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Couple of problems with inkjet decals

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Couple of problems with inkjet decals
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 8:49 AM

I'm doing a Red Baron pizza version of the stearman using inkjet decals (WIP build thread in Airliners and Civil Aircraft forum).  Having a couple of problems that I thought I'd pass along.

First, for some time I have had problems with my Epson printer (XP960).  The inks seem to dissolve a bit in the Testors lacquer clearcoats I have long used for sealing the printed decals.  I have tried to minimize this by doing a quick, light coat first, letting it dry thoroughly, and then a heavier second coat.  I still get a little blurring of the edges.  I am giving up on that clearcoat.  Awhile ago I did a test using a bunch of clearcoats, and will now try clear acrylic spray, which seemed to work pretty well.

Second problem- I am using the sheets from Micro Mark.  I like it, get good surface from MM.  But, I find that like a few brands of commercial decals, they soften quite a bit if I use too much setting solution, especially if I keep dousing the decal and take too long putting it in place.  The decal can get stretchy and distorted.  I am trying to avoid using the setting solution unless I really need it.  The decals do seem to go down well with just water.  When I print homemade decals I always print a spare of every decal in the set.  If the first copy gives me too much grief, and is taking more than a minute or two, or needs too much setting solution, I just pull it off and try the second copy and greater care in positioning.  So take that as a warning if you use that paper.  And solvent really does a harsh impact on the paper.  Do not use solvent unless absolutely necessary.  BTW, I use Micro Scale Micro Set.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, March 22, 2018 11:26 AM

I have started letting my inkjet decal prints dry for a good week before I clearcoat.

it does seem to make a big difference.

  • Member since
    April, 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 4:54 PM

Epson changed their ink formula to richen the colors when printing photos. I believe they call it "Claria" However it softens too easily with the clear coat causing ink bleeding on the edges. I had all kinds of issues with it especially when trying to print out smaller decals. I ended up buying an HP Envy 4520 and have not had any problems since. Some folks have used refill kits and used the HP ink instead of the Epson Claria ink.

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

Model Albums - https://www.flickr.com/photos/128642409@N05/albums

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, March 23, 2018 9:09 AM

Wolfman_63

Epson changed their ink formula to richen the colors when printing photos. I believe they call it "Claria" However it softens too easily with the clear coat causing ink bleeding on the edges. I had all kinds of issues with it especially when trying to print out smaller decals. I ended up buying an HP Envy 4520 and have not had any problems since. Some folks have used refill kits and used the HP ink instead of the Epson Claria ink.

 

Hmm!  I wouldn't be adverse to picking up a cheapie HP just to use for decals.  I do a lot of inkjet decal work, and spending fifty or sixty bucks for a printer I can rely on would be money well spent.  Almost any inkjet printer has enough resolution these days, and for most decals I do not need fancy colors.

My Epson XP 960 is great for photography (my other hobby), so I will keep that, and just have another printer online (I also just replaced my laser printer yesterday, a monochrome thing that I replaced for sixty bucks).  USB connections are so great, allowing you to have so many accessories online.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:04 PM

Don

Thanks for the heads up. I am now just starting to try my hand at my first inkjet decals.  So far the first few tests have been underwhelming.  But like anything new I’ll keep at it.

My current printer is an HP and I have a package of Testers Decal paper.  The pre-test prints on photo paper were very encouraging, clear, clean and sharp. The tests on the Testers Decal paper was remarkably lessened in all aspects.

I still have to adjust some of the settings on the printer and the illustration program to see how much I can positively affect the outcome. 

The test prints were coated with Testers Clear Coat ( 3 or 4 light mist coats) and seemed not to bleed and with good coverage.

Again thank you for your previous “How tos” on inkjet decals and now this up date. “All grist for the mill” as they say.

 

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:06 AM

DUSTER

Don

Thanks for the heads up. I am now just starting to try my hand at my first inkjet decals.  So far the first few tests have been underwhelming.  But like anything new I’ll keep at it.

My current printer is an HP and I have a package of Testers Decal paper.  The pre-test prints on photo paper were very encouraging, clear, clean and sharp. The tests on the Testers Decal paper was remarkably lessened in all aspects.

I still have to adjust some of the settings on the printer and the illustration program to see how much I can positively affect the outcome. 

The test prints were coated with Testers Clear Coat ( 3 or 4 light mist coats) and seemed not to bleed and with good coverage.

Again thank you for your previous “How tos” on inkjet decals and now this up date. “All grist for the mill” as they say.

 

 

I do find the brand of decal paper makes a difference. I have not tried the Testors stuff, but have used several others.  I like the Micro Mark stuff- it works well and MM ships promptly.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:47 AM

DUSTER

Don

Thanks for the heads up. I am now just starting to try my hand at my first inkjet decals.  So far the first few tests have been underwhelming.  But like anything new I’ll keep at it.

My current printer is an HP and I have a package of Testers Decal paper.  The pre-test prints on photo paper were very encouraging, clear, clean and sharp. The tests on the Testers Decal paper was remarkably lessened in all aspects.

I still have to adjust some of the settings on the printer and the illustration program to see how much I can positively affect the outcome. 

The test prints were coated with Testers Clear Coat ( 3 or 4 light mist coats) and seemed not to bleed and with good coverage.

