Home made decals-Help

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by omrick, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. omrick

    omrick New Member

    I want to make a lot of my own decals, but am stymied on how to print white. I surfed for data, but have only found silk screen printing. Gold and Silver are a consideration also. Has anybody had experience with decal making. :confused:
  2. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    As far as I know printing white went bye-bye when the ALPs printer went bye-bye.

    I am going through Railgraphicsdecals.com to get my white decals.

  3. mentor63

    mentor63 Member


    Puddlejumper is correct that the Alps printers are the only ones I know of which will print white or the metallics (gold and silver). It uses thermal transfer instead of inkjet I believe. I have one and it does work, but they are no longer made or supported by Alps. I found mine on eBay, but many of the ones offered on ebay are not functioning and offered for parts supply. They usually do not come with a manual, tape cartridges (not ink), or computer driver. They probably run $100 to $200 I would guess. Also the driver that came with my Windows XP works with the Alps basic functions, but does not include the white/metallic options so I had to hunt down separate a driver before the white functions would work for me. Also, if you find one, they use the blue laserjet paper that Micro Mark offers, not the regular inkjet decal paper. Normal inkjet produced decals have to coated with a clear spray to prevent the ink from running when you put them in water, but the Alps decals do not. Micro Mark has some info on that issue on their website.

    Hope that helps. Keep flying with the eagles!

  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    There have been a few threads on custom decals. use the seach function and you will be rewarded.

    One of those threads was by me. You absolutely cannot print white, yellow, or any light color. If you are applying the decal to a light colored background- dark red, dark blue, and black are about your only options. If you want a light color, you can use the white decal paper. You just have to print a "negative, with a color surrounding your logo or letters that matches the background color of your model.

  5. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Hi Omrick,

    Some of us have used white decal paper from various manufacturers. I use Testors. The challenge with white paper is that you need to create a color background on the decal for your white lettering to show. Matching that color background with the color of the locomotive or car you want to apply it to can be tricky.

    This unit was a practice loco for me. I matched the blue pretty well and the decal seams can hardly be seen. It took a lot of trial and error though.

    Dry transfer letters are another option.

  6. omrick

    omrick New Member

    Thank you all. Maybe I should reconsider being so cheap and buy the decals. Or another option is to paint all my rolling stock white and use black lettering. lol
  7. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    That's one method I use. The other is to print on white air mail paper (available at many Office Supply stores). I cut these out and apply them with a thin layer of white glue. I also smear a thin layer of glue across the decal to keep it from smearing when I hit it with Matte-Finish spray. I prefer it to Dul-Cote.

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