Re: Basic Boxcar Decals

John Hagen <sprinthag@...>

It is no problem at all to work from print outs or photos (pixilated files) PROVIDED these items are only used for the background over which the artist draws all new, vector format, artwork. What it is is a fair amount of work that consumes a fair amount of time and for which the artist will never get properly compensated. To recover what the artists time and skills are worth would mean never selling any decals as the cost would be prohibitive unless a large production run is envisioned.


This is why it is so difficult to find decals for, say, the CNW narrow gauge line in SW Wisconsin (the “Dinky”) coaches. There just is not enough interest to cover one’s costs, let alone make any money at all.


And as time goes on there are less and less people doing such work as the supply of Alps MD series printers dies off. These are fragile, cantankerous beasts who can only be repaired by sending to one company in Japan making repairs run in the $1,200.00  - $1,600.00 and up range due to very expensive shipping. Sure the actual printing can be farmed out to such as Microscale or Kadee but, again, for small runs the costs are huge. And, while the costs per set can be much less for a decent size production run, the seller still ends up with a probable 50 year supply for which he/she has already paid.


So if you can find one of the remaining artists that are willing to do a short run at a reasonable price go for it. If the artist is good, ambitious and know how to properly use an Alps (not all do, believe me) you can get quality decals at affordable prices.


John Hagen

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