Anyone print their own waterslide decals for models or props? Seeing if someone may be able to help print of sheet or offer suggestions on a project.

Crimsonxtusk

New Member
Hello My name is Randy. I am an avid hobbyist. Apart from building the occasional model kit I also enjoy Float fishing for great lakes Steelhead trout. A few years ago I got really into Building my own Fishing bobbers aka ( fishing floats ) out of balsa by turning them in a lathe and coating them in polyurethane. For the longest time I've been wanting to add waterslide decals to my floats. I got an artist to design me a few fish graphics and my initials I ended up buying all the materials to print them and ny mac computer ended up breaking :( I've been asking around locally to see if any of my friends have any desktop printers for me to print a sheet or two for my bobber projects I wanted to ask the community that has experience with printing and making waterslide decals might be able to suggest a place that might print decals or someone who might be willing to print a sheet or two for me? I hate to ask but this is driving my crazy if you happen to be a fisherman I night be able to make you a few floats in return lol anyway if you have any suggestions or may be able to help please drop a line I'd love to hear from ya. Thank you guys very much
 

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Analyzer

Master Member
You might try Staples or Kinkos (now FedEx)

I know at one point they were able to print them

You will need to convert your files to pdf format first

Might help also if you bring your own decal paper which you can get online

Although depending on the printer types they have they may not be able to print white in which case you either need white decal paper, or you have to paint the area under the decal white first
 

Crimsonxtusk

New Member
You might try Staples or Kinkos (now FedEx)

I know at one point they were able to print them

You will need to convert your files to pdf format first

Might help also if you bring your own decal paper which you can get online

Although depending on the printer types they have they may not be able to print white in which case you either need white decal paper, or you have to paint the area under the decal white first
Thank you I didn't know they did that I'll check it out!
 

jusdrewit

Sr Member
I've done that a long time ago, I had to purchase white or clear decal paper, then just a regular inkjet color printer printed them out nicely, although I did use a print shop one time and that worked nicely too. I designed the decals myself in Adobe illustrator and saved them as PDFs, then printed them. Once printed on the decal paper, you have to spray a "decal adhesive" so the ink won't run in water. When dry just get scissors and cut away and use them as normal model decals, then you could do whatever you needed to seal them on the bobbers
 

Analyzer

Master Member
Once printed on the decal paper, you have to spray a "decal adhesive" so the ink won't run in water. When dry just get scissors and cut away and use them as normal model decals, then you could do whatever you needed to seal them on the bobbers

I think that might be a difference between printing with ink jet vs laser jet?

i.e.

You need to seal the inkjet waterslides with a quick spray of clear after printing them.

You don't need to do that with laser printed waterslides. Just soak them as usual and place them in position on the pedal.
 

rbeach84

Sr Member
Won't know for certain until you try. Sort of like cooking, you may have a recipe, but the ingredients and the 'tools' will also have an impact on your results. I have played around with printing on inkjet compatible papers and even now I still get the occasional 'leak' that causes the inks to run.
If you have access to a laser color printer, the decal should be sturdier since the toner is actually plastic 'dust' that is fused to the paper and hence generally impervious to water. And dealing with any 'white' portions takes creativity to achieve a decent outcome.
Just remember to make extra copies in case of failure!
Cheers!
R./ Robert
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
The problem with decal paper, either inkjet or toner is getting the colour correct. Your computer screen displays in RGB and colour printers print in CMYK. The conversion result is most often unsatisfactory. In addition, you have to print swatches with RGB colour information on each type of media you are going to use and each type of printer you use. The colours will vary greatly on different kinds of medias and especially with what printer you use.

You may get the perfect colour on inkjet decal film, but print the exact same image using a toner based printer and you might get wildly different results.

TazMan2000
 

The Terminator

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The problem with decal paper, either inkjet or toner is getting the colour correct. Your computer screen displays in RGB and colour printers print in CMYK. The conversion result is most often unsatisfactory. In addition, you have to print swatches with RGB colour information on each type of media you are going to use and each type of printer you use. The colours will vary greatly on different kinds of medias and especially with what printer you use.

You may get the perfect colour on inkjet decal film, but print the exact same image using a toner based printer and you might get wildly different results.

TazMan2000
And to make things even worse, computer monitor settings also affects the look. (y)
 

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