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Best Paper for Decals?

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Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:14 pm

I was going to post this question under the Decal request page but seems there is some restructuring going on in which case I made a new thread for this since it may be a good topic any way.

I've been making some minifigs decals and applying them to the minifig and in each case I have noticed that if i handle the decal too long (over 20 or 30 seconds) it starts to "bleed" ink. I don't think it is an issue with the decal fix stage since the sheet has the gloss sheen that lets me believe it is properly sealed.

But my real question is, I am sure that decal paper brands and grades play a huge rule on the out come since it is such a sensitive process. Has anyone used more then one brand before and had better success with a particular brand.

I use ink jet clear water slide decals from papilio.

I am sure many of you don't use this brand so what do you use? And has anyone tried the water slides on both inkjet and laser-jet to see which is better?

I've noticed different things as I run into my errors but I want to reduce how many error/mistakes I will run into if I can eliminate the common mistakes. But picking the right paper would be, in my opinion, the first step in the right direction.

I think another issue may be dust particles trapped on the decal in the fixing process. (adding the fixative).

Thanks



After seeing Darth Dan's Post I realized I wasn't the only one looking for good sources of decal paper. So I decided that I wanted to create a list of sources to shop around with. I haven't tried decalpaper.com yet but that seems to be my next stop on decal paper.

Although the quality of the paper is a matter of opinion maybe we as a community can post here what Paper we have used, where we have gotten it and on a scale from 1-5 (5 being the best) grading the results of the paper.

Things to keep in mind when grading:
  • Any printing problems
  • Lines, dots, gaps in color
  • Coloring (yellowing or fading of color)
  • Bleeding/running of color while applying.
  • Any restrictions


Here is a list of InkJet Decal paper Sources:
www.papilio.com I give them a 2/3 points since they have restrictions on what sealant to use which makes it more expensive to use and limits the results other wise.
http://www.craftycomputerpaper.co.uk/
http://www.decalpaper.com/

Here is the list of LaserJet Decal Paper Sources:
http://www.tangopapadecals.com

Also it may be a good idea to list any printer settings that have given you the best settings PLUS any sealants that you use to achieve your final results.

The idea is for new people to get a better feel on how to make the minifigs, or at least a quicker start. Would be great if we had a list of supplies and providers too.


Last edited by eclipsegrafx on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:45 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by Chaotic Good on Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:24 pm

Paper is a big issue in decalling, indeed. I was shipped a faulty batch once and it totally ruined the printing process for those sheets. Very irritating.

if i handle the decal too long (over 20 or 30 seconds) it starts to "bleed" ink.

That really sounds like a big fault. It really shouldn't do that.

I just checked the website you linked to, and they recommend you use their Papilio Aerosol Decal Fixative, and:

We no longer or recommend a locally available generic equivalent such as the Krylon Crystal Clear.

So your problem may be that you use what they call 'a generic local equivalent' etc., when the paper might be designed to work only with that spray.

If you do use that spray, then I must ask: you have left it to dry after spraying, correct? For about a day or so? If you haven't, this is definitely the problem.

And has anyone tried the water slides on both inkjet and laser-jet to see which is better?

Laser is very likely better. The only reason most people use Inkjet is that they are widely available and less expensive than Laser printers. But I don't know for sure about that - that's the only reason I use Inkjet.

I hope I aided in some way.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:49 pm

Chaotic Good wrote:
That really sounds like a big fault. It really shouldn't do that.

I just checked the website you linked to, and they recommend you use their Papilio Aerosol Decal Fixative, and:

We no longer or recommend a locally available generic equivalent such as the Krylon Crystal Clear.

So your problem may be that you use what they call 'a generic local equivalent' etc., when the paper might be designed to work only with that spray.

If you do use that spray, then I must ask: you have left it to dry after spraying, correct? For about a day or so? If you haven't, this is definitely the problem.

You know I forgot I read that a few months ago... I guess I will have to use the liquid they provided to protect the decal and see my results but yes I let the paper dry for 2 days... i had some testing areas I touched to see if it was dry and it wasn't on the first day.
I now have set up a decal station in the shed where I don't have to worry about dust during the drying period so my next print will be dust free.

Laser is very likely better. The only reason most people use Inkjet is that they are widely available and less expensive than Laser printers. But I don't know for sure about that - that's the only reason I use Inkjet.

That's why I asked that. I don't mind buying a cheap laserjet if it will do the job I need.

I hope I aided in some way.
You always do! Smile

Do you buy your paper from a company that sells online? And do you like the results from your paper?
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by Chaotic Good on Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:55 pm

I buy my paper (and spray) from Crafty Computer Paper. I buy printable fabric from them as well. They're very good, and they often have special offers on.

but yes I let the paper dry for 2 days.

I thought you had; I just asked because you hadn't mentioned it in your post and I thought I might as well suggest it.

