Here is what I basically do with my Decal pens. As you can see I use Testors Decal paper. This can be found at Hobby stores. I purchased mine at “Hobby Lobby.”
Just follow the directions for printing out your logo, name…etc. One thing I have found using this material is that you MUST use a light colored blank for the background. This is transparent film, but the inkjet inks are not solid enough for darker colors. That type of decal must be purchased through professional modeler companies.
After printing out your decal you must spray this setting compound. It to can be purchased at the same place you buy the decal paper. These go hand in hand and one cannot be used without the other. But becareful not to over spray. Overspraying can stiffen the decal up so it won’t bend around your pen.
Now, lets assume to this point that you have turned your blank. For prepping the barrel for decal I follow these simple steps:
1) sand down to 1000 grit
2) Use two thin coats of CA. I use an accelerate after each coat.
3) Micro Mesh the barrel 1500—12000 grit
4) DO NOT BUFF
The barrel should be nice a smooth at this point.
Now is the time to cut out your decals. Keep the trim close but not to close that you can’t handle the piece. Size it up to where you would like it on the barrel.
Take your decal and let is soak in some cool water (you can read the direction on package for this step).
Now be gentle as you slide the decal off the backing and place it on your barrel. Be very gentle rubbing out any creases and bubbles. THIS A MUST!
Now let the decal dry over night or 12 hours. You may see the outline of where you cut the decal out. That is okay and there is no need for any special decal over cover liquids. We will be applying enough heat when we put our finish on that the line will melt into the CA finish.
Here you can see the two barrels I’ve prepared to this point.
Now that the decal has completely dried be careful mounting it back onto the lathe. The decal can be easily be ripped at this point.
Now you need to take some thin CA and apply it with a shop towel. Quickly going over the blank as it is turning on the lathe. I then apply an accelerate. This seals a nice little top coat over the decal and protects it for the next applications of CA Glue.
I put on 3 coats of thick CA with accelerate after each coat. Some may think this is over kill but I like to be sure I don’t go through and sand the decal off… starting another over night wait.
After the CA Coats are applied I then Micro Mesh the barrel, 1500 – 12000 grits. I then use my beall buffing system. I only use the White Diamond skipping the Tripoli. Then finish off with a couple coats of Renascence Wax.
Now just put your pen together.