Decals for number boards

When custom painting and lettering an engine, what is the best process to use for the number boards? Since the number boards are lighted, I have tried using a black decal film over the number board and then applied white numbers. However, the black decal does very little to block out the light. 

I've also used my office jet printer, to print a black area with white numbers. This looks better than the black decal approach.

Anyone come up with a way of blocking out the light, short of unplugging it.

Thanks

RAY

Original Post

I use Evans Design Hobby Cal. It comes with a white background. Print the numbers in reverse so the backgound is black. This decal film has a property where if after application you brush it with a solvent based varnish, the white becomes clear. 

Pete

You might paint the backside. An exact following of the artwork should not be too critical there. I'd think you'd  want some localized light bleed, so just make the large areas and edges more opaque on the backside, leaving the clean lines of the print facing you . Water based acrylic would allow mistakes to be reattempted with a wet wipe. I've cleaned up to some pretty fine lines by pin head edge with a paper towel wrap before. You try "drawing" things clean on the back in partially set acrylic. Like I implied, exactly following the font might not matter.

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Ray of sunshine posted:

When custom painting and lettering an engine, what is the best process to use for the number boards? Since the number boards are lighted, I have tried using a black decal film over the number board and then applied white numbers. However, the black decal does very little to block out the light. 

I've also used my office jet printer, to print a black area with white numbers. This looks better than the black decal approach.

Anyone come up with a way of blocking out the light, short of unplugging it.

Thanks

RAY

This is why I don't re-paint engines and have steered others away from doing it.

However, you got me thinking about this as I read your post. I would try a DYMO LectraTag label maker.

I marked some parts draws the other day and I bet it may work for number boards. Font size goes down to HO scale #5. They can be selected on the device for "O" It does have black & white. It might just work.

s-l1000[1]

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Ray,

I'm not sure if you want the lettering to be illuminated or not, but I did on a recent project.  I printed the numbers on white film on a black background using the basic Word program.  The decal was made a tad oversize so it would go to the edge of the number board.  I used an Evans Design pico sized LED for illumination and a bit of black paint on the edges to take care of any light bleed along the edges.  I also toned down the LED's light a bit with a dab of black paint which was a tack in itself since the LEDs are 1mm in size.  Here's the result:

And the lights in the roof of the project.  The iPhone's camera doesn't allow for a lot of compensation for contrast, so the actual lights aren't as bright as they appear in the shot.

This is S scale, but your results should be similar.   Good luck!  I've always doing enjoyed lighting projects.

 

 

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I print the numbers in reverse colors, white on black using Microsoft Word.  I use canopy glue (Tester's Clear Parts Cement) to glue them to a blank plastic piece cut to size.  Touch up the edges with a Sharpie so no white shows through and place them.  Whenever possible, I have the numbers on the inside to protect them.

For the removable number boards on headlights, I sand/polish the old numbers off and glue the above created numbers to the plastic.  A couple coats of clear coat will seal it as those number sheets are, by necessity, on the outside.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I print the numbers in reverse colors, white on black using Microsoft Word.  I use canopy glue (Tester's Clear Parts Cement) to glue them to a blank plastic piece cut to size.  Touch up the edges with a Sharpie so no white shows through and place them.  Whenever possible, I have the numbers on the inside to protect them.

For the removable number boards on headlights, I sand/polish the old numbers off and glue the above created numbers to the plastic.  A couple coats of clear coat will seal it as those number sheets are, by necessity, on the outside.

Really that's the best way. Some do not have M.S. skills. Just about all signs can be made on the PC if you know the workings of Microsoft Office items. 

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