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Old 8th Aug 2022, 3:16 pm   #1
Slammer
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Default Waterslide Decals

I had a thought, I know itīs coming from a strange place but bear with me.
I want to copy the decal for the Dressola and maybe for some other things I have in mind and I want to do it as close to the original as possible, so I took a closer look at the picture on my HMV and can see that it is some kind of thin decal, sort of like the roundels on my old Airfix models that you wet and slide off and almost but not entirely quite hit where you want it to be.
A bit of research later, thank you forum, by the way, and it seems that they have the name of water slide decals.
So far, so good.
A bit of the google and on Amazon I find you can get water slide paper for Inkjet and Laser printers. You print the decal, give it an acrylic coating, wait for an hour and a bit and then things get wet.

I do a lot of artwork, so the actual artwork isnīt a problem https://www.deviantart.com/search?q=slammer999
If you are interested.

So has anybody tried this method?
And my as my interest is in print and prepress, I am struggling to figure out how they reproduced and printed these things a hundred-odd years ago.
The closest I can get is silk screen printing but there are one or two things that I canīt quite put my finger on.
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Old 8th Aug 2022, 4:26 pm   #2
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

David G4EBT has done a description of this, I think. There are certainly several threads about transfer experiences.

I recently used some from Mr Decal Paper as I don't buy from Amazon, but I expect the products are much of a muchness. I scanned the faceplate from my Cropico Thermocouple Potentiometer and used it as a base to draw the lettering and scales in Affinity Designer. I had to remove most of the old paint because of battery corrosion, and the lettering came too.

It came out quite well after painting the thing gold, though the edges of the decals are still visible after a number of layers of lacquer. Perhaps I could have trimmed the borders rather larger to make fewer 'islands', but I was concerned about bubbles in a large expanse of transfer. Perhaps silk screen is next.
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Old 8th Aug 2022, 4:39 pm   #3
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bulgaria View Post
David G4EBT has done a description of this, I think. There are certainly several threads about transfer experiences.

I recently used some from Mr Decal Paper as I don't buy from Amazon, but I expect the products are much of a muchness. I scanned the faceplate from my Cropico Thermocouple Potentiometer and used it as a base to draw the lettering and scales in Affinity Designer. I had to remove most of the old paint because of battery corrosion, and the lettering came too.

It came out quite well after painting the thing gold, though the edges of the decals are still visible after a number of layers of lacquer. Perhaps I could have trimmed the borders rather larger to make fewer 'islands', but I was concerned about bubbles in a large expanse of transfer. Perhaps silk screen is next.
Affinity suite is the best, all my art is done with Affinity.
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Old 8th Aug 2022, 7:05 pm   #4
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

Been doing some digging and I think that the only way they could have printed these kind of decals with this level of detail and vibrancy would be via gravur or Intaglio printing.
Basically the same way banknotes are printed, that makes original decals fine art indeed.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 6:47 am   #5
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

I have some old sheets of water transfers with a selection of typical legends one might need for homebrew projects like "Radio, PHONO, RF" etc. they did make a good job but they were reet fiddly to place. I placed them using a fine paint brush, literally floating them into place then dabbed up the excess water using a dry brush.

Andy.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 7:36 am   #6
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

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Originally Posted by Diabolical Artificer View Post
I have some old sheets of water transfers with a selection of typical legends one might need for homebrew projects like "Radio, PHONO, RF" etc. they did make a good job but they were reet fiddly to place. I placed them using a fine paint brush, literally floating them into place then dabbed up the excess water using a dry brush.

Andy.
Sounds like a great way to do it.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 8:30 am   #7
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

There are two types - paper (decals) for inkjet printers and paper for laserjets. The laserjet version doesn't require a lacquer finish (in most cases).

Mrs k_e has been doing this for 10+ years now (not electronics related though) and churns out dozens in A4 every month.

