Printed Tissue Decals Questions - RC Groups
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Apr 05, 2005, 12:31 PM
Registered User

Printed Tissue Decals Questions

Hello - forgive some silly questions, please, but I'd like to get this right the first time.

I have some graphics prepared and printed on white tissue paper (through an inkjet printer) that I intend to layer onto Depron wings. This is just a "spot" decal - it doesn't cover the whole wing.

- I imagine I want to lightly seal the tissue before gluing, so moisture from the glue won't make the ink run. Can I use the water-based PU for that? I plan to go over the whole plane with it as the last coat. Should I spray both the front and back?

- Is Elmer's gel glue suitable for this purpose? I ask because I've found Depron resistant to some white glues...

- I used tissue paper in the inkjet. It worked okay, but it's a bit of a pain, and sounds awful grinding inside the printer like that! Would tracing paper also work, or for just a spot or two, regular typing paper?

Last edited by bykrdan; Apr 05, 2005 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Hit enter key too early!
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Apr 05, 2005, 01:03 PM
Registered User
Dave Wulff's Avatar

Read this article on tissue over foam by Ralph Bradley, it was in the Inside Story:

Not particularly about printed tissue, but some good info from a master builder.

Apr 05, 2005, 02:07 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
For small decals you might get away with just very light paper, it comes in different weights. Cut them out and see if you can live with the weight.

Not much moisure inside if that is where you are flying.

More info her from Gordon:

Apr 05, 2005, 04:35 PM
Registered User
Thank you both; the article was excellent (nice looking wings, too!)

I'm actually building for outdoors - I don't have access to many indoor sites. I may just go ahead and use regular paper. The plane comes in around 2.5 ounces; what's a couple of extra grams.... I thought, though, that tissue might hug the foam better and give a more blended look.
Apr 05, 2005, 05:04 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Can you give us an idea what the insignia might look like? You can print to tissue. Then, peel it off, turn it over and spray 3M77 on the back side and stick it on your Depron. Now, take the piece of paper you cut the tissue out of, spray the back side with 3M77, pull it on and off a piece of corregated cardboard a couple of times to make it less sticky. Apply it over the wing where your insignia is. Place other paper around it as needed, and spray with Krylon clear coat. This should provide reasonable protection for outdoors.

Apr 05, 2005, 05:20 PM
Suspended Account
when you run your tissue thru the printer, do you cover the whole sheet of paper with the tissue?
if i'm printing decals, i position the tissue in just the area were the graphic is. then i glue around the edges (approx an inch or so) with a glue stick this way i don't get that grinding sound. another thing, you have to leave enough room on the edges (of the paper) so the drive wheels of your printer don't grab the tissue.
(if you knew all this already then i'm sorry for wasting bandwith)
Apr 05, 2005, 09:22 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
I cover the entire sheet with tissue. I spray 3M77 on the sheet of paper, apply it and pull it off corregated cardboard about 5 times to make it less sticky. Then, apply the tissue paper to it, smooth out, and trim off around the edges. I don't have any problem with printer wheels. I find it easier to remove the tissue from the carrier sheet than with other types of glue.

Apr 05, 2005, 11:01 PM
Registered User
del's Avatar
Instead of 77, you might want to try 3M "Spray Mount". It works fine for me,
even with small bits of very thin "gampi" tissue.

A friend has been using clear shellac to stick tissue to foam. He swears that
it doesn't attack the ink. I've got some but have yet to try it.

Apr 05, 2005, 11:30 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Actually I use either 3M77 or 3M Photo Mount Adhesive, and the Photo Mount Adhesive is my Preferred product. But, I generally mention 3M77 as it is cheaper and much easier for most people to find. Thanks for the suggestion.

Apr 05, 2005, 11:51 PM
Registered User
I got lazy this time and just used a strip of masking tape across the top of a carrier sheet to pull the tissue through. The tissue was the same size as the carrier, but tacked only across the top of the paper. It worked okay, but the spray adhesive is the way to go. Much less crinkling...

I'm pretty protective with my only can of foam-safe 3M77! But that gives me an idea - I have been using it to make paint masks from cardstock, but I could probably use the newer foam-eating formula for that, since I only tack it on lightly for a moment, then save the foam-safe stuff for things like mounting tissue decals.
Apr 05, 2005, 11:53 PM
Registered User
I'm doing a themed Pitts, for the place that gives me so much Depron! Here's a small version of the insignia...
Apr 08, 2005, 12:32 PM
Registered User

How NOT to do it!

Well, so much for getting it right the first time

I could have sworn my can of 3M adhesive was the foam-safe formula, but I can now say conclusively that it is not!

Here's how the fiasco went: I generously sprayed the back of the tissue with adhesive (before cutting). To keep it moist while I cut, I laid it onto wax paper (a mistake). Turns out the stuff also dissolves and mixes with wax.

I cut out the tissue decals, then attempted to make a carrier sheet from the front using a piece of masking tape, stuck to a pant leg a few times (second mistake). Masking tape is far, far stickier than it feels, especially when applied to tissue!

I discovered this when I put the whole thing on the wing, and attempted to peel off the masking tape. The tissue was destroyed in the process. Then I noticed it was also starting to gnaw at the foam. I was able to wipe it off before much damage was done, and it was all contained under the decal area anyway, so the wing was saved.

After that, I just re-printed the decals on regular paper, cut out, and applied with gel glue brushed on to the wing, and around the back edge of the paper. This worked splendidly. I couldn't find Krylon, but Model Master top coat worked just fine.

One side effect: As the decals dried, they shrank, and pulled up my wingtips, ever so slightly. This would be kind of neat in any other plane (though I'm not sure I wanted it on my Pitts!)

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