is the place we will post questions and answers to items most asked
by our customers. If you think an item belongs in the FAQ or you
have a question to ask about our product line, please feel free to
contact Steven Dunham
I Can’t See the
White Lettering Against the Backing Paper – Help!
We often receive the suggestion of a darker backing paper, as white decals can be hard to see against the light blue paper that we use. Unfortunately, our paper supplier offers only one color of paper, and other companies offering decal paper also offer only light blue (our supplier did, however, recently darken their blue a bit recently).
So, how to easily see these light colors against another light color? Simply color the back of the decal paper with a dark colored ink marker. The ink will soak into the paper but should not affect the clear carrier film of the decal itself. After coloring the paper, turn it over and the white lettering will be plainly visible.
Dulux – What
Color Is That?
In the 1800s, Gold Leaf lettering and striping was an art form that employed many talented sign painters at almost all of the railroads. Labor was inexpensive at the time, and there were many jobs that could only be done by hand. However, by the 1930s, cost cutting had become necessary in order for the railroads to survive the lean times of the Depression. One high-maintenance area that was fairly easy to streamline involved the use of Gold lettering on locomotives and passenger cars. An Imitation Gold was developed with the paint manufacturers in an effort to create a color that would give the pleasing appearance of Gold Leaf at a lower cost and increased ease of application. A Deep Yellow color, commonly called Dulux, was developed (actually there are several shades that were used). Cost cutting in the wake of World War II provided the impetus for almost all railroads to change over to one of several shades of Dulux in the 1940s.
Light Gray? –
It Should Be White!
Railroads that used Aluminum Leaf (Silver) to letter their equipment faced a dilemma similar to that faced by the use of Gold Leaf on other railroads. As costs rose, corners were cut, and a Light Gray color that came to be known as Imitation Aluminum was developed to replace the more costly and time-consuming application of Aluminum Leaf. However, when placed against a dark color like the black of a steam locomotive, this color appeared to be White.
can be removed from a model provided the model has not been oversprayed
with a finish coat. (If
the model has had a finish coating applied, then you will need to
strip the paint from the entire model.)
the decals have no finish coat, start by applying adhesive tape
to the decal. The stickier
the tape, the better. After
rubbing the tape into place, lift it at a shallow angle (the opposite
of what you’ve learned about lifting masking tape).
In other words, don’t bend the tape over itself, but rather
lift it parallel to the model.
With luck, most of the decal will lift off this way.
Any remaining decal can then be soaked in water. Lay your model flat and apply a generous amount of water to the decal to be removed, and let it sit for a while. If the water begins evaporating, periodically apply more. After about 30 minutes gently rub the decal. It should now be softened enough to be removable.
I Have a Model
I Want to Renumber – Why Doesn’t Your Decal Match the Lettering
Already on the Model?
We put a lot of effort into the artwork used to produce our decals to make them as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, many prepainted models are not as accurate. Also, discrepancies between lettering sizes and colors will occur on prepainted models due to the fact that these manufacturers often use artists unfamiliar with the particular lettering styles used on railroad equipment through the years (the often choose an available font that is close rather than redraw it), and the colors are often matched overseas to photos with inaccurate colors. In all fairness, however, it should be noted that many of today’s models do in fact reproduce these markings remarkably well.