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Making your own Decals


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Could someone kindly recommend or point me in the right direction to what is the best blank decal sheet to use for creating your own decals please? Preferably readily available in the UK. I have a rather good inkjet printer and the ability to draw my own. I just need to know what medium I should get?

 

Cheers in advance

 

A

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  • APA changed the title to Making your own Decals

Thanks for this.

It says bake for 15mins. I assume you skip that bit?

Also it says to spray the surface with varnish. I assume this the standard procedure for home made decals? 

Finally, aren't there different thicknesses of films? 

 

Sorry for all the Q's

 

A

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11 minutes ago, APA said:

It says bake for 15mins. I assume you skip that bit?

hee hee, I never noticed that bit.

Just use as ordinary kit type decals

 

12 minutes ago, APA said:

Also it says to spray the surface with varnish. I assume this the standard procedure for home made decals? 

yup, you need to coat the ink with a varnish otherwise the ink will just wash away

I use a car acrylic lacquer or Humbrol acrylic gloss varnish, in spray cans - whichever comes to hand when needed

 

15 minutes ago, APA said:

Finally, aren't there different thicknesses of films? 

yes, but you are talking about microns difference

 

16 minutes ago, APA said:

Sorry for all the Q's

nae prob. ask away

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Invest in some microscale decal film. I have tried a variety of varnishes and this beats them all hands down. Simply brushed on. Leaves no brushmarks and self levels. Perfect. 

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Thanks @Black Knight I did buy some film a while ago which said you had to varnish it. I thought that was an odd process however it looks like that is the standard way to do it so I'll have a crack. Thank you for confirming 👍🏻

 

Thank you @Cheshiretaurus I'm a fan of the Sol and Set so have purchased a bottle of the decal film. It sounds like an efficient and economical way to go as I don't plan omn using an A4 sheet for every decal set. This will allow me to 'varnish each one and cut out 👍🏻

 

A

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When I make decals, I try to fit them all into one short section of the A4 sheet. 

After printing and allowing the ink to dry I cut that section off, making sure the new edge is parallel to the old one. I then spray varnish/lacquer on that cut off strip

My printer doesn't know that the 'A4' sheet is now 10cm shorter.

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5 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

When I make decals, I try to fit them all into one short section of the A4 sheet. 

After printing and allowing the ink to dry I cut that section off, making sure the new edge is parallel to the old one. I then spray varnish/lacquer on that cut off strip

My printer doesn't know that the 'A4' sheet is now 10cm shorter.

That's pretty much what I was planning. I do like the idea of brushing it on though. I've ordered the decal film stuff so will feed back if I like it or not 

 

A

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I assume you're using an inkjet printer to print the decals? If you are using a laser printer no sealing/varnish coat is required. You can use them straight off of the printer. With inkjet though it is essential to seal them. I always use the aforementioned Microscale liquid decal film, brushed on with a large flat brush. It dries very quickly and works very well. Remember when you cut the decals out not to go too close, because if you break the seal, the inks will bleed out when placed in the water.

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3 hours ago, Black Knight said:

When I make decals, I try to fit them all into one short section of the A4 sheet. 

After printing and allowing the ink to dry I cut that section off, making sure the new edge is parallel to the old one. I then spray varnish/lacquer on that cut off strip

My printer doesn't know that the 'A4' sheet is now 10cm shorter.

 

The way I approach this is to print first out your decal sheet on the centre of an ordinary A4 sheet of paper, now cut out a piece of decal paper just bigger than the area of your wanted decal sheet and tape this over the image with masking tape.

 

Feed this back into the printer and print again. now you decals have been printed on the same place on the A4 sheet but they went on to the decal paper that was taped over the top.

 

Leave to dry, apply decal film, apply to model. admire model, smile!

 

CT

 

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11 minutes ago, Cheshiretaurus said:

 

The way I approach this is to print first out your decal sheet on the centre of an ordinary A4 sheet of paper, now cut out a piece of decal paper just bigger than the area of your wanted decal sheet and tape this over the image with masking tape.

 

Feed this back into the printer and print again. now you decals have been printed on the same place on the A4 sheet but they went on to the decal paper that was taped over the top.

 

Leave to dry, apply decal film, apply to model. admire model, smile!

 

CT

 

Does it still go through the printer with no issues? Being two times the thickness and what tape do you use? I've never thought to do that, but it's genius and would save a lot of wasted decal paper when I'm only printing a few decals and not a full sheet..

