How to Prevent Fading?

Discussion in 'How Do I...' started by Szdfan, May 5, 2012.

  1. Szdfan

    Szdfan Member

    One of the drawbacks with Inkjet printing, is that the colors eventually fade. Are there any techniques or processes to prevent fading?
  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Printers come with either Dye or Pigment Ink. Dye ink fades, Pigment ink doesn't. I tend to go with Epson printers because they use Pigment Ink. A lot of after market inks are Dye inks, and really should not be used with Pigment inks printers. Some newer Epsons are using a combination, Pigment for Black and dye for the colors. I would make sure I get a Printer that uses Pigment Ink, and a supplier that sells pigment Ink. I use because their ink is incredibly inexpensive, and it the exact SAME ink that Epson sources for their printers. It is from a company in Massachusetts which gets it from Dupont.

    Just for the record, as I took a lot of heat at "another forum", being called a "know it all" about this issue. This is not speculative information. I have a friend who designs printer heads. I honor his privacy and do not mention his name. When I found out the information, he verified it. That being "written", I really like my Epson Wide format Workforce 1100 printer. It is inexpensive, can print huge models, and I get the ink incredibly cheap. :)

  3. Szdfan

    Szdfan Member

    How DARE you answer my question with actual information! I was expecting something about "pixie dust." :mrgreen:

    Does paper make a difference as well -- i.e. archival paper vs. cheap copy paper?
  4. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    That will have to do with acidity, impurities, etc. So, yes, papers could contribute to color change as they change their base color from white to yellowing, or browning, etc. I guess it depends on what you are building which determines how much you want to put into it. Personally, it is why my model building has dropped to nil as my time is worth too much to put into something so transient. The model I am designing now will be a mixed media model. I am not a paper purists. I think the idea is kind of silly to be honest. I plane to use many materials in the Douglas World Cruiser. The option will remain for someone to use strictly paper, but I think I am going to make one of substantial size, so there will be a need for reinforcement from other than paper materials.
  5. Szdfan

    Szdfan Member

    I guess sometimes when it comes to building models, we think that we're building the Pyramids of Giza and expect them to last forever.

    I agree with you -- the materials should serve the model, not the other way around.
  6. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I could not agree with you more. There is a whole range to this hobby. If you select something you want to last a long time, then preparation must be made for that.
  7. john wagenseil

    john wagenseil New Member

    The Nature of Epemera

    Hi, a few thoughts, please don't flame me or banish me, when I mention pl*sti#c or m#t@l and wood (paper in its original state) as model material.

    Collectors classify paper things as "ephemera": things that do not last or were not intended to last.

    (Collectors and builders of vintage paper models should look here

    I was getting bummed by the expense and mess of plastic models and then what to do with them when finished. They are hard to give away.

    I had no problems finding a home for wood models, but each building session required a lot of clean up.

    Then I found paper, fun to build, interesting problems to solve, good results, low investment, so psychologically they are easy to part with, and it is also easier to find a taker for a paper model than a plastic one. If one is damaged build another or give the recipient of the paper model the files so s/he can make one of her/his own. Paper modeling is very Zen like, the process not the end point that most of us enjoy the most.

    There are a few paper models that I keep, out of direct sunlight, away from dust ( the switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs, which may produce more UV, might lead to fading). However, I am not creating timeless works of art, just things to eventually dispose of or give away or else I would not have room to make more. (see for what happens if you have too much stuff)

    If you want to create something with a degree of longevity it is time for a trip down to the nearest college library that has a fine arts section, and start reading up on toxicity and longevity of materials. Plastics are not all that long lived either, in fact artist's quality acid free cotton bond paper colored with PIGMENTs (not dyes) might be longer lived than some solvent formed or bonded plastics.

    Carefully built wood ship models have the potential to last a long time, especially if you can store them in a pyramid in the middle of a dessert.

    Or consider switching from paper to metal. Instead of using flat sheets of paper and bottles of glue as the base material, switch to brass sheets and silver solder and rivets.

