Applying custom lettering?

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philipy
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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by philipy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:24 am

BorisSpencer wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:14 am

The transparent carrier will leave a slightly glossy sheen, also where it conforms to the underlying detail it can 'crack' letting the base colour show through.

You can solve the cracking problem by using "Decalset" ( or similar) when you apply the decals. It softens the film and allows it to be drawn tightly around small obstacles.

The 'slightly glossy sheen' of the carrier film will largely disappear when the whole thing is given an overspray of varnish, whether matt, eggshell or gloss

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by BorisSpencer » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:00 pm

Thanks Philipy, I shall give both suggestions a go, other than the printing, my approach to application/use was what I learnt 45+ years ago making Airfix models.

I suppose varnishing will make any little signs weather resistant and they could be left out.

This shows the slight sheen when viewing at the right angle in the right light:
2019-02-24 11.43.23.jpg
And this shows the slightly damaged R where I'd been a bit clumsy picking it up. You can also see the edge of the decal where I had cut out the individual letters, I have generally minimised this by cutting the letters to the size of the panel, which also aids with the centring.
2019-02-24 11.44.05.jpg

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by GTB » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:01 pm

philipy wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:24 am
You can solve the cracking problem by using "Decalset" ( or similar) when you apply the decals. It softens the film and allows it to be drawn tightly around small obstacles.

The 'slightly glossy sheen' of the carrier film will largely disappear when the whole thing is given an overspray of varnish, whether matt, eggshell or gloss
I second what Philipy has said.

As well as drawing the decal down onto the surface, decal set will soften the edge of the clear film so it blends in better when clear coated.

If the surface is very complex, even a decal setting solvent may not help and sometimes you just have to slit the decal film with a new scalpel blade and touch in the cracks later with paint.

Always apply waterslide decals on a gloss surface. On a matt or satin surface even Solvaset won't remove all the air trapped under the decal and when the final clear coat is applied you get the effect known as 'silvering' in the areas under the clear film.

Dry transfers do have the advantage of not silvering and are less particular about the gloss level of the surface.

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by big-ted » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:41 pm

OK, some great suggestions here. Thanks all! I like the idea of printing a black background on white paper. And I was already thinking that an all-over coat of satin varnish would mitigate any glossyness of the carrier. I've never heard of these 'Decalset' products. I'll have to ask around.

There is a couple of decent hobby shops around, but I think my letters will have to be taller in font size than anything they're likely to carry.

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by philipy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:49 pm

There are a number of similar products from various manufacturers. I've got a bottle of the Humbrol version which I've had for years, but most of them are at the beginning on this Amazon listing.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/slp/decal-set/sy7asefucph4orz

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by FWLR » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 am

Thanks for the info guys.
Can I ask a really silly question if I may... Can I print my own decals from my inkjet printer on ordinary paper and use the Micro Sol, Micro Set and Liquid Decal Film for decal making...Or do I need special paper for inkjet that will allow me to print decals.

What size also is correct for the printing of them, 18,20,22,24 and so on.
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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by philipy » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:38 am

FWLR wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 am
Can I print my own decals from my inkjet printer on ordinary paper and use the Micro Sol, Micro Set and Liquid Decal Film for decal making...Or do I need special paper for inkjet that will allow me to print decals.

What size also is correct for the printing of them, 18,20,22,24 and so on.
You need decal film for inkjet printers, such as https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw ... t&_sacat=0

Be aware that inkjet decals will run if they get wet, even with varnish over the top.

The correct size is whatever size you want - your railway, your rules! ( unless you are building a scale model of a protype, of course)

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by BorisSpencer » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:01 pm

philipy wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:38 am
FWLR wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 am
Can I print my own decals from my inkjet printer on ordinary paper and use the Micro Sol, Micro Set and Liquid Decal Film for decal making...Or do I need special paper for inkjet that will allow me to print decals.

What size also is correct for the printing of them, 18,20,22,24 and so on.
You need decal film for inkjet printers, such as https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw ... t&_sacat=0

Be aware that inkjet decals will run if they get wet, even with varnish over the top.

The correct size is whatever size you want - your railway, your rules! ( unless you are building a scale model of a protype, of course)
I haven't used the inkjet paper, but my understanding is that it is a lot more convoluted.
My sister-inlaw who is a librarian said that most libraries will print output for people, if you test print on ordinary paper, and then were to take the file to your local library on a memory stick along with a sheet of Laser Decal Paper, they may be able to help. The most complicated part of the process is putting the paper in the right way up!

