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repmaster1234

Decal Dials Tutorial

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repmaster1234

Hello all,

I am reposting this tutorial that I wrote on RWI (when my account there existed) as I think many of you here will find it useful.

All credit for this idea, as far as I'm aware, belongs to Bart Cordell for his pioneering of the decal technique. The intent of this tutorial will be to help to those of you who have attempted to print decal dials in the past and have not gotten the results you were hoping for. Let's jump right into the tutorial:

First off, you'll need files to print. Here is my file for a 6538. I've attached an illustrator version, this is only intended for those of you that are using an exceptionally high resolution or low resolution printer. Anyone using a printer around 1200 or 2400 DPI will not need to use this file. Those of you with average printers will want to use the 1200 DPI or 2400 DPI file. Choose the one that corresponds to the maximum DPI capability of your printer. The higher quality the better the print job! I also attached a tropical dial pattern I created just for fun, although this will be harder to print as it requires color inks. I'll go into the details of this below.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4k7pb97tuz...00DPI.tif?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0galxu9sex...00DPI.tif?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ocgoqi3mtj...orFile.ai?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/m4zzwaq9vq...pical.tif?dl=0

Additionally, just for you RWG folks, I've decided to add my files for the 1675 and the 6542. Here they are, in both 2400 DPI and 1200 DPI format:

6542:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0fu9gywik7xa5yf/2400.tif?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p4hvrk04eactoof/1200.tif?dl=0

1675:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/13dscu5ai1uwb5q/1675SCOC1200.tif?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xy94hboialo1ylj/1675SCOC2400.tif?dl=0

If you've chosen to use the illustrator file for the 6538, you'll need to export it as a TIFF at the quality of your choice in order for your print results to look decent. Illustrator uses a strange compression algorithm that causes prints at this small size to look awful if printed through Illustrator itself. So, export the illustrator file as a TIFF and open your TIFF up in photoshop.

Now that we are in photoshop, you'll need to lay out a sheet to test print. I recommend test printing on cheapo 4x6 photo paper so that you don't waste your expensive decal sheets. For the sake of this tutorial, I'll be using A4 size paper, as that is what I have on me. If you are using a different size, be sure to select your respective size wherever applicable.

Open up the TIFF file that you have either made with my illustrator file or downloaded in photoshop. Create a new file, select the appropriate size for whatever paper you are printing on, and most importantly make sure the resolution is set to the same resolution as your TIFF file (IE 1200, 2400). If it's not, when you paste the image into the new file it will not sized correctly, so this is very important.

Screen-Shot-2017-12-16-at-10.27.22-AM2de

Look at "Resolution" - I set it to 2400

Now it's simply a matter of copying the dial image from your original TIFF file and pasting it into the new file you just created, and organizing your pasted images into a pattern that you'd like to print (I use a 5x6 rectangle). Once they are organized, be sure to flatten your image. Also, go to image->mode->grayscale if you are printing a purely black image. If not, keep this setting on bitmap

Screen-Shot-2017-12-16-at-10.25.58-AM908

Click "Flatten Image"

Next, we need to make a custom printer profile. Most printer drivers that are installed by default don't have nearly enough alterable parameters to get a good print result. Just setting your printer to print "high quality glossy photo paper" isn't going to cut it if you want really crisp print results. I have a mac, so this part of the tutorial only applies to mac, however I'm sure the process is very similar to windows. A quick Google search for " alternate printer driver install windows" should give you a similar tutorial. For mac users, you'll want to go into your system preferences and select printers and scanners. At the bottom of this page you'll see a "+" symbol. Click this.

Screen-Shot-2017-12-16-at-10.34.44-AMb7e

Click the "+"

Select the printer you want to use (it needs to be connected to your computer to show up). Click location, then select software.

Screen-Shot-2017-12-16-at-10.34.54-AM894

A long list of different drivers should pop up. Use the search bar to find drivers that are the same brand as your printer. Mine is an Epson 830, so I searched Epson 800.

