That's a little harsh. It has many limitations, common to all inkjet
printed decals. However, for certain situations, it works very well.
The biggest advantage is the extremely high resolution available on
most inkjet printers. In this regard, inkjets have left ALPS dry film
printer in the dust.
The other significant advantage is the ability of inkjet printers to
print virtually any shade of any color without visible halftone dots.
To avoid visible dots, ALPS decals are typically printed in layers of
solid "spot colors". There solid colors are limited to the colors of
the ink ribbons themseles, and due to their natural transparency,
combinations of various color layers.
The fundamental limitation of all inkjet decals is that inkjet
printers themselves don't print white. This is somewhat compounded by
the fact that inkjet inks are not very opaque. They are meant to be
printed on white paper. If your decal is being applied to a white
painted model, or you can print on white decal paper, or you can paint
the area under the decal white - inkjet decals may work out for you
If you want to print white lettering - ALPS dry film printers are the
only game in town. Unfortunately, it is not nearly as easy as using an
inkjet. ALPS printers have not been sold in the US for a couple of
years now. It was recently announced that the manufacture of ribbons
will cease worldwide shortly. Printer drivers for current Windows
operating systems are not readily available. Printing in multiple
layers required the preparation of more complex computer artwork.
I would not encourage anyone to take the ALPS path at this point. It
really is too late to get into the game. There is a deticated
priesthood of ALPS decal producers, many of whom will print for fee.
If your decal needs can't be filled by inkjet printing, contact them.
Greg Reynolds, IPMS
There is a way to make white decals with an inkjet printer, depending
on how unusual the background color is (hard to match). If the
background is a common color, especially black, one can use the color
as the background for the decal. Most art and photo editing programs
allow you to use white text on colored backgrounds.
I have done a number of decals containing white lettering this way,
especially ones with white lettering on a black background. White on
black works very well. White on metallic colors is VERY difficult (I
haven't had success with this). White on most primary colors can be
done. You may need to fiddle with color adjustment a bit- print out on
regular paper before transferring to decal paper.