making decals

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by beevee, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. beevee

    beevee New Member

    I am modelling Chilean copper railways (yes, really) and as such there are no commercial decals available for the companies concerned. However I have photos of what I want in a book. Is there anybody out there who knows how to make your own decals from scratch, ie what type of paper or material am I looking for to reproduce them on. I don't mind whether they are rub on or water slide.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Interesting choice! We have a guy who is involved in a couple of local clubs who is not only interested in such railways, but was a consulting engineer (the building kind, not the train driving kind) to a number of Argentine and Chilean railways. He's a Brit now living in Canada.

    But to answer your question - you need decal paper to make decals. The only drawback is that you will not be able to print white on most printers. Try a search here (in the blue bar at the top of every page) or scroll down to the bottom of this page for "Similar Threads". I do not know if it is possible to make your own dry transfers, but there are companies that will do it for you (both kinds).

    Good luck!

  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    You can buy decal paper from Micro Mart for either ink jet or laser printers. As Andrew says, you can't print white, but I did find a web site that sells white print decal kits. It consists of the paper and some white powder. Apparently you sprinkle it on the paper, shake off the excess, then hit it with a heat gun to fuse the white print. That web site is here.
  4. TableTopAirCrew

    TableTopAirCrew New Member

    The other guys are right, you can't print white, but you can get white decal paper (water slide). I have some but I don't remember where I got it. I'm sure I found it by searching the Web.

    Good luck,
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    You can get either white or clear decal paper from Micro Mart, but if you want to print white letters on clear, this stuff I mentioned above is one way to do that.
  6. beevee

    beevee New Member

    Ok, thanks for the help. I have found a site in the UK that says it can print all colors so my problem may be solved.

    I wish we had Micromart in the UK, the sheets here are $3 an A4 sheet and the sealing adhesive $18 a can !

    No wonder we go to the States once a year with a big long shopping list, almost everything is half the price of the UK.

    Thanks everybody
  7. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Keep us up to date Beevee! You have me curious about the site in the UK.
  8. beevee

    beevee New Member

    It actually looks quite a useful site, my wife is into crafting and it looks like it has a lot of goodies on there for her as well.

    Looking more closely at the decal sheets they do two sorts, clear and white, the idea being if you want to use white lettering you create a background of the relevent colour and show the lettering as white which, hopefully, should give you what you want.They do have a railroaders page on their on the FAQ's page.

    They are at a big crafting show at the weekend in Birmingham we were thinking about going, we probably will now !
  9. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    beevee, that's awesome that you're modeling such an obscure prototype!

    Alps printers are the expensive route...I know there is at least one guy on the gauge whom has an Alps printer and will make custom decals.

    Happy Model Railwaying!
  10. beevee

    beevee New Member

    Yes, well my wife is from Chile, we go there every couple of years and I like it up in the Atacama Desert where the copper trains live. I just acquired a redundant US style layout from my local club and am converting it to something South American. I have the domestic seal of approval as she is now building wooden houses for it, and has told me I can have the spare room to keep it in. A result there then !!
  11. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    That's cool. There's a well traveled local gentleman, Dave Brown, whom has a Peruvian wife (I think Peruvian)...they spend several months there and several months here...and the rest of the time chasing narrow gauge railroads all over the world.
  12. beevee

    beevee New Member

    Lucky him, we only get there every couple of years. I work on the railroads in the UK, I am actually on nights here as I type. I am a Signaller at Reading (about 35 miles West of London) where we handle up to 1500 trains a day. Luckily its not so busy at night !
  13. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Thanks for the link Beevee. Testor's company also makes whit decal paper. I've used it. The trick is to create a background color on the decal that matches the surface you plan to apply it to. I learned that it can be difficult to even match the black my printer prints with the body of a black loco! Here's the results of one attempt to create white letter decals with white paper.

    I needed to heavily weather the loco to blend in the edgeds of the decal.

    Best wishes your project!
  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Ralph, I did essentially the same thing on a couple of Galveston Wharves boxcars I did. The logo has a white seagull... I used white decal paper... oulined it in orange to match the car body color. Then used some paint to blend the edges and then with some weathering, it looks pretty good. I also had to use some white paint on the seagull as the white decal paper was a bit translucent.
  15. beevee

    beevee New Member

    Thanks for the information. I will be getting a couple of sheets this weekend and give them a try. Might be few weeks before I get a result but your tips are appreciated.

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