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Printing on lego

Bit of an odd question, and don't worry minifigs me I am not trying to muscle in on your business. I have gotten hold of some shield from #7929 and I wanted to print on them to create late roman shields BUT I have no idea how to go about it. I could use stickers but they involve a lot of cutting out. So any pointers would be great.


  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,789
    I do not know of any printer device, that is cheap anyway, that would hold something to print ON it. You best bet is likely stickers
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,117
    I am wondering how a lot of them do it. Price isn't too much of an issue
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    I've used those ones before. Spray paint them, then waterslide decals. I tried RIT dye to get them black, but the transparent parts don't dye too well as they remain transparent (but very dark) - appearing dark red in bright light.

    It still involves cutting though.
  • NatebwNatebw Member Posts: 339
    I was reading in Minifigure Customization 2about water slide decals that can go through laser or inkjet printers. I haven't tried it yet, but I want to. Seems like it would work well for shields.
  • akunthitaakunthita Member Posts: 1,038
    You can use waterslide decals. You can print on it just like paper, but when you apply it it is so thin it looks just like printing. You can then apply a layer of clearcoat for protecting the print. Any well-stocked hobby shop should be able to help you as this is a common method (and very big hobby) used on model airplanes and toy soldiers. The end result is very nice and as I said; looks just like printing.

    For printing on LEGO elements what you would need is a pad-printer. Last time I checked even a used one was over 10 grand.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,117
    Ah okay I might have a look at water decals. Are you able to get them pre cut into shapes?

    Hmm I didn't realise a pad printer would be £10,000. Might skip that one!
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    No you cannot get them pre cut. In fact, you have to cut them once you have sprayed acrylic spray on them. Otherwise if they are pre-cut then the edges also get sealed when you seal the print and they don't slide off the backing paper very well.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,117
    Hmm there maybe a way then to do a whole load quite quickly. Do they need any base coat to hide previous designs on the Lego?
  • pricey73pricey73 Member Posts: 352
    @Redbullgivesuwind‌, you can buy clear or white decal paper, for what you need it for id say you would need the white, plus it'd hide whatever is underneath.

    Available for inkjet and laser printers.

    Plus you'd be needing the spray lacquer to protect the print.
  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    I believe there are some companies that will allow you to send stuff off to them to be printed. @MinifigsMe might even be able to help?
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    You will need to clean up the parts before using decals. Even with white paper, designs can show through. I wouldn't leave them transparent, they won't look right. So you could just paint them first.

    If you want to keep the Lego colour, you can wipe parts with very dilute acetone or alcohol. Then apply the decal. Some people use brasso, but I found that leaves the surface a bit too shiny.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    The downside of white is that you need very neat edges. The transparent is a little more forgiving, but only really works well on lighter colour parts.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium Member Posts: 1,956
    I can vouch for the quality of MinifigsMe's stickers - they've helped me before. They do look a little translucent on bright red bricks, but I think that's just the nature of the stickers - you could put two layers on (I was going to try that, but I haven't got around to it).
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,117
    I have used mini figs me before, and have an order on with them at the moment. However, I know how busy they are so just wanted to rattle through these quickly.

    I thought I may have to paint them. But that will save me putting stickers on the back. Well it is off to hobby craft tomorrow!
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