Need to print my own Decals

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Ronson2k3, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    Apr 2, 2008
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    Ok.. I really want to get into making some C&O models. Having decided on the decade and local to a degree. I've found some good pics of some International Wide Vision C&O cabooses. Athearn is apparently coming out with some this coming Feb.. But from the looks of them they have quite a few things incorrect (go figure LOL). So I have some of there undecorated wide visions lying about so I'm looking to turn a few into the newer (at that time) Wide Vision Cab's

    So in looking into the decal thing I found Microscale has a set designated for their 1st Gen diesels but the 'Donought' C&O appears to be to small for the cab model. Further the other ones I've scene are in Blue to go on yellow cabs. So no use there.. So I was thinking of using the photo graphic data and creating then printing my own...

    I know that I can get testers decal sheets for that but what I was wondering was if there is anyone here that has done that and if so are there better sheets availabe or good practices I can use. I've not done this before and would like to avoid waisting sheets/ink if possible..

    Any help would be appreciated..
  2. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Dec 26, 2006
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    Unless you have your heart set on making your own decals, I would check Champ,
    They make some of the best decals I have ever used.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    My advice - try as hard as you can to find appropriate commercial decals. If that fails, then consider printing your own.

    To add: printing your own only works if you have a dark colored decal over a light colored surface. The ink from printers is not opaque, and light colors will not show up over dark backgrounds - at all. And - without a special, no longer in production printer, you cannot print white. There are tricks I have used to do light colored decals on dark backgrounds, and it turns out okay with lots of work, but definitely not worth the effort if commercial decals are available.
  4. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    Apr 2, 2008
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    thanks for the help

    Thanks for the help fella's I had a feeling about that. I think one way to get around the light on dark would be to paint the area white and apply the decal to it.. but if I was going to do that then it would be easy enough to paint that area yellow aswell. Interesting thought there.

    I only need the 'donought' of the C&O Herald could perhaps make a stencil of that and paint it on..

    I checked Champ.. thanks for the link. I used to work at a hobby store should've remembered that one. Anyway. They have

    Blue on Yellow
    White on Red
    Chessie Blue on Yellow

    No Yellow on Blue..

    The have the Harald itself in various sizes but not in Yellow.. Don't know why as Blue was the predominant color and Yellow one of the main lettering colors.

    Once I get the engineering drawings of the caboose. I should know the actual size of the Herald and then be able to 'supplement' a substitute for the missing Caboose herald. Possibly .. If not 'the dreaded - PLAN B' making a stencil. I've never done that. I do have an airbrush though so could be a plan..

    The marker lights and end sills should be ok with standard striped decals and the rest is decaled with standard off the shelf stuff.

    I don't know yet. How many Wide Vision Caboose they had for the C&O I haven't even looked into B&O yet. I am thinking though it's a pretty good number and they were late in the building so they were fairly new when Chessie was formed.
    Photo of C&O Wide Vision in Blue/Yellow lettering

    Don't know how Athearn could make such glaring mistakes on there RTR cabs. The stack is on the short end and the running lights and sills are missing. Even if they are working from Drawings of the C&O Wide Vision. They could have scene pics of the caboose online as I have done. I've not scene one yet that has these items as they have them depected. I would buy the model if it wasn't RTR to hack into it to correct the mistakes would be a pain and probably end up with a crumby looking cab. I could be saving that as a last resort though but really very last. All the other details are nicely done though...

    Anyone buy one of the RTR's are they eacy to take apart .. If they are could be a pretty good option perhaps? Changing the stack location...

    Cut current stack off drill out hole ..
    Replace with modeling puty.
    Drill new stack location ..
    Paint roof .. Add new stack

    Using the undecorated cab I could make a template for the sills and marker lights
    cut them out of styrene
    cut hole for marker lights (would be good to have them functional)
    paint and decal sills
    add them to RTR C&O Cab.

    -- To make them functional I would need easy access to the interior of the cab.. Not going to nuts trying to hack to much. As it could end up kind of sloppy so if it's easy to get into then cool if not then need to find other way.

    Would be cool to do a full interior if adding lights though.. Super Detail. That will depend on Drawings I get from COHS. I've been in a Van in Canada so I know what the layout is in general but every cab is different and if doing a super detail I want it to be right..

