Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Modifying decals for a freelance road

If you are considering a freelance railroad, you will immediately run into the question of how to letter your railcars? Most modelers choose a roadname, then windup committed to preparing artwork and buying custom (read that $) decals forever.

On the Cape Ann, we have flipped that strategy around. First, we browsed Microscale's online catalog to see what stock decals are available, then selected decals which could be modified to create a roadname. In other words, the decals drove the roadname, not the other way around. We wound up with not just one, but three roadnames!

Cape Ann

First .. Observe the Central Vermont CV logo:

Jim Parker photo

The CV could be flipped and applied wrong-side out to turn CV into CA. Thus the inspiration for using a CA roadname: Cape Ann. (There is another modeler out there doing the same thing, for his Central Atlantic).

Cape Ann locomotive

Cape Ann boxcar


Second - a Maine short line to interchange with the Cape Ann. The Rock Island decals are an easy modification, just cut a few letters out of the middle to turn Rock Island into Rockland, a city in midcoast Maine.

Rockland locomotive

Rockland boxcar and caboose

Seacoast Line

Third - Seaboard Coast Line decals were found to be an inspiration for Seacoast Line, a regional New England short line specializing in running seafood from Maine to Boston overnight.

Seacoast Line locomotive

Seacoast Line boxcar

Seacoast Line caboose


Leftover scraps are useful too. Some leftovers from Procor tank cars became Co-op gondolas.

So - before you settle on a roadname, see what is available for off-the-shelf decals you can modify!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great idea. I did similar, using ROCK ISLAND to create Sand Rock decals for a shortline. Did the same from Norfolk & Western to create the West Fork railway.