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Apr 15, 2018, 01:55 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Discussion

Applying DIY Waterslide Decals to Depron Foam


Hi,

I'm interested with learning how to apply DIY waterslide decals to Depron-foam models.

I've spent the last few days watching YouTube videos and reading forum posts about how to apply DIY waterslide decals to models. Most of the videos and articles I found deal with plastic models more than foam.

But today I came across a fascinating post from 2006: "Detailing Slofly's EPP Foamies With Decal Paper."

The approach is uniquely different than the standard method. It involves placing a light adhesive on the face of the decal and then positioning the decal on the model so that the decal's ink is sandwiched between the foam and the decal's plastic transfer film. If I'm not mistaken, this approach eliminates the need to apply a fixative/clear coating to the front of the inkjet-printed decal because the decal never is immersed in water/solvent the way it normally would be. Also, am I correct that with this method, the foam doesn't have to be treated in any way?

Because the forum post describing this method is over ten years old, I was wondering if this method is still practiced. Has a more effective method for applying DIY decals to foam been found?

A related topic: I've also been researching numerous brands of inkjet transparent decal paper--and there are a lot of them out there. I'd be interested in brand recommendations for use with foam.

Thanks,
Bill
Last edited by BSquared18; Apr 22, 2018 at 11:05 AM.
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Apr 16, 2018, 12:45 PM
Scratch building addict
rotagen's Avatar
Simpler solution and better adhesion. Light enough to do the whole plane. CP laminating film cut slightly smaller than your paper and taped to card stock paper sticky side up.

https://alofthobbies.com/new-stuff-l...ing-films.html

Print graphics with your laser printer, I used my cheapo dell color laser printer (I'm hoping someone will try an inkjet printer and let people know if it works).... remembering to reverse the image before printing.

Cut it out and iron it on at around 250 degrees, done.

I have a little thread on it somewheres.
Apr 16, 2018, 01:50 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Quote:
Print graphics with your laser printe ... . (I'm hoping someone will try an inkjet printer and let people know if it works.
Since I don't have a laser printer, if I try it with my ink printer, I'll let you know how it works. I need to study your description; having a bit of trouble visualizing how it works.

Bill
Apr 16, 2018, 01:57 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Me again.

I found the thread you refer to: "Printing onto Laminating Film ... Works !!"

Thanks,
Bill
Apr 16, 2018, 02:56 PM
Scratch building addict
rotagen's Avatar
Glad you're gonna try it, I was stoked at how well it worked for me.

I have printed with an inkjet onto super light tissue paper using the same method and used 3M spray 77 to glue a WWI german lozenge pattern onto a fokker wing, it worked well....this is much easier and probably much lighter.

Let folks know if it works, maybe on that thread.

I didn't tape around the paper edge so I had a region of scotch tape thickness around the edge unprintable, but I did cover the entire edge of lam film with tape... in both instances.
Apr 16, 2018, 05:06 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
rotagen,

I won't be trying your method this time around. Before your message was posted I had gone ahead and ordered some decal-film paper (impatient to move forward on the project). Since the project is a small one, I think I will go that route, instead of also investing in laminating film in addition to the decal paper.

I'll keep your method in mind, however. If the decal method doesn't work, I may give it a try.

Bill
Apr 17, 2018, 10:40 AM
Scratch building addict
rotagen's Avatar
OK thanks for the update. I hope your decal paper works better than the last batch I bought. Years ago I bought a different brand that adhered much better, I think this crummy batch I got on ebay, wish I could remember the brands.

good luck!
Apr 20, 2018, 12:06 AM
I'm goin' Falcon nuts
RCAV8R13's Avatar

My method


Here's how I do it.
I use water transfer decal sheet for inkjet printers. Don't have a favorite brand but I like to buy 11 x 17 for most decals and 8.5 x 11 if I just need little prints.
First I design my decal in Visio. It works well for me. I flip my design over when I'm done so I have a reverse image.
Print on the paper and cut leaving a 1/16" clear border around your decal.
I have used 3M-77 for this next step for years but it eventually fails and the decals peal and shrink. I've had better luck with glue stick. Be careful not to apply much force to the ink when applying. Put some glue stick on the depron too.
Here's the trick. You glue the face of the backwards decal down to the surface of the plane. Squeegee out any bubbles as you apply the decal. Then, soak the paper (which is facing up) with a wet paper towel. Let the water soak in well, you can see it change color and become translucent. Once the paper has loosened, slide it off and wipe off the excess gum with the wet paper towel.
That's it.
Because the decals are translucent, this technique only works over a white surface. I have had success putting these decals over white water transfer decal sheet, cutting that out and applying like a normal decal, face up. A two step process but it worked.

