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Sealing the prints - Scalescenes Building Kits. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 11:17 am
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Petermac
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I really like Scalescenes models - fun, although time consuming, to build, strong and great for kit bashing or scratch building.

However, for me, they have one big drawback - print fade.

I just use a domestic HP inkjet printer with genuine HP cartridges - my word, aren't they expensive !!

Once printed, on ordinary 80 gsm paper, I usually give them a quick blast of "maximum hold" hairspray (sometimes I forget :oops:) and away I go.

I have installed some retaining walls on the layout and, prior to ballasting, thought I'd make sure by spraying with clear matt varnish.

I now have two-tone retaining walls !

Is there a secret to fully sealing these models ?  It seems to me that any dampness, from whatever source, creeps up the model and ruins an otherwise satisfactory rendering of the kit.................. :cry:



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 Posted: Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 12:12 pm
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When I print the sheets I lay them out on a flat surface & give them a quick spray of Acrylic Matt Varnish from a rattle tin. I leave them until the following day before I use them.My layout room is in the basement & has no outside light so maybe I'm lucky that I have had no print fade.

Liquitex have an Archival acrylic matt spray varnish. It would contain a UV filter to prevent fading. These are the products that professional artists use.

Here is a link to the Liquitex product on their site.
https://www.liquitex.com/row/products/professional/gessoes-mediums-varnishes/matte-varnish-spray/

Golden are another company I understand produce products like this.

Tony.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 12:25 pm
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I sprayed both sides of the paper with matt varnish from a can once printed.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 07:09 pm
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Sol wrote: I sprayed both sides of the paper with matt varnish from a can once printed.

I spray the sheets as soon as they come off the printer

I hadnt thought of spraying both sides. Thats a good idea......thank you Ron

I use Krylon Preservative.....Digital Photo and Paper protector. Its not cheap but is very effective. Its important to check that UV protection is on the can. I bought a cheaper alternative once without checking the label!

I still get two tone effects but they result from printing a second or third batch of paper. I tend to use weathering powder on the finished model and that helps disguise any shade variations,



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 Posted: Fri Sep 3rd, 2021 10:47 am
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I use an OKI colour laser printer, no problems with fading, no need to varnish; although toner cartridges may appear expensive, if you work it out on cost per page the end result is much cheaper. Other advantages I've found, I can print to card up to 220gsm but even better I can print backscenes up to 4' (1200cm) long.



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 Posted: Fri Sep 3rd, 2021 11:26 am
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Petermac
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Yes Mike - I'd like a laser printer too but I've got what I've got and, other than with Scalescenes printing, it does what I want, albeit the replacement ink cartridges are a totally stupid price.  Having said that, they make their money from the cartridges, not the printer which cost slightly more than 2 pairs of cartridges (it only takes 2 cartridges).



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 Posted: Sat Sep 4th, 2021 08:28 am
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Peter, I have always used the generic cartridges from this supplier for all of my Scalescenes' prints. 
https://www.cartridgepeople.com/

I usually give the printed sheets a coat of Testors Dullcote matt varnish, mainly to waterproof them.  I prefer the paint on variety rather than the spray can.  Of course, I don't allow sunlight to fall on the models.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Sep 4th, 2021 11:17 am
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Petermac
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That's probably fine if you're in UK Terry but delivery would be costly to France .............. :shock:

I bought some generic cartridges for my HP Envy printer and, although they fitted, it wouldn't accept them so I couldn't print.  Clever move on the part of HP - it seems they are able to block the use of non genuine cartridges......... :It's a no no



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 Posted: Sat Sep 4th, 2021 05:27 pm
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This re triggered a thought I had some time ago, while laminating an old family birth certificate passed on to SWMBO to add in to a family history project. You can get matt Finnish laminating pouches and I wondered if/ how these would work out on scalescenes printed pages  


Not sure whether you would cut the sheet up first and then laminate the pieces or laminate then cut. I know this would leave exposed edges though, that would then need sealed. And no idea how easy to then glue the resulting pieces ? 

You can get pouches in different thicknesses as well, possibly negating the need to stick to card in certain cases ?


Maybe worth an experiment   :hmm



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 Posted: Sat Sep 4th, 2021 11:38 pm
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Colin W
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Everything I've done in Scalescenes I just get printed at our local office supplies, high / reliable / light-fast quality on the paper of your choice and no worries about printer supplies, colour balance etc. I get various sheets run off at the same time so I always have spares on hand. At $0.70 - $1 depending on paper weight for A4 I think its a bargain.

