Reading White Decals printed on pale blue backing.paper


Ken Adams
 

Like many of you I too have received one of the excellent Rapido X31a box cars. The only modification needed is to change the reweigh date to a period within 48 months prior to the  end of 1950-54 period as the car is lettered for NEW 4-34. 
 
I am an SP modeler not a PRR modeler and the only set of PRR decals with PRR reweigh locations and later dates I have on hand is a National Scale Car (ex Speedwitch) D116 for X29 box cars. This should have the locations and dates that I want.  However there is a problem. NSC like other decal makers use the newer Microscale very pale light blue decal backing paper. I have tried all different lighting and angles and still am unable to read the smaller reweigh date information. I tried backlighting but the decal paper was too thick. 
 
I have tried using a black marker on the reverse side of decals in the past and only ruined the decal.

Has anyone tried scanning such decals and creating a negative image? What photo software settings did you use to create the negative image? I am currently using InfranView.
 
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io


Benjamin Hom
 

Ken Adams wrote:
"Like many of you I too have received one of the excellent Rapido X31a box cars. The only modification needed is to change the reweigh date to a period within 48 months prior to the end of 1950-54 period as the car is lettered for NEW 4-34".

Alternatively, you can model a car that was reweighed off line.


Ben Hom


A Clemens
 

I would have done your D116 set but couldn't find it online.

So I did the following set to show results.

Use a computer photo app to invert and change to grayscale and then increase the exposure as necessary.

Hope this helps
Al


On Wed, Oct 27, 2021 at 12:20 PM Ken Adams <smadanek44g@...> wrote:
Like many of you I too have received one of the excellent Rapido X31a box cars. The only modification needed is to change the reweigh date to a period within 48 months prior to the  end of 1950-54 period as the car is lettered for NEW 4-34. 
 
I am an SP modeler not a PRR modeler and the only set of PRR decals with PRR reweigh locations and later dates I have on hand is a National Scale Car (ex Speedwitch) D116 for X29 box cars. This should have the locations and dates that I want.  However there is a problem. NSC like other decal makers use the newer Microscale very pale light blue decal backing paper. I have tried all different lighting and angles and still am unable to read the smaller reweigh date information. I tried backlighting but the decal paper was too thick. 
 
I have tried using a black marker on the reverse side of decals in the past and only ruined the decal.

Has anyone tried scanning such decals and creating a negative image? What photo software settings did you use to create the negative image? I am currently using InfranView.
 
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io


Rod Miller
 

I also ruined a set with a black marker. Others swear it works. I think the issue is that I and perhaps you used a permanent marker which contained solvents that attacked the decal film. I suspect that a water based marker would work OK. Any experience out there with water based markers?


Ken Adams
 

Thanks Al.

PRR apparently used a unique system of a location number with a P prefix to identify reweigh stations. Other RR's usually used a location abbreviation.  How often would an older PRR boxcar (an X31a in 1950-54) have been reweighed offline on the SP? I am not sure I want to try and find and buy just a sheet of PRR reweigh locations and dates. I don't plan on staging a large number of PRR cars passing through Port Costa California on east or westbound through on Western Division Cal-P freights. The layout has no freight shipping or receiving siding locations as it focuses on the small roundhouse and the mostly tank car traffic switched at Port Costa. 

I tried my printer scanner and a camera photo and neither produced an image showing the white lettering.  I have a sheet of reweigh stations and dates for the SP thanks to a friend who likes to make decals.  

The problem of unreadable decals printed on the very pale light paper remains and is not just related to this specific X31a boxcar problem. My friend who printed the SP locations sheet used the new Microscale decal paper for the reweigh sheet he printed for me but also provided a black lettered version and the decal printed on plain paper in black. This made it easy to locate the decal reweigh info I wanted. 
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io


Bruce Smith
 

Ken,

Previously on this list we have discussed this, and I believe it was Richard Hendrickson who did a study of his own photo library that indicated that around 10% of boxcars were weighed off home rails, and close to 25% were repacked off home rails. I certainly have photos of X31s with non-PRR reweighs including one reweighed in Los Angeles.

Regards
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ken Adams <smadanek44g@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 3:32 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] Reading White Decals printed on pale blue backing.paper
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
Thanks Al.

PRR apparently used a unique system of a location number with a P prefix to identify reweigh stations. Other RR's usually used a location abbreviation.  How often would an older PRR boxcar (an X31a in 1950-54) have been reweighed offline on the SP? I am not sure I want to try and find and buy just a sheet of PRR reweigh locations and dates. I don't plan on staging a large number of PRR cars passing through Port Costa California on east or westbound through on Western Division Cal-P freights. The layout has no freight shipping or receiving siding locations as it focuses on the small roundhouse and the mostly tank car traffic switched at Port Costa. 

I tried my printer scanner and a camera photo and neither produced an image showing the white lettering.  I have a sheet of reweigh stations and dates for the SP thanks to a friend who likes to make decals.  

