Lettering and Artwork for Wagons

tac foley

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
2,721
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Near Huntingdon, UK
AAMOI, how long have you been around? I've been into model RRs and modelling in general since Airfix actually began to make plastic models that didn't warp in sunlight, and I'll admit that until yesterday I'd never heard of you.
 
Custom Model Decals

Custom Model Decals

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AAMOI, how long have you been around? I've been into model RRs and modelling in general since Airfix actually began to make plastic models that didn't warp in sunlight, and I'll admit that until yesterday I'd never heard of you.
I would be very surprised if you had heard of us. I started this business less than 6 weeks ago when I realised that a colleague had a £15000 printer which can print water resistant white ink that was being under-utilised. I was wanting some decals for a personal project and when I saw what this printer can do we decided to try and make a business out of it.

We seem to have hit a niche in the market and now already have a profitable business which is currently growing day by day.
We will design from simple lettering to quite complex decals like this one in 7mm scale. If it will fit onto an A4 sheet of decal, we will try it.

 
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Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
464
123
USA
Custom Model Decals

Custom Model Decals

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Tac, I did some testing for Archer of the decal rivets, and they just weren't tall enough for F scale. Custom Model Decals might be able to get more resolution.

Keith, here's another couple of options that we explored on LSC a few months ago.
Vinyl cutters, which cut white sticky vinyl to shape:
Large Scale Central - Advanced Forum Detail Topic - Fun with the vinyl cutter
White laser cartridges:
Large Scale Central - Advanced Forum Detail Topic - White Toner for Laser Printers
I had not heard of F scale (1:20.32 scale) until now. I have just designed decals for 16mm/ft scale ( 1:19.05 scale ) Ffestiniog narrow gauge Colonel Stephens carriages and so F scale should not be a problem.

Embossed rivets in the larger scales could be done but, as they are made by overlaying a clear varnish they would become more visible as ‘glass’ blocks in the larger sizes. I suppose, if the market was there, we could do Archer-like rivet Sheets for over-painting, but due to the extra printer time it takes they would be significantly more expensive that any Archers product. You could specify the diameter and rivet height for your model in 0.04mm steps.

I am pretty sure that we could also produce facsimile nuts in the larger sizes, I would say at greater than 1-2mm diameter, utilising the varnish as a form of 3d printer. Yet again it would not be a cheap option. We did a test sheet of Archer type rivets from 0.1mm to 0.5mm diameter and 0.2mm height and it took 2.5 hours to do the A5 sheet as it took 7 passes to get the 0.2mm depth.



 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,491
1,518
North West Norfolk
You can buy inkjet Water Slide decal paper and print your own decals, I have looked at it but not bought any yet and tried it, don't know if anybody on here has tried the stuff, it's around £15 for 20 A4 sheets so not expensive if it works ?
Yep, you then have to 'fix it' with varnish, which doesn't totally fix it when you start to soak / apply the transfer. Then it degrades / runs when stored in a less than completely dry atmoshphere.

It's a great idea, but I've looked for other ways, and the people that Philp mentioned are the bees' knees in the UK at the moment.
 
tac foley

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
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747
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Near Huntingdon, UK
I see the problem with the 3D business - Archer, of course, are famous for their products in support of N, H0, S scale and 0.

F scale is actually called Fn3 - F for Fine, n for narrow, and 3 for the replication of the mostly-Colorado 3-foot gauge lines that proliferate in that state.

I have no doubt that you'll also get asked at some time for your products in 7/8th scale - a narrow gauge scale that is getting very popular with a number of live-steam and electric models produced as ready to run live-steam - Accucraft - and kits - IP Engineering and Model Earth, just to name three.

Irish narrow gauge, mostly three-foot, is also on the point of becoming popular, with Accucraft promising to produce live steamers in that scale, and South African prototypes as well. The Isle of Man is already well taken care of by Accucraft, since it also runs on three-foot 3 gauge.

You have joined into a huge on-going party here, and I wish you the very best of luck!!.


tac
Ottawa Valley Garden Railway Society [ovgrs.org]
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,491
1,518
North West Norfolk
F scale is actually called Fn3 - F for Fine, n for narrow, and 3 for the replication of the mostly-Colorado 3-foot gauge lines that proliferate in that state.




tac
Ottawa Valley Garden Railway Society [ovgrs.org]
No it is not, tac

F is the US scale for 15mm : 1ft - I have posted this frequently but. surprisingly, you do not take it in.

thus Fn3 is 1:20.3 narrow gaue (as you say) running on 45mm track (scale equivalent of 3 ft)

I would have thought, that for someone who comes form across the pond, you would have known what F scale is :think::think::think::think:
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,809
387
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
I suppose in the larger scales, between 1:29 and 7/8th inch, in this part of the railway hobby the issue will be understanding and deploying the typefaces/fonts used and the conventions around likes of lining and drop shadows with text and numerals associated with the older subject matter that predominate here. This is where the established players like Stan Cedarleaf and others score. As I have come to appreciate recently getting some decals made up for a D&RGW Fn3 subject.

