Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How I created posters and 'enamel' signs for the station buildings

To add character and authenticity to the station buildings (see How I assembled station buildings from TM Models resin kits and How I converted a cheap children's toy into a station building), I decided I needed to add enamel signs and railway-related posters.

A search of the internet unearthed several images of enamel advertising signs and railway posters from the period being modelled (early 1930s). These were copied and pasted into a word document where they were reduced in size to something more appropriate for 16mm scale.
They were printed on photo paper, cut out and glued on to the building. They were then given a light spray of clear varnish from an aerosol to help seal them.

Specific railway related notices were created in MS Word based on examples printed in Branchline to Southwold (Mitchell & Smith, 1984, Middleton Press) with amendments to focus the content more on the locality of my railway:
These were then scanned and saved as images which were then inserted into a Word document where they were reduced in size to make them more appropriate. The beauty of working with images is that they can readily be resized or re-proportioned without unduly distorting the layout.

In Word, for example, I can right-click on an image which has been inserted into a document and from the pop-up menu, select .....'Size'

The next pop-up then enables me to specify the exact size of that image, to match the dimensions of the notice board or section of wall where the poster will be placed on the model.

 The sheets were laser printed, the individual posters cut out and glued into place.
As above, the notices were given a couple of coats of varnish from an aerosol to protect them from the elements.

I leave most of my buildings out in the garden throughout the year and after a couple of seasons I find that the posters deteriorate. Sometimes, slugs and snails take a fancy to them and eat them, or they simply rot away - much as would happen with posters in real life. If doesn't take too long to print-out a fresh set, cut them out and glue them in place.

Update 19/5/14

I found that as the station building at Bickerton is taken inside during the winter, the posters on this building last considerably longer. I have decided to over-winter all my buildings inside as even those which are made from resin castings and plastic, suffer from the ravages of the weather.

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