Print your own details

Painting methods, display options and general tweaks.
TheBigAmbulance
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Print your own details

Postby TheBigAmbulance » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:34 pm

Hey Guys,

I have recently just finished the 7 model Enterprise set and am moving on with more advanced stuff. Specifically Shapewise 3d printed models.

So my question is this. I have a drafting program (QCad) that I can make some pretty high detail decals. What is the best waterslide decal paper, and best method to "lock" them on that paper before transferring them on?

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Kratok
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Re: Print your own details

Postby Kratok » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:34 pm

Welcome.

As to decal paper supply sources, there are lots to choose from. The most important thing is to order the correct paper for your printer, whether it is laser, Alps, or inkjet.

I don't order paper frequently, so don't have a lot of recommendations. I had very good luck with http://www.tangopapadecals.com for my laser and Alps needs. Most recently I bought some from http://www.decalpaper.com, and the film was GREAT wth ink jets , but they ship it in an envelope and several sheets were wrinkled/damaged/unusable. So you either need to order in some quantity to thicken the envelope and minimize that risk, or take your chances.

Micro scale makes a bottle of decal film that you can either brush or airbrush on to seal your artwork. And actually, plain old Krylon acrylic rattlecan clear does a great job. Technically, you don't really NEED to seal laser decals, just inkjet. But I tend to seal them all just to thicken them slightly and make them less fragile. Always run a test section when you are printing, cut that away from your sheet, and apply your sealant to that first to establish compatability before moving on to sealing your actual artwork. And if you spray, several light coats will be better than one heavy coat, which does tend to make the colors run.

Good luck, and I hope you share some of your results here at All Scale Trek.

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MEATLOAFr
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Re: Print your own details

Postby MEATLOAFr » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:48 pm

what ever online company you use, just remember --DON"T USE TESTOR'S VERSION-- you are pouring money down the drain with them, smaller sheets are harder to fit what you want on them and harder to get printer to take them, per page cost - is cheaper to use a 8.5"x11" page with lots of wasted space than their 5"x8" crammed tightly together

decalpaper.com is my preferred supplier - and yes, (as Kratok said) they deliver in a USPS priority mail envelope without any padding, so expect a few damaged sheets

And no matter what program you use for making the decals - you are limited by what the printer can output, sometimes the printer will do weird things to the artwork

and when possible, laser/LED printer is better - as Kratok said, you don't have to seal them afterward, but is still recommended for final product, testing them saves time when you don't have to wait for the sealant to dry (and toner $ is cheaper than ink $$$)
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arcticfox
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Re: Print your own details

Postby arcticfox » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:22 pm

One thing to be careful of (and I know this isn't the answer specifically to your question, but the answers already given are way better than any advice of mine) is that if you have to resize the images to be printed, be sure to use software that does vector graphics.

A few years ago I was making a custom decal sheet for some Warhammer 40K Space Marines. (I was making Blood Ravens and this was before the Forge World decal sheet was available). I got the appropriate chapter badge and had to shrink it down, but MS Paint was a complete fail because it's pixel based. Shrinking the image only made it a pixelated, blurry mess. Fortunately a co-worker I was friends with was happy to use hos software to resize the images to the right size without losing resolution of proportion. He also showed me how to use Gimp (A vector graphics program for Linux) to do the same thing for myself.

Just an extra tip

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Tesral
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Re: Print your own details

Postby Tesral » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:56 pm

If you cut neatly and hand load the paper (*you should anyway) you are not wasting partial sheets. I go into the printer settings and pick custom size and tell the printer how big the remaining sheet is. It handles it just fine. HP Color laser BTW.

So ship X only takes two inches off your letter sized sheet. The next time you tell it it is 8.5x9 and so forth. Minimal waste.
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MEATLOAFr
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Re: Print your own details

Postby MEATLOAFr » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:10 am

Tesral wrote:If you cut neatly and hand load the paper (*you should anyway) you are not wasting partial sheets. I go into the printer settings and pick custom size and tell the printer how big the remaining sheet is. It handles it just fine. HP Color laser BTW.

So ship X only takes two inches off your letter sized sheet. The next time you tell it it is 8.5x9 and so forth. Minimal waste.


That's true, I've done that too - just the Testors sheets (at least near me) are a weird size, and some printers can jam if the paper isn't long enough

arcticfox wrote:One thing to be careful of (and I know this isn't the answer specifically to your question, but the answers already given are way better than any advice of mine) is that if you have to resize the images to be printed, be sure to use software that does vector graphics.


Yes that's so true, and some decals that you print you will need to "copy" into a vector format (sometimes completely redraw if the trace program is crap) and best part is.., once you draw it once, you can copy it to other files and re-scale at your leisure
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