    Once again thanks for you help guys.. Need to do a bit more decal searching and maybe come up with an alternative but if not I have a few other options to persue.. not going the print it myself thing. That saved me a bit of time and effort there already...;)
  5. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    Apr 2, 2008
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    Ok.. Had a revolation...

    On my way to the convenience store.. I was thinking I would 'Imagineer' a work truck for the C&O not really able to find a picture of one for the most part. I've found pics of C&O and Chessie - Pickup Trucks but nothing of a utility nature. With added equipment to work on Signals and the like. These trucks are out of the 60's and 70's but I'm thinking they must of used pickups before to do there heavy lifting to tight spaces thing..

    So I'm wanting to unless I find out differently make a Utility truck in the C&O fashion (Blue - Yellow logo/lettering) and then build a Utility box for it to go on the back (perhaps add some cabling and a ladder or two). I would make that out of paper. So it would fit in the bed of the earlier model truck. I've scene pics of utility trucks from in the 50's so it's not an entirely new (then) idea to have them.. So unless some one says they didn't have those I'm keeping the idea.. If scrubbing is required didn't invest to much in making a utility box for them...

    Then I though how hard could it be to make a Speeder for the C&O out of paper (card stock). Pretty tiny model (HO) so I could maybe make a dozen or so on one sheet.. Enough for an entire layout. They are pretty much a box anyway. Add some wire for the rear roof piller and perhaps even motorize it (motorizing - project for a later time). Wheels I would probably make out of something else if not buy...

    Then that brought me back to the Cab (Caboose) difficulty finding a decal for the Cab and making the mods to the Athearn WV Undecorated.. So then I thought why not make that ouf of paper (card) as well.. Just the main body of the Cab.. Complete with all marking and weathering.. Would need to experiment a bit with the color to get it right.. then mix paint for the other parts eg. Cupola so that it matched but would save me a ton of time stripping off panel marks/Grab Irons/hand rails/ and let me put all markings on in one shot.. Position and cut new windows too (with an x-acto I might add). I would do the end sills that way as well..

    Another thought.. (wow more then one man can handle at a time LOL). what if I did the same for the Interior. Add in stuff on the inside walls. I could 'paint in' clip boards and rule listings (I've scene them in Vans in Canada) and panels for the interior. They are pretty dark in there most times though.. But still could be cool.. Adding in Seats and equipment lockers and a bench bed could be easily done in (Printed on card). Give the bed a nice made up look folded done sheet+blanket and a pillow.. I better stop before I go crazy.. LOL

    -- I was thinking if printing decals not going to work why not print the entire car.. LOL.. I'm pretty good at graphic design and could add aging and weathering in a PSP filter then change it up for each new cab. This could work for other cars but not going to press luck just yet.. Don't know how much it's going to take..

    Probably go 4x on the image. This will give good res to the printer to print at .. NO Pixalation. Again need to experiment.. I'm going to take a look for more detail parts (DetailsWest) and see if I can't take these bad boys up a notch or two..

    Would be cool to run Fiber Optic lines in the cab for (Marker Lights/Interior Lights and Platform Lights). One source perhaps a next gen LED (1 white + 2 red) Less power more output plus not hot like incandescent.

    I'd love to post my work but not sure Athearn would like that or not?? Not reproducing whole car and they are pretty inaccurate with there model.. However in a sense this becomes a bit of kitbash with me generating the other parts Athearn has incorrect or missing. Opinions could improve my decision making on putting it out there.. (help) ??

    Should be able to post pics of the work in any case so they will be forthcoming..

    Might do Speeder first though get my feet wet sorta speak..

    Oh No... I just found a decal set for the C&O Wide Vision Cab
    Set C-80 (C&O Yellow on blue car body..)

    Go with Decal Set or print car.. my head is going to ache over this one.. I got pretty ramped up thinking about making my own car body.. So I'm going have to give this some thought but probably stick to that plan though. I don't know what the decal would do on a dark body (would it be too dark - need to be primed first / Painted White) so my idea with all other considerations could still be a winner.. thinking it over and get back soon.