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The process of printing on tissue is pretty simple. As you have suggested,
do use a backing sheet. I have found, though, that it is a good idea to
have the tissue held to the backing sheet over the entire surface. I initially
simply taped it to the edge of the backing sheet that is fed into the printer.
The printing process wets the tissue and causes it to expand slightly.
This causes the tissue to pucker and come in contact the the print head.
Streaking and the occasional tear can result. My preferred method for attaching
the tissue to the backing sheet is to use 3M Photo Mount spray adhesive.
I spray a light coat on the backing sheet. The backing sheet is then stuck
to a piece of cardboard. The sheet is peeled off and the process repeated
several times. This gets rid of excess tack. The tissue is then applied
to the backing sheet and smoothed out. After printing, the tissue is easy
to peel off of the backing sheet.
When printing use
the setting on your printer that uses the least
amount of ink. This may be called the draft or
economy mode. Too much ink will cause the edges
to bleed where colors come together. Also, if your
printer supports a straight through paper path,
use that option. The process works fine when the
paper path goes through a bend, but a straight
through path option just reduces the risk of the
tissue separating from the backing sheet during
the printing process. One more comment. Many current
inkjet printers support banner printing. I use
this option to print larger pieces such as those
used on a wing half. Just cut your tissue in a
81/2" strip and select the banner mode. This will
allow you to print a strip 81/2" wide by the width
of your tissue sheet long .
Don't forget that
inkjet ink is not water proof. It takes dope with
no problem, but does not like water. That also
includes drug store alcohol since it is mostly
water. If you want to shrink printed tissue it
needs to be sealed first. I use a very thin clear
dope mixture to do this. I use 1 part dope to 9
parts thinner. Cover the model normally. After
covering, brush or spray on the thin dope mixture.
When dry you can spray on a light mist of water.
Wet the tissue but avoid puddeling water. The tissue
will shrink just fine and the ink will not run.
Have fun developing great looking models with inkjet
printed tissue. Paul Bradley - Houston, Texas
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