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A simple faded sign

Started by Bill Gill, November 26, 2022, 12:35:45 PM

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Bill Gill

Modeling time has been hard to come by, but today a project that floundered for years got completed.
This simple sign had been a continuing source of frustration as experiment after experiment for doing it failed. Finally it's done and it's exactly as hoped it might look.
I wanted a faded sign showing the lumber shed has been around, and also because the stark black and white contrast of a freshly painted sign would be a visual distraction for the scene.

Williams Lumber wall sign small.jpeg

Compare the above scene to the same scene below without the wall sign. The viewer's eye isn't pulled away from looking down the street.

Williams Lumber presign.jpeg


Yes, a much better solution to the bolder black and white one.  What was your method?



The sign looks great Bill, stencil or tissue paper? either way it blends beautifully.

I kinda do miss the roof sign though due to its geometry and weight breaking up the big open roof expanse. Maybe something else there to replace the effect?

Bill Gill

Thanks, Stuart and Karl A.
A modeler laser cut my stencil design out of regular office copy paper. I sprayed that with Krylon clear matte to waterproof and toughen it.

Instead of paint, two colored pencils were used to do the lettering: A. regular Crayola black , B. watercolor Crayola black.

I taped all four sides of the stencil to the wall and pressed down the tabs for the letter counters with pointed tweezers to keep the counters from shifting.

The initial coloring looked ...awful...when the stencil was folded out of the way. It looked like a pencil had been rubbed on coarse textured paper and there were also gaps where the scribed vertical siding lines are.

I tried to blend and fill with the damp tip of a round toothpick. That didn't help much and I considered stripping and repainting the whole wall, but I tried scrubbing everything lightly with a damp paper towel using downward vertical strokes and that gave the result I wanted.

Bill Gill

Karl A. yes, The roof sign will be back after it gets toned down a little. It does help the composition.

What I really wanted to avoid was the visual distraction of a stark B&W freshly painted wall sign.


Quote from: Bill Gill on November 26, 2022, 05:24:31 PMWhat I really wanted to avoid was the visual distraction of a stark B&W freshly painted wall sign.

Well, you achieved that perfectly.

Also, thanks for your detailed answer on how you did the new sign.

Ray Dunakin

Nice work on the sign. Great scene, too!
Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World


Hi Bill.
The wall really needed a sign overall the scene looks great.

Bill Gill

Thanks, Ray. It's a tough angle to view in person, and tougher to photograph, but I really like the scene too.

Thanks, Kim. You're right. That wall faces the main road into town. It needs a sign. Countless attempts (on scraps) at freehand painting or trying to hand cut stencils all turned out unsuccessful. Finally did something that worked.

Modeling time has been caught up in the 'supply chain shortage' for awhile, but in between things the long neglected roof sign finally got securely mounted in place. This sign is visible from Main Street, so it's necessary too.
Wms Lumber roof sign front.jpeg


Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
George Carlin

Bill Gill

Thanks, Jerry. Little bits, but progress.


The sign looks really good Bill. Nice work.

One of my favourite lumber yards was in Malibu Take a look at what happened to it I hope yours escapes this fate. 
You may ask yourself: "Well, how did I get here?"


Bill Gill

nk, Sorry I missed your comment until today.
Yuck. Something even more drastic happened to one of the local lumberyards that I'd used for inspiration. It set along the railroad tracks at the edge of a village since the invention of dirt. And it fully looked the part. But within a couple years of taking the reference photos I had it was totally demolished and replaced with something apparently attempting to be stylish contemporary condos, a blight on humanity.


I have been researching photos of the San Fernando Valley (northwest of downtown Los Angeles) where I grew up. It was never beautiful, just average. But when you compare the photos from 1870 through about 1960 with the hideous state of the Valley today, it is like looking at the painting of Dorian Gray. I fully understand how you feel, Bill. -- Russ


Morning Bill.
The project is coming along very well Happy New Year.