Re: Printing White Decals - 'Fonts'

Richard Brennan

At 06:53 AM 5/27/2019, Nelson Moyer wrote:
One way to recreate specific railroad fonts is to take them from car photographs, trace letters, reporting marks, etc. in a vector drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, and resize them according to your needs. <snip>

Absent a full set of railroad stencil drawings;
Basing the lettering on car photographs is the ONLY way to generate accurate artwork... at least for the exact car and date in the photo used.

More caveats:
 - Even before 'named' trains.. the road name lettering on engines and passenger cars was NOT necessarily the same as that on freight cars.
 - The stencil diagram a historical society has for 9-inch letters probably does NOT scale down correctly to 2, 3 or 4-inch markings.
   Even if the letter outline is the same (or similar) the stencil bridges (technical term for the 'bars' that hold interior portions of the stencil) will not necessarily be scaled proportionately.
 - Car builders did not always follow the Railroad's lettering instructions... often using what was available, rather than what was specified.
 - Car shops usually cut their own stencils... and repaired them as needed, which means individual letters could differ by shop location and date. 
 - Reweigh and other shop data was applied by whatever shop did the work... not necessarily the car owner.  Lettering styles can vary widely...

So... Three rules for accurate artwork:
1) Use a good photo
2) Use another photo...
3) Use all the photos and reference material you can find....

A 'fairly close' example... did NOT do the 1-inch letters (for TT-scale cars!)
The angled lettering in the 'Anthracite' herald took the most time...

Richard Brennan - TT-west  

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.