making water slide decals.....help....need info on products UPDATE!!

can I get some advise on what products are best for making your own water slide decals?.....I have a brothers laser printer, and I got waterslide decal paper from e-bay. I'm having trouble getting the colors dark enough to show up on the model...This should be simple...or so I thought. Just white New York Central on black tenders....its so transparent, it wont even think about showing up on the model. any tips on the best products...ie; printer, waterslide paper?...whats giving you guys the best results? Thanks as always!

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Original Post

There was a bit of good info within this thread from last fall.

Several people asked about lase printers, and the topic went a little into paper.  There was a reference to white deal paper in the thread, but I am figuring you already have that?  You mention trying to do NYC white graphics, but is your printer one of the rare few that have the ability to actually print white?

While I posted a question in that thread regarding decal paper, I never did get around to my project yet, so I can't elaborate if I was successful based on the paper recommended to me.

-Dave

thanks for the reply Dave, I did learn how (just now) to search past threads and found a lot of information on this topic....after a lot of trial and error, the printer I have isn't going to make good decals, so I'm gonna take the waterslide paper down to the local OfficeMax and see if they might can do something for me....I need a lot of NYC steamer decals, so I got to come up with an economical plan.......thanks again!

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

  The technology has changed, but not the basics.

  On clear waterslide film especially, the ink's pigment count is going to be your big concern. It may take multiple printings of each color, one color at a time, in layers, to achieve the kind of pigment quality the old age ink's carried in their thicker oil-bases. 

Any color printable, black to white, will usually take less ink to get a solid color than a clear printable, because it is already building on the "free" opacity that IS the printable...i.e. the  background color.

 Background colors can have a huge effect on print, and method choices too. That's because most paint and ink is not 100% opac. Not even your car's. E.g., the primer shade can make a noticable difference on two paint jobs of the same paint. More pigment the only way block the pesky light from penetrating deep, and bouncing the background color back at your eyes.

White is the most common background for good reason. It is used most by near default for more help compiling other color combos from the pure basics, and stands well in contrast too.  

The point is, the need for enough pigment to get a perceived opacity will change with color and again with background color. (This includes the bleed through effects AND some interesting border/color/contrast effects ("see a blue dress or gold dress?" kinda stuff ). With white on black, you need as much pigment on the sheet as you can get.

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If you are creating white decals I assume you are using white decal paper???

Most laser printers will make good decals. I have never used a Brother brand laser so can't speak on it. What are you using to create the graphics?? A vector type software like CorelDraw is needed to create good art. Bitmap like paint or word will not produce good decals no matter the printer. All these are my own decals printed on a good laser.....

CSXDASH3

CBQCAB1ASHHOPPER1

A little more info and maybe I can help......been making decals since I was 9 years old!!

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there is really no art work I need, to speak of Dave, just letters and numbers. After playing around with this brother laser printer, I learned that this printer is a LED engine printer.Maybe its not the best for printing decals? I am using clear decal paper. years ago I had a friend that had the older foil style laser printer and he used to make beautiful decals (white, gold & whatever) . He no longer has that printer. Maybe I need better software as you recommend, I was playing around with it in Word.

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

What your friend had was a ALPS printer. (these have not been made in many years)  It's the only printer that ever printed white, gold and silver.  A regular laser will not print white.....so not sure how you are getting any white on clear paper.  Even just your letters and number are considered 'artwork' as simple as it may be. What software are you using??

I will say that the best laser decals come from a printer that uses a iron based ink. It is much more heavy and thus stays colorfast.  Thx

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what I was doing Dave, was using the lightest side of gray, this was producing an almost eggshell color on the decal film....but it was way too transparent.....I believe my buddy did have an ALPS printer, something sticks in my mind about ALPS. I was using WORD on my computer....I'm sure this was wrong too...I don't think I can pull this off with this equipment.....thank god I only wasted one sheet of decal paper. The laser printer was already part of my office inventory anyways, so it aint like I went and purposely bought it for this task. I'm gonna print out what I need on regular paper and carry it down to OfficeMax, along with my decal paper and see what they might can do....I can say that the quality of the decal paper I got off ebay seems really nice...It didn't break up like some papers I have tried in the past.

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

AMCDave posted:

If you are creating white decals I assume you are using white decal paper???

Most laser printers will make good decals. I have never used a Brother brand laser so can't speak on it. What are you using to create the graphics?? A vector type software like CorelDraw is needed to create good art. Bitmap like paint or word will not produce good decals no matter the printer. All these are my own decals printed on a good laser.....

CSXDASH3

CBQCAB1ASHHOPPER1

A little more info and maybe I can help......been making decals since I was 9 years old!!

those decals you made are beautiful!!!

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

harmonyards posted:

those decals you made are beautiful!!!

THANKS!!! I enjoy custom painting and decals. Like I said I made my first decal when I was about 10....hand painted a UP logo on brown paper packing tape!!!  I have had a number of decal companies in other hobbies. Again thanks

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25,000 miles by Rail!

AMCDave posted:
harmonyards posted:

those decals you made are beautiful!!!

THANKS!!! I enjoy custom painting and decals. Like I said I made my first decal when I was about 10....hand painted a UP logo on brown paper packing tape!!!  I have had a number of decal companies in other hobbies. Again thanks

What have you used for your decal paper?  I have had challenges with homemade decals curling and not settling well over detail like rivets.

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I own three Alps printers and love them If anyone would like to get up to speed on the Alps printers there is a discussion group devoted to these printers If you are interested, search for Alps Decal group at yahoo.  They have a very good archive go and start reading.  A company in Japan called Elephant Rocket sells all the supplies as well as refurbished machines and will repair your machine if you are willing to ship it to them.  If your serious about making your own water slide decals get a model 5500 or at least a 5000.  There is a bit of a learning curve but you will find the folks at the Alps group most helpful. 

JohnActon posted:

I own three Alps printers and love them If anyone would like to get up to speed on the Alps printers there is a discussion group devoted to these printers If you are interested, search for Alps Decal group at yahoo.  They have a very good archive go and start reading.  A company in Japan called Elephant Rocket sells all the supplies as well as refurbished machines and will repair your machine if you are willing to ship it to them.  If your serious about making your own water slide decals get a model 5500 or at least a 5000.  There is a bit of a learning curve but you will find the folks at the Alps group most helpful. 

that's good to know!...thanks for the tip!

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

I made a call in the middle of the week to Jim at High Ball Graphics. within minutes Jim had an understanding of what I needed....no fuss, no muss...Jim had me covered!...I sent him a sample of what I was looking for....In no time at all, he had my decals done and out the door....All the messing around I did, and a simple phone call got me hooked up....easy peasy!.....I was super impressed with Jim's attention to my project and quick responses to my calls.....highly highly recommend Jim if you don't have the home ability to make decals, let Jim do it!....best phone call I made with regards to this kinda project was to High Ball Graphics! 

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

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