The problem of unreadable decals printed on the very pale light paper remains and is not just related to this specific X31a boxcar problem. My friend who printed the SP locations sheet used the new Microscale decal paper for the reweigh sheet he printed for me but also provided a black lettered version and the decal printed on plain paper in black. This made it easy to locate the decal reweigh info I wanted. 
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io


Scott
 

I use my cell phone camera and zoom in on them a couple of inches away to read them.  Infact I find myself doing this a lot to read numbers off circuit boards and such at work as the peepers are not what they used to be.

Scott McDonald


Lester Breuer
 

Ken you might try taking a photo of the decal with your smart phone an then just  enlarge the photo to read the decal.  
Lester Breuer


Ken Adams
 

I have tried with smartphone camera and this all I get


This new decal paper is a problem....
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io


Nelson Moyer
 

Lighting angle and intensity make a difference. I can read all but the smallest print by holding the decal vertically at the front edge of my 10 in. dia. shop light shade. That makes the lettering dark enough to read. For the reweigh dates, etc., I adjust the light and use m glasses, a 7X Optivisor, and a 10x jeweler’s loop, adjusting the focal distance and light angle until I can read the fine print. I can read air check dates using that method. The decals that give the most trouble are the ones with ultra-fine lines and serifs, like Speedwitch decals. I just finished 18 cars with a mix of decals – Speedwitch, Black Cat, Micro Scale, etc., and all text was readable by one or the other method.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ken Adams
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 4:30 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Reading White Decals printed on pale blue backing.paper

 

I have tried with smartphone camera and this all I get


This new decal paper is a problem....
--
Ken Adams
Still in splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io

 


Dave Parker
 

This doesn't really help Ken with his current problem, but I will make this comment:

I have been making my own (and a few for friends) decals with a Ghost white laser cartridge for several years.  In conjunction with Tango Papa decal paper, they are a real SOB to read, although fiddling with light angle does allow me to trim them accurately.  As a courtesy to myself and to others, I always print out a black-on-white "proof" sheet using inexpensive, lightweight photo paper; these are very legible.  Then, when choosing among several reweigh and repack stencils, it is easy to zero on the desired target based simply on its position on the sheet.

Given the minimal cost involved, I am surprised that this not the industry standard in our hobby.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


hubert mask
 

Use a magnifying glass to read the decal sheets. That is the safest way not to ruin your decal set. The decals are usually clustered to give you data for both sides of the car together.

Hubert Mask
Mask Island Decals Inc.
Maskislanddecals.com

On Oct 27, 2021, at 4:20 PM, Rod Miller <rod@rodmiller.com> wrote:

I also ruined a set with a black marker. Others swear it works. I think the issue is that I and perhaps you used a permanent marker which contained solvents that attacked the decal film. I suspect that a water based marker would work OK. Any experience out there with water based markers?





Scott H. Haycock
 

I recently purchased some Reweigh Patches from Smokebox Graphics that includes just such a picture as Dave describes.
 

Scott Haycock
Modeling Tarheel country in the Land of Enchantm
ent

On 10/27/2021 4:18 PM Dave Parker via groups.io <spottab@...> wrote:
 
 
This doesn't really help Ken with his current problem, but I will make this comment:

I have been making my own (and a few for friends) decals with a Ghost white laser cartridge for several years.  In conjunction with Tango Papa decal paper, they are a real SOB to read, although fiddling with light angle does allow me to trim them accurately.  As a courtesy to myself and to others, I always print out a black-on-white "proof" sheet using inexpensive, lightweight photo paper; these are very legible.  Then, when choosing among several reweigh and repack stencils, it is easy to zero on the desired target based simply on its position on the sheet.

Given the minimal cost involved, I am surprised that this not the industry standard in our hobby.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


WILLIAM PARDIE
 

I really love the decals from Speedwitch and now Nationak Scale Car for the completeness of the sets.  I too, however, have a problem reading the decal lettering  on the smaller script.  I have also found this to be a rwo headed sword.  I had a devil of a time lettering a NYC car.  Seeing the lettering was solved with a very inexpensive and brighgoose neck lamp from a drug store.  The problem then became trimming the decals.  The set contained probably every lot number that went above thr NYC oval heralds.  They were printed very close together.  I went through two sets of decalsc on this.  First the proper lot was identified using the lamp. I finally used a magic marker to locate the lot that I wanted making an adjacent mark.  I cut out an area larger than the lot and then worked my way down.

Bill Pardie



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: hubert mask <maskisland@...>
Date: 10/27/21 12:30 PM (GMT-10:00)
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Reading White Decals printed on pale blue backing.paper

Use a magnifying glass to read the decal sheets.   That is the safest way not to ruin your decal set. The decals are usually clustered to give you data for both sides of the car together.

