Silk-Screened Lettering

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by CharlesH., Feb 5, 2006.

  1. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    I was reading an old MR weathering article from 1956, and at some point, the author mentions that the cars being weathered for the article had silkscreened lettering.
    Has anyone ever tried this? I assume the results look better than decals because the lettering is actually painted on...
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Screen printing is rather a tricky process. I did it for about 20 years as part of our business, but we did large stuff and flat surfaces. Doing the sides of a rail car would be difficult, not only because of the irregular surface, but because of the size of the lettering. More than one color and you have registration problems as well.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they stamp the lettering on now days.

    I still have access to screenprinting, and I was thinking about trying to print on some decal paper. One color only, white. I'm not sure it would work, again because of the font size and using a larger screen mesh the lettering might not burn in properly. I'm sure others could do it with the right equipment though.
  3. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Lots of manufactures do mostly pad or laser printing today. I think some do tampo also.
    Don, if your interested, I know Walthers and Micro-Scale sell decal paper for silk screening.
    But, I think with the advent of the laser jet printers and decal making kits made for them, these too may go the way of the Do-Do.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Thanks Ed, I have some decal paper but I don't think it's specifically for screenprinting. My problem is that the screen material that we used was about 180, sometimes I bought 220. I'm thinking that for some lettering for my N scale stuff, the thread diameter would be about half the letter size and the ink would just blob. I could probably get down to maybe six or eight point without buying new material.

    Like everything else we do in modeling, it's not the cost savings as much as the challenge of being able to do it.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm wondering what cars were silk screened? Many early manufacturers of ho rolling stock made the kits out of card stock. The kit sides would be flat paper, and any details would have to be either printed on the flat sides or added with wire, etc. It may be that that type of kit could be weathered with a silk screened technique, but obviously any of those old kits are long since out of production.
  6. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    According to the article, the car in question was a Central Valley kit.

    And speaking of cardstock models, anyone know how to emboss rivets in the stuff?
  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Sure. The cardstock myst be pretty thin - thicker than paper but thinner than a cardboad cereal box. Something about like a greeting card weight is best. I took a small nail, cut the head off, stuck it in a drill and turned the point against a file until it was smooth and even. You need something pointy, but not as pointy as a straight pin. Put your new pointy tool in a pin vice, lay your cardstock face down on a soft piece of wood or cardboard, and press the tool into the back. It takes practice to figure out how much pressure to apply. When I make a line of rivets, I just lay down the scale ruler and place a rivet every 3".

  8. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    Thanks for the input! I'd really like to scratchbuild a steel reefer...
  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

  10. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    Swell job! I especially like that tank car.

Share This Page