Decal techniques

Some of the tools used to apply decals.

I see quite a few questions about applying decals on discussion lists and in private emails that arrive. There is a fear of failure for many modelers in the decal application process. I know this anxiety. It had a hold of me for awhile as I believed I would mess up the job. Let’s review techniques that helped me work towards a solid final appearance.

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Flat Car Additions


A couple more completed freight cars have been discovered among the boxes of hobby kits and supplies. Each of these two flat car kits were built several years ago and even painted. The black car with fish belly side sills is a Funaro & Camerlengo kit for a Baltimore & Ohio P-11 class flat car. The other car is a Tichy Train Group kit that I may have built 20 years ago. The model is pretty close to representing several prototypes that fit my 1926 era. I have a few flat cars in service but none are proper for my era so these two newly found models were given the fast track to completion.

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Adding to the Fleet


Three more box cars have been decaled and a final gloss coat has been applied. These have been built and in service for awhile. They went through the paint shop a couple of months ago. Next week they will receive a flat coat and start rolling through the Weathering Factory. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

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Weathering Factory output

Lined up and ready for service!

Several box car projects have been completed recently and it’s really great to have these in service on the Wheeling Freight Terminal. It makes a big difference when six undecorated cars are replaced by six cars that are painted, lettered, and weathered. I started these five years ago, so it is doubly satisfying to complete these models. Click on any image┬áhere to review a larger size.

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Hobby Challenges

End lettering and detail on a USRA double sheathed box car.
End lettering and detail on a USRA double sheathed box car.

I recently started decaling some box cars that I’ve had for a few years. I showed my wife the progress on the Rock Island car seen above and she rolled her eyes and mentioned how difficult the work looked. A comment from a friend in an unrelated conversation a couple of days later hit on a similar note.

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