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Model Railroading > Help with printing decals

Date: 01/10/19 07:16
Help with printing decals
Author: WrongWayMurphy

I have successfully printed black lettering decals using MicroMark decal paper and my home ink-jet printer.

Now I want to print gold lettering on Pullman green plastic passenger cars, looks great on a plain white sheet of paper
but on decal paper once the lettering is wet and slides onto the model, the gold color is barely legible.  I have prepared the model and the decal paper according to MicroMark’s Instructions.  I am thinking the ink-jet printer may be the culprit, and perhaps
i need a different type printer, or maybe just take to a print shop?  Any suggestions?

Date: 01/10/19 08:28
Re: Help with printing decals
Author: funnelfan

I think your going to be out of luck using your own printer, as the printer is counting on the white backing of the paper to make the suitable gold color. As soon as it's applied to a dark color it's no good. You would need a printer that can print a white background to apply the gold color on. I think your only choice would to be to use someone who makes custom decals.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA

Date: 01/10/19 09:00
Re: Help with printing decals
Author: Frank30

Both inkjet an laser printers reproduce all colors from the yellow,  cyan, magenta, black base colors.
You wind up with translucent lettering.
Gold Railroad lettering used metallic particles in either a clear or orange carrier (for model railroading)
We used to print custom model rr decals back in the 70's by letterpress printing which lays down a
a "thick" impression or coat and could cover dark backgrounds. The only process that can achieve
that now is silk screening.  
I think multiple layers of the lettering, if your printer can acomplish that, may make the letters less
translucent, but that would be more successful with laser than inkjet.

Date: 01/10/19 09:25
Re: Help with printing decals
Author: wjpyper

If you just want to decorate a bunch of passenger cars with the same road-name, the easiest, least expensive way to do it is: Have a custom rubber stamp made (not self-inking) with the road name. Buy a can of pre-mixed gold ink from one of your local printers. Get a brayer to spread ink onto stamp. You should be able to do this for less than $100.
Bill Pyper
Retired printer
Salem, Oregon

Date: 01/10/19 10:31
Re: Help with printing decals
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Thanks for the input.

I sent the WORD file to Circus City Decals per suggestion of Trainorders.com member SSW, they quoted me
$40 for enough lettering to complete than a dozen passenger cars (MKT and SP).  Matthew at CC Decals
was quick to quote, and sent me a confirmation before accepting my order.

Date: 01/10/19 13:33
Re: Help with printing decals
Author: Bscale316

The old school method is to print multiples of the roadname, then overlay them on the car. Of course alignment must be perfect,
so the first layer should dry overnight.
Bill in Ft Worth

Date: 01/16/19 16:36
Re: Help with printing decals
Author: mahnud

Is the decal paper you used white or clear?  Both types are available for both ink jet and laser printers.  The white decal papers I have looked at say they are suitable for use on an object with a dark background. I am soon (several weeks) to test some white laser decal paper and will let you know the results.  Green and yellow (Sic ‘em Bears) for the entire decal sheet, on white decal paper.  I expect the entire decal must be printed with a color to overcome the white paper background. So no “clear” areas if using white decal paper.  

Date: 01/16/19 17:36
Re: Help with printing decals
Author: WrongWayMurphy

I used clear decal paper.  I can’t see using the white paper, an O would have white inside the circle
instead of the color of the model, in this case Pullman green.

By the way, my Circus City decal sheet arrived in a couple days and the quality is excellent.
I consider the cost money well spent.

Axe ‘em, Jacks 

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