much manipulating and the ink starts fading. I 'll just do a couple of the (The Amazing Swal) from my magic days and that's about it.
George

View attachment 44764
Not sure if your hopper was already weathered or what, but two points: First, decals do NOT move on a flat surface. Not without a lot of effort. That won't really changed no matter what you use. You ideally need a glossy surface (even if temporarily), and then spray your flat coat back on top of it when done.

All of the decal bonding agents (Microsol, Microset, and I'm assuming Walthers) will start making the color bleed out of your decal if you continue to manipulate it for too long after applying them. They essentially "melt" the decal to get it to conform to the details of your model, and if you keep poking at the melting decals, they do not like it. Best to use a gloss surface and some water to get the decal where you want it, dab it dry and then apply your setting solutions.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
I guess the fact that the car was already weathered was the problem Mike. It was not glossy at all. I sprayed a coat of deluded white on the car to eliminate the gloss then some rust so it was hard to move the decal around. I destroyed 4 before finally succeeding.
George
 

MikeOwnby

Active Member
I guess the fact that the car was already weathered was the problem Mike. It was not glossy at all. I sprayed a coat of deluded white on the car to eliminate the gloss then some rust so it was hard to move the decal around. I destroyed 4 before finally succeeding.
George
I admire your persistence, and I should have also said that when you finally got it to work it looks GREAT. So really, well done, and I do like the decal you designed. Hopefully any future tries will go a bit smoother.
 

Sirfoldalot

Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
I agree with what Mike said! You really did a fine job - both with the car, the weathering, and the decal!
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top