The 'key' to success (after getting the print right) is applying it without leaving bubbles under it - trimming decals should, of course, leave a very tiny clear border around the colour else you'll see bleeding.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 8:44 am   #8
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

I've just had this email from Mr Decal Paper:

Quote:

Its official - I'm closing the Mr Decal Paper eBay shop
😭 😭
It's such a shame, it’s a shop that's given me so much over the years. But with rising fees, added vat and trying to help up to 30 customers a days with their projects I have no choice unfortunately. But the good news is I can now hold my prices and stay in stock at MrDecalPaper.com 😄

To celebrate I'm giving 10% off everything below using voucher code MDP10 !

https://mrdecalpaper.com

End quote.

What we call 'transfers', outside the UK are universally referred to as 'decals', which is perhaps a more meaningful term.

I've no idea what the 'Dresolla' decal looks like so can't express a view on that, other than to say that the better the artwork, the better will be the end result.

I'd just reiterate that applying the transfers is an acquired skill.

As they're called 'waterside transfers' the inference is that you slide the transfer off the backing paper, but you don't, or it will wrinkle up. When you've soaked the transfer in a saucer of warm water for a minute or so, you gently test it between finger and thumb to see if it's ready to slide off, and if so, you hold it in the position in which you wish to apply it, still on the backing paper, then slide the backing paper from beneath the transfer while smoothing the transfer into position, making sure that you don't stretch it. It helps if you moisten the surface first - the top of a radio cabinet for example.

The larger the transfer, the greater the challenge. A set-top logo is easy, a dial is quite challenging.

The topic has been covered in several threads over the years, such as this one:

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...lide+Transfers

In terms of the limitations of printing artwork created on a domestic in-jet or laser printer, it's often been said that you can't print white, silver or gold, which of course true. However, it's certainly possible to mimic those colours sufficiently to fool the eye, as will be evident from some of the examples in forum threads, and the Bush cabinet-top logo in pic 1 below. When using white paper any areas of the transfer which need to be white will simply not have ink on them so will appear just as though they've been printed white.

One of the limitations will be evident in the two examples below of HMV logo scans at pic 2 & pic 3.

The first one - with text above and below the rectangular picture of 'Nipper' isn't really possible. The transfer needs to be printed onto white paper, so all of the white area around the text will be present. To avoid the white areas around the text, it might be thought that clear transfer paper could be used, so all of the area around the text would be transparent. However, the decal would be too insipid when applied to a cabinet.

The second example, in which there is a dark brown background with a 'gold' border to blend in with the cabinet would overcome that problem and would fine if printed on white decal paper. Not exactly the same as the original, but if the two aren't seen side by side for comparison, who is to know, and what is the option - no logo at all?

The main disappointment with clear waterslide transfer paper is that of creating passable replica glass dials. There are many example of excellent scans, not least of which are for the ubiquitous Bush DAC90A in several iterations. I printed off several scans on transparent paper (reverse printed so they could be applied to the rear of the glass). While still on the white backing paper they looked very promising. However, when applied to the glass, they were very disappointing - insipid and lacked the opacity of screen printed dials.

The problem with radios such as the DAC90A is that they have little residual value, can be/are 'money pits' (possible replacement output valve/rectifier, possible rewind of output transformer, replacement of waxy capacitors), that there's no headroom to pay the price of screen printed replacements dials like the originals, which is why no-on makes them. That said, Radio Daze in the States who supplies high quality decals for many mainly America radios has recently offered DAC90 (not '90A) dials at $39 US plus shipping:

https://www.radiodaze.com/dials-glass-63/

Ben Djikman in NL can supply lots of high quality repro dials (and other items) for mostly continental radios. Some really quite cheap, others not so:

https://www.bendijkman.nl/index.php?...roduct&ipath=9

In passing, the same dilemma exists when it comes to reproduction knobs, back panels speaker fabric, strap handles for portable radios etc. Few UK radios are noteworthy enough for restorers to pay the price that it costs to produce such items.

I think that's quite enough from me.

