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A snapshot in time. A glimpse of the Plettenberger Kleinbahn in 1/22.5 scale.

Started by Hydrostat, September 27, 2013, 01:48:57 PM

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Ray Dunakin

Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World


Volker, remove your magnifying glasses and go stand in the corner. -- Russ


Ray, thank you, I still do have a small piece of the Papilio self adhesive vinyl that you shipped to me years ago, which I'm going to use for some more signs. As per normal there are advantages and disadvantages in different approaches. Printing the signs on photo glossy paper makes it easy to cut the outline exactly. The very thin (I think 0.05 mm [0.002']) self adhesive copper foil glued to the backside prevends any light shining through, an effect that destroys illusion immediately. It's easy to bend or camber those signs, but they are a bit delicate, unless they are glued to a wall. I used CA gel for the edge and mounting adhesive for the inner, curved areas. Unfortunately I picked the wrong one (for absorptive surfaces) and it shrinked completely and took away the curving. I 'saved' the sign by filling the curving with baking soda and CA and then glued the now rather stable part to the wall. Glossy paper and copper foil result in a somewhat prototypical wall thickness of 0.15 mm (0,006'). The copper/paper edges are colored with a black edding. Then I dab clear nail lacquer generously to the surface to amplify the 'glassy' impression of enamel and to reduce the somewhat wavy paper surface. The both blue signs show the effect especially well:

The 'Haltestelle der Kleinbahn' and the blue 'Maiplatz' sign show the typical minor bulge.

Again everything depends on materials used. My current photo glossy paper is double sided foil covered. The white signs were made years ago when I had some one sided foil covered paper. I drenched the backside with very thin CA which gave this somewhat used and weathered impression, much better than the current material.

Although the printouts are protected by fixatives and lacquer those paper items are no way suitable for outside use, of course.

Using thin brass sheet (0.2 mm / 0.008') and self adhesive vinyl is the better way for freestanding signs. They are much more stable and keep a curved shape even if treated unwittingly a bit rough. But it is difficult to align the foil exactly, especially if there's a very thin visible outline at the sign. I still do have to test if and how nail lacquer works on the surface. I used vinyl (without additional lacquer) at the street lamp's toilet sign.

Howsoever: it seems to me that printing quality of inkjet printers has passed the zenith. I once had an Epson Stylus CX 5400, which showed great results and one was able to go deep into printer settings, up to manually numbered resolution. Of course this one died like all inkjets sooner or later from dried ink. All the later printers showed results getting worse and worse and nowadays their menus don't give lots of possibilities of professional intervention anymore.

Quote from: finescalerr on May 23, 2024, 12:27:32 AMVolker, remove your magnifying glasses and go stand in the corner. -- Russ

I can't. They are basifixed.


I'll make it. If I have to fly the five feet like a birdie.
I'll fly it. I'll make it.

The comprehensive book about my work: "Vollendete Baukunst"


Interesting and instructive excursion about sign making, thank you.



This is no longer a hobby, is it? Its artistry pure and simple.
You may ask yourself: "Well, how did I get here?"