printing your own decals

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riss2509

engco18
Has anyone ever attempted to print your own decals? I currently have a Dell inkjet type printer, 1 of the upper line models. Ive been wanting to attempt to print my own numbers for some BN engines and would love to have a single set to apply versus the " cut each single number and hope they are the same size and look right ". Any reccomendations as far as decal paper and if any programs would be needed for my computer. Thanks!!!!
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
If you're using an inkjet printer you have to seal the decals before you try to apply them or the ink will just run. I've had pretty good luck using my color laser printer for decals, since it uses powdered colorants instead of ink, and doesn't run as easily as the inkjet decals I tried (even though they were sealed).

The only paper I've tried is Testor's, but several other companies make it as well.

Testor's
Microscale
Tango Papa
Micro-Mark
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Ive been wanting to attempt to print my own numbers for some BN engines
Don't forget about Bare Metal Foil blank decal paper:

http://www.bare-metal.com/Experts-Choice-Decal-Film.html

Are you planning on printing white lettering for BN locomotives? If so, you'll need a special printer. Alternately, you could print a rectangle of color that surrounds the lettering, minus the numbers, onto white decal paper. However, you might find the results to be less than satisfactory, in terms of matching color.

If the intent is to print white numbers, another approach is to apply dry transfer numbers onto white decal paper (such as Microscale Trimfilm), shoot it with the color you intend to paint the locomotives and when the paint dries, use a light touch with some tape to peel off the dry transfer numbers, which will expose the white decal film underneath. You'll have white numbers with a surrounding color field matching your intended paint color, assuming the dry transfers come off perfectly (good luck with that!). I've airbrushed Microscale Trimfilm to make anti-glare panels for some BNSF SD75Ms I painted a few years ago and it turned out great.

Anyway, I'm curious to know more details about what you're planning so you can receive a more complete answer to your question.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
One thing I've noticed, though they don't recommend it, is that photo printers and photo ink seems to be better, they seem to have smaller pixels.

I made my own for a few things, and don't really like it. So I've switched to having them made. ELS trains has been good, I've gotten the BNSF business car decals, and I have www.cn.ca decals coming for a project for a customer now too.
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
I use clear & white Inkjet decal paper & I bought mine from Micro-mark when it was on sale. Mine works real well. I've had decals made & they are always too small. I use Print Shop to make mine w/the label cuts. I always print 1 on a reg. pc of paper to make sure the size is right before I print multiple labels.
I like a bit bigger decals for box cars & lg. loco's. They still look to scale.
When you print your decal, you have to wait about 2 hrs. before you can spray it w/clear. I use Krylon Crystal Clear in the spray can.
For numbers I always buy the right size for the job I am doing. For signs I get the rub off type or the peel & stick. For signs I make my own w/Print Shop & a lot of the art that is on that software.
You can also make decals for box cars w/the art in Print Shop or use your own.

Larry
 

riss2509

engco18
Thanks a bunch guys, this has been a project I have been toying with for sometime. It gets irritating sometimes when you purchase decals, and even though they're printed very well, they are sized differently. So, in short, thanks again and hopefully I can start making some posts of some of the engines Ive finished!!!!
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
Here's 2 decal pages on clear stock. I reversed the flag for the other side of the box car. These are 1&1/2" long X 1" High.
 
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riss2509

engco18
Thanks Larry, I hope to do some practice runs next week with my printer. Im currently busy trying to finish a pair of KCS SD50's, but till then, Thanks everyone for the info!!!!!
 

Trussrod

Well-Known Member
Making decals & photo printers.


Say Josh,
What you said about the Photo printers using finer ink droplets to print with is exactly correct! I use Canon Ink Jet printers that have an ink droplet size of 2 Picoliters. One Picoliter is one-trillionth of a liter, they are microscopic in size and produce the finest detail with amasing clarity.

Also the Canon brand photo ink is waterproof as soon as it comes off the printer, at least it was for me, that was printing on glossy photo paper, decal paper could be an entirely different story? As soon as I find out more I'll let you/ everyone know more.

Take care.

David

I'm checking with a couple of my Photo paper suppliers to see if I have they have decal paper/film available for Ink Jet printers.





One thing I've noticed, though they don't recommend it, is that photo printers and photo ink seems to be better, they seem to have smaller pixels.

I made my own for a few things, and don't really like it. So I've switched to having them made. ELS trains has been good, I've gotten the BNSF business car decals, and I have www.cn.ca decals coming for a project for a customer now too.
 
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What type of decal paper do you guys use? There are two types I've found, waterslide and dry transfer (Letraset type). The dry transfer is two sheets - one you print onto, then another that goes over it.

I'm dying to try this too, but the sheets are a bit expensive. Where do you get them?

Mark
 




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