Photofinishing With Water Slide Decal Paper
9 replies to this topic
Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:53 PM
After buying some water slide decal paper to put names on baits I got to thinking about doing photofinishing with the same stuff. Since the name decals are so small I just slid them off the paper backing and onto the bait after soaking them in warm water for a few seconds to loosen the backing. After positioning and making sure they were dry they were then covered with the top coat. No adhesive was used. I'm just wondering if this same procedure would work when doing an image the same size as the bait or should I try to glue it to the bait with an adhesive of some sort? Or maybe lightly cover the bait with Etex and then apply the decal? Anyone have any ideas on this?
Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:18 PM
any time ive ever used decals of this sort (not for lure making) they actually had a small amount of adhesive that would get tacky when it got wet. after drying it was pretty much stuck. if thats the case with what u have i dont see a problem with hitting it with the blow bryer for a few seconds and once its completely dry, clear coat it.
if thats not the case then maybe try the etex or D2T. just stay away from spray adhesives like the 3M 77. has absolutely no sliding abilities and uve got to be dead on once it touches the bait.
just my 2 cents.
Edited by fivefishwish, 24 January 2010 - 10:19 PM.
Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:45 PM
I've been doing quite a bit of this lately....
1. The "clear" decals don't stretch... and don't transfer "full color" as inkjet printers assume your printing on a white substrate... so they are a bit difficult to predict what you will see (unless placed over white) and hard to place on compound surfaced baits.... the white decals have some stretch, but not alot. (Color looks much better on this material though)
2. Make sure you get ALL of the water out from under the decal... agian, make sure ALL of the water is squegeed out... I have a few that "bubbled" once I heated them a bit to dry the epoxy top coat... I was heating at 120 degrees in a small scientific oven... so this probably would have bubbled if it sat in the sun on a boat as well... I've had about a 1 out of 4 bubble rate... quite annoying after spending alot of time airbrushing the seams, glittering etc...
3. Don't even think of using DN.... they shrink/wrinkle.... don't ask me how I know!!! I even tried putting a enamel top coat over the final bait, having that dry for over a week, then DN it.... still wrinkled.
I like the decal stuff because it's thin, but it can be a pain to work with.... plus as you probably know, you need to use fixative to seal it the print you make, then wait for that to dry before you can soak it and transfer it onto a bait... I wind up printing at night, spraying a nice heavy coat and let them dry for a day before using the decal... it's not a fast process...
LMK if you have any questions... i've had some good results.... and some bad ones as well!!! I'll try to take some pics tommorrow and post up...
Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:03 AM
I have been working with decals on spinnerbaits for about a year now. It is workable. Many things that Slowfish mentioned is dead on. I can use decals on slow tapering faces the best . When you get in 3D surfaces, the decal does not want to follow curves( 3 dimensionally) because it will not stretch in all directions. I can see an application maybe for a Rat-L-Trap type bait where it has a flat surface but anything else is nearly impossible unless you are going to put it on in small sections. Here is a link to a thread I posted in the wire bait section. I was extremely happy with the results, however as you can see my working surface is pretty much flat. If you need more help PM me and I can let you know what my experience with this was. http://www.tackleund...s-spinnerbaits/
Posted 25 January 2010 - 01:55 AM
Thanks guys. I've already experienced some of the problems your talking about. Found out the hard way that the decals don't like DN. Going to try and fix that by applying a spray-on poly clear coat before brushing on the DN. The lure I'm wanting to try putting the decals on is a rattle type lure so hopefully there wont be too much trouble getting it seated properly. One reason I was thinking of putting on a coat of Etex is it has an extended working time and would also give the decal something to slide around on until it was positioned correctly. The test print on decal paper turned out really great as far as the look of the image. Tried doing a test fit without applying anything to let the decal slip around on and it didn't turn out so well. Will let ya'll know how it goes and what does or doesn't work.
Cadman those are some awesome looking spinnerbaits. Just looking at what you've done with the decals gave me lots of encouragement.
Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:31 AM
Thanks for the compliment. Everything went really well, including crisp decal images. The only thing that is really tedious is the time it takes to re-size images. It is so time consuming. Have fun it is well worth it.
Posted 26 January 2010 - 06:46 PM
Here are the results of my first attempt at applying a water slide decal to a bait. It still needs a couple more coats of DN. Any advice, thoughts, questions or comments are more than welcome.
Edited by RayburnGuy, 26 January 2010 - 06:47 PM.
Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:00 PM
What can I say that is freakin' awesome.
I have a ton of questions, but a couple will do.
#1............Did you use clear decal sheets?
#2............Was that an inkjet printer?
#3............Did that tutorial help you out?
#4............Was it easy and all you expected?
Edited by cadman, 26 January 2010 - 08:01 PM.
Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:42 PM
What Cadman said!! +1
Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:42 PM
Thanks Cadman and JBlaze. I thought it turned out fairly well, but was definitely interested in the opinions of others. You know how it is. You always think your baby is the prettiest on the block. lol
I used clear decal paper and an HP inkjet printer with quality set at "best". The tutorial did help. I used scissors to cut the decal out instead of an exacto knife. Have a really good pair of commercial scissors that are very sharp.
Getting the decal shaped and sized to the proper dimensions were the hardest part. Not so much the sizing, but the shape of the bait being copied was different than the one the decal was applied to. I ended up cutting the image in half and then rotating the top half a few degrees one way and the bottom half a few degrees the other way. Then pasting the two halves back over the original image. By pasting the two halves back over the original image it filled in the space where I had rotated the top and bottom halves. What this did was make the back half of the image a little taller so it would fit the bait better. I tried a couple different things, but this seemed to work the best.
I also used the "clone brush" feature in my photo program to remove the eyes on the decal as they were in the wrong place on the image to fit the bait I was pasting the decal on. If your not familiar with the clone brush it acts as a sort of copy and paste feature only with bits of the image. It copies part of an image from one area and can then be placed wherever you want it.
I took a decal I had forgotten to remove the eyes from and used it for a test fit to see how the process would work. On it I tried just wetting the decal paper and not the bait. It failed miserably because there was not enough moisture to lubricate the surfaces to allow positioning of the decal. When I tried it "for real" I dipped the bait into warm water as well as the decal and this was enough to allow the decal to be slid around enough to position it.
I sprayed a white base coat and then a pearl white coat over that. This was followed with a thin coat of Etex to make sure the water didn't have adverse effects on the coats of paint and to provide a slick surface to apply the decal. After applying the decal and blending in the top and bottom with the airbrush I applied another coat of Etex to seal this. I learned in an earlier post that the solvents in Dick Nite react poorly with plastics so this is the reason for the coats of Etex. After allowing the last coat of Etex to cure DN was then applied for the final top coat. I have a clear poly in a spray can ordered that hopefully will take the place of the Etex as the curing time for Etex adds quite a few hours to the process.
All in all it went fairly well with no major problems. One thing working in my favor was the bait the decal was applied to was a rattling type bait with fairly flat sides. Not sure it would work on a bait with compound curves.
If you have any more questions or I can help in any way just let me know.