Applying custom lettering?

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big-ted
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Applying custom lettering?

Post by big-ted » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:50 pm

I'm just finishing up a North Pilton Works open wagon that I'm wanting to paint up as a private owner's wagon with custom made lettering. I was leaning towards using Letraset-style dry transfer lettering, but it seems this is hard to come by these days, especially given the larger font size I would need. I'm not adverse to handpainting, but I'm pretty sure I would make a mess of it. I do have some liquid mask I use for painting on the insides of polycarbonate R/C car bodies, but I'm not sure I could cut any straighter with a scalpel than I could paint with a brush...

I'm not looking for anything fancy in terms of font, and plain white is fine.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Picture with an example of the kind of graphics I'm going for:

Image

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BorisSpencer
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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by BorisSpencer » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:14 pm

I print my own waterslide transfers, but there are some downsides.
1. you need access to a laser printer.
2. you can't produce white on a transparent background.

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by Dasher » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:37 am

There's plenty of Letraset available on eBay but I've given up on trying to apply it to rolling stock. I find lining it up almost impossible and getting the print to stick onto a textured surface also quite difficult. I was using it on Binnie GVT wagons. I was using black, but white is available. If you want a reference then 36pt Plantin Bold Condensed (sheet 1627) is a very good scale match for the GVT wagon. A bold upper case "A" measures 10.5mm by 7.1 mm (across the base).

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by philipy » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:48 am

Peter Butler did a couple of posts on the custom vinyl lettering he had made at fairly reasonable prices, I believe.
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=11269&p=127176&hil ... ng#p127176

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TheChestnutLine
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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by TheChestnutLine » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:46 pm

Here's a supplier of Vinyl lettering in white that I'm going to try. Coincidently I'm looking to 'privatise' a wagon and had been pondering the same options as you before I saw your post!

https://www.alwayshobbies.com/materials ... matt-white

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by cncmodeller » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:46 pm

I use an ALPS printer to do my lettering which can print in white,gold and silver as well as the normal colours, although lately I'm having trouble finding good decal paper. A lot of them seem to now have a clear backing sheet which goes all stretchy once you slide the decal off the paper.

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by TonyW » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:07 am

I prefer rub-down transfers over waterslide any day, but they are getting harder to find. However, I've just had great service and product from these people when I bought these: https://www.trainshop.co.uk/spares/1647 ... 07524.html

They stock loads of other fonts and sizes.

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by GTB » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:35 pm

Oily Rag wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:00 am
Are ALPS printers still around?
ALPS Electric is still trading, they just don't make the MD series printers anymore.

They remained available on the Japanese home market after they disappeared elsewhere and there was also a source in NZ. Printer production ceased in 2010 and the ribbon production line closed in 2015. There is a company in Japan that still supports them with ribbons and refurbished printers.

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Graeme

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by TheChestnutLine » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:28 pm

TonyW wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:07 am
I prefer rub-down transfers over waterslide any day, but they are getting harder to find. However, I've just had great service and product from these people when I bought these: https://www.trainshop.co.uk/spares/1647 ... 07524.html

They stock loads of other fonts and sizes.
Would the rub-down transfers work on the texture of the ironwork of a wagon?

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by big-ted » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:31 pm

Hmm. Thanks for the input all. Laser printer isn't a problem, but had I appreciated the difficulty printing white I might have chosen a different color scheme!

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by GTB » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:54 am

big-ted wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:31 pm
Hmm. Thanks for the input all. Laser printer isn't a problem, but had I appreciated the difficulty printing white I might have chosen a different color scheme!
You could always paint the wagon side white and print a black decal with clear lettering on an ordinary laser printer. When the transfer is applied, you have the effect of white lettering on a black ground.

Do you have any half way decent hobby shops in Vancouver? Woodland Scenics make dry transfer sheets and there is a white RR Gothic sheet in the range that has 3/8" and 1/2" letters in a similar style to your example.

https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics ... item/MG733

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by cncmodeller » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:10 am

I'd just use these :-

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Decadry-Supe ... SwTxhcF~Ac

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FUTURA-DEMI- ... Swph1c9Bd6

It's not like the Font is unusual and there isn't 'that' many words to do.

John

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by BorisSpencer » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:14 am

GTB wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:54 am
big-ted wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:31 pm
Hmm. Thanks for the input all. Laser printer isn't a problem, but had I appreciated the difficulty printing white I might have chosen a different color scheme!
You could always paint the wagon side white and print a black decal with clear lettering on an ordinary laser printer. When the transfer is applied, you have the effect of white lettering on a black ground.

Do you have any half way decent hobby shops in Vancouver? Woodland Scenics make dry transfer sheets and there is a white RR Gothic sheet in the range that has 3/8" and 1/2" letters in a similar style to your example.

https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics ... item/MG733

Regards,
Graeme
The transparent carrier will leave a slightly glossy sheen, also where it conforms to the underlying detail it can 'crack' letting the base colour show through.
I use this - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheets-Laser-W ... K9VBMJ1Z8M it's less than a pound a sheet, and if you have ready access to a laser printer then you can experiment.

I tend to fill all the empty spaces with signs which can be put onto bits of plasticard and stuck all over the place. Private, No Admittance, Danger, Not to be Moved etc.

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by philipy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:24 am

BorisSpencer wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:14 am

The transparent carrier will leave a slightly glossy sheen, also where it conforms to the underlying detail it can 'crack' letting the base colour show through.

You can solve the cracking problem by using "Decalset" ( or similar) when you apply the decals. It softens the film and allows it to be drawn tightly around small obstacles.

The 'slightly glossy sheen' of the carrier film will largely disappear when the whole thing is given an overspray of varnish, whether matt, eggshell or gloss

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Re: Applying custom lettering?

Post by BorisSpencer » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:00 pm

Thanks Philipy, I shall give both suggestions a go, other than the printing, my approach to application/use was what I learnt 45+ years ago making Airfix models.

I suppose varnishing will make any little signs weather resistant and they could be left out.

This shows the slight sheen when viewing at the right angle in the right light:
2019-02-24 11.43.23.jpg
And this shows the slightly damaged R where I'd been a bit clumsy picking it up. You can also see the edge of the decal where I had cut out the individual letters, I have generally minimised this by cutting the letters to the size of the panel, which also aids with the centring.
2019-02-24 11.44.05.jpg

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