Sunday, April 25, 2010

Decal Time and the Need for a Tardis

It's been a quiet week this week in Picton, well, not necessarily quiet but not particularly productive in terms of output. You see, it's been decal time for the refrigerator wagons and I've decided that decaling is the least satisfying out of all the various aspects of model railways. Don't get me wrong, its not that I hate doing it but the fact that it takes so long is what I don't like about it. I reckon Time is the killer for all modellers. You only have so much time you can spend on your favourite hobby so when you spend most of your weeks available time on decaling you start looking at how you can do it smarter and quicker. A Tardis might be the answer but I don't think that's going to happen soon. The main problem is the cutting up of the various codes and numbers to suit the stock and then the application, letter by letter and numeral by numeral. And getting them straight and spaced correctly. So anyway, I've decalled all the refrigerator cars with the appropriate codes and numbers from commercial decals I'd bought years ago. I now have 54 goods wagons to decal.......
A few years back, I purchased an ALPS printer for the purpose of printing my own decals. Unfortunately, these printers are no longer available and the consumables for these printers are getting harder to get. Aust-N-Rail stock the ribbon cassettes and I also found this site in New Zealand who stock consumables, and I'll be placing an order for some white ink cassettes this week. The exchange rate helps making the choice of supplier.
The other task this week was creating the artwork for the goods wagons which I completed using MS Word. Had to trawl the internet for some stencil fonts but eventually got one that looked OK. Its not quite right but will look the part. The beauty of doing this is you can code and number anything you like and it will be all one decal, no cutting, no aligning. I've also done the capacity as well as the tare which was handwritten rather than stenciled. The only decal I've had a problem with is creating the "On" decal with the arrow which was placed above the handbrake. I just can't get the artwork small enough so I might try some other programme to duplicate it.
I'll need to get a wriggle on if I'm going to get the wagons completed as I want to take some along to "The Early Days" at the end of May.
Anyway, that's it for this week. Next batch of photo's will be when I've got something worth showing.

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