Kip
Last edited by RCAV8R13; Apr 20, 2018 at 12:14 AM.
Apr 20, 2018, 07:49 AM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Thanks, Kip, for contributing your experiences to this thread.

Yesterday I tried the original technique on a piece of scrap foam.

One very interesting point you make is that the 3M-77 adhesive spray fails over time. In my test yesterday, I used 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive. It did a great job, although no way to tell how it will do over time. I think I'll continue using it to see if that particular version of 3M-77 has the problem you mention. If so, I'll switch to the glue stick or some other adhesive. Hopefully the models I fly will last long enough to find out.

When the time came to remove the moistened paper backing, I found that sliding a hobby knife #11 blade under one edge of the backing and then lifting the backing off instead of sliding it off worked well.

The first attached image shows two decals cut out and ready to be sprayed with adhesive. The second image shows the roundel decal finished on the foam and the USAF decal with the backing still on it. The third image shows the USAF decal with the backing moistened and ready to lift off.

Quote:
Because the decals are translucent, this technique only works over a white surface. I have had success putting these decals over white water transfer decal sheet, cutting that out and applying like a normal decal, face up. A two step process but it worked.
Would applying white paint to the surface of the foam where you want white to show through the translucent decal work? Or if painting over white foam, mask the part that the decal will be on, keeping that part white?

Bill
Last edited by BSquared18; Apr 20, 2018 at 10:24 AM.
Apr 20, 2018, 10:21 AM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
One additional note about the 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive: In his thread, firetrappe says that he was able to reposition a decal if he did it quickly.

In yesterday's experiments, I waited 30 seconds, as instructed on the spray can, before applying the decal face down on the foam. Because I had waited, the decal could not be repositioned. Today, I tried the same process again, except this time I applied the decal immediately after it was sprayed and then immediately tried to reposition it. Within a few seconds, the decal was firmly fixed to the foam, and when I tried to lift it, part of the decal remained on the foam.

Bottom line: With this adhesive, be sure you get it right the first time.

Kip, is a glue stick more forgiving in that regard?

Bill
Apr 20, 2018, 10:41 AM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Quote:
I hope your decal paper works better than the last batch I bought.
I bought 20 sheets of Hayes Paper Co. Water-slide Decal Paper--Transparent A4 Size for Inkjet Printers on Amazon. The price is comparable with other similar products. It received the highest rating at one website reviewing 2018 DIY decal paper. It gave me excellent results.

And the 3M adhesive is terrific, assuming it doesn't fail over time, as mentioned by RCAV8R13. In fact, I doubt if a decal can be removed without damaging the foam, unless there's some foam-safe liquid that neutralizes the adhesive (which would surprise me). For some, that might be considered a downside.

Bill
Apr 20, 2018, 10:57 AM
Scratch building addict
rotagen's Avatar
Very informative thread. I used 77 to attach german lozenge camo over an entire fokker wing, after printing onto tissue paper using the "tape it to card stock" method. So far it hasn't come off after about 8 yrs. very slight peeling on some edge areas but I suspect I didn't cover those well with the adhesive.

I've tried other spray adhesives for things various loc-tites, etc but 77 is way better .

I've switched to printing on "new stuff" laminating film because it's so much easier, no spray and gives better adhesion.
Apr 20, 2018, 12:03 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
CarreraGTSCS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotagen
Very informative thread. I used 77 to attach german lozenge camo over an entire fokker wing, after printing onto tissue paper using the "tape it to card stock" method. So far it hasn't come off after about 8 yrs. very slight peeling on some edge areas but I suspect I didn't cover those well with the adhesive.

I've tried other spray adhesives for things various loc-tites, etc but 77 is way better .

I've switched to printing on "new stuff" laminating film because it's so much easier, no spray and gives better adhesion.
Is this the laminate you're referring to? https://alofthobbies.com/new-stuff-l...ing-films.html

Edit: I see above the you do explain it.

Thanks
Apr 20, 2018, 12:24 PM
Scratch building addict
rotagen's Avatar
Yeah I got a huge roll of it about 30 inches tall and many lifetime supply from I thought it was called laminating warehouse? Years ago though... something like that. I should send people some, it's a crazy roll, I have 2 kinds but I tend to use the "CP" kind because its lighter I think.

Way easier to use than the commercial things like so-lite, etc, but it's clear of course. I like to wrap the paper removed DT foam with it for strength and avoiding scratches etc.

If you want to try search for my little thread "printing on laminating film works", I printed on the sticky side using the tape it to card stock method, just have to remember to reverse your graphics before printing.

Sorry for the aside I'm glad decal paper is working for people.
Last edited by rotagen; Apr 20, 2018 at 12:31 PM.


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