Pic 1: Bush cabinet top logo.
Pic 2: HMV with text, which need to be on a clear background.
Pic 3: HMV with the text set on a dark brown background.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 8:56 am   #9
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

I rue the day I sold a wax ribbon printer that took all forms of 'glitter' ink and even printed white. I can't even recall the make of the printer - sold it sometime around 2006 IIRC. Then again, the cartridges were difficult enough to source 'then' - impossible today. The cartridges looked like the ones you fit in label printers but had multiple coloured versions available.

There are, I believe, some (laser) printers designed to print a white ink - Mrs k_e considered one for her business a few years ago - but the costs were prohibitive. If anyone does have one they could make a few Ģ offering print outs to desperate people!

If anyone gets desperate enough to require some transfer sheets they could do worse than contact me as our own use for them has declined yet we still have 10's of sheets unused. This assumes that you have exhausted other sources of supply of course.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 12:38 pm   #10
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

I have the Dressola logo, it’s rather simple, I found the correct font and will recreate it. Just not too sure how I want to print it yet.
I would like to use as close to the original method, which is either flexo or Gravur, flexo I can manage, Gravur not a chance. There is a third option with thermotransfer…. if you have the guts to apply a hot iron to your antique.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 6:49 pm   #11
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slammer View Post
I have the Dressola logo, it’s rather simple, I found the correct font and will recreate it. Just not too sure how I want to print it yet.
You've jumped the main hurdle - creating the artwork for the logo!

For the sake of a page of white decal paper, why not print it using your printer, whether laser or ink-jet, cut it out, place it in position and see what you think? If you're happy with its appearance, apply it to the cabinet. It's said that to give decals added protection, you can spay it with acrylic lacquer, which might be fine on a model aircraft etc, but not on a wooden radio cabinet.

In my experience they're perfectly durable on wooden cabinets without being over-sprayed.

I printed the Bush cabinet-top decal in the pic below on white ink-jet decal paper in 2018, and to test its durability, I fitted it onto a piece of scrap mahogany, with no added protection. Since 2018 it's been in my desk drawer among various other items (stapler, scissors, metal rule, calculator, multi-meter etc) which I rummage through. I can't scrape if off with a fingernail and I think it's fared quite well. (I've just taken the picture five minutes ago).

I hope that might help a bit, but whatever you decide to do, I wish you well in your endeavours.
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Old 9th Aug 2022, 10:39 pm   #12
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

AS always a very interesting thread. I did pick up on this though, Slammer

if you have the guts to apply a hot iron to your antique.
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Old 10th Aug 2022, 12:49 pm   #13
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AS always a very interesting thread. I did pick up on this though, Slammer

if you have the guts to apply a hot iron to your antique.
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Either that or give your hmv a good shellacking in the evening in your one room pokey hole under the roof bed sit and wake up to a shellack hangover in the morning.
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Old 10th Aug 2022, 8:43 pm   #14
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

I had me some fun this evening. I found a half way usable Dressola logo, it was only a 72ppi tiny screenshot but with a bit of tweaking I managed to get enough details so that I could use it as a template.
I got it as close as I could with what I had and the rest that is not identical to the original is, letīs say, close enough to pass muster for the untrained eye.
It took a while to find the correct font though. The "Dressola" main font seems to be a font called: "Black Quality" I canīt find any historical reference to this font, so I presume it is a modern copy of an extinct font.
Now the word "Phonoplast" is interesting, the best my fontfinders could come up with was: "Dratted If I know!" (the other word I used came up with a lot of *****īs)
So for this I used a Helvetica and mauled it to make it fit.
Now I have a 100% vector graphic and not a Pixel graphic so it can be scaled and printed in any resolution or size I need without pixelation.
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Old 10th Aug 2022, 8:54 pm   #15
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

Quote:
Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slammer View Post
I have the Dressola logo, it’s rather simple, I found the correct font and will recreate it. Just not too sure how I want to print it yet.
You've jumped the main hurdle - creating the artwork for the logo!

For the sake of a page of white decal paper, why not print it using your printer, whether laser or ink-jet, cut it out, place it in position and see what you think? If you're happy with its appearance, apply it to the cabinet. It's said that to give decals added protection, you can spay it with acrylic lacquer, which might be fine on a model aircraft etc, but not on a wooden radio cabinet.

