NEW 2014 -- Print F&CC decals!

Print your own decals at home!  Tips and free art files below ... and paint colors for our sample model and additional tips at bottom of page!


Today's home computers and printers make it easy to print your own decals at home using commercially-available "blank" decal sheets.  I provided an overview of the process and materials on the Railroad-Line forum starting on the page linked below and continuing on one or two pages after that:


Note that the lettering that I've used on the F&CC side-door ore car is NOT quite prototypically accurate -- I used a more colorful version of the logo and adapted the lettering to fit the actual car.  If you like the results, you can print your own using the same artwork provided below ... or you can use the basic idea, find your own images and modify to suit your railroad!  (You can also clip pieces from the data, numbers, etc provided if it's helpful!)


HERALDS:  Click the image at left and SAVE the larger file on your computer.  It's in PNG format, which opens with PCPaint and other graphics programs.

Print the heralds at 20% on WHITE decal paper.  Follow the manufacturer's directions to seal and apply the decals ... and refer to the tips that I've provided.

You'll notice that the background is light gray -- when printed and applied to the car, these will give the appearance of having a faded white background and eliminate the need to fade/weather a harsh white logo.  If you wish to economize, you COULD print the logos on clear film IF you paint a faded-white rectangle on the car side where the logo will go.


LETERING & NUMBERS:  Click the image at left and SAVE the larger file on your computer.  It's in PNG format, which opens with PCPaint and other graphics programs.

Print the lettering at 20% on CLEAR decal paper.  Follow the manufacturer's directions to seal and apply the decals ... and refer to the tips that I've provided.

Note that the actual file includes information about the typeface used (Rockwell) and the sizes, so you can add additional numbers or insert other data as desired once you open the file in a graphics program.

As with any new modeling task, it may take a little practice to get the hang of making your own decals ... but it's fairly easy to master and well worth it!


Paint colors on our sample model -- The car was sprayed with Wal-Mart "rattle can" gray primer from various angles.  After that dried, it was sprayed with flat black paint from the same series.  It can be difficult to get good coverage in the nooks-n-crannies, so after that was dried some diluted black acrylic paint toned down with some gray was used to paint in any areas that didn't get coverage.  Also, some dark gray was used to dry-brush the center panel, which was left black to surround the logo.

Pre-paint the shadows -- To add a little "punch" to the finished car, I then took straight Vallejo black paint, diluted so it would flow nicely from a #0 brush, and painted all of the grooves and around free-standing details.  You don't have to be super-precise about this -- you do want to fill in those grooves, but it's okay to go "outside the lines" a bit -- the black will deepen the shadows and make it easier to achieve a weathered effect without a lot of tricky work later.

INTERIOR -- The interior boards were streaked with thinned coats of Vallejo #347 Spinter Blotches (a dark, reddish-brown) and #73004 Basic Brown (a dark brown) -- using a flat brush with just a little care not to fill in the grooves.  The paint was thinned enough so that a single coat or even a couple of coats would not be opaque -- this allows some of the underlying black to show thru and again simplifies the weathering. 

After those colors had dried a bit, two lighter shades were mixed.  Shade #1:  Vallejo Splinter Blotches mixed with Reaper #9087 Weathered Stone (a warm medium gray).  Shade #2:  Vallejo Basic Brown mixed with Reaper #9085 Weathered Stone (a warm dark gray).  These shades were thinned and lightly streaked over various boards somewhat randomly and intermixed to add variety.

Next, the boards were VERY lightly "wet dry-brushed" with Reaper Shadowed Stone.  This is done by diluting the paint, dipping a large, soft brush and then wiping ALMOST ALL of the paint off on scrap paper before very lightly streaking the surfaces across the wood grain.  After that dried, the interior was given a wash made with 1 part Vallejo #72094 Black acrylic ink to 3 parts wet water.

EXTERIOR -- Again, this started with a base of "rattle can" primer and flat black paint with diluted black acrylic paint brushed into the grooves ...  next, diluted base of Vallejo Splinter Blotches was brushed unevenly over the various boards and surfaces.  The paint was diluted enough that a single pass would not be opaque and some of the black would show -- using that idea, the surfaces were streaked unevenly to vary the density of brown and provide a simple weathered base to go under the yellow.  Some care was taken not to fill in the grooves or to go all the way up to raised details (like stake posts) that had been outlined with the black. 

FADED YELLOW -- After the base weathering had been done with the black outlining and the brown paint, a diluted mix of "faded yellow" paint was made by mixing:  2 parts Vallejo #321 Highlights British Tanker (sort of a deep sand camo coloro), 2 parts Reaper 9075 Buckskin Pale (a nice subdued yellow), 1 part Vallejo #72092 Brown Ink (to add a little "dirt" and warmth) and 2 parts wet water.  Again this color was streaked on unevenly in multiple passes, not trying to cover every bit of the brown, and not trying to get even coverage in the density of the faded yellow -- the opposite, actually -- the uneven streaks give a more natural "aged" appearance.  Some of the hardware was LIGHTLY drybrushed with the faded yellow to give the appearance that it had been painted and then chipped/peeled.  After the yellow had fully dried, the sides were given a wash of 1 part Vallejo #72091 Sepia ink (a golden brown) to 3 parts wet water. 

CENTER PANEL -- The center panel, where the logo goes, was left almost untouched in flat black spray paint -- just lightly "wet-drybrushed" with Reaper Shadowed Stone to fade and highlight slightly.

After all of the paint was fully dried, the decals were applied with Vallejo decal fix and medium ... then sprayed with a coat of Krylon clear flat. 

I hope you'll find these notes and the art files useful -- have fun!  -- Dallas


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