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Author Topic: white text decals - how to see them!  (Read 447 times)

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Offline bluedepot

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white text decals - how to see them!
« on: August 03, 2022, 08:11:25 PM »
hi

any tips on seeing white text decals???

i can see black text when i zoom in on my phone camera or with a magnifier.

white text doesn't show up though (it's on light blue background!)

anyone got some tips?

cutting out the decals and selecting the right one is proving difficult!

once on the wagon i can see them ok.. just on the backing paper it's v difficult...


cheers


tim

Offline RyanHussey

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2022, 08:17:59 PM »
Which decals are these for Tim??

Offline bluedepot

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2022, 08:26:32 PM »
hi

for departmental wagons / bolster wagons!

some tops codes and numbers are v tiny!

not worried if they arent totally accurate as so tiny but would be nice to select and cut them out!

just wondered if anyone had any tips...

cheers


tim

Offline emjaybee

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2022, 08:50:11 PM »
I hate to say this, but I've struggled with this. I also needed a magnifying glass.

I had some success by changing the position of the desk light to throw light from a different angle. This helped a little, but it's still a p.i.t.a.

One of the decal manufacturers has realised what a pain this is, and now produces them on a darker blue which helps quite a bit.
Brookline build thread:

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50207.msg652736#msg652736

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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2022, 09:23:39 PM »
When I print my own white decals they are on a light blue/grey backing sheet and readily visible.   Same with commercial white decals I've used in the past, the backing sheet is usually an off-white colour or blue colour enough to be able to see the actual decals.

Have you tried holding them against a light source?  The decal should block more light than the backing. 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 09:24:44 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline Stuarted

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2022, 10:23:06 PM »
I have struggled too. It’s the white on the very pale blue backing paper.

Good lighting and a magnifying glass helps. Sometimes I resort to increasing the size of manufacturers’ on-line image to help identify exactly where on the sheet the item I want is.

Stuart

Offline chrism

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2022, 06:36:55 AM »
When I print my own white decals they are on a light blue/grey backing sheet and readily visible.   

 @ntpntpntp How are you doing them Nick?

Doing our own transfers for the various wagons I'm 3D printing for both me and the club is something I'm looking into, especially Furness Railway ones - coloured ones are no problem, I can just print on to clear laser waterslide sheets using my old HP colour laser printer (or the clubs, it's the same model) but do do white lettering the same way would involve getting a perfectly matched colour surround to match the paintwork and printing on white laser sheets.

I have found that a company called Ghost White in Germany makes white toner cartridges for our model printer that go in in place of the black cartridge but at about £180 plus vat plus import duty plus the Royal Mail handling fee it'd be quite an investment - although I guess at the spec of something like 2200 pages one cartridge would probably do all the lettering we could ever want.

Offline Steven B

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2022, 08:36:13 AM »
Good lighting will help.

It may also be worth contacting the transfer supplier and asking them for a B&W version you can use to work out which transfer is which. If they do the same transfer in different colours (e.g. Fox do TOPS panels in black on clear, white on clear, white on black and black on white).

I've heard that it's possible to use a marker pen/felt-tip pen to colour in the backing paper. The ink soaks into the paper meaning it's easier to see the white text of the transfer. I've not tried it, but keep meaning to with a water soluble ink and a spare section of transfer sheet.

Steven B.

Offline Bealman

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2022, 08:42:52 AM »
I'm talking totally out of my experience here, but isn't there a chance that would lift the decals?
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2022, 09:32:49 AM »
When I print my own white decals they are on a light blue/grey backing sheet and readily visible.   

 @ntpntpntp How are you doing them Nick?

Ancient 1990s Citizen Printiva printer (Alps Microdry technology). Alps was the go-to technology for home decals back in the day.  I bought it second-hand in the late 1990s from ebay, it came from a hospital!     

As well as standard colour it can print white, metallic gold or silver, certain other spot colours depending on ribbons used.  Takes a bit of cunning to get solid colours without too much dithering.   Long out of production of course, and I suspect the ribbons are getting rare now so I'm very frugal with its use nowadays.    I run it on an old Windows ME setup as that give me the best driver options for the spot colours and overlays etc.  Decals are printed onto thin film waterslide transfer sheet.

This was done back in 2005 ish IIRC.



I can get legible print down to about half a mm

« Last Edit: August 04, 2022, 09:41:30 AM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline geoffc

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2022, 10:02:52 AM »
I was advised by a decal manufacturer to go over the backing paper with a black Sharpie or Magic Marker. It worked fine and no problems with discolourisation of the white decal.

Geoff

Offline njee20

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2022, 12:41:17 PM »
I have found that a company called Ghost White in Germany makes white toner cartridges for our model printer that go in in place of the black cartridge but at about £180 plus vat plus import duty plus the Royal Mail handling fee it'd be quite an investment - although I guess at the spec of something like 2200 pages one cartridge would probably do all the lettering we could ever want.

I've got a Ghost White Toner, happy to print some for you if you want to try it before investing. They're not quite as vibrant as off the shelf decals, but the versatility and cost saving makes it worth it. I got lucky because I needed a printer too, so I just set up an eBay alert, and by sheer coincidence both the cartridge and the requisite printer were up for sale at the same time (from completely different sellers).

Top wagon done here with them: Decals by njee20, on Flickr

And here: IPA bi-level by njee20, on Flickr

I don't get such fine legibility as Nick, which is purely a printer limitation; it's an HP 177fw.


Offline chrism

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2022, 01:51:00 PM »
I've got a Ghost White Toner, happy to print some for you if you want to try it before investing. They're not quite as vibrant as off the shelf decals, but the versatility and cost saving makes it worth it.

Thanks Nick, that's very generous of you. I'll drop you a PM to discuss the best file format, etc.

Offline martyn

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2022, 02:22:47 PM »
If using a black marker behind the transfer, this does work to see it; but you need to use a transfer so marked quickly.

If left too long, the marker dries into the sheet and subsequent use is difficult or impossible as the transfer will not release from the backing paper.

Martyn

Offline GAD

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Re: white text decals - how to see them!
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2022, 01:51:52 PM »
I've had the same issues, I contacted Fox who must have read my email and ignored it. 5 years later they're still printing on the lightest blue.

 

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