Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seeing red, printing orange

Well, more precisely, printing an orange / red / brown / magenta / tomato mix. 
I’ve been working on creating waterslide decals to model the words that appear on the street-facing facade of the WBB. The plan was to take a photo of a brick section of the front wall on the model, overlay the photo with appropriate white lettering, and then print out the images on white decal paper. Since white cannot be directly printed, any white that appears in decals must be superimposed on some background colour – in this case an intensely red brick.

Long story short, neither our Lexmark nor Canon printers can print what I’d say is a match for the Krylon red used to paint the WSMoftheWBB. After much tweaking and adjusting and cleaning and other associated foofarah, I don’t think the blue / yellow / magenta ‘colour’ cartridges these machines use as their standard equipment are capable of printing the eye-searing fire engine red that is Krylon red.

When I looked again at the red sign I had printed with the Lexmark printer for the Art Deco Chapters build, it is not what I’d call ‘true red’ either when compared to its red window frames – which is pretty close to Krylon red. I did have a printer many years ago that we used with an ancient iMac that seemed to print a pretty good red, and I used it for printing decals for this spaceship model, so printing a true red is possible.
Well, in a bit of frustration, I did try and apply one of the off-red decals to the building with an eye towards manually tuning up the colour once it was dried and secure. With the help of decal setting solutions the decal did conform to the bricks quite well, but it was clear the colour was so far off that no post-application brush work was going to make it look right.  I peeled it off and I continue my mission to print a true red :-)

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