Screen-Shot-2017-12-16-at-10.35.14-AM8eb

For Epson printers, the Gutenprint drivers have many more settings than the default drivers, so you'll want to use these. For other printers, you'll have to test different drivers until you find some that work. This is a pretty easy process.

Now it is time to print. Try not to get too excited! Go to file->print and this dialog box should pop up (if you are using photoshop. If not I don't know what you're doing here).

Screen-Shot-2017-12-16-at-10.28.53-AM149Be sure that your file

Be sure that your file is centered, as printers tend to get wonky near the edges of the paper. This is also important to keep in mind when laying out the sheet you want to print. Be sure that the printer profile you made is selected, and that the rest of the settings are identical to mine. Click "print," and you'll be brought to another dialogue box. Now it's time to get into the nitty gritty of your print drivers you installed. You'll have to do your own experimentation here, but usually just clicking "best" on all of the settings will give you a good result. Ideally, you want your file to print very slowly and at a quality corresponding to the maximum quality your printer is capable of (Google this). Here are my settings for reference. The platen gap is important to set at 0.0 since you are using relatively thick paper.

Screen-Shot-2017-12-16-at-10.29.03-AMe4a

Screen-Shot-2017-12-14-at-8.28.56-PM993b

Screen-Shot-2017-12-14-at-8.28.56-PM993b

Screen-Shot-2017-12-14-at-8.29.36-PMa453

This step will require some experimentation to get ideal results. If you have an Epson printer you are in luck, as these settings have worked well for me. If you are printing a colored dial of any sort (IE a tropical dial), you'll need to mess around with the ink density settings. I found that decreasing yellow ink density to about .70 gave me good results for the tropical dial pattern that I attached above. The rest of the settings are identical, except of course you'll select RGB instead of grayscale.

Now you can print your decals! Be patient and give the ink 24 hours to dry before spraying clear coat on the paper - seriously. I hope this tutorial was useful.

_R0101660846cdacd1f8581d.jpg


_R010008e321adeb98d22f75.jpg


_R010005f4c52f4ef7e9bc36.jpg

 

Edited by repmaster1234

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GC

55_F33_CA8-3_ACB-4_D71-9_A6_B-_FD2275_E4

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Explorr

Boy oh boy, with all these tutorials I one day have to start modding, too.

Thanks for sharing, my master.

;-)

E.

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pickledbeetroot

That’s pretty cool :thumbsup: 

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Walid

Nice tutorial mate...but after we print the dial on the paper decals what we have to do?
I read the last part but unfortunately I don’t understand....thanks


Inviato dal mio iPhone utilizzando Tapatalk

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Haltec

@OP 

Kudos.

Any 3-6-9 in unflatten .psd maybe?

Really great work.   Thnx for time to pass it to us.

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repmaster1234
3 hours ago, Walid said:

Nice tutorial mate...but after we print the dial on the paper decals what we have to do?
I read the last part but unfortunately I don’t understand....thanks


Inviato dal mio iPhone utilizzando Tapatalk

I actually didn't cover this in the tutorial as it would require a tutorial of its own. See here for a good one: http://www.scalemodelguide.com/painting-weathering/decals/apply-waterslide-decals/

3 hours ago, Haltec said:

@OP 

Kudos.

Any 3-6-9 in unflatten .psd maybe?

Really great work.   Thnx for time to pass it to us.

Not sure what you're asking, you'd like a 3-6-9 dial? 

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holla79

Thanks for sharing the files.  I tried this for a few months after I saw what Bart had posted on the other site.  The hardest part was buying all of the tools needed to take the watch apart. 

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holla79

Has anyone started selling sheets of dials yet? I could never get my text to print crisply 

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repmaster1234
12 hours ago, holla79 said:

Has anyone started selling sheets of dials yet? I could never get my text to print crisply 

Try again following the steps in this tutorial, if that doesn't help, send me a PM

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TRANSPORTER

Nice one mate, this is one of those jobs that I have tried before, it's all down to the printer settings as you say,  the hardest part I found ( but probably the simplest) is actually setting the size of each individual dial print, twice I managed to get a couple of sheets of a perfect 29mm dial print on my practice paper, then when I went to use my decal sheet for some reason I just couldn't ge tot print to the size that I required, done my head in, and still haven't figured out what's wrong.

