Reproducing Logos, insignias and Images onto water slide transfers


By Nick B From an article on the web.


As a keen scale modeller I was pleased a few years ago to have discovered `Supercal' who make a water slide paper that can be used on an ordinary inkjet printer. The method of creating your own waterslide transfers is such an easy process that I'm surprised is hasn't been more widely advertised in the modelling press. I thought that it might be a good idea to share some of my manufacturing techniques with you and to show you how white lettering water slide transfers can also be produced.


Firstly you can buy all the items needed to produce your own waterslide transfers from a great company named `Crafty Computer Paper' with a web address www.craftycomputerpaper.co.uk

Galaxy Models supply the Supercal product . The only items you need are either white or clear waterslide paper and a can of clear acrylic spray that can be obtained from most DIY hardware shops. So let us say that you want to produce the perfect RAF roundel at say 3” diameter.


The first thing to do is search the web for a good copy of the roundel and then, when you've found one, put the cursor over the image and right click your mouse. Unless the image is copy protected (and most are not) copy the image to a folder that you can access later on. I have set up a folder on my PC specifically for Logos and images of all sorts. Using your favourite word processor insert the image into a page and then size it to whatever size you need - in this case 3”.


Now before we place a sheet of waterslide paper in the printer we need to decide whether to use white or clear waterslide paper. The decision primarily lies in whether there are white areas inside the item that you are going to print. Remember that your inkjet printer cannot print white so if white is important to the image then chose white paper. If however the colour of the surface that the decal is to be stuck to is to show through the gaps in your image then chose clear waterslide paper. I have to say that in the majority of cases I tend to use the clear paper.


Now in the case of an RAF roundel the choice of paper will depend on the colour of the surface the decal will be fixed to. If the surface is white then chose clear waterslide paper and if the surface is not white then chose white waterslide paper (because the middle ring is white).


So here are the steps:

Prepare a print image on your PC ready for printing. Print a test piece on ordinary paper, using best print quality photo settings, to ensure colour and size.

Insert either white or clear waterslide paper into your printer and print.(Make sure you get the paper the right way round)

Allow the print image to thoroughly dry - at least one hour.

Spray up to three coats of clear acrylic leaving at least 15 minutes between each coat.

Using sharp scissors or a scalpel cut around your image (especially if you are using white background waterslide paper.)

Place the decal face up onto the surface of warm water and leave for about 45 seconds to a minute.

Do not remove the decal from its backing paper but offer the whole lot up to the surface and then gently slide the backing paper from underneath the decal.

Gently dab the decal with a tissue to remove excess water and then leave overnight to set.

If you want you can give a light spray of clear lacquer over set decal to permanently protect it from removal.


Now up until recently the task of producing bright white letters on a clear background, using the techniques described above, was not possible because printers cannot do white letters! Well all has now changed with the discovery of `White Embossing Powder'. The craft fraternity has used embossing powders predominantly when they make raised images on cards etc. using rubber stamps to create the original image.

Again you can get the embossing powder from Crafty Computer Paper but I have managed with ordinary white fine embossing powder from any good craft centre.

Follow these steps and you'll be amazed at the results:

Using your favourite word processor create your text image. Print a test piece, in black, on ordinary paper to ensure size and font type.

Once you are satisfied with the result, change font colour to PALE YELLOW.

Set your print quality to highest photo quality.

Take the lid off the white embossing powder - be prepared!

Insert a sheet of CLEAR waterslide paper into your printer and print image.

Quickly and before the ink dries, sprinkle the powder over the text (do not be sparing - use plenty of powder).

Hold the paper and shuffle it around to ensure maximum absorption of the powder into the yellow ink.

Now gently pour the excess powder back into the pot leaving just the characters covered in powder.

Using a heat gun or a hair dryer set to hot fan over the powdered characters for about 45 seconds or long enough to see the powder melt into a bright white liquid.

When all the powder has melted, leave for a few minutes to set.



You will now have the perfect water slide transfer that can be used just like any other transfer - works a treat.