Again thank you for your previous “How tos” on inkjet decals and now this up date. “All grist for the mill” as they say.

 

Just a 'for what it's worth' which may or may not be of much use.

I, too, have an old HP that I use for my decals, and I had to do some 'dial-in' to find the combination of settings that worked best. I started using higher-quality 'photograph' settings---thinking that the decal stock surface was similar to that of photo paper---and had only middling success. I finally worked down to 'Photo printing - plain paper' with 'Bright White' as the paper type---and 'Best' quality---and found this usually does a stunning job. The largest single decals I've printed...'full side' murals for a 1/32 semi-trailer a while back...came out so well I was actually shocked.

Having said all that...I'm never sure whether it's something generic, or specific to the HP printer model (F4280) that I use. But it might be worth a try.

Good luck with your projects!

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Friday, March 30, 2018 12:06 AM

gregbale

 Just a 'for what it's worth' which may or may not be of much use.

I, too, have an old HP that I use for my decals, and I had to do some 'dial-in' to find the combination of settings that worked best. I started using higher-quality 'photograph' settings---thinking that the decal stock surface was similar to that of photo paper---and had only middling success. I finally worked down to 'Photo printing - plain paper' with 'Bright White' as the paper type---and 'Best' quality---and found this usually does a stunning job. The largest single decals I've printed...'full side' murals for a 1/32 semi-trailer a while back...came out so well I was actually shocked.

Having said all that...I'm never sure whether it's something generic, or specific to the HP printer model (F4280) that I use. But it might be worth a try.

Good luck with your projects!

 

 

Great! Thanks  Gregbale.  

That is a great starting place. I too have been backing off the Best on photo paper (kinda knew that from Dons earlier messages- but had to see for my self-sigh)

With your input I’ll be able to get in the ball park much sooner, so many thanks. Looking forward to the challenge and a good outcome, hope, hope, hope.

Don; I’ll indeed to look into Micro Mark’s paper, No need to fail because I’m “barking up the wrong paper” so to speak,  Thank You

 

 

 

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, March 30, 2018 12:46 AM

One more important thing. All of this only matters when the decal settles down on the kit and looks good. That depends on a bunch of post-printing details.

Is it reasonably easy to cut out without a lot of clear decal around it?

Does it release from the background paper in water without falling apart?

Does it stay on?

Does it silver?

Arrive at conclusions only after you've tested all that.

Here's what I know.

I haven't tried Micro Mark paper, but I've tried Woodlands Scenic and Testors and they both are pretty similar. Testors is a little harder to get ink jet ink to set on.

Running colors with the fix is IMO mostly a result of rushing the process. Red is the problem, but I've done a lot of tests with reds and browns. If the print is allowed to set for a while, like a week, the problem greatly diminishes.

Testors fix is the best on every paper I've tried. Other choices are acrylics like Future or the artists spray fix, but they are thick.

Sort of over arching all of this, to get back to the point I started with; cutting out the decal has to be considered in advance of printing. When the image gets small, or is open, the background color often needs to be included. If you attempt a image like a white cartoon on an Olive Drab background, and it's say 1/4" x 1/4", you'll need to include the OD background in the art.

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Friday, March 30, 2018 2:43 AM

GMorrison 

good points to remember

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, May 13, 2018 1:12 AM

The latest- Testors white decal paper works reasonably well with my Brother ink jet set up, but the clear doesn’t work at all. I went through my set of sheets trying everything I could think of, since there was no point in keeping any of the problem persisted.

I forgot about this discussion and ordered Papilio clear.

The ink goes on fine, in fact after about an hour I can’t smear it with my finger.

Now I need to get a fix that doesn’t dissolve the ink. Testors worked fine with my laser printer, but on the clear film, after 12 hours, I ran the red a little.

So I’ve printed several more sets. I’m going to give it a few days and then try some other fix.

Suggestions more than welcome!

 

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, May 13, 2018 7:54 AM

GMorrison

The latest- Testors white decal paper works reasonably well with my Brother ink jet set up, but the clear doesn’t work at all. I went through my set of sheets trying everything I could think of, since there was no point in keeping any of the problem persisted.

I forgot about this discussion and ordered Papilio clear.

The ink goes on fine, in fact after about an hour I can’t smear it with my finger.

Now I need to get a fix that doesn’t dissolve the ink. Testors worked fine with my laser printer, but on the clear film, after 12 hours, I ran the red a little.

So I’ve printed several more sets. I’m going to give it a few days and then try some other fix.

Suggestions more than welcome!

I've had consistent best results over the years with the 'Expert's Choice' line of inkjet papers from BareMetal Foil. Have tried most of the others in a pinch---with results ranging from fine to miserable---but I keep coming back to BMF's...and always with Testors' Decal Bonder.

The BMF papers are available direct, or from assorted hobby outlets. I usually get mine from the Scale Hobbyist website.

Cheers

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, May 13, 2018 11:41 AM

I also find the BMF decal sheets great.  I just usually get the MM stuff 'cause I order stuff from Micro Mark more often.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • From: Va, USA
Posted by JJFlyer on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:40 AM

is decal bonder required with expert's choice?

current projects:

1/48 revell stuka tankbuster

1/48 tamiya F4U-1D

 

on deck:

1/48 revell bf109g10

 

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