Re: Champ decals

Alex Schneider

It should be noted that Rich bought Champ as a going business and moved it from "Cleveland 2, Ohio". During his ownership he made numerous refinements, and where they were extensive he tended to discontinue the old, regularly priced decal and introduce a new decal in his Blue Ribbon and Super lines, at a higher price (still reasonable in my view).

Rich had to deal with changing environmental rules which forced him to use inks which did not contain materials deemed hazardous, primarily affecting gold and yellow decals. This had a major impact on passenger decals, especially for prewar cars, relatively less on freight cars or locomotives.

Rich was seeking to sell the business and retire when he was taken from us, and his family sold off the inventory and closed the firm. It was a real loss for the hobby. But I'm certainly not qualified to run it and apparently no one who was, was interested.

If the railroad-specific historical societies are interested in seeing craftsman modeling and kitbashing of "their railroads" continue, they may need to develop the artwork and make it available for download, free or at least at reasonable cost, for printing by modelers or those willing to print on demand. At one time the NMRA published lettering diagrams, and they may need to resume such a role. Otherwise when "old stock" is exhausted we will have decals only for a handful of roads.

Alex Schneider

From: "'Gatwood, Elden SAW' elden.j.gatwood@... [STMFC]"
To: "STMFC@..."
Sent: Thursday, August 7, 2014 8:35 AM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Champ decals (UNCLASSIFIED)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE


I totally agree with Bruce.  After being chastised by some folks in the PRRTHS for my incorrect assumption that all the Champ decals for the PRR were "fuzzy", and not accurate in regards to fonts and dimensional data, I went back and found the majority of the (re-done) Circle Keystone sets to be quite accurate.  Just like Microscale, Champ did go back and try to do better, in this case, MUCH better.  That being said, Champ's Shadow Keystone and Plain Keystone sets still needed to be re-done, as did most of the B&O, C&O, NYC and P&LE sets.  Some of these, however, are the ONLY game in town still.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 10:20 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [EXTERNAL] RE: [STMFC] Champ decals


As an example, most of the Champ PRR decals had been redone and were very accurate. 

Bruce Smith
temporarily in Saint Looey


From: STMFC@... [STMFC@...]
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 7:18 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Champ decals

Clark Propst wrote:

    During the custom decals thread it was mentioned that Champs decals were out of date. Generic data, real inch size instead of scale inch size letters, etc. Just curious, would these short comings be deal breakers if the decal line was resurrected tomorrow?

        That statement is too general. As was mentioned, in more recent years Rich strove to create better decals, and had many experts on individual railroads helping him. For example, Richard Hendrickson contributed a lot to the improved Santa Fe freight decals in the line.
        However, it is quite true that a few of the items in the line dated back many years, and were lacking in many respects. Older ones tended to be oversize, to have very approximate sets of dimensional and capacity data, and to be printed in a variety of lame fonts not matching prototype lettering. So yes, some of the decals in the catalog were fairly crappy; others were darn good and we could sure use them back. Do not believe anyone telling you a flat statement about "all" Champ decals.

Tony Thompson            Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Posted by: "Gatwood, Elden SAW" <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>


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