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Need help with an unusual Decal application

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So I've got this idea for customizing a figure but it's somewhat unusual and I can't seem to find much information through google that would help. Since there's so many skilled model builders here I thought I'd ask for some advice. What I'm trying to do is make a tattoo for a vinyl figure and since I'm not that confident on my ability to freehand a graphic on a complex surface; I was hoping to create the design in photoshop, print it as a decal, and apply it that way.

My first question is what type of decal paper to use. This is going to be fairly large (about 2 inches tall and an inch wide) and it's going on irregular and heavily curved surfaces, so I need something strong and flexible that isn't going to crack or rip or have the image run if I use decal softener. I'd like some recommendations on high quality decal paper. Also, will decals printed on an inkjet printer be to delicate?

My other question is about the material I'd be applying the decals to. The figure is made of Vinyl, some of the parts are fairly rigid but have a bit of flex to them and others are very soft and flexible. Can decals be applied to flexible parts or will they crack/flake off if the parts flex too much? will using a strong softener like solvaset and then clear coating help?

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The decal is no problem: http://www.micromark.com/clear-decal-paper-for-ink-jet-printers-5-sheets,7942.html

Scroll down for the other decal accesories like fixative, dull coat or Solvaset.

The vinyl will be a problem. As soon as you mentioned the figure, I thought it would be vinyl. The decal is on a polymer film and the vinyl is flat (matt) surfaced. It's like putting a piece of glass on sand, the shiny part stands out and doesn't lay down, sometimes holding air bubbles underneath. Maybe a clear gloss coat wherew the tattoo will go and then laying the decal on top of it with a flat coat to make it look original. But vinyl is flexible; too much flex might crack the clear coats.

What about actual inkjet tattoo papers? Here's some other ideas I serached for there's tons, but most are on hard plastic - not porous vinyl. Hope that helps somewhat. - MT

http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/sixth-scale-action-figure-news-reviews-discussion/564676-my-experiment-applying-tattoos.html

Edited by MechTech

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yeah, the flexibility is what I'm worried about and I can't seem to find answers on. The surface texture wasn't too much of a concern since I've had plenty of luck applying decals to rough/matte surfaces using Walthers Solvaset. You probably could lay a decal down on a bed of sand and get it to conform to the surface with that stuff.

I know Mr. Super clear is safe on vinyl, but I just don't know how much give it will have.

I'm probably just going to have to get some spare vinyl parts and start laying down clear coats to see what works. :mellow:

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You can get a brilliant printer for Decal printing cheap from Canon. Most Inkjets for home are between 600 x 2400 dpi and 4800 x 1200... the Canon PIXMA MX922 we just picked up for $95NZD has a 5 colour cartridge print resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi!! So thats crispy tiny writing without visible dots, blurring and fading.

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You can get a brilliant printer for Decal printing cheap from Canon. Most Inkjets for home are between 600 x 2400 dpi and 4800 x 1200... the Canon PIXMA MX922 we just picked up for $95NZD has a 5 colour cartridge print resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi!! So thats crispy tiny writing without visible dots, blurring and fading.

What kind of paper would one use with the PIXMA for printing water slide decals?

Edited by Old Man

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About to find out tonight. Have a few different papers to try and also my Hydrographics media for doing Gun wraps. Will try them all.

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About to find out tonight. Have a few different papers to try and also my Hydrographics media for doing Gun wraps. Will try them all.

Great! Good luck, and keep us posted :)

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Had a mishap last night dissolving a VF-1D canopy in thinners... will work on the decals tonight

Want this design on one of the Valkyries

nz_fighk_zps95ryt86m.gif

Edited by NZEOD

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You still use the same decal paper with a "best" setting. It's a glossy media, not pourous like papers so you should be good to go.- MT

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