Customs: Water Slide Labels?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Superquad7, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    With some of you guys using water slide labels, I thought I'd start a thread for everyone to post your thoughts and advice for other Radicons here. What advice would you give another person wishing to use these labels? Do you like 'em or dislike em? What method(s) of application do you prefer? How durable have you found them to be? Is the process enjoyable?

    The ever-handy-dandy Radicons "Tutorials and How Tos" section has an article on making labels (http://www.tfw2005.com/radicons-customs/tutorials-and-how-tos-2/how-to-make-your-own-decals-and-labels-164135/), but I figured it would be cool to open up a discussion for water slide labels.

    . . . that being said, Radicons, customize! :) 
     

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  2. PrimulArchangel

    PrimulArchangel Well-Known Member

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    Yesss great topic. This is something i been wanting to try out because i need to make some custome decals for my NY Rangers Animated Bulkhead.. I was looking at the solid white water slide decal paper and have no clue on the best way to make these so they come out very high quality an wont flake off or anything .. Ad where the best place would be to buy the sheets of paper, i also heard you have to seal them ?
    I'll be checking back on this thread alot i think lol .
     
  3. anovasinn

    anovasinn THE PAINTS MUST FLOW!!!

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    i prefer them over stickers any day. however with the current limitations for basic printers (not being able to print white) the applications are slightly limited.

    pros and cons of in house decals

    cons:
    1. ink run do to poor application of top coat.
    2.white not being able to be printed.
    3. the decals are thicker than production decals. some may think this is a good thing. however when you decide you want to blend the decals into the surface it poses a problem. you can not use solvaset on them so it is rather tough to get them to conform to rivets and other raised detail.

    the pros
    1. you can produce almost any design you need at relatively low cost.
    2. the decals are thicker thus harder to tear. (and yes i realize this is in my con section but it is a pro as well so deal with it lol).
    3. the decals are easier to use than production decals that come with model kits.

    there are more pros and cons this is all i can think of at the moment.

    final thought, i like in house decals but prefer production decals that come with model kits unfortunately production decals are rather limited. i wish it was profitable for delta to produce them to commercial standards :D 
     
  4. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    they are a godsend.

    with a good printer and software, there is no limit to making your own stickers.

    I actually bought a new printer to beef up the quality on my super small stickers. It's a canon, and photo-printing capable, prints laser sharp images, even when very very small.

    Water slides are VERY difficult to do though.

    first, you'll need to take into consideration what color and surface the sticker is going on, it's best to avoid panel lines, recesses, and detail as a base to put the sticker on.

    There are 2 types of decal paper made by Testors. Clear and White. Both are necessary for their own reasons.

    CLEAR LABELS
    -clear is clear, meaning, any light color image (like yellow/orange/red/etc won't show up on any surface that is darker. For example, if you printed on clear paper a RED circle and applied that to a blue area on your custom, the red won't show up as red. it will be translucent and become purple.
    I've found clear to only be useful when putting BLACK (on anything) or very dark colors on light surfaces.
    Clear labels are also nice because their edges aren't WHITE (we'll get into that in a minute. You can see in the following image how well this BLACK con' faction symbol looks on the lime green.

    [​IMG]

    Any other color on clear would be influences and changed by the green behind it's colors - so your reds would become greenish-red (brown and muddy) and blue graphics on a clear sticker would become greenish-blue.

    It's a tough obstacle to conquer, and beginners are better off trying out the WHITE labels, unless using black graphics, like the sample shown.

    Here's a look at how black on clear would be impossible to paint.

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, colors like white and very light colors are rendered impossible to print on a clear label. white = no ink = clear label still.

    WHITE LABELS
    I've been leaning more towards white labels recently. with enough practice, these are the way to go.

    The most important factor and asset about white labels is that you retain a full spectrum of color. The negative is that anything outside your graphic is WHITE.

    but this can be fixed, in a few ways...

    1) You can cut out your graphic to the very edge, so that the decal is only the graphic (all white is trimmed off) This is good for some cases, but when graphics become complex, it becomes very tough to cut around a complicated shape, and even more tough to apply that oddly shaped decal onto the surface (these water slide decals are thinner than paper, and tear, ripple, wrinkle, and roll up very easily, and your decal is usually lost at that point)

    You can see the con symbols on the doors below were cut around the oval.

    [​IMG]

    2) You can surround the actual graphic part of the decal with the color of the surface which it's going onto.
    -this takes a bit of practice and trial and error. You need to be sure to get that color SPOT on or it will look like shit.

    This example was easy, because it was going on a black surface.
    [​IMG]

    Rather than cutting away all the white surrounding my graphic, I filled the outside of the graphic with black, then cut 'roughly' around the graphic. if I were to miss some white, you'd see it.
    The drawback to this technique is that you will sometimes be left with a VERY THIN edge of white (the thickness / side of the label) this can be painted.

    Sometimes a white outline will help though...
    [​IMG]


    I'll get more into application tomorrow. I am tired of typing.
     
