Decal Preparations and Printings

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Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Thu May 23, 2013 5:11 pm

Hello Everyone;

We are all aware and experiencing difficulties finding, preparing or printing 1/18 scale decals. for me this is one of the most difficult steps of custom building models.

As most of you, I have been sourcing ready decals or to find out a person who is capable enough to design and print decals for me in 1/18 scale. I have tried many people from different countries like Poland, Spain, Australia, UK, France and Germany, Hong Kong and still been in touch with many.

Somehow, it didn't work the way I was expecting. or maybe my standards or expectations were high for the quality.

During this period of sourcing and experiencing, I have figured out that the printer or the printing method is one of the most important part as we do 1 time prints instead of 100/150 pieces which is manufacturers minimum requirements. therefore, it's really hard to get high quality decals.

There are two reasons I am sending this email today.

first is to have your suggestions, ideas and experiences about decal preparations, printings and applications.

and the second reason is to share a contact from Germany as I just did some decal printings with him. and, have to say I am happy with the result even though there are things to improve or go thru... but now, I can have decals in hand to apply to my models at least. and the communication with this guy is very easy as he is also building models. so, he knows what I need.

as he is using Alps printer, there are some handicaps as cant print gold colors etc... and because it's single layer need to make a silver color background as well. so, we have to apply two layers. first the background silkver then the color decals.
but this way, the color decals becomes more lively which I kind of like the idea.
the decal sheet he is using is very thin, so there is no extra thickness due to two layer applications.

below, I am sending you some photos of the models I am working on for your references. the main sponsor logos like Marxxoro or Bxxtos were ready made I purchased earlier. but was missing with co-sponsor and rally logos etc...

as I think you guys might be interested in I am putting below here his contact details for your reference

Michael
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please do share all your experiences, suggestions and ideas about this email so that we can all have more understanding and may help each other.
besides, I hope you guys also can share your future project ideas. maybe we can also share common projects in order to save time and cost.

I made that with some of my friends last week and they helped me out to choose a new Toyota WRC project out of 5 models and ends up we made a vote and the winner is Andre Aghini Esso.....

thanks for reading my post and hope to hear your responses soon.

all the best
Omer


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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  brian on Thu May 23, 2013 6:35 pm

Its such a problem getting decals in 1/18. Homemade decals are really the only option but unless you have a few thousand to spare to splash on a proper printer, the quality will be affected.

Because runs of decals are so small, its too expensive to go down the serigraph printing route some companies wont even bother with such a small job.

Its also very subjective as to what projects to actually do. A model i would love to have may have no interest in you Omer and vice versa. Ive been working with a guy in Holland who prints anything i need done in white. I print all the colours myself, but definately wouldnt be up to the same quality as some of the professional decals.


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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Sat May 25, 2013 7:38 pm

hey Brian;

first of all, I would like to thank you specially for paying attention and writing couple words and sharing your attention, suggestions.

I thought that this was an important topic for all of forum members in here suffering this problem either in 1/43 or 1/18 scales. but I am very sorry to see that no one responded on this subject, out of 42 views only 1 respond.
what can I say more, thank you for your attention....

I guess welcoming a new member or saying goodbye to one is more popular or this is the secret of everyone in here about preparing, printing decals....

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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  focuswrc on Sat May 25, 2013 8:19 pm

Omer I was one of the 42 viewers...lol I know nothing about the subject mate I just thought you were going to start producing 1:18 decals which I would have been very interested in. Sorry mate for not responding but as I said have very little knowledge on decaling or preparing for them.

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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  Mal on Sun May 26, 2013 9:13 am

Hi Omer, I had not seen this thread before today. I must say I an intrigued by the comment you make about alps printers not being able to print gold colours yet he is doing silver. What is the difference? Plus the attached photos are alps printed decals. Double laying where needed should result in the correct colour including fluro yellow. To me, using a silver base is wasting a silver cartridge. Secondary, expectations, is this the print quality, timeliness or cost? Remember some of these people have lives and to draw a basic sponsor can take hours to get right. This can impact greatly on how quickly things can be done let alone where in a queue your request may sit. In regards to costs, if the decal makers actually charged the real cost in hourly labour at say $10 p/hr, you could be paying hundreds of dollars for a simple decal sheet unless that cost is spread over many sheets. Quality, this can come back to just how much the maker cares for his work. I have bought stuff from o/seas in 1/43 which is rubbish. Then I have received stuff which is art in itself.

I will leave any technical answers to the guys who actually do print using the alps.

This is using a gold foil cartridge and actually gives a better / more realistic result than companies tampo printing gold.

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If needed, I can take a close up of the Rothmans crest to show just how fine you can get

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This is another car with the gold crest from a ciggie packet. Note that this is a first run to see sizing. The end result is even better. You can see that a double layer of white is required.

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Then we have double layering to get the fluro to 'pop'.

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This was the printer's first ever attempt at fluro with the shadow. The shadow has a grey colour instead of the blue. I have not fixed that although new decals have been offered. To me this is showing the history of this guy's decals. The car above was done 12 months later. Both cars had a full respray.

