Re: Oddballs decals

John Hagen <sprinthag@...>

Thanks Don,

You have basically proved that it is more dependent on the craftsman doing
the printing than the method. Each method has it's pro's and con's but
properly done, both can produce very nice product.

My work has been compared with that of other Alps printers and screen
printers. It has always been considered of the highest quality. This is not
a plug as I am currently not really looking for additional work (troubles
with my last printer causing limitations on what I can do and raising my
costs). I say this merely to advise buyers to not lump all Alps decals as
second in quality. My work has be said to be more opaque than many screen
printers, sharper images than many others including screen printers and for
the lack of the "dot matrix" pattern common to those Alps printers that use
dithered colors as opposed to spot colors. One set I produced for a few
buyers that was a direct replacement for one previously sold by an Alps
printer that had left the business, when viewed by a very knowledgeable
aficionado of that railroad claimed mine better after doing rapid
examination due to the use of spot colors instead of dithered colors.
Frankly, for me the most enjoyable part is the artwork. The printing was
always a bit of a PIA. But I need to find someone to do the printing. And
the hard part of that is I have always pretty much specialized in the short
run stuff which is too costly using screen or pas printing methods.

Again I must emphasize the importance of properly drawn, vector graphics
artwork with all colors separated. With such artwork and a good craftsman
doing the printing, both methods will yield a good product.

John Hagen

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Don
Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2012 7:13 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Oddballs decals

--- In STMFC@... <> ,
timboconnor@... wrote:

Although I love having decals, I'm not sad to see the end of ALPS.
I've never been overly happy with the ALPS "dot matrix" application of
colors. Silk screening is still the best method and silk screen photo masks
can get down to at least 1/4" in HO scale.
I could not agree with you more, Tim, about what I view as a lack of quality
in ALPS printed decals and the far superior quality of silk screen printing.
All NERS decals had been printed by George Bishop, of SMP Industries, whom I
had known since 1971 and always found very fair to work with. Others may
feel differently but I considered George to be a friend and I miss him, even
to be able to chat with him on the telephone and sound each other out on
some thoughts or ideas. Before his print washer died, when he and Ron were
working together on the actual printing, you could not ask for a better
product. Some of his first efforts back in the 1970's were not the greatest
but George learned and he always tried to make things better. There are some
today who could learn from his example, myself included sometimes when too
much is attempted. When George, foolishly from my point of view as he and I
discussed more than once, went to Microscale to do his printing after the
screen washer died, what did he get? In my opinion an immediate reduction in
quality. The 5 x 8 1/2 decal sheets one received SMP decals on were the
actual size sheet that was printed. These were not cut from much larger
sheets after being printed as Microscale does. George's color registration
was the best I've seen and it greatly deteriorated when Microscale undertook
his printing. I have not been able to find anyone in recent years who can
match his quality at anything approaching a reasonable cost. One firm
contacted to reprint our single color Northeastern GPEX Milk Car Lessee set
quoted me a cost of over $12 per sheet in quantities of 500 for a set we
retailed at $8.95 before running out!!!!! So if anyone knows of a quality
and reasonably priced decal printer within the US, Canada or the UK I would
like to learn of such. But ALPS printers just don't cut the mustard for me
though I admit they are perhaps a little better than nothing.

Just my two bits worth, Don Valentine

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