Home Grown Decals?

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Deke

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I saw where you can buy water slide decal "paper" to print with either ink-jet or laser printers. My wife is a graphic artist by profession and I'm sure she could come up with some cool stuff. Surely some one on here has made their own (or tried to make their own) and I was looking for feedback. Pros? Cons? Print Quality?

I tried to do a search on "decals" but that pulls up pretty much every post on here!

Thanks in advance!
 

dshmel

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I saw where you can buy water slide decal "paper" to print with either ink-jet or laser printers. My wife is a graphic artist by profession and I'm sure she could come up with some cool stuff. Surely some one on here has made their own (or tried to make their own) and I was looking for feedback. Pros? Cons? Print Quality?

I tried to do a search on "decals" but that pulls up pretty much every post on here!

Thanks in advance!
I use an ALPS MD-1000 printer. Below are a couple of samples of water slide decals that I have printed. The printers are long out of production but are available used and there are still sources for ribbons (ink). If you want to print true WS decals with the ability to print white and metallics, ALPS is one of the few consumer level avenues.

10272475_739235736115419_4081675085854211584_o.jpg
11187836_878151292223862_4381015940350549308_o.jpg
 

dshmel

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Another example showing the benefit of printing white.

10443497_736647049729807_8962324491070084838_n.jpg
 

blackjack2564

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scsager

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I saw where you can buy water slide decal "paper" to print with either ink-jet or laser printers. My wife is a graphic artist by profession and I'm sure she could come up with some cool stuff. Surely some one on here has made their own (or tried to make their own) and I was looking for feedback. Pros? Cons? Print Quality?

I tried to do a search on "decals" but that pulls up pretty much every post on here!

Thanks in advance!
Try searching "Inkjet Clear Waterslide Transfer Decal Paper" on Ebay. It's usually priced around $1.25 a sheet in 10 sheet quantities.

- Reasonably good inkjet printer and Krylon gloss clear UV resistant spray paint required.
- Find all kinds of interesting clip-art online.
- Test print on plain paper - also see Crazy Jim's post above to make plain-paper decals.
- ** remember that you cant print "White" with an ink jet printer **

Images below are decals I have made using decal paper from Ebay.

DSCN0355.JPG


DSCN0357.JPG


cant.jpg


E=mc2.jpg


stem.jpg


bertha1.jpg


3.2goblins.jpg


snr2.jpg
 

Micromeister

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I've been making my own Alps and Inkjet water slide decals since the 1990's.
I've used many of the inkjet papers from all the on-line suppliers. Most work OK but the way they are shipped makes all the difference in the world as to how well the individual sheets come in.
With that in mind I strongly suggest using Micro-Mark inkjet decal paper. I've made many repeat purchases from them over the past decade or so and every single sheet I've received has been PERFECT.

Most any Inkjet printer will do but Epson seems to have a more water resistant ink. This is pretty important as any water that reaches these inks turns the colors into an instant mud brown. All Inkjet printed decal must be clear coated before being used. Over time I've found the best practice is to first clear coat with Krylon Workable Fixatif #1306, Allow to completely dry then a slightly heavier coat of Krylon UV resistant Clear #1305. I usually tape the entire 8.5 x 11 sheet to a flat surface and apply the spay clears. then trim the decals leaving at least 1/16" all around each decal.

Krylon UV Clears(1305Gloss,1309Matte,1306Fixatif)_02-05-16.JPG


Inkjet Waterslide Decals_1st fixatif Then UV Clear_02-26-11.JPG


Inkjet Clear Decal Paper_from Micro-Mark 8.5x11 sheets_10-03-12.jpg


681_Kit Bash Kluster-KBK10 display complete_11-16-10.JPG
 

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Charles_McG

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I use the Papillio clear and the white background offered by eRockets (ummm... Bare Metal Foil white) run through an HP color laser printer.

The Papillio is tough/strong - and well stuck to the backing. It takes extra force to get it to slide, even after a good long soaking.

The BMF took a little more practice for me to be happy with. I set the media type to 'heavy' for a slower, hotter pass, which yields better ink-decal bonding. I also -always- clear coat it before application. I use Testors glosscote. Acrylic, I believe. I found that the white background cracks and flakes near the cut line if you don't coat it. The Papillio is so tough I had gotten lazy about clear coating it.

I've looked at the Okidata printers that can do white toner - but can't justify it.

I have had some success with printing black backgrounds on the white stock, with white and colored details (like USA and the flag) and then applying on black painted rockets.
 

Rockiteer

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Hello Deke, I've been making my own decal artwork for model trains through the years and now recently for my model rockets. You don't have to be Norman Rockwell to generate your own artwork anymore. There are dozens of vectored graphic programs out there that allows even the most crayon challenged artist to render and produce high-quality graphic. Two that come to mind is MicroSoft's Draw which is bundled in their MSWord suite and my personal favorite CorelDraw. If you still like to draw things out with pencil and paper you can scan your drawing and then trace it using CorelDraw to make a vector graphic. Another trick is to search the internet for various photos, artwork and graphics; download them then incorporate them into your drawing. Just remember this, most printers out there will not print white so if you have anything with white in it you either have to have a white background (use clear decal film here) or print on opaque white decal paper then carefully cut them out before applying. There are a handful of printers out there that will print white; the ALPS MD series comes to mind but they are no longer manufactured, parts and inks are hard to come by and drivers for operating systems like Windows 7 and 10 don't exist. If you are fortunate to find one on say eBay good luck and set it up to operate off a stand alone computer using Windows XP. There are other printers out there that will print white but you'll be investing a hefty three grand or more. Here are some examples of graphics I am using on my current rocket project. Reach for the stars and beyond my friend!
 

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mpitfield

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Hi Deke,

Is there any particular rocket that you are you looking for decals at this time?
 

Deke

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Thanks for all the responses everyone!

Dwayne - those are awesome but unfortunately beyond my capabilities!

Blackjack - I had never heard of anyone using regular copy paper before now, I thought I had invented it LOL! Below is a picture of the "backyard Bunch" all scratch built with some form of copy paper "decal". Your tip about spraying the backside with clear is probably why my Dallas Cowboys rocket came out so mottled. It looked fine just glued on...until I hit it with the clear. The all black ones came out fine however.
Backyard_Bunch_082417.jpg
Cowboys_082417.jpg
punchitor_082417.jpg

My wife uses CorelDraw at work (from home) everyday so I am going to employ her for all the heavy lifting when it comes to the actual graphics!

And yes, Mr. Pitfield, there is one particular rocket that I have spent a ton of time on that I want to be perfect!
 

blackjack2564

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Actually Deke, the Dallas one, on dark background, is where I would lightly coat the back with white primer to keep it from turning translucent, when clear coating the front.
 
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