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Author Topic: Waterslide decals  (Read 1127 times)

Offline redrob

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 114
Waterslide decals
« on: November 26, 2021, 12:23:50 PM »
Would any members be able to recommend a decent printer for printing waterslide decals (like LBMS etc) I have a crappy little epson that just will not cut it.
I have created cracking artwork, but cannot get it onto the xfer paper.

Offline Flinty

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 156
Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2021, 03:54:14 PM »
I found it all depended on printer and ink quality.

I had a £50 Brother inkjet that printed fine on Mr Decal paper using Brother inks, but after-market/cheap inks just produced little blobs that then merged into a complete mess. There was also a limit on how much detail it could cope with - multi colour advertising posters with complex artwork just didnt work, and the abilty to resize/shrink was pretty much zero.

So for scale decals I could print text, but artwork would only work if it was half a house.

I was lucky enugh to liberate a small colour laser printer from work, and the quality/functionality went up in leaps and bounds.

Perhaps take your artwork and transfer paper to a priint shop?

Offline Emperorbaz

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 95
Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2021, 04:43:16 PM »
I use a HP envy 5020 printer. I also use Mr decal papers and am very pleased with the results. The programme you use to print with make also be a factor, I use Inkscape.
Always choose best quality printer settings and paper type photo glossy.

Offline SteveBurt

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1278
Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2021, 10:24:40 AM »
For proper decal printing you need a printer which can print white, which is not so easy to find. If there’s no white in the decals, any good quality inkjet with waterproof ink should be fine. Colour laser is probably better.

Offline redrob

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 114
Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2021, 03:33:05 PM »
Thanks for the replies.
I am currently looking at some form of Canon Inkjet but Cannon (and HP) say that their printers will not print such paper. Despite this their printers will print iron on transfers and nail art. so who knows. Obviously those hobbies have a bigger market.

Offline SteveBurt

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1278
Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 11:33:28 AM »
Most inkjet ink is water soluble, so when you soak the decals all the ink will come off. Not a problem with iron-on transfers

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2021, 01:22:19 PM »
Decal paper can be bought in both transparent and white.

So depending on your design, you'll need one or the other. Colours will be more vibrant on the white paper though, especially when the decals will go onto a dark background, which is something to keep in mind.

I often paint a matching patch of white where a transparent decal goes, and then clean up with the background colour afterwards. This works really well. Of course cleaning up a white border can also work, but with intricate patterns, this might sometimes be challenging.

I've used an HP PSC 2355 for almost a decade with very good results (it was an extremely versatile printer), until I decided to move towards a colour laser printer. Bad move.

It was just not suitable for graphics work; there was colour shift between prints, both CMYK and RGB colour matching was absolute hell, and obviously, I had to buy new decal paper too (which is kind of dear), because laser- and inkjet printers require different decal paper.

In the end, I bought back a second hand HP 2355, and it does the job admirably again (if I only I could get that old software suite to work with Win10, because I now can't use the flatbed scanner ::) ).

As for editing/printing software, I use Photoshop and/or Illustrator, and print directly from there. Just be sure to set your editing settings to CMYK as opposed to RGB so you can better control the output colours. Although there will always be a bit of experimenting.

Bear in mind that test prints on regular or photo paper will always come out with slightly different colours.

And @ SteveBurt: that's why you always spray varnish in several thin layers before soaking the decals...
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Offline Daeothar

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Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2021, 01:30:24 PM »
Thanks for the replies.
I am currently looking at some form of Canon Inkjet but Cannon (and HP) say that their printers will not print such paper. Despite this their printers will print iron on transfers and nail art. so who knows. Obviously those hobbies have a bigger market.

Ideally, you get a printer that does a straight pass with the paper (back/top feeder), as opposed to printers that feed from the front and curve the paper back. I've found that repeated passes with the same sheet in such printers will curl it up too much and the feed will jam.

Same goes for laser printers, which will compound the issue by heating the paper, causing it to also curl lengthwise. An excellent recipy for interesting paper jams. Ask me how I know...  :D

Most Canon printers will actually accept thicker paper. Just check if the printer you want can handle 120 gram (photo)paper and if so, it will also be able to handle decal paper, no problem.

Offline Burgundavia

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 672
    • Coreyburger.ca
Re: Waterslide decals
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2021, 02:59:05 AM »
Would any members be able to recommend a decent printer for printing waterslide decals (like LBMS etc) I have a crappy little epson that just will not cut it.
I have created cracking artwork, but cannot get it onto the xfer paper.

I use works colour laser. Works a beaut

 

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