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Hi All.
I am aware that the special paper for making my own decals is available and that I can make up my own signs on the pc, but any advice would be most welcome on the methods, and any potential pitfalls.
I am confused as to how to produce white lettering.
Also the difference between 'wet slide' and 'dry rub' types of decal.
I want to produce signs of company names etc for buildings, so they will be attached to both plastic and printed card.
Thanks and regards.
duztee
 

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I pinched some signage off the net a while ago...I wanted the 'new' BT ''openworld' van signage...my son was a bit particular about what he wanted for a birthday.......and the current signage was not available through the usual sources [ebay]...on a tranny van.

See a recent issue of Model Rail......they carry an ad for

decal paper

I got some a couple of years ago..

Once you have downloaded the 'image' you want..use something like photoshop to get it to the size required...plus, if you use something like 'Word' you can arrange several images to make best use of the decal sheet size? [a bit like [planning an etch??]

...then print directly onto the decal sheet as per instructions....I used an ordinary cheapo inkjet printer....an epsom C60?

[don't forget to set up the printer for the decal sheet size....mine were A5, I think...the smaller one than A4??

Although, before hand, print onto ordinary paper to check you have the sizes right??

now, types of decal sheet?

well, the 'wet' type usually use water to looses the decal film from its backing sheet....just like the old waterslide decals.

There are also teh rub-on type, like lettraset?

for larger decals I'd suggest teh waterslide transfers..they are easier to manipulate and bed-down over details.

I also recommend a decal-softening fluid...I used an old bottle of Microsol....bought back in the days when I modelled US stuff..

This will allow the decal film to 'shrink' down over any details that will lie underneath.

anyway, they worked for me..I only used one decal sheet, so have several unused one's hiding away somewhere
[I wonder if they have a shelf life??]
 

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QUOTE (Duztee @ 30 Dec 2007, 17:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am confused as to how to produce white lettering.
This is tricky. Printers don't do white - they assume your paper is already!! If it is white lettering on a background then use white decal paper and print as normal. To do white letters by themselves on clear decal paper though...not possible at home! Unless you can find white ink for your printer, then someone with specialist printers will charge you for it.

QUOTE Also the difference between 'wet slide' and 'dry rub' types of decal.
I'm not sure about the difference, but if you print your own wet slide decals then let the ink dry thoroughly and then spray with varnish to protect the ink from the water. This can make the decal less flexible and so Microsol etc. can be used to make the decal relax into details.

Dry rub might have to be printed backwards?? I'm not an expert on decals so I readily await correction! I'm about to do some myself for the first time and an interested to know what people say.
 

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QUOTE A5, I think...the smaller one than A4??
They are.

As a rough rule of thumb, each succeeding A number halves the long dimension of it's predecessor. So the length of an A5 sheet is the width of an A4 sheet and the width of an A5 sheet is half the length of an A4 sheet. In other words, cut an A4 sheet in half parallel to the short edge and you get two A5 sheets in its place.

David
 

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Many modellers print their decals with an Alps printer that utilizes thermosublimation rather than wet ink for printing. This printer (not sure about the full designation) can print white, silver and even gold decals (plus the "normal" colors).
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 30 Dec 2007, 19:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Many modellers print their decals with an Alps printer that utilizes thermosublimation rather than wet ink for printing. This printer (not sure about the full designation) can print white, silver and even gold decals (plus the "normal" colors).
(Apparently ALPS stopped making them early this year? According to wikipedia they would be perfect! Does anyone know someone with such a printer, it would be a good investment for a model club? Presumably the people selling decals on eBay are using them so perhaps they could be contacted for a one-off production. Either way, it will be expensive just for a few wagon running numbers!!)

Apparently they are called a 'dye-sublimation printer' and now available from many companies.
 

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QUOTE Apparently they are called a 'dye-sublimation printer' and now available from many companies.

This is the same process you find in some of the post card sized (4 x 6 inch) printers which are targeted specifically at the digital photo market. The dye is in solid form and is carried on a transparent film. When the dye is required for printing, the heater elements in the print head switch on and the dye is converted directly from the solid state to the gaseous state. Some may recall their chemistry classes where this process is known as sublimation. The dye panels are usually just larger than the printable area with a set of three or four panels being stored successively on the film. Thus each print required either 18 or 24 inches of carrier film to pass over the print head.

The Alps printer (if I am thinking of the right one) was targeted at a different market and the dye was stored individually in separate cartridges. The film was about 1/6th of inch wide. This tape was used in much the same way as an old typewriter or Dymo labelling machine. A wide range of tapes are/were available including gold and silver as it is/was intendied for making greetings cards and things like that. There is a strong tradition in Japan of sending personalised greetings cards at New Year and other special occasions.

It would be a shame for us railway modellers if Alps have stopped making this printer model as I don't think there are any other print engines on the market which print with such thin strips or have such a wide range of dyes available.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 31 Dec 2007, 08:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is the same process you find in some of the post card sized (4 x 6 inch) printers which are targeted specifically at the digital photo market. The dye is in solid form and is carried on a transparent film. When the dye is required for printing, the heater elements in the print head switch on and the dye is converted directly from the solid state to the gaseous state. Some may recall their chemistry classes where this process is known as sublimation. The dye panels are usually just larger than the printable area with a set of three or four panels being stored successively on the film. Thus each print required either 18 or 24 inches of carrier film to pass over the print head.

The Alps printer (if I am thinking of the right one) was targeted at a different market and the dye was stored individually in separate cartridges. The film was about 1/6th of inch wide. This tape was used in much the same way as an old typewriter or Dymo labelling machine. A wide range of tapes are/were available including gold and silver as it is/was intendied for making greetings cards and things like that. There is a strong tradition in Japan of sending personalised greetings cards at New Year and other special occasions.

It would be a shame for us railway modellers if Alps have stopped making this printer model as I don't think there are any other print engines on the market which print with such thin strips or have such a wide range of dyes available.

David

***Alps actually stopped making them some time ago unfortunately. Of the several models in the range, for some strange reason only two of them actually worked with the white cartridges, and these go for silly prices now on Ebay (the MD1000 and the MD5000).

Cartridges are also exxy.

I have the MD4000 series which doesn't acknowledge white, however the printer reads a barcode on the cartridge to decide what it is, so I "fool" it by adding the barcode off a black cartridge to the white cartridge, so it will print white for me. This has the advantage that I can simply type a name in black and print it white, which is much easier than working in the "negative".

Regards

Richard
 

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thanks Goedel...forgot to mention it is important to 'fix' the ink on the decal sheet, after it has 'dried', with something like artist's matt medium spray?

but that's in the instructions with the decal sheet anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks guys... ..for all the answers
Still would like to know if it is better to you the 'wet slide' type decal or rub on types on printed card.
duztee.
 

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QUOTE (Duztee @ 2 Jan 2008, 16:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>thanks guys... ..for all the answers
Still would like to know if it is better to you the 'wet slide' type decal or rub on types on printed card.
duztee.
Personally for loco lettering/numbering, I prefer the rub on type...
 

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Hi
Some years ago i read an article mentioning baremetal decal sheet used in a printer gave excellent results with no problems, certainly the photos in the article came up to a very high standard when used with microset / microsol agents, i use microscale decal agents and after sealing in the decal with your cohice of varnish they take on a painted on appearence .... i'll try and find out if baremetal still have the blank decal sheet in their range and post their address here.

upnick.
 
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