Decal Making

I was wondering if anyone has tried this stuff:
http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/5-5070

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No I haven't but it looks to be similar to the Testors decal making kit.
Why not just buy some blank inkjet decal paper from Bare Metal Foil or from Micormark, some clear spray and just go at it? That'll probably be cheaper in the end. Those types of kits usually include some crappy graphic editor that you don't need anyway. Most computers alredy have utilities you can use to design the artwork. Or if you want to get technical pick up an older version of Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. They'll have more graphic power than you'll ever need for decal design.
Peteski
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Apart from Alps printers (which I cannot find in shops yet here in Tokyo, have to call the company offices) which other types of printers would be able to produce white?
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Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:

ALPS MD series printers are the only ones I know of that will print white, and the line has been discontinued in the US, though I've heard that they are now produced under the Okidata brand overseas. At least they were, once.
You can also find ALPS printers on E-Bay.
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Rufus wrote:

OKI MD seriesis long discontinued. ALPS MD printers were also sold under Citizen brand, maybe easier to find second-hand in Japan?
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Vedran Kalamiza
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Rufus, Vedran, thanks. I will call ALPS Japan on Monday and enquire.
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Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:

[snip]
Since decal paper comes in white as well as clear, does that take care of the need to print white? Will just any ink jet printer now do the job?
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Larry Farrell wrote:

I have used white decal paper in the past but the sort I got was for laser printers/copiers not ink jet printers.
I was making faceplate decals for an electronic device I invented so a white background with black graphics/lettering was ideal for me. For coloured decals I could have taken the sheets to a local print house and had colour photocopies made using the decal sheets instead of regular paper.
Once the decals were applied I sprayed them with a high gloss clear Krylon product to protect them.
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Larry Green

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on 2/21/2008 11:06 AM Larry Farrell said the following:

As a rule, yes. The only thing is that you have to cut off all white that is not a part of the decal.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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in article snipped-for-privacy@news.supernews.com, willshak at snipped-for-privacy@00hvc.rr.com wrote on 2/21/08 5:07 PM:

And that is the big hang-up. It's nearly impossible to cut all extraneous white away in anything but a very simple shape. The white is not just necessary for white areas of the graphic. Since the inkjet printer inks are somewhat transparent, almost any printed color will change when the decal is applied to a painted surface, and lighter colors will simply disappear.
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Pip Moss wrote:

I'd think the white in the thickness of the decal would show too...particularly against a darkly painted background.
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Hmmm..... this is getting complicated, but.... a double layer, the bottom solid white, and the top multicolored on transparent? i only think of it, because i've seen in articles where folks have done similar with kit decals that were too transparent, so apparently the thickness isn't completely a problem. I can't imagine trying to get them to register, though.
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z wrote:

All depends on the color you're applying them on top of. F-1 Specialties sells "extra-white" decal film, or white under-decals for F-1 kits because a lot of the time the white in kit decals isn't opaque enough. That may work fine for cars, but for aircraft I'd think the thickness would still show white beneath the color and you'd need to wash the edges or something.
I seem to recall instances of decals where a white underlay stops short of the edge, and then the color is carried out to the edge of the clear carrier film. Took me a few years to realize just why you don't want to trim that clear carrier off - Aeromaster has decal printing down to a fine art in this respect, IMO. Theirs are the absolute best in the biz.
Yellow presents a similar problem, and I've also heard the the color that really tasks a printer is orange - most printers print orange as a matrix of yellow and red, or yellow and "orange-ish". The dot pitch of the printer comes into play in just "how orange" the final matrix of color appears, and any "newsprint" appearance.
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Very simply, I want to make some replacement decals for keys on my wife's laptop keyboard, where I had to get keys from another laptop and they have the wrong symbols/words on them. In Japan one cannot find such decals, and the ones I have found online cover the whole key, which is not something I want. Also, the style of the letters is not what I want.
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Gernot Hassenpflug

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Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:

Decals will wear off in a short time. I know that is how many keytops are labelled now (instead of two-shot moulding), nevertheless it might be a good idea to make several sets, particularly of the heavily used keys (etaoin shrdlu in descending order for English). The decals had worn off most of the keys on my old IBM T23 laptop in a couple of years, and that was being used with an external keyboard half the time.
I suspect the decals used by keyboard manufacturers are heavier-duty than modelling decals: don't know how well Alps decals will stand up. Obviously you will protect them with a varnish overcoat?
As an alternative, for your purposes, Letraset still do their dry transfer lettering in many fonts and colours, including white.
A more permanent option would be to use a transfer as a template to cut the letters from thin plastic sheet, which could then be stuck down to the keytop. I'm not sure I'd want to go that far, but it would be very hard-wearing.
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You could make the decals more durable by printing them as a mirror image, applying a thin clear coat, and gluing them to the keys face-down. The decal film will be on top of the ink, so it'll act as a protective coating.
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Ah, that is a pretty good idea!
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Gernot Hassenpflug

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Hmm.... that reminds me of how i used to label my homebrew electronics in the old days..... lay scotch tape on the roller of a typewriter (remember those?), type the label onto the tape; remove the tape and stick it onto the front panel, then lay another piece of magic tape over top of it.
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Yes, that is the idea. I cannot scratch with my fingernail the decals on the laptop keys, but I can see they are decals of some kind with clear film (or varnish) around the letters.

Yes, although I could not find the right size or style yet.

My other option is to make a mask and spray the key, followed by varnish. I would like to avoid that, but it is IMHO a better option than making anything of some thickness to stick on the keys.
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Gernot Hassenpflug

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on 2/21/2008 11:49 PM Pip Moss said the following:

I have to disagree with you there. If that were so, all lighter colors would disappear when printing a photograph on white paper, and you know that that doesn't happen.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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