I have some transfers to do in the next week or so, if you send me what you want I will run it off and post it to you.

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by philipy » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:19 pm

BorisSpencer wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:01 pm


I haven't used the inkjet paper, but my understanding is that it is a lot more convoluted.
No, not really, just put it in the printer in the same way as ordinary paper. As you say, the most complicated part is getting the sheet the right way up!

The only potential complication I can think of, is that you might possibly need to play with colour intensity, depending on the colour you are printing and the background colour it will be applied to. However it is essential to leave the printed sheet for some hours, overnight if possible, before touching it, to ensure that it is dry.

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by andymctractor » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:45 pm

big-ted wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:50 pm

Any suggestions appreciated.
In the past I've used Crafty Computer paper decal paper. There is a Waterslide paper and a Dry Rub paper though the latter requires a bit of a learning curve to get it right. Both types are ok with an inkjet printer but there is the usual restriction about white backgrounds.
I've not bought any for a long time so I'm only assuming they are still in business.
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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by Oily Rag » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:06 am

Same here Andy. The company which was originally a sole proprietership in Glasgow if memory serves correctly did change hands and the decal material did disappear as such for a while. It re-appeared at a higher price of course but we had little need by this time and I still have a bit by me. In the intervening period I did trace the original supplier as far as I could to Texas. They only sold by the pallet load which was a fair few sheets of decal paper.

Tips as to use. First examine the sheets carefully, one side is particularly shiny the other ever so slightly matt. The matt (-er) side is the one where the ink goes. only print with OEM ink (as much as I hate to say that) none of the cheaper types were dense enough. Although I never had one, a pigment ink based ink jet printer would probably be better rather than the dye-based stuff we all get ripped off for.

As to finishing I always used 3 coats, albeit thin coats of artists acrylic varnish before attempting to use them. It was the only sure ( or as sure as you could be) procedure for sealing the ink which had to be left to cure for 24 hours minimum. Ink does not sink into the fibres of plastic film as it has none. This actually was the recommendation on the instruction notes supplied with each pack of 10 sheets when we were buuying the stuff.
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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by GTB » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:24 pm

Oki make a laser printer that will print in white and colour, but they are in the professional range and aren't cheap. I saw one locally with a price of A$4k and that was second hand......

There's a mob in Germany who make white laser toner and decal paper (they call it decal foil). They sell white toner for a range of laser printers, but the cartridges aren't cheap either. https://www.ghost-white-toner.com/

Epson make industrial inkjet printers that can print white, but again the prices are at eye-watering levels.

The old ALPS MD series printers might have been a bit pricey for home use when they were readily available, but they were never in the same league as the current alternatives for printing in white.

Whatever you do, never put a sheet of inkjet decal paper through a laser printer. It isn't designed to be heat proof and the fuser roll in a laser printer gets very hot.

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by Oily Rag » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:51 am

Terrible! You must have thought I had gone mad on reading my last post----- Sorry. I had missed bits out, must have had one of those senior moments. Of course you will know which side of Crafty Computer paper to print on, it has the backing sheet.
What I wanted to really say was about the inks and their density. I also use a product called "JETSTAR", a transparency to make up my crude PCB artworks, I have had no success at all with overhead transparency material from stationers. JETSTAR definitively has a shiny side and the very slightly matt side and it is essential that the correct side is chosen to put the ink on. As this product in those more impecunious days was relatively expensive and at the time less convenient to get hold of I had thought of using the decal paper as an alternative for the mask, hence the comments.

Foolish thinking. The transparent part does have differing surfaces if you extract a piece from the backing giving just the transparent film. The two sides like JETSTAR are ever so slightly different, the ink going onto the more matt surface. However it is so delicate the accuracy of hole positioning is lost, an essential part in making up even single sided PCBs. JETSTAR is handleable as a stand alone product.

However the ink comments are correct for both products and to be honest the best results I had were with HP (arrgh the cost!) genuine inks. They were dense enough to withstand the UV bombardment on PCBs and gave me best results with waterslide decals. Whilst we used cheaper bulk inks for just about everything else they were not up to the OEM inks of Epson/Canon/HP for this sort of work.

I suppose you pays your money and takes your choice.
Regards
Ian
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