Thursday, January 13, 2011

Souvenir van

Hornby Live Van

This project is going to have to end up filed under "Not awfully successful". However, someone might get something from it, so I'll tell you what I did anyway.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had some leftover projects, one of which was an LMS van. Well, after the post I found the remaining plastic parts and fitted them. That still left me with a van I had no use for but while printing some decals for another project, it occurred to me that I could turn my van into a souvenir of the show. A bit like the promotional vans Hornby bring out every year.

So, I pinched the logo from the website and printed it on a make your own decal system. This requires you to print the stuff and then varnish it using the spray can in the kit. I gave it several coats which may have been a mistake as this left me with quite a thick transfer that wasn't very flexible. Less is more obviously.

The van was sprayed with gloss white and stuck in a box to dry overnight. Once the paint was hardened, black areas were brush painted with matt Humbrol.

Then the transfers. The first attempt was a disaster. By the time I had soaked the transfer from it's backing, the ink had run and putting it on the van resulted in a squidgy mess.

Attempt 2 - the back was peeled from the transfer while dry leaving only the varnish and a very thin paper layer. This was soaked and peeled off as quickly as I could persuade it to let go. The decal was then placed on the van and blotted with paper. A bit of micro sol was tried to persuade the thing to sit down over all the lumps and bumps. The result is the one show above, which looks better in real life than the photo !

Attempt 3 - like attempt 2 but I painted micro sol over the van side and slapped the transfer on. Results, the ink ran again. Badly.

So, the moral is - don't use an Epson printer as the inks don't like any form of liquid. Less varnish on your transfer makes it more flexible. And not every project works out.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the thoughts Phil as we're looking for a printer at the moment and I'd like it to be able to make transfers. Are you using an inkjet or laserjet Epson?

Phil Parker said...

Inkjet - I'm not aware of a laser printer decal system and even if I was, I think a colour laser is outside my price range for the minute. I suspect different makers inks behave differently. These are genuine Epsom. Hope this helps.

John Cupis said...

I do 4mm scale buses and the tiny destinations have long time eluded me. I now get them printed commercially and the 0.75mm high letters and figures are quite legible. You have to use Serif 'Draw Plus' software and a process called 'SVG' I am sure this could be done with "Craftycomputerpaper" transfers for your decals.