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I can even scan other sheets I have not used yet but would prefer not to until after I have made the cars.

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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  brian on Sun May 26, 2013 11:49 am

Some great detail in those decals Mal, didnt know an alps printer could print such detail. Of course, the printer must be using vector artwork to such sharp detailing. Just wish alps printers were a bit cheaper. Too expensive me at the moment, as even i cant convince myself to buy on let alone convince my girlfriend

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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Sun May 26, 2013 2:04 pm

focuswrc wrote:Omer I was one of the 42 viewers...lol I know nothing about the subject mate I just thought you were going to start producing 1:18 decals which I would have been very interested in. Sorry mate for not responding but as I said have very little knowledge on decaling or preparing for them.

hey Jimmy;

thanks for being honest to share your ideas.
I would like to remind that I have no commercial intention to start producing and selling decals. this thread is all about trying to have more ideas, suggestions and experiences from everyone in here as I am seeing people are struggling.
even if you dont have little knowledge or experience in decalling, I believe you should still have some small experiences and ideas about it. and it's in here to discuss and find solutions for this issue
thanks for commenting and sharing.

Wink
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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Sun May 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Mal wrote:Hi Omer,

Hey Mal;

thanks a million for sharing all your experiences and paying attention to this thread.
this is what I was looking for and you are spot on, to share experiences.

for instance, I didn't knew that Alps can print gold or similar difficult colors as well as two layer printing.
I am wondering how those guys doing this two layer printings as it may be difficult to fit the paper and print spot on to the first print.

and as Brian just mentioned, I didn't knew that Alps can be so accurate with printing small details. Basically, it now seems to me that Alps has way more possibilities than and amateur code3 builder like me.
but again, the other problem is to find the right person to prepare these logos on correct programs and experienced good enough to print them with two layers on Alps.
as you know, most of us are doing this as an hobby and busy with life itself. so, it is really hard for those kind of people to spend extra time on our requirements.


Mal wrote:I can even scan other sheets I have not used yet but would prefer not to until after I have made the cars.


I can easily understand you or other builders concerns to keep these special prepared decals for them selves to have a unique models. but I still believe that we can share these decal printings to decrease costs and enjoy our builds as we all do this as hobby but not for investment.

tks

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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  newt5550 on Sun May 26, 2013 3:30 pm

Must admit Omer, like Jimmy i have read this thread but have not any idea about producing decals. Wouldn't know where to start, so that is why if i need any doing i get others to do them for me Laughing

I do think it is very interesting reading and keep looking in on this thread.
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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  Mal on Tue May 28, 2013 11:03 pm

omer yetis wrote:
Mal wrote:Hi Omer,

for instance, I didn't knew that Alps can print gold or similar difficult colors as well as two layer printing.
I am wondering how those guys doing this two layer printings as it may be difficult to fit the paper and print spot on to the first print.


By double layering, I meant two layers of decal not printing twice on the same decal. With the very thin decals used, it can look like just one layer of decal has been applied but the colour is richer. Same as what you are doing with the silver decal. It requires a fine eye to get the two decals to match accurately.

I have no problems with sharing if the decal maker has no problems. Just that I don't want to announce anything until I have made the car. If something is found to be wrong with the decals, it can be fixed without any fuss before they are out there with others.

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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  Lachlan on Wed May 29, 2013 12:58 am

The Alps printer can do double layering on the same decal sheet; the printer can hold the paper and do as many layers as you want before releasing the paper. The only problem is that white doesn't always stick to itself, that’s why I double the decal.

The Alps printer uses old style Cartridges; they look like old cassette tapes. There are 3 main colours, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow and for best results you have to print each colour separately. So to get Red you would print one layer of Magenta, keep the sheet in the printer then print yellow over the top to end up with red. The get dark blue you would print magenta with cyan over the top, or do multiple passed of cyan. Green would be cyan with yellow and so on… so you are limited to how many solid colours you can print. To get other colours you would print like a normal printer and the ALPS printer will do heaps of little dots but the results are nowhere near as good as spot printing. Some people only use the ALPS printer for the white base coat, gold or Silver then print on a normal Lazer printer to do all the other parts. I would love to start getting my decals screen printed but just wouldn’t need the numbers to get it done.

You will also need a drawing/graphics program that can work in layers, I use Adobe Illustrator, I’ve used Coral draw before but I prefer Illustrator because it’s what I’m used to. So you have each colour on a different layer so you can turn on and off each colour for the printing stage. You also have to work in black, not colours. So when you’re working on a decal sheet that has a few colours on different layers and there all black it’s easy to stuff up.

