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Decals?

 
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Ten-Jo_Folan



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Location: The QH

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject: Decals? Reply with quote

Not to sound noobish or anything but I was wondering: what is the best way for creating decals for minifigs? I really can't think of anyhing. Confused
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Big Z
Undead!


Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: I AM THE HORDEZ

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You MUST be new here! Wink

I think Jared, our resident Kaminoan, is the man to give you the best answer. Let's see if he pops up when he sees your question...
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Firespray
Hyperactive


Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ditto
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Kaminoan
Fine Clonier [MOD]


Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: In the Lab, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, the easy question is to hang out or read the forum on FBTB or my forums: Minifig Customization Network

So summarize the high points of these two great resources I have cut and pastes parts of different threads below, if it doesn't follow exactly this is why.

To remove the current design from your figure you need a micro abrasive: Brasso, which is carried at most major walmart type stores.

I use water slide decals that I print out with a specialized printer, however you can do the same thing with your inkjet. My printer prints in white, silver, and gold ink so it is a bit different. The only place that I know of to get waterslide paper, Decal Paper, is either a hobby store or online. I recommend http://www.tangopapadecals.com/page2.html If you don't need much get a sample pack, or you can try www.micromark.com and they have a sample pack as well.

Either you use a special printer like mine or you use white decal film. Yes they make it in white, but this requires you to print the torso color in the background areas and reguires really close color matches. check here for color matches: Color Guide These are close but not always exact for all printers and requires a bit of playing with the values.

Here is a minifig template in jpg format:

Creation and application of waterslide decals

Jared "Kaminoan" Burks

There are two types of graphics programs, raster and vector. Raster pictures are made of of tiny squares of color. Gif and Jpg the two main graphic formats of the web are raster image formats. When you zoom in, these images become blocky and pixilated. Vector formats are all mathematical. EPS, to some extent PNG and native formats like AI (Adobe Illustrator) or CDR (Corel Draw) are vector formats. When you zoom in on these, they stay sharp and clean because the same math applies at whatever the magnification. Vector graphics are used in illustration and design (Commercial Artwork), most home users, doing simple web graphics, drawing pictures, or photo editing don't have a need for them. However for the best results it is important that you create your designs in a vector art program. An option you might consider is trial version of the aforementioned programs, or Paint Shop Pro.

After selection of your art program and familiarization with that program you can begin creating designs with templates for the torso and legs found here: Minifig Blank: http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/Kaminoan/SW-Minifig-Labels/minifig_blank.jpg

When creating art for use in the creation of decals it is important to remember the limitation of your printer. Most printers have difficulty in printing a line with a weight of less than 0.3 points (Line weight refers to line thickness). The point size I commonly use in 0.5-0.7. If I need a highlight or a really fine fold or something then I will go down to 0.4 and rarely to 0.3. I do this for several reasons: 1, I draw designs for the FBTB group and want them to have good results when printing (Various printer/color copier types); 2, I convert to jpg format (a lower resolution format for compression into a smaller file size for easy up and download from the net), this means I lose some details, and thus my details need to be bigger; and 3, I try to stay in a similar design scheme as the Lego artist.

Draw and color your design as you would like, remember you can use Lego’s color palette for their brick colors, which can be found:

Official Lego Brick Color Values (Found on Lugnut)

And an independent assessment of the Lego palette can be found here:

Britdog Models' Lego Brick Color Values (Goggle Search)

How you color your design depends on the media that you are going to print. Options include waterslide decal paper, overhead transparencies, clear self-adhesive stickers, and paper. If you are printing on a clear media keep in mind that the torso color is going to show through and contribute to you design.

Before printing on any expensive media always print a test page. Print your designs out on a piece of scrap material or paper. Confirm your color choices, colors on your screen will not match exactly to printed colors. Confirm your details, you have been working on something very small and in a vector based program you can draw detail much too fine to print.

My specialty is waterslide decals; therefore I am going to discuss this technique. I print using a very specialized micro-dry printer; however, as most people have access to inkjet printers or color copies (Kinko’s, etc.) I am going to give instruction on creation of decals using these types of devices. You will need to purchase waterslide label paper from some vender; I use Micromark (www.micromark.com). If using an inkjet printer you need to order media specific for that device, however if you are printing your designs on a color copier, you will need waterslide paper for a laser printer. Print your designs out with the highest resolution possible for your printer (just like you did when performing your test print). Once printed be very careful not to handle the sheet of decals until the ink dries. After you have printed using an inkjet or color copier, you must overcoat the decals with clear spray paint, available at any home improvement store. Apply several thin coats and allow them to dry between applications. This will protect the ink from the water used in the decals application, even if you have waterproof ink in your inkjet printer, this is critical. Once printed cut the decals from the page and follow the manufactures instructions for application of your decals.

There are chemical kits that aid in the application of these types of decals. These kits help make the decal disappear when applied properly, thus making the design appear painted on rather than decal applied. They can be found at many hobby stores, I purchased mine from Micromark (www.micromark.com), however kit components can be found at Internet Trains (www.internettrains.com/bamopa.html). Follow the instructions that accompany the decal application kit for their use and check Fred List’s and Jim Baker’s sites for tricks with these kits.

Original Post: http://pub227.ezboard.com/fthefbtbcommunityfrm21.showMessage?topicID=89.topic

Ok, I think that about covers the subject. I am sure you will have questions so fire away.

Jared
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deathstickman



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: Boston,MA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, heh... Kam, you get asked this so many times that now you have to cut-n-paste the same message so you don't break your fingers typing. I feel for you man Razz .
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Big Z
Undead!


Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Location: I AM THE HORDEZ

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, just one more thing to add.

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/chalcyon/OutlanderV2005/Uniforms/o5uniforms1.jpg
http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/chalcyon/OutlanderV2005/Uniforms/o5uniforms2.jpg

Don't be afraid to try your decals out on different colored torsos. Wink
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