Author Topic: Does anyone make small decal runs?  (Read 1292 times)

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Joetrain59

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Does anyone make small decal runs?
« on: February 26, 2018, 12:01:47 AM »
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I printed some decals on clear Testor's inkjet decal paper, but when applied, yellow lettering was very transparent. If I print on white decal paper, I have to match model color, nearly impossible to do that. So I'm looking for someone who does silkscreen, or Alps(?) decals. Small run, say 3 sheets?
 Thanks,
 Joe D

GhengisKong

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 12:07:13 AM »
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Check out Circus City Decals. He does small runs and not terribly priced as well.

AKNscale

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 01:32:30 AM »
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^What they said, that's where I got mine and I'm thoroughly happy.

Joetrain59

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 02:09:49 AM »
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Thanks, I checked out the site. Do they only use the fonts shown, or can my artwork have a different font? I used Bookman Old Style, Bold Italic.
 Joe D

AKNscale

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 02:17:11 AM »
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I would contact them, but they do custom work so I'd be very surprised if they couldn't do what you want.

Joetrain59

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 02:47:07 AM »
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Thanks, will do.
 Joe D

Urodoji

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 05:54:13 AM »
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They did a batch of G&D decals in Playbill font for me.

Joetrain59

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 02:37:57 AM »
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Sent an email to Matt, who responded quickly, with attachment for file reqs.
 But I'm curious. Has anyone successfuly printed decals on clear paper, with an inkjet printer?
 Trying to print a yellow roadname, to go against a red carbody.
 Thanks,
 Joe D

peteski

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2018, 03:02:20 AM »
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Sent an email to Matt, who responded quickly, with attachment for file reqs.
 But I'm curious. Has anyone successfuly printed decals on clear paper, with an inkjet printer?
 Trying to print a yellow roadname, to go against a red carbody.
 Thanks,
 Joe D

No.  You cannot get opaque colors from any of the consumer (CYMK) color printers.
They all use translucent inks, and for proper color rendition they rely on the printed media being white.  Even Alps printer works that way. But with Alps' ability to print in multiple passes keeping the paper alignment, and with the ability to print white (opaque) ink before printing the color images over white, the result is opaque color images on clear decal paper.  The white ink undercoat acts like localized areas of "white paper" under the translucent color inks. Those decals then can be applied over dark (non-white) surfaces and their colors will still show up.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 05:02:32 AM by peteski »
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Joetrain59

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 03:11:47 AM »
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Thank you Sir for that explanation. I'll lilkely have Matt do the artwork too.
 Joe D

Maletrain

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 10:00:45 AM »
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What is it about the Alps printer that allowed it to use opaque white ink?  Would other inkjet printers be able to print opaque white decals if there were compatible ink cartridges with the Alps white ink?  Or, is it a matter of ink compatibility?

I realize that printing color over opaque white ink in perfect register is a printer related function, but many of us just want opaque white ink decals to put on black or brown freight cars.

C855B

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 10:38:17 AM »
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What is it about the Alps printer that allowed it to use opaque white ink?  Would other inkjet printers be able to print opaque white decals if there were compatible ink cartridges with the Alps white ink?  Or, is it a matter of ink compatibility? ...

The Alps is not an inkjet, but a film-transfer printer. The problem with white is it requires a dense, opaque pigment, where "dense", "opaque" and "pigment" conspire in their requirement for large grains of the "color". In so many words, white has to be paint, or paint-like in its behavior. Inkjet color medium is more a dye than an ink, with extremely refined pigments in solution.

The translucent toners of consumer/office color laser printers are toners, not inks, where a toner is a plastic powder that is fused (melted) to the paper and to the other toners in the process. They're translucent to make color rendition more accurate and not completely reliant on the small process "dot". Toners are also difficult to make opaque, again due to the grain size problem. As far as the printer Circus City uses, it is a relatively new 5-color laser printer specifically designed to print white as an additional color. It is an expensive bit of graphics-professional hardware you're not going to casually have sitting in the corner.
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peteski

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2018, 04:04:30 PM »
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What is it about the Alps printer that allowed it to use opaque white ink?  Would other inkjet printers be able to print opaque white decals if there were compatible ink cartridges with the Alps white ink?  Or, is it a matter of ink compatibility?

I realize that printing color over opaque white ink in perfect register is a printer related function, but many of us just want opaque white ink decals to put on black or brown freight cars.

I mentioned Alps in my post 2 above yours.  Alps is a thermal-transfer printer with the ability to print multiple passes on the print media while retaining registration. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal-transfer_printing
There are ink jet printers capable of printing white ink and keeping correct registration for multiple passes. Micro Trains and Tichy Train Group use those printers. That is how MTL prints graffiti and weathering directly on their models. But those are specialty commercial (very expensive) printers which use opaque white ink.  The inks are UV-cured (so the white undercoat is "dry" before printing the color inks over it. 
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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C855B

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2018, 04:06:54 PM »
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I mentioned Alps in my post 2 above yours. ...

Yes, you did, but I was clarifying the differences in the processes.
...mike

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peteski

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Re: Does anyone make small decal runs?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2018, 04:11:27 PM »
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Yes, you did, but I was clarifying the differences in the processes.

I know - I quoted and was replying to Maletrain's post (where he was asking about Alps printer - as if he didn't see my post). I also pointed him to the thermal transfer printing information if he wants to learn more. Then I mentioned that ink jet printers do exist with the ability to do printing in multiple passes, and print white ink.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
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-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"