  5. autobotx23

    autobotx23 Banned

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    One of the best investments i ever made was buying my first set of Waterslide Decal paper. It allows you to get all of those little details in there. They are very easy to use, I think it just takes a lil learning curve, just like everything else with bashing.

    [att]9033[/att]

    I usually stick to the white, but depending on the custom color, the clear works just as well.

    The coolest thnig? being able to givee your creations that lil bit of individuality. :thumb 
     
  6. ErechOveraker

    ErechOveraker I'm with Plowking.

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    I love making custom decals, it was a great investment for the paper. And as for not being able to print white, you can get white decal paper and cut around the parts you need - it's not a perfect solution to actually printing white, but it's an easy fix for the home basher.

    In lieu of solvaset, I used some Future instead of water to slide the decals off and it helps adhere to the surface better than it would have otherwise, and also keeps little bubbles of air and surface tension areas from being visible. I was having some problems with getting the bubbles out and keeping as solid adhesion, but since I started using the future, it's made it a lot easier and better looking too.

    My next experiment is going to be to have my decals printed up someplace with a really nice printer, to see if they're any better than I can do at home (although I have a really nice printer at home due to my job, so yeah).

    Good topic though, can't wait to hear from everyone!

    EDIT - I started writing this a couple hours ago and forgot to post it because the phone rang, but it looks like F_R covered a lot of my points, especially with the white decal paper.
     
  7. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    Also wanted to mention, the solvent set and solution that testor sell are not needed. Like RL's tutorial, I use matte finish clear coat (testors) and paint that on (it's the glue) then apply the decal - then (once dry) apply matte finish over the decal.

    Another great thing about photo printers, is you can print what you need on a sheet, cut it off the sheet, then refeed what's left over for next time. My printer sucks in paper 1"x1" so, I can go back and use the same Decal sheet 50 times.

    I only protect the graphics which I cut off the main sheet (not the unprinted remainder)

    *I also recommend "Preserve It" by Krylon to protect the graphics from smearing/smudging. VERY light coat at first, then thicker, and a finishing coat.
     
  8. autobotx23

    autobotx23 Banned

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    Never heard of preserve it, man. IUs that as widely available as the Krylon Paint?
     
  9. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    yeah, it's usually in michaels. it's to preserve photos and stuff.
     
  10. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Thanks for all of the contributions guys! If you have any other information you'd like to add to this discussion, feel free to do so as this thread has already proven its worth as a resource. :) 
     
  11. Cyber-Kun

    Cyber-Kun UNLEASHED!

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    Personally, I love dry-transfer decals, like used on Gundam kits. I would love to make custom ones of that kind, never really liked stickers.
     
  12. Zildjian

    Zildjian Well-Known Member

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    Are we talking about stickers or decals? If we are talking about decals I can offer some very indepth insight since I have been using them on sports customs for like 7 years. Let me know!
     
  13. Zildjian

    Zildjian Well-Known Member

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    The comment in bold is 100% not true when speaking about water slide decals. I have been using decals for over 7 years and NEVER had a decal bleed when I use clear coats. My procedure looks like this:

    1. Print decals on papillio.com decal paper
    2. Seal them with 2 light coats of Krylon Matte finish, let dry for 5-6 hours
    3. Cut them out.
    4. Set decal in water for 10 seconds.
    5. Remove backing from decal.
    5. Brush micro sol decal setting solution onto surface when you want decal placed.
    6. Apply decal and gently press down with lint free cloth or eye makeup brush
    7. Let dry 1 hour, apply seal coat (future, etc).

    and I GREATLY apologize that this is about decals and not stickers :thumbs2:  Water slide decals are better looking IMHO anyway.
     
  14. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    where is this paper? I'd like to give it a try and see how it compares to Testors. The URL above (papillio.com) gives me a blank white screen.
     
  15. blacklion29

    blacklion29 Merlion Gestalt

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    i agree with Zildjan, water slide decals are far much better than stickers. too bad i can't find any white water slide decals here in Singapore, only clear ones.

    OT question: can i mist the clear decal with white acrylic as an alternative?
     
  16. project9

    project9 White n' Nerdy

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    Papilio Inkjet Media

    It's funny how much he likes/uses the stuff but can't spell the name right. =) J/K
     
  17. Zildjian

    Zildjian Well-Known Member

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    Oh jeez... I hit an extra "l"..... I just had suregry on my right hand, so I am a bit clumsy on the keyboard..... shoot me! ;) 

    Anyway, their paper is the absolute best. Their white decal paper is pure white and does not show any od the surface behind it. Liek i said i have been using them for years on my sports customs....

    F_R.... shoot me a PM with you addy, I will send you a sheet or 2 for the help you have given me.


    Wait...... were threads combined here?
     
  18. Zildjian

    Zildjian Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn’t that turn them white?
     
  19. project9

    project9 White n' Nerdy

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    Sorry to hear about the surgery. I was only poking fun because you also spelled it wrong on the other thread too. =)

    I'm actually looking into picking up a pack once I've used my Testors pack, so thanks for the tip!
     
  20. Zildjian

    Zildjian Well-Known Member

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    No sweat.... I am a spelling dope at times anyway!
     

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