Decals using computer question - arising from UP's new direction

I have a question ... doesn't someone already have software where one can
make decals and print them on some sort of Avery paper, then apply them to
things? If not there should be. What a boon to the model railroader.
Perhaps the day of the undecorated car is at hand?
--
Dave Johnson
Disgusted with RED over FLASHING YELLOW.
Reply to
Dave Johnson
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Where have you been? The ALPS printer was introduced around 5 years ago; I've been doing home made decals since then on clear decal film. It prints CMYK, as well as white, metallic cyan, metallic magenta, metallic silver and metallic gold.
Only problem is they have been discontinued, and not replace in North America by anything; they are still sold overseas and available gray market.
Reply to
Brian Paul Ehni
I think he's looking for the software to design the graphics with, not the printer to print them out with.
Reply to
Dave
Crud, you can do that with MS Paint, and use MS Photo Editor to size the resulting bmp file into a JPEG. Just as a minimum starting point, y'understand.
Jay CNS&M North Shore Line - "First and fastest"
Reply to
JCunington
That works great for the standard box-with-text-inside graphic but I too have always wondered what else is out there that can create more complex images without costing an arm and a leg. I've used Corel a few times in the past but not everyone has the luxury of having access to a full copy of the software at work. I wish I could find something reasonable that I could use at home. I've tried a few shareware/freeware programs but they had too many limitations.
Reply to
Dave
You could always do it the way the REAL railroads did.
It's called a pencil and paper.
Don
-- snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net
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Reply to
Trainman
That works great for the standard box-with-text-inside graphic but I too have always wondered what else is out there that can create more complex images without costing an arm and a leg. I've used Corel a few times in the past but not everyone has the luxury of having access to a full copy of the software at work. I wish I could find something reasonable that I could use at home. I've tried a few shareware/freeware programs but they had too many limitations. -------------------------------------------------- Some like Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8. I haven't used it, though.
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Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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Reply to
Bill
The January 2004 issue of MR has an article about N scale bridge modeling that discusses how to print your own decals - and references earlier articles that go into greater detail.
The results looked pretty nice - some of the best N-scale modeling I've seen.
As for undecorated cars, most trains that I see have reporting marks only. No fancy logos. I know a few guys who *must* have a herald on every single car - but those are the type of people who run an entire train with nothing but Chessie cars or some other silliness. Most trains I see have a variety of roadnames from all over North America - including those without logos.
As for the UP problem, you can do whatever you want with their logo in your own home. If you try to sell it, you have to pay royalties, which seems fair to me.
Reply to
Neb Okla
I did some checking and found that they have special online content related to this article. You can find it here:
Custom Decals Tips for creating your own decals as seen in the January 2004 issue of MR by John Socha-Leialoha
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Reply to
Neb Okla
Amazing ..... thanks and timely too.
As I model in 1:1 scale I usually use drafting tools to create stencils that I need, then follow thru with the old hand paint brush. I've found that tractor implement paints stand up best in the sunshine especially with a UV Clearcoat. In HO I'm not active although years ago I was and used Champ decals. Around Christmas every year I get the yearning to set up a couple ATSF old Atlas O gauge around the tree for the neighbor kids and visit the local hobby store to order some cars (AGPX string of CH's this year in HO) and usually pick up the Dec and Jan Model Railroader. For some reason I didn't this year ... now a priority in the next few days.
The logos and markings on RR cars used to be taken care of with more care than the last 10 years or so. Some of the remarking jobs today are really ratty so no matter how good or bad you might be at creating your own decals you can find a prototypical match in the real world now a days.
My point would be on the UP issue ... they really have better things to worry about and get fixed than the model RR logo issue. The fact of their investment of time and energy into this rather than the railroading problems is unsettling.
Dave Johnson Some days "Quick Service" isn't so quick.
Reply to
Dave Johnson
Straight text in any word processor; graphics in any graphics program.
Reply to
Brian Paul Ehni
On 12/30/03 11:21 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@mb-m17.aol.com, "JCun>> I think he's looking for the software to design the graphics with, not the
MS Paint? MS Photo Editor? I don't get your banter, man.
Reply to
Brian Paul Ehni
You can get Photoshop Elements for around a hundred bucks, that will do anything you could want as far as decals are concerned. There are other shareware and freeware programs as well. If you can post a question here you have the knowledge to find a graphics program on the net.
Reply to
Ratt
I've been using Paint Shop Pro. It would seem to me that just about any decent paint program will do decals. The main hurdle is designing them at the right size for printing. You don't always want to take a raw image and shrink it with JPEG - you can get artifacts that way. I would start with JPEG, so that you can have access to anti-aliasing, and then save in GIF format, which will take the current colors used (including the anti-aliasing shades) and reduce to 256 colors, max... but with no artifacting.
Reply to
Frank Eva
Dave, point your browser to
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have a look at
1. Real Draw Pro 2. Photo Brush 3. Compact Draw
You can download a fully functional 30 day trial. I am sure one of them would help you.
Reply to
<wiley
Dave, if you are looking for RR Model specific software, I found a link over at InternetTrains.com
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Evan Designs have a couple of programs.
Reply to
<wiley
Go to
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and check out Paint Shop Pro. I think they are now on version 8.0. I've used it for about eight years now and have found it to be pretty good for the $$$ involved. You are right; if you have access to Corel or Adobe type software, that is probably the best... but I think you will find that PSP will do about 80% of what the other programs will do at about 20% of the price. I'm not sure if they still do, but they used to have a thirty-day free trial version of the software that you could d/l and try.
One thing that I might add... when saving artwork, you are probably best off to save the artwork in the program's "native format." In the case of Paint Shop, it's a PSP file. I'd suggest not saving things like graphics in a JPEG file as they tend to "fuzz up" the edges.
FWIW, I've been making decals using my ALPS and PSP for about five+ years... it is TONS of fun but does tend to cause an accumulation of rolling stock... I've got cars made for friends, local businesses, favorite things and just plain goofy stuff. But it is a blast!
I'm really disappointed that ALPS no longer makes their line of printers... a previous poster mentioned that they were available overseas; I don't even think that is the case any more. Too bad; they are fun to use.
dlm ---------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Dan Merkel
Are ALPS printers still available "overseas?" I didn't think that they were... : (
dlm -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Dan Merkel
They are indeed. Anyone interested may join the ALPS group at Yahoo!:
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Reply to
Brian Paul Ehni
Corel has a "lite" version out - CorelDraw Essentials2, or something like that. MSRP is $80. It's basically the CorelDraw program, with a lightweight photo editing in place of PhotoPaint, and fewer utilities and add-ons that the full suite includes. a.. CorelDRAW Essentials 2?award-winning graphics and page layout b.. Corel Photobook?photo retouching and editing c.. Corel PhotoAlbum?photo organizing and sharing d.. Quick Start Manager?quick and simple access to applications, letting you easily start special projects and organize files e.. Hemera® The Big Box of Art??100,000 clipart images f.. A free Lynda.com multimedia training CD?helpful design tips, tricks and techniques g.. Over 250 templates h.. Over 500 TrueType® fonts and symbols Lots of power, if you can find your way through the maze of menus, toolbars, dockers, ad nauseum.
Val (user of CorelDraw since ver 1.0 )
Reply to
VManes

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