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NCRich

Coollllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!

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holla79

I just printed using GIMP photo editing software because it was a free download online.  Using the files you provided, the results were better than some of my last prints so thank you for that! I will see how the decals look after they dry and I transfer them over. @repmaster1234 do you use gold leaf on your dial prior to putting the decal? 

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repmaster1234
1 hour ago, holla79 said:

I just printed using GIMP photo editing software because it was a free download online.  Using the files you provided, the results were better than some of my last prints so thank you for that! I will see how the decals look after they dry and I transfer them over. @repmaster1234 do you use gold leaf on your dial prior to putting the decal? 

I do not, just the bare brass. Gimp is an excellent program and I'm glad to hear that the files work there too. Post some pictures of your prints :) 

23 hours ago, TRANSPORTER said:

Nice one mate, this is one of those jobs that I have tried before, it's all down to the printer settings as you say,  the hardest part I found ( but probably the simplest) is actually setting the size of each individual dial print, twice I managed to get a couple of sheets of a perfect 29mm dial print on my practice paper, then when I went to use my decal sheet for some reason I just couldn't ge tot print to the size that I required, done my head in, and still haven't figured out what's wrong.

Most likely the problem is the resolution of your canvases in whatever program you are using. They all have to be absolutely consistent. I.e. If you use 2400 in one canvas, you have to use 2400 in another. 

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TRANSPORTER

Cheers for the heads up mate I will double check everything next time I get round to trying some again, too many jobs on the bench at the mo, just fully made 4 dollar pocket watches today from my parts bin!!

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holla79

IMG_6846_1.jpgIMG_6847_1.jpgIMG_6848_1.jpg

I made this dial Saturday and the results were much better applying the print directly to brass.

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repmaster1234
6 hours ago, holla79 said:

IMG_6846_1.jpgIMG_6847_1.jpgIMG_6848_1.jpg

I made this dial Saturday and the results were much better applying the print directly to brass.

It does look a lot better. What lacquer finish are you using?

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GC

Phenomenal photography of a stunning result! That dial looks “next level “ as my 8yr old would say... 

FB81_B859-4_AC2-4_DA3-_A5_CB-3_F2_F14_E9

bravo

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repmaster1234
3 hours ago, GC said:

Phenomenal photography of a stunning result! That dial looks “next level “ as my 8yr old would say... 

Thank you sir! Another shot (pun intended) I took of one of my dials in the wild -

DSCF0123b75855ccb0b7dccd.jpg

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holla79

I put 4 layers of Krylon matte spray and finished with 1 coat of Krylon triple thick clear glaze to add a little shine to it

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repmaster1234
18 minutes ago, holla79 said:

I put 4 layers of Krylon matte spray and finished with 1 coat of Krylon triple thick clear glaze to add a little shine to it

I'd be interested to see what would happen if you put two layers of the triple thick and then wet sand it from 1000-3000 grit, following up with polishing compound. Probably going to try this myself soon. Would make the texture you see on your dial perfectly flat and glossy.

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holla79

I think the texture is from the matte spray. The clear just accentuates it. I’m working on one now where I put the clear on first and will follow with matte.

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Bart Cordell

I never had issue to print my decals, anyway this is a great tutorial mate !

btw my last attempt :

fullsizeoutput_6268.jpgfullsizeoutput_6280.jpg

fullsizeoutput_628e.jpg

Edited by Bart Cordell

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repmaster1234
8 hours ago, Bart Cordell said:

I never had issue to print my decals, anyway this is a great tutorial mate !

btw my last attempt :

fullsizeoutput_6280.jpg

Looks great as always Bart! Your lume work is top notch stuff.

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holla79

Did any of you ever try printing a white GMT dial? I’m thinking it would be very easy with white decal paper and by switching the white/ clear print areas to black.

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