Hubert Mask
Mask Island Decals Inc.
Maskislanddecals.com
> On Oct 27, 2021, at 4:20 PM, Rod Miller <rod@...> wrote:
>
> I also ruined a set with a black marker. Others swear it works. I think the issue is that I and perhaps you used a permanent marker which contained solvents that attacked the decal film. I suspect that a water based marker would work OK. Any experience out there with water based markers?
>
>
>
>
>






Bruce Griffin
 

Ken,

Like Nelson, I rely on magnification and light. I use an optivisor for most work now but for white decals, I need something stronger and for less than the cost of additional optivisor lenses I use the:

  • YOCTOSUN LED Head Magnifier, Rechargeable Hands Free Headband Magnifying Glasses with 2 Led, Professional Jeweler's Loupe Light Bracket and Headband are Interchangeable

which is available on Amazon for $18. That is the exact name if you want to search for it. I use the strongest lens provided and the built-in light. When I find what I am looking for on the decal sheet I put a small dot next to it with a fine point Sharpie. This device allows me to read the smallest print. It is also cheap and small enough to take places when magnification is needed, like an archives.  I will say I am fortunate to not need glasses yet, but I am sure this will work with glasses, the key is moving the decal sheet in and out to get it in focus. 

Thanks for bringing up a mutual need, I am enjoying learning from other replies.

All the best,
Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
https://bomodeling.com/blog/

 


Tim O'Connor
 

Why use a marker at all? Just spray paint the back side of the paper with water based black paint.
Or even tape something dark to the back side? One only  needs the background color in order
to cut pieces out for dropping into water. Once the white letters separate from the paper they are
easy to see (I use a dark colored bowl).

Tim O'Connor


Tim O'Connor

On 10/27/2021 4:20 PM, Rod Miller wrote:
I also ruined a set with a black marker. Others swear it works. I think the issue is that I and perhaps you used a permanent marker which contained solvents that attacked the decal film. I suspect that a water based marker would work OK. Any experience out there with water based markers?
--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*


Tim O'Connor
 

As a 1960's modeler I need many 1950's decals, but the sets almost -never- have reweigh dates or shop stencils
later than 1960, and they also almost -never- have any revised GRL numbers (in 1963 the GRL's were increased
for "40" "50" "70" and "100" ton cars). Extremely frustrating. 🙁

Tim O'Connor

On 10/27/2021 7:36 PM, WILLIAM PARDIE wrote:
I really love the decals from Speedwitch and now Nationak Scale Car for the completeness of the sets.  I too, however, have a problem reading the decal lettering  on the smaller script.  I have also found this to be a rwo headed sword.  I had a devil of a time lettering a NYC car.  Seeing the lettering was solved with a very inexpensive and brighgoose neck lamp from a drug store.  The problem then became trimming the decals.  The set contained probably every lot number that went above thr NYC oval heralds.  They were printed very close together.  I went through two sets of decalsc on this.  First the proper lot was identified using the lamp. I finally used a magic marker to locate the lot that I wanted making an adjacent mark.  I cut out an area larger than the lot and then worked my way down.

Bill Pardie
--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*


Bruce Smith
 

Folks,

I'm slightly amused by this whole discussion. With some frequency, I slice and dice pieces of decals, including Ted's decals, to make the reweight dates and other data I need. On my recent SnT NWX reefer, I even had to piece together the build date, which is smaller than the reweigh! However, there are also Champ reweigh sets that allow you to get just about any date you want, repeatedly. As for actually seeing the decal, I find that a good set of Walmart 2x reading glasses, placed over my regular glasses (since I can no longer see up close w/o aids normally) and good light are about the only aids I need to see the decals and cut them out with a nice sharp pair of small scissors.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

On 10/28/21, 8:33 AM, "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io on behalf of Tim O'Connor" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io on behalf of timboconnor@comcast.net> wrote:

CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.

As a 1960's modeler I need many 1950's decals, but the sets almost
-never- have reweigh dates or shop stencils
later than 1960, and they also almost -never- have any revised GRL
numbers (in 1963 the GRL's were increased
for "40" "50" "70" and "100" ton cars). Extremely frustrating. 🙁

Tim O'Connor

On 10/27/2021 7:36 PM, WILLIAM PARDIE wrote:
> I really love the decals from Speedwitch and now Nationak Scale Car
> for the completeness of the sets. I too, however, have a problem
> reading the decal lettering on the smaller script. I have also found
> this to be a rwo headed sword. I had a devil of a time lettering a
> NYC car. Seeing the lettering was solved with a very inexpensive and
> brighgoose neck lamp from a drug store. The problem then became
> trimming the decals. The set contained probably every lot number that
> went above thr NYC oval heralds. They were printed very close
> together. I went through two sets of decalsc on this. First the
> proper lot was identified using the lamp. I finally used a magic
> marker to locate the lot that I wanted making an adjacent mark. I cut
> out an area larger than the lot and then worked my way down.
>
> Bill Pardie


Lester Breuer
 

Ken I was cutting out Speedwitch Media decals this morning.  As yourself when I got to the reweigh dates I could not read them without help.  I used a 8x lupe, not expensive as plastic, to read the clear well printed decals with white lettering on blue paper.   I had to hold the decals in light hitting the paper held at an angle to read.   It is a method that works for me.  I have attached photo of Lupe.   Just another method you might try in the future if you have a lupe.

Lester Breuer


Lester Breuer
 

Ken sorry photo did not attach properly in prior post so here it be.

Lester Breuer