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How to print white decals?

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  • Member since
    March 2021
How to print white decals?
Posted by berd on Thursday, June 3, 2021 11:28 AM

I am thinking of printing some german crosses for my tanks but the center part is white and I dont think my printer can print white

 

Thanks

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, June 3, 2021 11:43 AM

Correct.

You'd have to print on white decal paper, then trim appropriately.

(Also make sure the decal paper matches your printer. Inkjet and laser types are not interchangeable!)

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, June 3, 2021 11:53 AM

The other possibility is to get a Ghost White Toner compatible color laser printer, along with a Ghost White Toner cartridge.  But that's definitely a VERY costly option.

Personally, I have a color laser printer (without the Ghost White Toner cartridge...those are $300.00!!!) and use clear or white decal paper made by Sunnyscopa.  Like Gregbale said, you need paper made for the type of printer you're using.  The advantage to the color laser printer for decals is that they require no clearcoat since it is toner and not ink.  I also like the MUCH lower operating costs of a laser printer.  Sure the toner cartidges are pricey, but they last a hell of a lot longer than any inkjet cartridge ever will and they don't dry out while just sitting in your printer.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Thursday, June 3, 2021 4:58 PM

Or cut a white cross of appropriate size from white decal film.   Print a black cross which matches the white and apply it over the first application

  • Member since
    April 2004
Posted by Jon_a_its on Friday, June 4, 2021 2:12 AM

berd

I am thinking of printing some german crosses for my tanks but the center part is white and I dont think my printer can print white.

Thanks



Some brands of inkjet printers can/may/have offerd white ink carts, but I haven't seen or heard of these for a long time, so may be out of production.

Modern Lasers don't print white, except HP do 'white toner' cartridges, at a cost, & ALPS printers are out of production and expensive.

First option: find some aftermarket crosses in your required scale from a vendor in your country. This is easiest, as they will have the black and white printed on decals, treat as decals.

Second: you can get brass or one-shot vinyl masks. This is a 'learning opportunity' Stick out tongue and will have the 'painted on' look because it is painted on with the paints you choose.

This isn't always possible because you can't always get the masks to fit where needed, so you can 'reverse' it, by spraying white, mask, spray black, mask again, then spray tank colour.

Third: Inkjet or Laser decal paper. These are a solid sheet, which you have to cut your decals from.

I use inkjet transparent, spray interior, then exterior, then clearcoat for aircraft canopy framing.

Laser Transparent (or at least the brand I used) is stiffer, & doesn't always conform well to lumps & bumps. I printed black on it, then clear-coated & the black laser toner still had a tendancy to flake. That may just have been me or my elderly printer.

Laser White, appeared stiff, took black and colour well (on a new colour laser), BUT was very stretchy, and when you cut the decals, will leave a white edge which needs to be disguised.

E.G., this checkerboard 1/48th Tamiya/Frog jeep took 5 attempts, 1/3 solid white & 1/3 transparent decal sheet, & passes the 3 foot rule....


The Runway Controller Trailer was drawn in Corel Draw, Printed on paper card & backed with clear plastic for stiffness in construction.

Each technique have their +/- points.

checkerboard jeep

 

 

 

 

 

East Mids Model Club 29th Annual Show 19th MAY 2019

 http://www.eastmidsmodelclub.co.uk/

Don't feed the CM!

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, June 4, 2021 8:09 AM

If your graphics software allows setting background color, you can set the color to that of the paint you are putting the decal over.

To aid matching the color, I paint a small square plastic scrap with that color and scan it into the computer and used the color picker to add the color into the pallete.

I can never get the color perfect, but if you trim closely it will not be noticable.  One other thing- the edge of the decal will show up white, so you will need to paint the edge with fine brush.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, June 4, 2021 8:54 AM

Jon_a_its
Laser Transparent (or at least the brand I used) is stiffer, & doesn't always conform well to lumps & bumps. I printed black on it, then clear-coated & the black laser toner still had a tendancy to flake. That may just have been me or my elderly printer.

Had that problem too, so I tried a different brand of paper.  Sunnyscopa paper works beautifully.  Even their "regular thickness" paper is thinner and better than the MicroMark paper I had been using.  Used it to make the tiny decals I had designed for the modifications I had made to the instrument panel in the Su-25K I'm building to turn it into an Su-25M1.  They were easy to trim and apply, and the toner held in place flawlessly even with such a small surface area of paper...no clear coat, and no cracking/flaking.

 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, June 4, 2021 9:44 AM

If the image is symetrical on an axis, you can print it as black on the back side of white decal paper, then cut it out to make the white layer. I've done that for stars, printed a whole sheet with a number of sizes.