As to Laser Printing, if you do use Laser Printers, Be Sure To Use LASER Waterslide Decal Paper. There are papers for both types of printers, and I'm certain it will go wrong if you use the wrong type in the wrong printer.

Also, with laser printing, you wouldn't, as far as I can see, need a sealant. This would probably be a great advantage if it is causing any problems.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:11 pm

Thanks for the help! I was watching their video on how to apply a water slide decal and they leave theirs under water for 3 seconds to a minute. I am assuming it was because of the size they used for their example.

Do you just dip yours or do you dunk it in and leave it in there for some time?

I just dip in mine and leave it standing for about 30 secs to a minute or till it slides of easily.

I like the pricing on that site for the paper. I might order my next batch from there.

My decal setting solution doesn't seem to do too much so I am thinking of trying out a whole new system of products.

EDIT: It also came (my paper) with a liquid fixative that I didn't want to try since it seems messier then the spray but I guess I should give it a stab as well.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by Troopa Daisy on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:32 pm

I actually just buy different types of decal paper from a local hobby store and see which one has the best effect. Wink

And the ink shouldn't bleed, if it does, you either got a cheap quality decal paper or didn't spray it enough. Wink
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:40 pm

I can spray it again (Just in case) but it bleeds from the edges where i cut close to the colors.

For a person who has used many different decal paper have you found any to be better then another?

The only decal paper I have been able to find around here is small sheets that are too expensive for there size.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by Troopa Daisy on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:45 pm

Good quality decal paper is expensive. Mine are about $5 a sheet. And I have found that thinner decal paper takes less time to come off in the water and you have to spray less, so IMO it's better and I use those now. Well, maybe for me anyway. Wink

If you want, I can tell you what kind I use, but I'll have to go find the box first. Smile
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:48 pm

Would help a lot. I think it would be great to have a thread with a list of suppliers. With the ability to buy stuff on the net its easier to do so if you have names to google.

I also noticed that the instructions call for use of distilled water. How important is this detail? Why can't I use tap water or bottled spring water?
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by ^Ninja Trooper^ on Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:53 am

I use Papilio's ink-jet waterslide decals. And they seem to work just fine for me. You could try this: spray on your first coat and let it dry, cut the designs out, and then spray them again. You may also have to let the decals dry, after dipping them into the water, for about 4-7 minutes before application. At least that's what I do.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:59 am

^Ninja Trooper^ wrote:I use Papilio's ink-jet waterslide decals. And they seem to work just fine for me. You could try this: spray on your first coat and let it dry, cut the designs out, and then spray them again. You may also have to let the decals dry, after dipping them into the water, for about 4-7 minutes before application. At least that's what I do.

Do you use their fixative spray to seal them? I have heard about dry application and I wonder how do you apply dry decals to the arms and helmets?

These are the places where I run into the problems the most the legs and torso are pretty straight forward....

Any help there would greatly be appreciated.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by ^Ninja Trooper^ on Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:15 am

I use Patricia Nimocks clear acrylic sealer gloss that I got at Michaels. Was my decal paper supposed to come with sealer? Because mine didn't come with any.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:37 am

^ No but if you read a few posts up CG quotes a disclaimer they have mentioning the use of their spray versus other "generic" ones. So I wondered if you were using theirs.

I like the sealing after cutting idea by the way since it will reseal the edges where the ink seems to be running from, but any tips on dry decals?
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:03 pm

eclipsegrafx wrote:

I use ink jet clear water slide decals from papilio.

I use Papillo as well.

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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by Chaotic Good on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:14 pm

eclipsegrafx wrote:Thanks for the help! I was watching their video on how to apply a water slide decal and they leave theirs under water for 3 seconds to a minute. I am assuming it was because of the size they used for their example.

Do you just dip yours or do you dunk it in and leave it in there for some time?

I just dip in mine and leave it standing for about 30 secs to a minute or till it slides of easily.

I like the pricing on that site for the paper. I might order my next batch from there.

[...]

EDIT: It also came (my paper) with a liquid fixative that I didn't want to try since it seems messier then the spray but I guess I should give it a stab as well.

Fixative sounds like the stuff to use for sealing it to the torso, but I'm not sure about that.

As to dipping or dunking, I dip it and don't hold it under there. If you order from Crafty Computer Paper, you should probably do that.
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by Darth Dan on Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:49 am

Yay, now I know som egood decal paper! Smile

Please edit your post(s) and use proper spelling, grammar, spacing, capitalization, & punctuation. Thanks. ADMIN --R
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Re: Best Paper for Decals?

Post by eclipsegrafx on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:39 pm

After seeing DarthDan's post I decided we may need to have a list of resources where we can buy different types of waterslide decal paper.

So I modified my original post to have a list of links plus, if we can have everyone's help, a rating system for different paper. This will allow us to decide whether or not we want to buy from a given distributor.
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