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Made in gb

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Made in gb
Da Big Mek

London, UK

To Cosmic; your comments are different to what I experienced using lazertran paper.

It says in the instructions that you must use an oil based varnish if you do not want white backed paper. I did this and have had no problem with the paper - it turns transparent when you do this. You need to varnish a surface before applying a decal for a smooth finish anyway.

Thickness is not an issue if you are using a standard decal softener, as you should when applying any decals. Even without a softener, any thickness is easily masked with a coat of varnish, which is usually required on top of a decal to hide silvering anyway.

While I dont dispute it would be better to go the whole hog, this is still the method I use for custom transfers.

I've edited your changes to be less disruptive to the article as a whole. Feel free to debate anything in this thread and we can merge things from there. Articles should read like articles rather than discussions or forum posts which is why your original edits were a bit too disruptive.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut

Purging on ctf_2fort

Thanks for that by the way, legoburner. I do apolagize for the fact that I'm a total noob to this whole Dakka Dakka thing. (Relating to the mental article alteration situation.) To be fair, I was a confused to say the least when I noticed the changes that you had made.

Well, you can stick to Lazertran, whilst I'll do it my way... See if I care! (Terrible humour, it must be said.) No, really, I just gave in eventually. However, I did notice that I could rip a normal released transfer with ease, whilst Lazertran seemed to stretch - Like some sort of plastic.

Made in gb
Da Big Mek

London, UK

No problem, glad you were able to offer more info to people! The only reason I went with lazertran in the article is that it is the most simple and is a good introduction to making your own transfers.

I'd be interested in seeing some pictures of your custom transfers. Although I've had no problems with lazertran, I'm always interested to learn about the alternatives.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut

Purging on ctf_2fort

I've just uploaded some images of my custom transfers. Check them out. They're basically an alteration of one of the pictures on there. Microsoft Paint's all you need!

Made in gb
Da Big Mek

London, UK

They certainly look nice and smooth. The edges appear a little fuzzy though - is that just down to the photo? Mind if I add one of your photos under your comments in the article too?

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Made in jp
Anti-piracy Officer

Somewhere in southern England.

I had my first go at making printed transfers yesterday.

The paper I selected was the clear laser paper from http://www.craftycomputerpaper.co.uk/

I bought a pack of 12 sheets because I thought I would need to practice to get used to the technique.

For my first try I just made some registration plates and divisional markings for a vehicle kit which came without any transfers.

Having done a test print on normal paper I printed one sheet on the transfer paper.

I found the transfers worked very well. I cut the paper with a craft knife and steel ruler, put in water, etc as instructed.

I used Humbrol Decalfix to prepare the model surface and fix down the transfer after application.

I noticed two main differences between the self-print method and traditional decals.

1. The transfer layer is continuous over the whole backing sheet so you can't use the technique of cutting round the design to get some bare paper to grip on with fingernails or tweezers when lifting and manipulating transfer.

2. The clear transfer layer is thinner than the type you used to get in Airfix kits. On the one hand this makes it more liable to tearing, but if you are careful, it will have a lower profile and look more realistic when dried down on the model.

I advise people to make a spare set of markings for each vehicle, in other words if your vehicle will have two registration numbers, print off three, in case one of them goes wrong when using it. It is also a good idea to make a test print on normal paper before you use the special paper.

The other thing I realised about making my own markings is that I needed to create a scheme of what markings are required, choose fonts and colours and do a lot of work on designs for tactical markings.

I worked out I wanted four types of markings.

A. A vehicle registration number (like a licence plate.)

B. A unit ID number consisting of Division-Battalion-Company (The company is a letter.)

C. Optional regimental markings which I haven't designed yet. They will be fairly colourful.

D. Tactical markings to identify vehicles within a platoon. These will be dull colours as they remain on the vehicle in combat.

I also had to decide the fonts to use, the size (12 point works well) and colours (black for light paint background.)

Finally I measured my tank turret and decided a tactical marking needed to fit a 10mm square.

You need to work out all this in advance because once you start to print and cut your sheet of transfer paper, it quickly becomes impossible to run it through the printer.

To economise on the use of paper, you should fit on as many symbols as possible and print the sheet in one pass.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/10/08 16:52:00

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
Made in gb
Da Big Mek

London, UK

For things like tactical markings, I find opening a bitmap image in inkscape then tracing it into a vector image is a very good way to do things. It allows easy modification and scaling compared to doing everything in a non-vector app like photoshop/gimp.

I would add to your good list of advice there that printing a test sheet first to ensure you got the scales right is very useful too.

Check out our new, fully plastic tabletop wargame - Maelstrom's Edge, made by Dakka!
Made in de
Happy Imperial Citizen

Please excuse me posting this after so much time since the last post... the article got featured and ... well, it's an important issue for many folks who like to make their own.

So I managed to make my own (Black Legion) decal sheet with the mentioned Lazertran paper, following the instructions here and to apply it to a test mini. I am very happy with the quality so far.
However, I noticed now that the decal is too thick: on close inspection, one can clearly see a raised edge (see picture).

My question is: is there a way to make the decal thinner in order to avoid that "sticker" look?
I have tried to use paint to blend it but I'd have to apply too much paint... .
The Microscale stuff only seems to help soften (not flatten) the decal.
A friend of mine mentioned that laser printer paper is thinner... - even though I would not mind switching to that I would really like to make use of my Lazertran ink printer decal sheet that I had put lots of effort into so far.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated, guys.
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BL Decal

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