edited October 2015 in Miscellaneous
All, I'm at a point in my build where I need to put signs on my building. I've read Brett's instructions and understand the basics about weathering the sign, cutting it out, sanding the heck out of it, and then applying it. However, I would like to collect your thoughts about other alternative methods. I've seen a few suggestions in the builds I'm following, but I don't remember where. Can you repost to this thread?

Because signs can make or break the look of the build, I'm very interested in your methods. Thanks in advance.



  • the sanding of the back is to achieve a painted on look. Alternatively to replicate the look of an enamel sign - In HO Scale I cut the sign out, use dry chalk on the edges to color, then give the face a dry chalk dusting to dirty. Keep it simple with these small signs.
  • edited October 2015
    Another way to make the sign thinner to apply to a building is to tape some tissue paper....the wrapping type...not the blowing your nose a regular sheet of paper...then printing the signs onto it....they are almost see thru....I like Bretts idea on the enameled signs too...and it you want to make a brand new or fairly new look for it...brush it lightly with Mod=Poge...or other gloss will look just like a new enameled make a good looking rust hole to an older sign....hold th point tip of a soldering iron to a it starts to burn will brown the paper first and then poke thru.....just don't let it get too far.....
  • That's what I'm looking for. Brett, I probably over-exaggerated the sanding part. I just want to get a sense of what folks have tried. Phil
  • The thing I try to watch out for is "whites edges" from a paper sign. Nothing is a bigger give away, in my opinion, that tells the viewer they're looking at a model.
    I talk a little bit about the edges and how to hide the white here:

    Kevin O'neil had a short discussion about signs on his Railroad Camp build:

    Also, you can get some interesting weathering effects by using Prismacolor markers. They're pretty expensive (about $5-$6) but I've used the fine tip of a 40% "Cool Gray" on signs to show rain marks.

    Hope these give you some ideas!
  • Thanks Bill. I appreciate it. Phil
  • Ok. I tried an experiment. See the following picture. The signs are not glued down.


    The Sleepy Eye sign is my version of Bill's method. The Ace High sign is using Kevin O'neil's method in the link above. The other two signs are following Brett's instructions in the manual.

    I certainly need help in perfecting each method, but I like the combination of all methods.
    Please provide feedback. Phil
  • Beautiful!!
    Well done, Phil!

    Each method yields similar yet distinct results. Different situations may call for the use of different techniques. It looks to me like you've got a very good handle on all three. They look like they've got some years on them, which is what you want. The weathering/rust appears in logical places with believable tones and color variations. You also held back and didn't get carried away and over do it.

    If I could offer one suggestion--and this is pretty minor-- watch so that the rust streaks run perpendicular to the ground and do so consistently. Gravity will draw the water straight down. The Sleepy Eye sign looks like the subtle streaks are running down at a slight angle to the left. Those lines will make the sign look like it was mounted crooked. Again, that's REALLY nit-picky. But it gives you an idea of how good a grasp you've got on the techniques!

    As a side note (since this is a thread about signs), be careful not to get too heavy handed with nail holes. Your wood coloring looks spot on and is complimented by your signs. The nails, particularly in the upper right, distract a bit from the nice illusion you've created. Not to worry, just something to be mindful of going forward.
    Nail holes are a highly subjective topic. My personal feeling is I'd rather see none at all as opposed to too many or ones that are too large.

    That being said, don't let my comments distract from the nice work you've displayed here!
    Keep at it and I'll be watching for updates.
  • Thanks Bill. All good suggestions. I can glue the Sleepy Eye sign so that the streaks go straight down. I also agree with the nail hole comment. When you are doing them, they don't look so big, but when you take a picture, they really stand out. I'll try to use a softer hand in the future.

    I'll be posting to the Water Tank thread this weekend, so look for an update. Phil
  • Sounds like a plan.
    But, I wouldn't adjust the Chief sign (unless you can do it really easily). Depending on how you glued it, there's a chance it could get ruined. Not worth the risk! My comment was mostly intended as something to be aware of next time.
  • That's ok Bill. They aren't glued on yet.
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