Finishing is with a Matt Acrylic Varnish, ten or so drops slightly diluted then hand brushed on goes a long way. I guess a can will be equivalent but then is more wasteful of various resources.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 5th, 2021 07:50 am
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As Colin suggests having the models printed at a local print shop might be the way to go.  You would certainly get better prints than is possible on a home printer.  I have considered this approach myself.  Prints are under 10p a page here locally.  Very economical when compared to the cost of ink cartridges.
Terry 

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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2022 10:37 am
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Petermac
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Rather than start a new thread on the same subject, I'm continuing here ...............

When we moved house over 3 years ago, I packed all my Scalescenes buildings away in cardboard boxes and they've been dry stored since - i.e. no light, no damp.

Today, I unpacked 1 box to test site a building.  I was disappointed to find that most of the colours had faded to a sort of light pinkish tone rendering them virtually useless unles I resort to painting them - I'm no Rembrandt so that's not really an option.

Some I'll admit, weren't sealed but others were - with either hairspray (maximum hold for which, surprisingly, I have little need) or a Lidl shoe waterproofing spray.

A laser printer isn't an option and I suspect using photographic paper would prove prohibitively expensive given all the reprints I usually end up doing.

I print on "ordinary" 80gsm office printer paper.  UV art spray sealers seem to retail around the €15 or more for 400ml. 

Roughly, how many pages could I expect 400ml to treat - I understand I'd need to spray both sides of the print but would this affect the glueing to the card ?

Much as I love the versatility of Scalescenes, I'm nearly at the point of reverting to either plasticard or pre-printed buildings..................... :cry:



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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2022 01:01 pm
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Colin W
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Hi Peter,

Sorry to hear that. Stored as they have been in boxes I'm confident that's not UV action. I can think of several possibles: chemicals in the air causing bleaching # or something in the paper attacking the dyes e.g. acid , or just basic instability of the dyes themselves to air or heat. Hence it could be one of many things hard to pin down.

By way of comparison I have many Scalescene laser printed papers which have sat on my layout for several years in daylight and regularly catching direct early evening sunlight. I couldn't get a suitable UV sealant and yet they've survived. I'd not be spending on UV protection against your issues without further tests and experimentation on your prints, assuming they are home printed on an ink jet.

I've never been convinced about the stability of Ink jet printing hence my suggestion to get professional office printwork done when using Scalescenes. It doesn't need to be photo quality on photo paper, their inks are pigment based and much more stable.

# e.g if stored anywhere near pool or laundry chemicals, (HCl, hypo etc.) minute traces of these in the air over an extended period could be deadly to chemical dye colours.
 



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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2022 02:09 pm
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Hi Peter (and others),

One thing that is not being considered is the paper. Worthwhile spending a bit more and getting archive quality paper, or use photograph quality paper, which is intended to last a lot longer without fading.  I'm with Colin on this, use a print shop which uses commercial printers/papers.

Nigel



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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2022 03:12 pm
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n and Nigel but I'm not sure you have grasped the ins and outs of living in rural France.


"Civilisation" in any useful form is 70 miles from where I live - that's a 140 mile round trip and, whilst there are several "commercial printers" within  fairly easy reach - let's say within 15 miles, the potential cost of an initial print run alarms me to say nothing of the reprints to replace those I mess up.

To make any kind of sense of a commercial print whilst avoiding a 30 mile round trip for the odd replacement page of A4, I'd probably have to get them to print at least 2 runs of each model, almost half of which would be wasted unless I need several "large overall roofs", for example ....

Also, using a commercial printer surely cancels one of the main advantage of Scalescenes - " print as many as you like, at home " .......

I think my next move will be to source some higher quality paper and better spray varnish and see how that goes ......



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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2022 06:10 pm
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Hi Peter

I agree with your conclusions about printing at home rather than from a commercial printer.

I use basic copy paper printed on a laserjet for all my Scalescene projects
I spray the printed side only of each sheet immediately after printing. I use Krylon "Preserve it" Moisture resistant, UV protection. I guess it depends on the number of projects but my cans seem to last 3-4 years. Based on my own experience :sad: its a false economy not to use a good quality Artists Preservative.

I got much, much better results from Scalescene when I replaced my very old inkjet printer with a laser jet, 15 years ago. If you havent done so already you should read John Wiffen's comments about printers and paper quality. He tends to favour laser jets for which he recommends using 80 gsm copy paper. The better quality matt photo paper is recommended for inkjet with the caveat not to use it for wrapping corners. Doug (Chubber the master builder!) made a similar recommendation.

