To work on the graphics I downloaded a free program called Inkscape. The learning curve wasn't bad and there are plenty of tutorials out there if you get stuck. Nice piece of software. There were a couple of miss steps but I managed to get things to come together. I also bought some railroad fonts from Ribbon Rail Productions that would at least be close to what the C&N used. Searching for fonts that were close was the most frustrating part. Railroads just didn't use standard fonts and modern fonts don't look right. Ribbon Rail helped a lot, while I didn't get perfect matches I got pretty close which is all I really could hope for.
So I'm humming right along laying out lettering and numbers and recreating the logos when I realized that all the white numbers and letters still need a colored border. Arrgh, there goes an hour or so of work. Now I need to paint the freight cars and then scan the color to create a background for the white letters that will, hopefully, be close enough to the actual paint color to be easy to blend in during the weathering process.
I talked with Darel over at C&Sn3 and he recommended Rock Island Maroon from Tru-Scale Paint (TCP-260) as a good match for the C&N boxcar over at the Colorado Railroad Museum. A trip to Caboose Hobbies to obtain some paint only to discover that they didn't have the newest colors yet and the Rock Island Maroon is like brand new this year (actually I think Caboose hasn't been keeping up with the paint, the rack was kind of bare). I decided on MOPAC Boxcar Red (TCP-139). It ended up being a good choice and I'm pretty pleased with it. You can see how it looks in tomorrow's post.
So after maybe 10 hours of research, work and learning some new software I managed to create three, count them three, sheets of decals. I comfortable with the process though so making more should be easy enough.
|A test sheet on regular paper. Not bad just need to move it a bit to the right.|
So there you have it, decals from your inkjet printer. Hopefully I get some time to try them out this week.