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making custom decals

 
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pneumonic81
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Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 275
Location: Austin TX

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:31 am    Post subject: making custom decals Reply with quote

can it be done, and if so, how?
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TJolley
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Access to a really decent ink Jet or color Laser
2. Decal paper - this can be located at various web sites - it is NOT cheap
3. Decal set spray - also available on the Web..not sure of the cost - don't recall it being that expensive.

create your decals, print them out (using lots of test prints on regular paper first of course to make sure they are good first), then spray them with the decal set spray. The spray seals the ink/toner and ensures they decal will not bleed.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's another earlier thread ("Homebrew decals") that goes into this in some detail, but TJolley is correct.

A couple of things I'll add:
Color laser printing is far, far superior. Don't use inkjet unless you have no other way.

Make sure (and do a lot of test-prints to prove) that your printer settings aren't scaling the graphics. They need to be truly 1:1 scale, or they won't fit right.

Normal old glossy clear-coat spray is fine for sealing the sheets. Hit them with at least two good coats, as they are incredibly thin and fragile. The extra thickness makes them less of a nightmare to maneuver.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4456
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one other thing - well a couple, actually:

Unless you have an ALPS printer (or some other printer capable of printing white ink), you are relegated to printing on clear paper or white paper.

Decals on clear paper work well for Federation, WYN, and some Romulan ships (those with a light, ghost grey base). The colors are vivid and the light background shows them off very well.
On darker colors however (such as Klingons, Kzinti, Orion Pirates), these decals are practically invisible.

You can print on white paper and apply those to the darker colors with some success, but it is difficult to cut around complex shapes. Simple things such as Kzinti ship symbols, stylized Romulan birds, and the Gorn logo and Hydran logos / stripes are easy to do...
Just print them out, trim away to the straight edge, soak and apply. The more complicated shapes (Klingon trefoils, Lyran county symbols, Kzinti windows, etc.) can be more problematic.
One option with those is to trim them as close to the image as possible, apply as normal and allow to dry. Then go back and paint over any of the white outline with the base hull color - just take your time and be careful - touch-ups in the decal area are nearly impossible to perform.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also heard of people putting down small shapes in white decal and then appling decals printed on clear over thetop of that (or also just painting a small spot of white).

There are days that I truly curse the fact that the ALPS printers are no longer being made. Mad
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pneumonic81
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 275
Location: Austin TX

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanx guys im gonna check it out and see what can be done.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4456
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a surplus of Lyran county symbols that were printed on clear paper.

I also have a circle template that has a circle the exact size of the decal...

A bit of white primer, and I'm good to go... Wink

Unless the template slips... or lifts away from the mini... or any one of a dozen other things goes wrong... Crying or Very sad
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to see if I can find a piece of brass tubing I can use as a "hole punch" to make tiny little circles from white or yellow decal sheets. I can then use these behind Klingon trifoils printed on clear with a reasonable degree of success.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
I'm going to see if I can find a piece of brass tubing I can use as a "hole punch" to make tiny little circles from white or yellow decal sheets. I can then use these behind Klingon trifoils printed on clear with a reasonable degree of success.


Will, Tandy Leather Factory has a rotary leather punch with a series of 6 different punches that might work for what you want...
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malleman
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 12 Jan 2008
Posts: 308
Location: Lafayette, LA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood,

I think scoutdad is right on the leather pouch. I pulled mine out and tried it on some paper to see if it would work and it did. Nice thing is that you would have a variety of sizes for different ship classes. Just in case you are wondering I bought the leather punch to make jedi belts (real easy to do) for C3.

I also some times use brass tubes to help paint circles, so if you are just interested in painting circles you may want just to experiment with the tubes. However, if you are painting in white or yellow it may be difficult to get the right look

Good luck and let me know what you end up doing.
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