People also think you can just scan a decal and print it out and have perfect decals, WRONG! Any decal sheet that is scanned will need to be redone, even if you scan them at 2400DPI, the edges are just to ruff, they will need to be totally redraw using vectors to get nice sharp edges.
Alps are not cheap either, to buy and run. My printer cost $1300, the computer to run it was another $1500, + software, cartridges that don’t last long, especially white which is the main reason you would buy one. Decal paper, decal bonder to spray over the decals once printed (Have to be careful to as the clear coat can crack your decals while still on the sheet) They also won’t run on the new versions of windows and on and on, there an old printer with a life span, once the print head is stuffed you might as well put it in the bin! Lol

There a great printer when you have ironed out all the bugs, but you will be pulling your hair out by then! Until you have one and start using it you won't understand how painful they are! Smile

The biggest drama I have at the moment is time/ or lack off! LOL Smile I also need a contact in Japan to get decal Cartridges at a realistic price!! haha

Clear as mud hey! lol
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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Wed May 29, 2013 10:27 am

Mal wrote:
omer yetis wrote:
Mal wrote:Hi Omer,

for instance, I didn't knew that Alps can print gold or similar difficult colors as well as two layer printing.
I am wondering how those guys doing this two layer printings as it may be difficult to fit the paper and print spot on to the first print.

By double layering, I meant two layers of decal not printing twice on the same decal. With the very thin decals used, it can look like just one layer of decal has been applied but the colour is richer. Same as what you are doing with the silver decal. It requires a fine eye to get the two decals to match accurately.
I have no problems with sharing if the decal maker has no problems. Just that I don't want to announce anything until I have made the car. If something is found to be wrong with the decals, it can be fixed without any fuss before they are out there with others.

cheers Mal for the informations you have shared with us.
and will be looking forward to your projects and decals you may be able to share with us Smile
pls do remember that I am always around to help out with the development of the decals...

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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Wed May 29, 2013 10:33 am

Lachlan wrote:The Alps printer can do double layering on the same decal sheet; the printer can hold the paper and do as many layers as you want before releasing the paper. The only problem is that white doesn't always stick to itself, that’s why I double the decal.

The Alps printer uses old style Cartridges; they look like old cassette tapes. There are 3 main colours, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow and for best results you have to print each colour separately. So to get Red you would print one layer of Magenta, keep the sheet in the printer then print yellow over the top to end up with red. The get dark blue you would print magenta with cyan over the top, or do multiple passed of cyan. Green would be cyan with yellow and so on… so you are limited to how many solid colours you can print. To get other colours you would print like a normal printer and the ALPS printer will do heaps of little dots but the results are nowhere near as good as spot printing. Some people only use the ALPS printer for the white base coat, gold or Silver then print on a normal Lazer printer to do all the other parts. I would love to start getting my decals screen printed but just wouldn’t need the numbers to get it done.

You will also need a drawing/graphics program that can work in layers, I use Adobe Illustrator, I’ve used Coral draw before but I prefer Illustrator because it’s what I’m used to. So you have each colour on a different layer so you can turn on and off each colour for the printing stage. You also have to work in black, not colours. So when you’re working on a decal sheet that has a few colours on different layers and there all black it’s easy to stuff up.

People also think you can just scan a decal and print it out and have perfect decals, WRONG! Any decal sheet that is scanned will need to be redone, even if you scan them at 2400DPI, the edges are just to ruff, they will need to be totally redraw using vectors to get nice sharp edges.
Alps are not cheap either, to buy and run. My printer cost $1300, the computer to run it was another $1500, + software, cartridges that don’t last long, especially white which is the main reason you would buy one. Decal paper, decal bonder to spray over the decals once printed (Have to be careful to as the clear coat can crack your decals while still on the sheet) They also won’t run on the new versions of windows and on and on, there an old printer with a life span, once the print head is stuffed you might as well put it in the bin! Lol

There a great printer when you have ironed out all the bugs, but you will be pulling your hair out by then! Until you have one and start using it you won't understand how painful they are! Smile

The biggest drama I have at the moment is time/ or lack off! LOL Smile I also need a contact in Japan to get decal Cartridges at a realistic price!! haha

Clear as mud hey! lol

Hey Lach;

first of all, I would like to thank you paying attention to this thread and sharing all your knowledge and experiences with us in here.
frankly speaking, this is what I was looking for in order to understand the opportunities we can push with ALPS printers.
these are very clear and nice informations you have shared. and showing the clarity and the importance of the difficulties you are dealing with preparing decals. I wish you may have more free time helping us out with more decals and cars so we can make our collections more colorful.

Lachlan wrote:I would love to start getting my decals screen printed but just wouldn’t need the numbers to get it done.

what should be the min. number to have screen printed decals?
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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  gerardwrm on Wed May 29, 2013 3:02 pm

Omer .Sorry for not earlier react here ,,, but we had mail contact about this matter Smile

I have Roger as one of my decal makers . you now and he is good in make decals for the white base cars as you now /./
but the colors may more "deeply " coloured .

here some projects of him ..

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i'm always interested in more quality !
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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Fri May 31, 2013 5:22 am

Hey Gerard;

thanks for sharing your experiences and your beautiful models with us.
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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  omer yetis on Fri May 31, 2013 5:25 am

Hey Lach;

I would like to have a question for you, while you are printing the second layer, does it damage or effect the first layer ending up an un even second layer?
what kind of decal paper you are using?

thank you in advance for your kind informations and suggestions
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Re: Decal Preparations and Printings

Post  modelrallysport.com on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:41 pm

Omer just catching up on things here , your information on decal printing is outstanding and has really got my thought process working overtime now
thank you again for sharing

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