I dont know how French prices compare with Canada. Here a laser jet ranges between $420 - $250 versus an inkjet $350 - $125. Printing quality apart the price difference should be recovered over 2? years through less costly cartridges  and reduced ink usage. If there is a similar price gap in France it might be food for thought?
:hmm :pedal



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 Posted: Wed May 11th, 2022 06:39 pm
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Petermac wrote: Rather than start a new thread on the same subject, I'm continuing here ...............

When we moved house over 3 years ago, I packed all my Scalescenes buildings away in cardboard boxes and they've been dry stored since - i.e. no light, no damp.

Today, I unpacked 1 box to test site a building.  I was disappointed to find that most of the colours had faded to a sort of light pinkish tone rendering them virtually useless unles I resort to painting them - I'm no Rembrandt so that's not really an option.

Some I'll admit, weren't sealed but others were - with either hairspray (maximum hold for which, surprisingly, I have little need) or a Lidl shoe waterproofing spray.

A laser printer isn't an option and I suspect using photographic paper would prove prohibitively expensive given all the reprints I usually end up doing.

I print on "ordinary" 80gsm office printer paper.  UV art spray sealers seem to retail around the €15 or more for 400ml. 

Roughly, how many pages could I expect 400ml to treat - I understand I'd need to spray both sides of the print but would this affect the glueing to the card ?

Much as I love the versatility of Scalescenes, I'm nearly at the point of reverting to either plasticard or pre-printed buildings..................... :cry:


Some of your problem may be included in this post, Peter.  Hairspray isn't really a sealant, it's a glue made from various chemicals which might well react with the inks used, but perhaps more importantly they contain water, so the very thing you are trying to protect the paper from is being sprayed on.  I would suspect the waterproofing spray is designed to stick to a leather surface, rather than paper, so is likely to wear off or rub off.  Hairspray won't waterproof shoes... but it does help to create and keep a nice shine!

Michael



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 Posted: Thu May 12th, 2022 07:36 pm
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Well, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a laser printer - what an absolute minefield !!

The decider was that today, I wanted to print off 2 pages of Scalescenes brickwork but my printer had other ideas - it ran out of colour ink !!

What seemsw like last week, I spent €70 on  a pair of "high yield" cartridges - 1 black and 1 colour.  I don't think my printing could be classed as "heavy", in fact, some weeks it's not even switched on.  (Having checked - it was in fact, November of last year that I bought these cartridges - my word, how time flies!!)

My concerns over ink fade (which I might be able to correct by better sealing) and what seems like constant the almost replacement of cartridges, coupled with both John and Mike's comments abnout theirs,  prompted me to look me towards laser printers.

I'd virtually settled on a Brother HL-L3270CDW at €270 - ish when I discovered it doesn't scan or copy and the colour printing is somewhat lacking............   I occasionally scan, more frequently copy but the real clincher to look elsewhere was the comment about colour quality.  Obviously that's critical.

OK - a question .................  How important is the print resolution for Scalescenes kits ?  I have seen a laser "all in one" at a not too silly price but the resolution is only 600 x 600.  The rejected Brother printer came in at a more respectable 1200 x 600.

I need to bear in mind that I'm essentially changing a perfectly good inkjet printer just so that I can print off Scalescenes kits so spending €600 plus simply won't wash with my controller so my budget is limited up to about €400..................  If it were not for these kits, I'd happily stick with my HP Envy.




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 Posted: Thu May 12th, 2022 08:13 pm
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the numbers refer to the number of "dots" of toner per inch.  The more dots, the better the quality.  But 1200x600 means the extra dots are only in one direction.  Look to see if the 600x600 has an enhanced printing mode.  This would make it a better option than a 1200 x 600 version without the enhanced option.  A photographer would want the 1200 version, I am not sure Scalecenes printouts require that level of detail really, and after compression and conversion to a PDF, some of the resolution would be lost anyway.  And it will use less toner.
Michael



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 Posted: Thu May 12th, 2022 08:16 pm
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Our HP Envy 5640 all-in-one is probably the most versitile and useful machine we've lived with. Even the cat is fascinated by it, so it simply has to stay.

A hard call Peter. Have you tried any plastic or laser cut kits recently? You can buy a shed load for 400€!

Bon courage,

Bill



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