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Old Feb 23, 2004, 03:06 PM
Hotjava
Norcal
Joined Aug 2002
185 Posts
Making Decals and Where to Buy Fablon?

Hi,

I'm finishing up a Dare SE5a covered with Litespan, and would like to hear suggestions on making decals using a color inkjet printer.

I've tried to print to frosted scotch tape but that never dries. Peter Rake mentioned that there is a material called "fablon." They simply print the decal onto that material, cut it out and then stick it to the Litespan.

It's used primarily in the UK and since I live in the US... well, you get the picture.

Does anybody know where "fablon" can be purchased in the US?
Thanks for the help!

Oliver
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Old Feb 23, 2004, 04:37 PM
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Ian Easton's Avatar
United Kingdom, Scotland, Fife
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Fablon in the US is Con-tact drawer and shelf lining that you can buy in the grocery store. It does not do well in an inkjet printer. The ink just never dries. If you paint your insignia onto it, it works well.
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Old Feb 23, 2004, 04:37 PM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
S. Calif
Joined Mar 2000
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Oliver
Here's something that I tried and am quite happy with, so I'll pass it along. The insignia on my Bengston Bristol Scout was created using the files on Kurt's website. I printed them on a material I purchased from my local electronic supply store (Frey's) called Adhesive Poly Silk. It looks like the thin silky material that they use to cover mouse pads. Its on an adhesive back, prints well in the ink jet printer, sticks well to litespan and even holds up well to a bit of heat shrinking (I used the heat gun to make it conform to compound curves without wrinkles). It looks really good on a simulated fabric surface (litespan) and is nicely transparent when viewed through the Litespan from below. Only downside is that the inkjet inks are not waterproof, so use a clear coat over the final product.
Good Luck
Gerry
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Old Feb 23, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Here's a closeup of the package. It's part of the creative series from Inkworks. It cost me $11.99 for 10 sheets from Frey's. Just print your art work on the sheet, cut it out, peel off the backing and stick it in place. I was able to remove poorly positioned pieces without too much trouble and as I said, it even shrinks a little with a heat gun.
Gerry
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Old Feb 23, 2004, 08:27 PM
Now in TN!
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Chapel Hill, TN USA
Joined Apr 2001
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Gerry, that looks pretty good. I'm going to look for some.

Oliver,
You can go to an office supply store and get FasTrack paper, it's a sticky back, prints well, sticks well. I think it's probably the equivalent of Fablon here. A little thick but works better than nothing.

J
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Old Feb 24, 2004, 12:08 AM
Hotjava
Norcal
Joined Aug 2002
185 Posts
Thanks!

Everybody,

Thanks for the replies.

Ian, I did try the shelf lining and it never dried. The ink just sits on top of the material. Glad to know that's "Flabon."

Gerry, I also bought Aerodromerc's Bristol Scout! She is in my opinion the most elegant WW I biplane that ever existed. When I saw the Rake/Bengston design, I fell in love with it. I'll definitely try Inkworks!

J Morgan, I'll take a look at FasTrack paper as well.

Again, many thanks!

Oliver
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Old Feb 24, 2004, 06:59 AM
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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...051458-8009638

http://www.outpost.com/product/3353472
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Old Feb 24, 2004, 11:13 AM
Trampling out the vintage
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My issue with inkjet decals is they tend to run when wet.

Lately I have been cutting out Topflite Trim film and am happiest with that.
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Old Feb 24, 2004, 09:19 PM
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S. Calif
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Greg
I agree with you about inkjet prints and water. The first time I took the Scout out, it was a dewy day and I got some marks on the lower insignia from brushing against wet grass. Still, I like the dull fabric appearence of the Poly Silk on WW I airplanes. Plus I like the way it looks when looking up at the airplane - the insignia is semi transparent instead of blocking all the light the way other materials do. And there's nothing like printing a complicated marking using your computer and just cutting it out with scissors or a knife. Guess my next option is to try some of the clear sealants they sell in art stores. Also, I have a new Epson printer with (supposedly) waterproof inks. I'll see how that works on the next airplane.
Gerry
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Old Feb 24, 2004, 10:07 PM
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I use Krylon clear spray to "fix" my decals. No running when wet. Use three coats.

Kurt
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Old Feb 24, 2004, 10:16 PM
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War Bird Radio's Avatar
Stayton, Oregon, USA
Joined May 2003
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So inkjet inks don't run if clear coat is applied but they will fade under UV exposure.

John
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 07:57 AM
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United States, OR, Portland
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John,

The clear coat also protects from fading. Most of the Ink fading is due to oxidation from the air and sealing dramatically slows this process.

I have had no decernable fading in over a year.

Kurt
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 12:57 PM
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Joined May 2000
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I make waterslide decals using my inkjet printer with decal paper from McGonigal Paper & Graphics. As part of the decal making process you spray several coats of clear over them before even cutting them out. They apply to the model just like typical water slide decals. You wet them and then slide them into position. Then rub them down gently to wipe off the excess water. They're so thin that when they dry they're almost like paint.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...221#post836221

http://www.mcgpaper.com/decals.html
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 08:07 PM
"Superior Air Power"
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Stayton, Oregon, USA
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Kurt,
That's good to hear. I've seen too many of my inkjet plans fade if left in sun light. Been holding off doing decals on the 'ol HP till somthing better came along. Looks like I don't have to wait or worry.

John
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Old Feb 25, 2004, 10:12 PM
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Wakeman oh.
Joined Oct 2003
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I have good luck with Avery inkjet white full sheet lables guaranteed smudge free #8165 and clear full sheet lables #8665 but you cant print anything white it will come out clear
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