Have you made your own decals?

I'm looking for a little bit of help.  I'm turning this RDC dummy401104997520_1into thisJC-702to run with this92533-31I've closed up windows and added doors, shaved the cast in handrails, and have it painted silver.  I've got some blue graphics tape I'm going to use for the stripe at the top instead of trying to mask it off.  My problem is decals for the ALASKA.  I thought I may be able to find some HO decals from Microscale that would work but no luck matching that font in yellow.  I bought some dry transfer letters to try to letter it that way but got gothic instead of roman because I had the big ALASKA from the old engine paint scheme in my head. Then I remembered a recent post about railroad fonts and remember that railroadfonts.com had a font for the ARR.  My question is will the yellow letters on decals made on my inkjet be solid enough to standup to the blue underneath or will they be opaque, allowing the blue to show through making the yellow look an ugly shade of green.  I had this happen when I tried to make yellow numbers for my son's blue hockey helmet on clear label sheets.  Any help will be appreciated.

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I have, but as I said I'm running low on ink and it would take me a day of diddling to get things unpacked and set-up. Several guys on the Alps Group will do it for you.  How long is the blue stripe ?   Ideally you should have the lettering and the stripe printed together.  Might make sense to have several printed and put them on your existing Alaska RDC also, as matching specific colors is difficult. I would paint over the existing blue stripe before applying the decals with a gloss gray as decals stick much better to gloss paint. Then after the decals have been applied and dried I would put a coat of clear over them gloss or flat what ever suits you.   As for colors I usually settle for close enough when printing for myself.   If you can choose PMS colors for your stripe and letters it will help whoever prints them for you.  Though don't expect an exact match.  

Plan B.   Print shops that do silk screen can make your stripes on tape. Don't depend on the tape's adhesive alone though. Clean the area with denatured alcohol and then thin some Weldwood contact cement till it is like water and carefully apply a thin layer where the tape will be. This will keep the tape from curling up for many years.   Take an old credit card and use it like a squeegee to bone the tape down.    Good Luck, John

You can try vinyl decals. They aren't cheap but can look really sharp. I use doityourselflettering.com

I have things printed out on premium vinyl for my uses. they can work from an image or you can use one of their fonts. I model the White Pass so all of my lettering has to come from photos.

whitepasstruck

White Pass 2IMG_20141229_142613_278

The door decals, the license plate, and the thunderbird were made from images I aquired by doityourselflettering.com

They are on high quality vinyl and I haven't had a problem with them.

There's a right way, a wrong way, and a Skagway

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Get white decal paper from Bel Decal. Print on a laser printer....go to a office supply store if you do not have on. Create the art and have them print it. Ink jet is junk IMHO......a decal manufacture since I was 12 and hand painted a decal on brown packing tape. This nose decal was printed on said paper. ICGP9b

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Read about my Amtrak travel in words and pics www.currtail.com

20,000 miles by Rail!

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Decades ago, l walked into a college town print shop and had them print some custom decals. I don't know if that is possible anymore. Then l found a guy printing custom decals, but he is gone. When  l need some, l will have to find a new source. Your project looks like the one l just accumulated parts for, although l have an RMT shorty RDC.  I found Lionel RDC-4 and an RDC-1 shell, and will combine the two into an RDC-3. Won't now use the RMT for THIS project. No hurry, as RDC's are after my modeled era.  I will want to see your completed effort.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

coach joe posted:

Tom, did you get the vinyl decals from doityourselflettering.com or just the graphics?

I did the graphics and had them printed and cut by doityourself lettering.com

They can do custom image work for you but it'll cost extra. They can cut out letters from images but it can be as much as $30 for that. It's cheaper if you have it printed on clear vinyl instead. Maybe you could print it on a blue background and use the vinyl instead of the tape. They do custom quotes on their website.

There's a right way, a wrong way, and a Skagway

p51 posted:

Some art supply places can make one sheet of dry transfer decals. I had a set made when I was in commercial art school, ages ago.

Wasn't cheap, but they looked great.

Back in the 1980's we had 3 art supply stores in Charlotte and all did dry transfers.  Today there are zero in all of NC......and I can't find one in my entire region. Computers and graphic software have doomed dry transfers.

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Read about my Amtrak travel in words and pics www.currtail.com

20,000 miles by Rail!

AMCDave posted:
p51 posted:

Some art supply places can make one sheet of dry transfer decals. I had a set made when I was in commercial art school, ages ago.

Wasn't cheap, but they looked great.

Back in the 1980's we had 3 art supply stores in Charlotte and all did dry transfers.  Today there are zero in all of NC......and I can't find one in my entire region. Computers and graphic software have doomed dry transfers.

I Googled a bunch of companies that do this within seconds...

Let me know how that works out. When I attempted to rerun some transfers I did back in the late 80's the cost was about  100, yes 100, times the cost a few years ago. Going from every store in town doing them to many fewer has made it impractical for me. If you find a good economical source please share......I still have all my camera ready art.  

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Read about my Amtrak travel in words and pics www.currtail.com

20,000 miles by Rail!

Back in the 70s and 80s I had rub down decals done here in Birmingham they could do them in any PMS color however they could only do one color on a sheet. The term they used for these were  I.N.T. rub down transfers.  I think the ALPs and Laser printers were the death of that technology.  The Alps printers are getting long in the tooth. Officially Alps stopped making ink a couple of years ago though there seems to be several places on the web selling it and a company in Japan called "Elephant Rocket" has a ton of it for sale they also sell refurbished Alps printers.  I go back to my original solution. Join the Alps Decal Group at yahoo and just post a request for someone to print some decals for you. Several people there will be glad to.  Though I would rather have ALASKA  and the blue stripe printed as one if they only printed  ALASKA  and Coach paints the blue stripe himself the cost should be quite reasonable.  The great thing about Alps printers is they can print White and metallic colors as well as metal foil and do a fair job reproducing  PMS colors.   John

Thanks for all your input.  It seems as if doing the decals myself won't turn out.  As far as individual decal letters I would rather try the individual dry transfers a little less intricate than decals.  I may look into John's suggestion of the Alps Decal Group or even Tom's vinyl suggestion.  I just don't want the price turning this into "I should have bought the Lionel set."

The ALPS printer alone did not kill dry transfers. The PC and Apple computers and the available graphics programs did dry transfers in.  Dry transfers were used to create camera ready artwork for printing. As soon as computers came into every office those art guys were not needed and art could go from PC to printer without 'lay up'  and all that hand work.  Graphics software gave you unlimited fonts that you could alter in millions of ways. No longer limited to the type and size you could buy or have a artist that could create it.  I saw those old guys hand draw art for printing set up......I am not talented enough to do that....but once software came along I was able to do what they did......and now have done thousands and thousands of camera art. 

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Read about my Amtrak travel in words and pics www.currtail.com

20,000 miles by Rail!

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