It surprises me that the availability of "print on demand" decals in the dry print medium are not more prevalent here, or even a seemingly waning technology. Vinyls seem to be taking their place and I have used Del Tapporro's good services for my lumber line's roster decoration. Both technologies are ideal for white and metallics, the bugbear of CMYK and RGB low volume printers, that is the basis for a lot of RR liveries and decoration. But I prefer the qualities of dry print for its ability to better conform to textured surfaces.

My issue with waterslides is that they must inevitably be applied to a gloss surface, to help hide their carrier film, requiring a prior and further overcoating to achieve the full final desired finish. These are opportunities to muck things up, for a variety of reasons, no matter how experienced you are. They also more often or not need some kind of setting solution to get them to conform to textured surfaces. Personally I have no problem using them as I spent many years applying them to 1:43 racing car models that are stuffed with compound curves, shut lines, rivet heads and undercuts for them to be conformed to, which is not such an issue with model railway subjects. But at least a racing car's paintwork and the decals invariably have a gloss finish. Max
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,491
1,518
North West Norfolk
I suppose in the larger scales, between 1:29 and 7/8th inch, in this part of the railway hobby the issue will be understanding and deploying the typefaces/fonts used and the conventions around likes of lining and drop shadows with text and numerals associated with the older subject matter that predominate here. This is where the established players like Stan Cedarleaf and others score. As I have come to appreciate recently getting some decals made up for a D&RGW Fn3 subject.

It surprises me that the availability of "print on demand" decals in the dry print medium are not more prevalent here, or even a seemingly waning technology. Vinyls seem to be taking their place and I have used Del Tapporro's good services for my lumber line's roster decoration. Both technologies are ideal for white and metallics, the bugbear of CMYK and RGB low volume printers, that is the basis for a lot of RR liveries and decoration. But I prefer the qualities of dry print for its ability to better conform to textured surfaces.

My issue with waterslides is that they must inevitably be applied to a gloss surface, to help hide their carrier film, requiring a prior and further overcoating to achieve the full final desired finish. These are opportunities to muck things up, for a variety of reasons, no matter how experienced you are. They also more often or not need some kind of setting solution to get them to conform to textured surfaces. Personally I have no problem using them as I spent many years applying them to 1:43 racing car models that are stuffed with compound curves, shut lines, rivet heads and undercuts for them to be conformed to, which is not such an issue with model railway subjects. But at least a racing car's paintwork and the decals invariably have a gloss finish. Max
Some waterslide are pretty good at adhering to the surface and reflecting the surface features - Fox transfers (I have used quite a lot of their standard lettering) are very good for that and don't require a gloss surface - it must be all to do with the carrier film I guess.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,491
1,518
North West Norfolk
I see the problem with the 3D business - Archer, of course, are famous for their products in support of N, H0, S scale and 0.

F scale is actually called Fn3 - F for Fine, n for narrow, and 3 for the replication of the mostly-Colorado 3-foot gauge lines that proliferate in that state.

I have no doubt that you'll also get asked at some time for your products in 7/8th scale - a narrow gauge scale that is getting very popular with a number of live-steam and electric models produced as ready to run live-steam - Accucraft - and kits - IP Engineering and Model Earth, just to name three.

Irish narrow gauge, mostly three-foot, is also on the point of becoming popular, with Accucraft promising to produce live steamers in that scale, and South African prototypes as well. The Isle of Man is already well taken care of by Accucraft, since it also runs on three-foot 3 gauge.

You have joined into a huge on-going party here, and I wish you the very best of luck!!.


tac
Ottawa Valley Garden Railway Society [ovgrs.org]
 
Custom Model Decals

Custom Model Decals

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Some waterslide are pretty good at adhering to the surface and reflecting the surface features - Fox transfers (I have used quite a lot of their standard lettering) are very good for that and don't require a gloss surface - it must be all to do with the carrier film I guess.
And the use of modern decal fixing solutions. Humbrol Decalfix is a one part solution that I recommend to my customers. It greatly reduces the ‘silvering’ of waterslide decals when they are applied to matte painted surfaces The Vallejo system is two part, one part used for application and the other the decal softener. I have good results with both systems with our decals. The days of using just water to release the decal from its backing are getting fewer.

I am trying to expand the range of features I can use for decals and custom rub down and decals with Ink and metallic components are on my list of future experiments.
 
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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
27,491
1,518
North West Norfolk
And the use of modern decal fixing solutions. Humbrol Decalfix is a one part solution that I recommend to my customers. It greatly reduces the ‘silvering’ of waterslide decals when they are applied to matte painted surfaces The Vallejo system is two part, one part used for application and the other the decal softener. I have good results with both systems with our decals. The days of using just water to release the decal from its backing are getting fewer.

