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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a couple of Tamiya Mini 4WDs, which come with those vile peel-and-stick labels. I'd like to scan them and print them on decal paper, but I have some questions before I do.

1. The Jimny 1000 (what we in the States know as a Suzuki Samurai) has a lot of extraneous black space around several decals. What would be a good picture-editing program to use in removing that stuff? The program would have to be a free download or a very inexpensive purchase.

2.My current printer is an HP Officejet All-In-One 7410. It's an inkjet, so it should work for printing decals. Am i correct?

3. Some of the decals on the Jimny 1000 would need white ink to accurately depict what appears on the label sheet. I'm fairly certain that I could get a printer that uses white ink, but at what cost? And would I need some sort of special software to be able to see the areas that would be printed in white ink? If this isn't feasible, I'll most likely use a very light gray instead of white.

Thanks to all who provide help and insights.
 

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Most printers don't print white. Alps used to offer one that did, but its either 1) not in production any more or 2) not sold in the US any more. At any rate, its rare, and expensive. Getting cartridges is harder and harder and they command a huge price.

They make different paper for inkjet and laser printers. Make sure you get an appropriate type. Bare Metal Foil sells good quality decal paper. I have used the Testors stuff myself.

You can get around the lack of white ink by printing on white decal paper. If you need just white letters with no border or background you are pretty much out of luck. You could add an outline or border to them and cut out each letter and apply them individually. You can also paint areas white that need to be white and apply a decal over it, letting the clear "white" areas show the paint.

Scanning a decal sheet works pretty well. You can adjust the colors, edit, etc. using Gimp 2 which is a free downloadable editing suite. You may find also that cutting the decal sheet apart and printing parts on clear and parts on white will be useful.

Print some test runs on regular paper before using the decal film, which is expensive. You will probably waste a sheet or two by accident. Printing at photo-quality might seem smart but you get too much ink on the glossy paper and it may smear or run.

You will have to seal the decals. Testors sells a clear decal sealer spray that works well but you can use a couple coats of Testors Gloss Coat, Tamiya Clear Gloss, etc. Once sealed the decals are still pretty fragile (thin). Silk screened inks used on commercial decals are thicker than printer ink so your home made decal will want to fold, curl, have the edges roll under, etc. Decal solvents don't seem to work well on home made decals either, which are just too fragile.

This repro Aurora decal was done by scanning the original, badly yellowed, decal sheet, cleaning up and correcting the colors, and then printing out on white Testors paper.



The USAF and serial number decals were printed on Testors clear paper. The national insignia were printed on white, and cut out carefully to avoid a white border to the blue areas.



This is what I started with - a scan of the old, yellowed decals



I started color correcting and cleaning them up... The grey background (not really important) can be erased with the editing program's eraser



The red bars were mis printed on the original decal sheet. I found for best color and registration, I turned the image into a black and white design. Then I could erase the red bars. It is easy to color the blue areas back into blue, and draw in new red bars. Instead of doing this four times for each insignia, just do it once and then cut/paste it out three more times.



Some of the black lettering looks rough. You can clean it up a bit and cut/paste it out for more decals too. Looking at the image blown up big causes distortion not visible 1/1 size too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you need just white letters with no border or background you are pretty much out of luck.

You may find also that cutting the decal sheet apart and printing parts on clear and parts on white will be useful.
Some of the lettering on the Jimny 1000 is white with no background, so if I get around to making decals for it, I'll go with a color as close to chrome as I can possibly get. I suppose I could also very carefully paint the decals white after they've been placed. The Jimny Wide won't be nearly as big a pain, as I can use white decal paper for everything but the graphics.

Alps was the name of the printer I was thinking of, but I think I'll just forgo that expense.

Thanks for the help--and might I say, your P-51D turned out awesome!
 
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