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DIY Coach sides - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2013 01:16 pm
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Dorsetmike
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I work in N gauge hence references to Farish and BHE, but this could be done in other scales in which case insert your own preferred source of stock and/or kits, in 4mm the longest you could fit on A4 would be about scale 70' in landscape format, in portrait about 50', for larger scales you would either need to split your images in half, or print to A3.

 The images are .jpg's, I can't upload the .tif's  I work with (gallery won't accept them) which don't loose detail as badly as jpg's, this shows most in the blurring of lining and lettering.

I started this project with the intention of making my own transfers to use on some etched kits, It did work, or rather would have if my ancient hands were a bit more dexterous, so I abandoned the transfers and instead used the artwork for self adhesive vinyl sides (should also work with self adhesive paper) These also work -  cutting out by hand can be done but really needs a steadier hand and better eye!

So I bought a plotter cutter for which I'm still climbing the learning curve!

So step by step, there are 2 ways to start, if you have a kit, scan the sides before you start construction, if you don't have a kit then you need a set of scale drawings to scan. There are now books out there with such drawings, usually in 4mm, trace or scan into a photo processing application, Photoshop, GIMP, or whichever particular one you are familiar with, I use an old one called Picture Publisher which I've used since version 2 in 1991, I'm now on the final version 10 which got discontinued around 2002, it does all I need, so why change?

Convert your scan to grey scale/black and white, magnify it and check all the edges and clean up as needed with drawing or clone tools. Once you have a good solid image  Reduce magnification a bit until the image fits on your screen.

Next step is to make the image the colour you want, for me that is Southern railway  Maunsell Olive; here's where you get a bit sneaky, you need a photo of some stock of the colour you want you should then be able to take a sample of that colour within your photo app, mine is a tool that looks like an eye dropper, click it on the colour you want, then take a fill tool and "pour" or "spray" that colour over your image, if you are doing Choc and cream or blood and custard, you will need to mask the image at the dividing line of the colours, pour or spary the choc/blood in the bottom half and the cream/custard in the top. Anything more complicated will need extra masks.

You should have something like this (I've chosen an ex LSWR "Ironclad" Restaurant car)





For lining and lettering quite a few items will be used many times, things like First, Third, Guard, Luggage, in my case SOUTHERN and RAILWAY also various lenghts of lining, I found if I tried to stretch a lining image too much the curved ends distort and become blurred

so I made up the following,




Those I have saved as separate images which I copy and then paste onto the main image in the appropriate place to give me this,



The running numbers are inserted using the text tool, one advantage is that you can copy the completed image and "edit" the running numbers. Reduce size now to fit your coaches, measure your coach length and height accurately, size you image in the photo app accordingly,  do a test print on plain paper and check that it fits the side exactly, if necessary make adjustments in the photo app and test again repeat as necessary until you are satisfied, then print to A4  vinyl (or paper) label  stock.

I have used these on hacked Farish coaches (if they are fairly close in terms of window positions) and BHE shells I have also tried cutting out the Farish sides and replacing them with BHE shell sides, you then have a floor and under floor bits, bogies and ends and could re use the Farish roof. You may want to change the Farish bogies for more accurate ones.

Final touches include things like roof vents, best if you have scales drawings from which to make templates for drilling to take torpedo or shell vents  and any other roof "furniture" 

I find I can fit thirteen N gauge  59' sides on an A4 sheet.
 



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 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2013 02:11 pm
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Brossard
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Joined: Sat Jul 23rd, 2011
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Wow!  More member innovation, most impressive.  :Happy

John



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 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2013 02:54 pm
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Ken
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Very ingenious Mike, well done.

Ken



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