I am trying to expand the range of features I can use for decals and custom rub down and decals with Ink and metallic components are on my list of future experiments.
Interesting - I've never got on very well with Decalfix - it can leave a white sediment that's impossible to remove. Mind you, I was trying to apply some pretty ropey white transfers on a black background. They were purpose made, and the seller was very briefly on either this forum or its predecessor, but he wasn't around long - can't think why :lipssealed::lipssealed:
 
Custom Model Decals

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Interesting - I've never got on very well with Decalfix - it can leave a white sediment that's impossible to remove. Mind you, I was trying to apply some pretty ropey white transfers on a black background. They were purpose made, and the seller was very briefly on either this forum or its predecessor, but he wasn't around long - can't think why :lipssealed::lipssealed:
re decalfix, did you try a weak solution of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton bud? I have had reports that sometimes works.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,809
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Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Microscale Microset & Microsol are my go to products when working with waterslides, not too aggressive. Walthers Solvaset when I need to get tougher decals to conform to uneven and compound curved surfaces. However, I will always test with a bit of the carrier film or surplus printed area on a pre prepared surface made up with the same paints and lacquers to make sure all is compatible. And always give the makers recommendations a go. And yes, you can always go the white vinegar and IPA route.

Problem is there are so many variables you have to pretty much have your heart in your mouth every time you start a decalling job. I have had an almost unused bottle of Decalfix in the potions drawer for the past 30 + years ;) I'll a go and see if it does the trick with applying a decal to a non gloss surface, there may be an application for it after all. Max
 
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Custom Model Decals

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Just a warning, Humbrol Decalfix is not the same as it was. I have 30 year bottles of Humbrol Decalfix 1 & 2 and now the Humbrol Decalfix is a single bottle system.

see
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,319
1,840
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I suppose in the larger scales, between 1:29 and 7/8th inch, in this part of the railway hobby the issue will be understanding and deploying the typefaces/fonts used and the conventions around likes of lining and drop shadows with text and numerals associated with the older subject matter that predominate here. This is where the established players like Stan Cedarleaf and others score. As I have come to appreciate recently getting some decals made up for a D&RGW Fn3 subject.

It surprises me that the availability of "print on demand" decals in the dry print medium are not more prevalent here, or even a seemingly waning technology. Vinyls seem to be taking their place and I have used Del Tapporro's good services for my lumber line's roster decoration. Both technologies are ideal for white and metallics, the bugbear of CMYK and RGB low volume printers, that is the basis for a lot of RR liveries and decoration. But I prefer the qualities of dry print for its ability to better conform to textured surfaces.

My issue with waterslides is that they must inevitably be applied to a gloss surface, to help hide their carrier film, requiring a prior and further overcoating to achieve the full final desired finish. These are opportunities to muck things up, for a variety of reasons, no matter how experienced you are. They also more often or not need some kind of setting solution to get them to conform to textured surfaces. Personally I have no problem using them as I spent many years applying them to 1:43 racing car models that are stuffed with compound curves, shut lines, rivet heads and undercuts for them to be conformed to, which is not such an issue with model railway subjects. But at least a racing car's paintwork and the decals invariably have a gloss finish. Max
Have used so called decals, pressfix and metfix with varying degrees of success. My latest set of decals from Germany whilst very good were as ever for me a bit of an issue to get right on plastic stock. My greatest success in the past with 00 and 0 gauges was Methfix, I found the ability to move around the numbers and lettering to get things straight and in line an enormous benefit, for me they worked a treat. However sadly not available any more, but I have sufficient for my current needs in the smaller scales. If only they (PC Models I think) were still on the go but nothing lasts forever I guess.

My current method is to print to Sticky Vynil Paper using a Lazer (yes I know) making what appears to be Plates with the lettering works for me. I have a need for all vehicles particularly Wagons to be properly and uniquely numbered so that the Wagon Cards for movement can be properly used. Not a perfect or completely prototypical system for my chosen line but a satisfactory work round that works for me.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,809
387
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Just a warning, Humbrol Decalfix is not the same as it was. I have 30 year bottles of Humbrol Decalfix 1 & 2 and now the Humbrol Decalfix is a single bottle system.

see
Very interesting, thanks for posting. I might give it a try. Seems that Humbrol my have created the "Holy Grail" of decal solutions. Ammonia based, so would household ammonia do the same trick I wonder? You may want to provide a warning, if you haven't already, in any instructions given that the product you are recommending is not the old/original Decalfix. I can't be the only old buffer who is in the habit of hoarding old materials on the basis of "this might come in useful one day". I also notice there was a caveat about possible effects when used on some gloss paintwork, rather than the matt intended. So the product is a little counterintuitive to those of us who are not up to date about these things. Max
 
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kedwards

kedwards

Caving, Garden Railways
Thanks again everyone for your advice. I decided to place an order with Custom Model Decals. Andrew sorted out the curved lettering for me, completed the design and printed the decals. They arrived yesterday and look very impressive. I will let you know how I get on applying them and post some pictures of the finished trucks.
 
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