    Gerald Wingrove's books on car modeling are full of useful techniques, but they are out of print, considered collectible, hard to find, and pricey if found.

    Or get a copy of this recently published book:

    Model Building with Brass by Ken Foran.

    Basically any model you can make out of paper should be transferable to fabrication out of sheet brass.

    Some of us have built Chip Fynn's planes out of foam and flown them, and others have printed them on plastic sheet and entered them in IPMS contests.
    The FG oldies would look good in brass, with some additional detailing his WWI tanks would be great subjects for construction with sheet brass.

    They could be left in raw brass, painted, or Chip's artistry printed on decals and transferred to the brass model. A 1/35th brass WWI tank with suitable patina might even be passed off as authentic trench art.

    Anyway, we are creating ephemeral objects out out of ephemera.

    If you really want to create something that will last nearly forever, consider sculpting in balsalt or making castings in bronze. and even then you would have to bury them where they could never be found and vandalized or launch them into deep space if you wanted them to last for awhile (And keep in mind that both most well established religions and science say that the universe as we know it is not going to be around forever).

    Paper is just not one of your more durable media.

    If you do want your completed paper model to last, use acid free artist quality paper, acid free adhesives, and pigment based colors (Some top end Epson and I think some Canon printers use pigments in their inks.)
    Consider using Krylon's UV resistant sealant, and store your model in a dark, humidity and temperature controlled nitrogen flushed stainless steel gun cabinet. Don't look at them since that will mean exposing them to light and temperature change.

    Look at how the Japanese approach the permanence issue with their temples. They have wood temples that depending on how you look at it are either a thousand years old, or were built just 10 years ago. They consider the temples to be ancient, but they are rebuilt each generation, and the rebuilding is ceremonial and contributes to their antiquity and continuity.

    When you started a thread about how to keep your paper model from fading you were really just touching on important questions of maintaining traditions, the economics of leisure, the accumulation of possessions, philosophy, entropy and where are we going to eat lunch.
  8. tjbmurph

    tjbmurph Member

    "Paper modeling is very Zen like, the process not the end point that most of us enjoy the most."

    Well said John; I have found that to be the case myself. I hope, as I progress, that I do end up with models worthy of saving. The scrapbook aisle of a local craft store should have solutions to help paper crafts last.
  9. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    :eek: Banish you, I want to make that post a "Sticky" or Pin it to the virtual wall of the forum! I thank you for posting such a well thought out post, (I truncated it, sorry). We're kind of lenient about materials used around here, you may have noticed. I think building is an essential main part, or, like me lately, enjoying the work that others do. Lots of issues with this Hobby. If you do too much of it, you could go blind too!

    Great to see you post here John, feel free, as the words of the wise are always welcome!! :)
  10. davelant

    davelant Member

    The fading of dyes is largely a photochemical process. To a good approximation, the fading effect is proportional to the intensity of the light multiplied by the duration of the light. So the first thing is to keep your dyed paper out of direct sunlight (which also has a lot of UV, which is very good at promoting chemical breakdown.) Artificial light is usually much weaker than sunlight, but it has an effect, too. I once heard a curator suggest that people might rotate their collection of prints, putting some out on display while keeping the others in a dark closet, to extend the life of all. You could do the same with your models.
  11. Vince

    Vince Member

    Store them in a dark closet? What's the fun in that? (Unless you've got Ekuth's gigantic lighted Battlestar Galactica.That would be really cool to see in the dark ) :mrgreen:

    Besides, my closets are so stuffed full of junk that putting a paper model in there would ensure it's rapid destruction. :eek:
  12. rsebree

    rsebree New Member


    I have tinted the windows in the room were I display my models to help cut down on UV light. It also does well to keep the shades drawn.
  13. kirkhere

    kirkhere New Member

    Yep. Sunlight kills.

    About the only thing you can do is slow down the process, or keep them in a closet. Where's the fun in that?

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