Thread Tools
Dec 04, 2002, 05:15 PM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Thread OP

Inkjet on Solarfilm for decals etc?

Well I tried it, but its too glossy to take without smearing...

How good is this Vinyl stuff anyway? I need a white background.

Or can I wipe the solarfilm with 'Prymol' and get the ink to take better?
Has anyone tried this....

If I can get this to work pre-printed coverings in gaudy colors for wings is on the cards!

Ok, I saw the URL about using tissue, but what about plastic film....
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Dec 04, 2002, 05:37 PM
Aerial Shutterbug
RMihara's Avatar
Hi Vintage,

You would need to 'texture' the surface of any plastic film for the ink to have half a chance of staying put. The major problem I see you would have is that the ink would eventually smear due to moisture.

Too bad you couldn't just send the covering material thru a color laserjet. That way your design(s) would be more permanent but it would most likely end up wrapping around the printer's fuser roller.

I've been thinking about using one of the iron on T-shirt transfer sheets made for an inkjet printer. You might want to try the same.

Dec 04, 2002, 06:30 PM
Registered User
Flying Cat's Avatar
Hi Vintage,

You may want to take a look at They sell a water based decal to use with ink-jet printers. They also sell a transparent or white self sticky film to make stickers with ink-jet printers. They actually have the RCM logo in their Web site (an American R/C magazine.)

Several people at the E-Zone have had very good results with them. Since the paper is flat and it is not heavy, they may be willing to ship it to the other side of the pond for a reasonable S&H fee.

Good Luck,

Flying Cat
Dec 04, 2002, 07:37 PM
Registered User
I've tried clear ink-jet mailing labels with limited success. The clear doesn't really go clear. It kinda stays frosted. OK on a white background. Decorations needing a white background might work better. The printer I have (Epson c80) uses ink that is resistant to water smearing.

I also have some window decal paper to try. (right after I finish my switchback )

I checked on the shipping to Canada for the places that sell ink-jet water decal kits but the shipping was as much as the decal kit. I think the shipping was on the order of $30 us to ship about $30 worth of product to Canada.

mike i.
Dec 05, 2002, 05:43 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Thread OP
Ok, I am going to persevere.

Solarlfilm is a complete nono. It printed OK, a bit smeary, but there was so little water absorption that the inks are still wet this morning some 10 hours later.

The major breakthrough is that I finally read the manual and discovered that the plotter I have (HP450C) can take single sheets, and is clever enough to work out how big they are.

So I can print on A4 as well as other media.

Water resistance is no big deal - a spray of laquer fixes water based inks, BUT they have to dry first

I am going to see if I can get a white vinyl somewhere...and try that. The printers are designed to pront on white background, so that's the answer. I don't mind cutting round the edges of awkward shapes...

I'll let you all know how I get on.
Dec 05, 2002, 05:53 AM
Single-task at best...
tim hooper's Avatar
Originally posted by vintage1

I am going to see if I can get a white vinyl somewhere...and try that.

I've not tried it myself, but Overlander list inkjet vinyl on their website;

Apart from that, I've had a little bash at printing on photo-quality paper, spraying the result with lacquer, and then using Spraymount to affix the result to the model. At a few feet distance it looks OK, but closer up you can see the thickness of the paper.

Dec 05, 2002, 06:07 AM
Get One Up!!!
leccyflyer's Avatar

Tullis- somebody or other who make the waterslide decals for pottery and are based in Stoke-on-Trent sell decal paper for use in inkjet printers- it's called Jetcal and IIRC is available in white and clear. I bought fifty sheets of their waterslide paper a few years back for my Alps printer and the results are excellent- I doubt that would work very well with water soluble inkjet inks though. I haven't tried their Jetcal paper in anger yet. Have a look at their website for details - - should work. Be warned that Jetcal is pretty expensive and there are some doubts about how transparent it is.

The biggest problem with inkjet decals is that inkjets cannot print white- so colour saturation is greatly diminished against dark backgrounds. If you use a transparent decal stock and say want to print some yellow stencilling for your Olive Drab P-51 then the yellow ill be very wishy washy and of low intensity. The Alps printer gets around this by being able to print in white, so you can print a white background to each letter and retain the proper colour saturation even on dark backgroundsThere have also been reports that the transparent decal stock is more transluscent than transparent and the margins of the decal are visible. Depends how fussy you are or howc ritical your application is. .

The white vinyl that Tim mentions from Overlander also works quite well, but you do have to cut around the decals and they also benefit from a light dusting of polyurethane or some other fixative as they are quite delicate and subject to scratch damage. The pack I got was a promo before they started doing batteries and was 5 for three A4 sheets, so it is quite expensive stuff.


Dec 05, 2002, 06:08 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Thread OP
Well..this seems to be a UK place to get peel and stick inkjettable paper in clear, white or silver!!!

I#ll order some, and let you know how it all works out...
Dec 05, 2002, 07:13 AM
I have had good results printing on Litespan, if that helps. The solarfilm might work if you rub it down with fine steel wool.
Dec 05, 2002, 08:03 AM
I've had success with using overhead projector acetates that can be printed on via laser pinter. After the image is done, I spray the back of the image with white paint, then use 3M77 to glue it to the model's surface. The first one I did that way was glued to Monokote, and it survived when the plane was strained though a pine tree (not much else survived, though ).

Bill B.
Dec 05, 2002, 08:18 AM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
I can vouch for the Overlander inkjet vinyl, works very nicely. I seal the ink with a clear acrylic aerosol from Homebase.

The 'regular' white vinyl they sell is thin and great for surfaces with simple curves. The 'super' is thicker but softer, goes around compound curves quite nicely.

They do clear A4 sheets too, haven't tried those.

I also used some stuff that came from Maplin, works OK but it's actually a type of paper and thicker than the vinyl.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Dec 05, 2002, 08:49 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Thread OP
Fantastic responses. I have ordered some stuff, but the overlander stuff is also on my shopping list if this stuff is no good.

Thanks for the tips on what to spray it with....
Dec 05, 2002, 12:48 PM
RIP Maharushie
Duke58's Avatar
I have had good results printing on material that will not apsorb ink by reducing the ink coverage and running the sheet through several times. Let the ink dry between each pass. You can also paint the slide off sheet befor you print on it , much easier than painting the back.

Dec 05, 2002, 04:56 PM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
Vintage - I tried some of the stuff from the Decalpaperstore and wasn't too impressed.

The vinyls have their advantages if you have to apply the decals to a curved surface, but the best material that I have found if you need a white background is Avery Inkjet lables. The sheets are A4 in size and you can get sheets with only the one lable on it if you look around. The ink dries quickly and doesn't smudge, though it might tend to run a bit if the rain got on it. The material is nice and thin, too.
Dec 05, 2002, 05:57 PM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Thread OP
Ok gordon, but are those vinyl labels or just plain white paper?

I expect to have to spray a lacquer to fix whatever I use, but I am not sure that peper is what I want to use...

Only gort simple curves to do - roundels on wings and fuse, and a bit of squadri markings - nothing too demanding.

I'll try Staples maybe for the Avery's

If I cxan find a good technique, I'll get a color laser and you can send me your designs to be retrurned at huge profit

Quick Reply

Thread Tools