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5 minutes ago, Steve Noble said:

Does it still go through the printer with no issues? Being two times the thickness and what tape do you use? I've never thought to do that, but it's genius and would save a lot of wasted decal paper when I'm only printing a few decals and not a full sheet..

 

Never had it jam or come off (touch wood), I just use Tamiya tape, and only one piece on the upper/leading edge these days.

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1 minute ago, Cheshiretaurus said:

 

Never had it jam or come off (touch wood), I just use Tamiya tape, and only one piece on the upper/leading edge these days.

I'm going to have to try this in the future, thanks for that!! 🙂

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I know that my printer will jam up doing the double thickness method. I tried it once, then spent ages getting the bits out of the printer

Thus, it'll depend on your printer

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11 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

Thus, it'll depend on your printer

Good point, I'm using a HP ENVY 5540 printer, this seems ok with it.

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On 1/3/2021 at 7:09 PM, Steve Noble said:

I assume you're using an inkjet printer to print the decals? If you are using a laser printer no sealing/varnish coat is required. You can use them straight off of the printer. With inkjet though it is essential to seal them. I always use the aforementioned Microscale liquid decal film, brushed on with a large flat brush. It dries very quickly and works very well. Remember when you cut the decals out not to go too close, because if you break the seal, the inks will bleed out when placed in the water.

Hi

Yes it's an inkjet. Thanks for the tip about cutting too close 👍

 

I think I'll be happy with printing and cutting out the decals and reuse the sheet until there are too many holes 😂

 

A

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26 minutes ago, APA said:

Hi

Yes it's an inkjet. Thanks for the tip about cutting too close 👍

 

I think I'll be happy with printing and cutting out the decals and reuse the sheet until there are too many holes 😂

 

A

I sometimes cut them out and then brush another coat of the Microscale product, just to be sure they are well sealed at the edges, before I dip them in the water. It's a bit belt and braces, but...

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/3/2021 at 11:28 PM, Cheshiretaurus said:

Good point, I'm using a HP ENVY 5540 printer, this seems ok with it.

Just out of curiosity, what print settings do you use on your HP Envy? 

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On 1/3/2021 at 11:02 PM, Cheshiretaurus said:

Never had it jam or come off (touch wood), I just use Tamiya tape, and only one piece on the upper/leading edge these days.

 

I use double sided tape. Never had a problem with it coming off or jamming the printer - HP envy Pro 6432.

 

Halfords clear lacquer seals the ink beautifully.

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Going to give this a go.

 

I've only got access to an ink jet and need some white decals, so I'll be using white paper.

 

However, I'll have to cut right up to the decal to avoid a white border. Has anyone tried cutting them first then fixing them with Microscale?

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2 hours ago, Harry_the_Spider said:

Going to give this a go.

 

I've only got access to an ink jet and need some white decals, so I'll be using white paper.

 

However, I'll have to cut right up to the decal to avoid a white border. Has anyone tried cutting them first then fixing them with Microscale?

They'll only bleed out when placed into water if the edges are not sealed correctly. Cutting them out first, followed by the sealing coat should work out fine. Just make sure to fully cover the edges..

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On 1/3/2021 at 10:35 AM, Black Knight said:

When I make decals, I try to fit them all into one short section of the A4 sheet. 

After printing and allowing the ink to dry I cut that section off, making sure the new edge is parallel to the old one. I then spray varnish/lacquer on that cut off strip

My printer doesn't know that the 'A4' sheet is now 10cm shorter.

I do this too--arrange the decal artwork across the top of the page. Also make make multiples of items in case of smearing.

 

I started using these "Kodiak Supplies" brand white and clear sheets. Very nice to work with. I seal with airbrushed Tamiya X-22 clear.

 

2 hours ago, Harry_the_Spider said:

Going to give this a go.

 

I've only got access to an ink jet and need some white decals, so I'll be using white paper.

 

However, I'll have to cut right up to the decal to avoid a white border. Has anyone tried cutting them first then fixing them with Microscale?

Perhaps seal, cut, and then reseal the edges? Otherwise, make very sure your ink has dried--this takes a while for my Officejet printer.

 

If you need ink right to the edge of the marking, that is, you only need white interior to your marking, you may get some white edge from the sheet edge beneath the ink. I've learned to cut plain white backing sheets for some decals, just a slightly bit undersized so the top printed layer fully overlaps the white sheet. 

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