In my experience they're perfectly durable on wooden cabinets without being over-sprayed.

I printed the Bush cabinet-top decal in the pic below on white ink-jet decal paper in 2018, and to test its durability, I fitted it onto a piece of scrap mahogany, with no added protection. Since 2018 it's been in my desk drawer among various other items (stapler, scissors, metal rule, calculator, multi-meter etc) which I rummage through. I can't scrape if off with a fingernail and I think it's fared quite well. (I've just taken the picture five minutes ago).

I hope that might help a bit, but whatever you decide to do, I wish you well in your endeavours.
That is the way I will eventually go, interesting that you did not coat it.
I am however still trying to figure out how they printed it at the time. This topic has sparked a discussion on a printing forum, so I will see where that leads.
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Old 10th Aug 2022, 9:16 pm   #16
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

Well done! I for one will be interested to hear what printing enthusiasts have to say about historical reproduction.

There's another way to treat your struggles with the typeface - if it were me, I would have drawn out the templet manually, perhaps tracing with a vector programme, or blowing it up and tracing by hand (if resolution permits). I would imagine that the logo would have originally been constructed by a designer/letterer, not be a founded typeface. As with any drawing, making it at an enlarged scale then reducing to the required one reduces errors and increases the crispness of the finished article.

For my Cropico, I drew out the letters and used some as substitutes to generate parts of the labels that had been worn off.
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Old 10th Aug 2022, 9:28 pm   #17
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Well done! I for one will be interested to hear what printing enthusiasts have to say about historical reproduction.

There's another way to treat your struggles with the typeface - if it were me, I would have drawn out the templet manually, perhaps tracing with a vector programme, or blowing it up and tracing by hand (if resolution permits). I would imagine that the logo would have originally been constructed by a designer/letterer, not be a founded typeface. As with any drawing, making it at an enlarged scale then reducing to the required one reduces errors and increases the crispness of the finished article.

For my Cropico, I drew out the letters and used some as substitutes to generate parts of the labels that had been worn off.
That is basically what I do. Thing is the resolution of 72PPi is far to low to get the quality I require, also once you get to placing the anchor points of a vector you find yourself unable to decide where on the pixel your vector is going to be. That can cause your recreated typeface to lose its balance. So if I can find a font, then vector it I can place the anchors wherever I want them.
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Old 13th Aug 2022, 8:11 am   #18
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I got intrigued regarding the typefaces used in the HMV logo.
In my original job as a Typesetter, I am normally really good at finding what fonts somebody has used. HMV has used a plethora of different typefaces throughout its history, perhaps to fit the Zeitgeist of that period. I found one font called: "Cochin" a nice serif antique typeface as shown in the first picture, but for the love of me I canīt find the second one. Now I know that most fonts you find today are, apart from the classics, modern reproductions, but from time to time you get extinct fonts, and it would seem that the font in the second picture is such an extinct font, I can get close with a font called: "Creolia" but itīs almost, but not quite entirely unlike the original....
And for a typsetter this is annoying as heck.

(Yes people, the last German typesetter is a dyselexic Engländer who goes by the name of "Slammer." Gutenberg must be spinning in his grave)
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Old 13th Aug 2022, 10:19 pm   #19
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Default Re: Waterslide Decals

I think you have done well Slammer. I have been looking at HMV signs or logos all my life and I have never bothered to analyse what font is used.
I suppose it goes with your trade, but the little page of samples you produced looks excellent to me.
I make amplifiers and use a modern dymo machine for the labels, so my amps really look like crap.
I wonder, have you thought of doing this as a service on this forum?. By that I mean if I gave you the ideas, would you make up a master that I could print onto slide paper and then place on my amp?.
All costs and some profit of course would be paid.


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Old 14th Aug 2022, 5:32 am   #20
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I hadnīt thought about that, but I would be happy to give it a try, drop me a PM
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