Appying DIY Waterslide Decals to Depron Foam - RC Groups
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Apr 15, 2018, 01:55 PM
BSquared18's Avatar

Appying DIY Waterslide Decals to Depron Foam


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.

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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.

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
BSquared18's Avatar
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.

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

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

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
BSquared18's Avatar

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.

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!
Today, 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.

Last edited by RCAV8R13; Today at 12:14 AM.

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