Garage industry decal sets made with a silk screen often came as separations, white being one.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, June 5, 2021 8:56 AM

I have a black laser printer as well as a color inkjet.  Laser decals still need to be overcoated, though the coating is a bit easier.  My inkjet has poorer resolution than my inkjet, so I stopped buying the laser decal paper.  By the way, if your only printer is a laser, the laser decal paper that Micro Mark sells is thin and acts just like their inkjet paper.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, June 5, 2021 10:34 AM

Don Stauffer
Laser decals still need to be overcoated,

Nope.  They don't.  Not if you use the right paper.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, June 5, 2021 12:50 PM

Which would be what? Mine always do. I have an $ 11,000 Canon laser printer and I use both Testors and Micro Mark papers. They definitely need to be coated.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, June 5, 2021 1:55 PM

GMorrison
Which would be what? Mine always do. I have an $ 11,000 Canon laser printer and I use both Testors and Micro Mark papers. They definitely need to be coated.

 

Bill

 
Already mentioned the brand, by name, in this very thread (right above your previous post as it turns out)...and was very descriptive about what I have used it for.  No, the laser paper I use does NOT need to be overcoated, and I have an $800.00 HP Laserjet.  Yes, MicroMark paper requires an overcoat, which is why I continued searching for something better...and I found something better.  All of the information is there in that post, but I guess I can't make anybody read it. Whistling 
 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, June 5, 2021 2:23 PM

Worth a try. Sorry I missed it, eyes aren't what they used to be.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, June 5, 2021 3:29 PM

GMorrison

Worth a try. Sorry I missed it, eyes aren't what they used to be.

 

 
No problem.  That's the way I looked at it...that it was worth a try.  The fact that wax-based toner was crumbling and coming off of MicroMark laser printer decal paper just didn't make sense to me.  Wasn't quite sure how water could dissolve wax, so I kept looking.  I think out of frustration I Googled "Water slide decal paper for laser printer that requires no clearcoat" and eventually found the Sunnyscopa stuff on Amazon.  I was so anxious to see if it would do what I wanted it to do that I printed a decal for the Wild Weasel seal that I had screwed up on my F-16CJ build, and immediately cut it out and put it in water for about 30 seconds per my usual way of applying decals.  When it was ready, I applied that test decal to a piece of styrene sheet, and was ecstatic to find out that all of the toner stayed put.  I even rubbed on it with a damp q-tip to see if it handled the process of pushing out air bubbles...still no dislodging of the toner.  For the final torture test, I applied Micro Set and Micro Sol to it...still a perfect decal.  It was a small gamble that definitely paid off.  Big Smile
 
The new seal I printed is the one on the right side of the fuselage.  The only gripe I have is that the color is a little washed out, but that's more just me not having the brightness and contrast right in the BMP of the scan I did.
 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 1:26 PM

Question about laser printing decals - is the printing opaque enough to retain it's colour when used on clear decal film? 

 

regards,

Jack

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 5:27 PM

I only have a black laser printer. I do find it more opaque than injkjet black.  Can't verify colors but I believe they are pigments rather than dyes like inkjet colors.

I continue to use inkjet decals because my inkjet printer because the resolution is better than affordable color lasers.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 6:00 PM

jgeratic

Question about laser printing decals - is the printing opaque enough to retain it's colour when used on clear decal film? 

 

regards,

Jack

 
Unless you're applying the decal to a white surface, its not going to be opaque enough to show good color.  I think the only way to be able to do that on clear paper is with one of the white toner cartridges to put a white base on the area you want color, and then print a color layer on top of that.  I think the process is similar to that with professionally-made decals.
 
I tried making the kind of aqua-colored keypad decal for my Su-25 pit on clear paper, and I found it just didn't stand out very well on the black-printed piece of rice paper masking sheet that I used to make the box with the keypad.  I ended up using white decal paper for the final result.  Easy enough to do, since it wasn't an irregular shape and was easy to trim.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 6:18 PM

Thank you rocketman and eagle.

 

Does that mean a double pass through the printer - white background followed with the black and colours printed over top.  I imagine registration headaches here ...

Other option is make two separate decals, so that you place the coloured decal over a white decal on the model?

What about a 5 cartridge system - would it print white first followed immediately with the remaining colours - or no such setup exists?

 

regards,

Jack

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 6:45 PM

jgeratic
What about a 5 cartridge system - would it print white first followed immediately with the remaining colours - or no such setup exists?

If anything like that exists, it would probably be beyond the financial resources of just about all of us here.  I chose the printer that I bought because it was listed as being compatible with the Ghost White Toner cartridges.  Those cartridges are hideously expensive, so I'll probably never go that route, but wanted to make sure I had the option of doing so.  I guess how they work is that they go into your printer in place of the standard black cartridge, and you use a photo editor to change all of the white parts of your decals to black so they come out white from the printer.  The other colors are supposed to print normally as well, but as far as I know, there isn't a way to make it do a white pass, followed by colors on the same print cycle.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 8:15 PM

Came across this unit that describes printing white underprint in one pass.  Am assuming that is Canadian price based on the warehouse locations it ships out from.  So  $3902.39 USD.

https://jotoimagingsupplies.ca/uninet-icolor-560-white-laser-printer-package.htm

But yea, good price for a business venture, not so for just a hobby.  Well maybe, if it and the toners would last a dozen years or more ...

 

regards,

Jack

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Thursday, June 17, 2021 9:41 AM

Micro Mark carries an inkjet printer that prints white, but both the printer and the ink is out of my budget.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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