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Author Topic: Hand Stamps for Custom Lettering  (Read 4796 times)
ScottyB

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« on: November 27, 2010, 11:20:07 AM »

Hey all,

I've been on a quest to find an easy, cheap way to do some custom lettering in WHITE on my unlettered locos and freight cars.  Has anyone tried custom rubber hand stamps with white ink?  I've been searching around and I can't find any examples of anyone trying this.

I'm not sure how well the ink would stick to the model - I'm thinking a spray of dullcoat first to help adhesion.  And there are plenty of online sites that do custom stamps for pretty cheap.

I may have to experiment.  Anyone tried this?

Scott
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hminky
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 11:34:08 AM »

I lettered some cars using Pactra paints and rubber letters in the 1960's when I was a teenager. Read about it in an old 1950's Model Railroader. I had one of those old toy printing sets with individual letters. Gives a weathered white lettering.

Harold
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NMWTRR


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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 01:40:32 PM »

I tried the rubber stamp but was never able to get the Paint on the stamp to be the correct amount.

I had pretty small letters so that might have been part of the problem. So my recomendation is make the letters large font.

From my experience for white letters it seems like there are two choices:
1. Dry transfer Rub ons
2. What I like to use now is Hobby-Cal Water-slide decal paper (Nonprinted areas of the decal can be done in white). I use a black or other color background and then use white letters. The printer knows to not print where the letters are. So when you apply the decal after it dries the letters turn white. One negative can't spary an over coat.

If you are successful with the rubber stamp concept I would be curious how you did it??

Best of luck!
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ScottyB

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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 03:45:28 PM »

Well, after a quick experiment using some of my wife's scrap-booking stamps and a "test" car (an old 1970s Tyco HO car that now has "Happy Birthday" all over it), you are both right.  It is hard to get all the ink from the stamp onto the carbody - it results in a sort of antique look, like Harold said.  I don't know how else to describe it - lightly speckled, if you will.  It's actually not too bad, but also not ideal.  The edges of the letters just aren't crisp enough for what I am looking for, but good enough I could see someone easily doing an entire fleet this way.  Sure would be cheap.

I used the cheap white ink pad from Hobby Lobby ($2.99).  I wonder if some of the higher quality inks would work better - I just don't want to burn $25 to find out.

I've used dry transfers for the numbers on a few cars - that works easy enough.  But I was looking to do a custom road name on the locos, passenger and freight cars - Dry transfers seem too tedious and difficult to do letter by letter.  I'll look into that decal paper for white.

Thanks for your help,
Scott
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2010, 06:20:47 PM »

When I do dry transfer I stretch a piece of scotch tape over a loop of wire made from a coat hanger, I lay it sticky side up then cut out the dry transfer letters and stick them on the scotch tape backing side down, I use tweezers to line them up straight, then I clip the tape and stick it to the surface, after rubbing carefully I peel the scotch tape. I usually get great results this way. the tape works great to hold align and position the transfers, it also takes the backing up after your done rubbing.


NM
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ScottyB

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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 05:44:54 PM »

Well, apparently the issue is that the metal or plastic that the stamp is being applied to is non-porous, so the ink does not stamp properly.   I found a quick drying ink that supposedly can be used on metal - I'll have to see if they have some at my local Hobby Lobby.

Just for reference, here's some examples of what I've found (no clue about the products or sellers):
http://www.cistamps.com/ink_for_glass_metal_plastic.htm
http://www.scrapyland.com/StazOn_Ink_Pads_s/567.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Tsukineko-StazOn-Opaque-Cotton-White/dp/B000S16GFE

I might try to find some locally, but hopefully this might be a solution.  Custom stamps are so cheap and easy compared to custom decals!

Scott
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Larry Green

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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 07:06:16 PM »

If you give up on the rubber stamp idea, there are two vendors of custom rr lettering that are good--

Stan Cedarleaf for wet-film decals--Cedarleaf Custom Decals

Del Taporo for vinyl transfers or painting stencils--G Scale Graphics

Since I prefer the vinyl transfers, I get my custom work done by Del. However, the smallest he will do is 3/16". That's ok for my 1:20 equipment, but might not be small enough for some O scale lettering.

Larry
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Paul Sampson

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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 04:49:00 PM »

I have tried using rubber stamps for lettering cars with (so far) limited success. You can have custom stamps made pretty inexpensively here:

http://www.rubberstamps.net/art-stamps.aspx

or at some office supply stores like OfficeMax, Staples, etc., and hobby stores like HobbyLobby. Stamping is a big deal with scrapbookers, among others. Look for inks meant for non-porous surfaces.

You can also buy stamp kits with individual letters and numbers at office stores; fonts are pretty limited but you can do things like reporting marks and numbers.

I have just started trying this and unfortunately my first projects were tank cars. The convex surface makes it VERY hard to get a clean impression. My fix so far is to weather the daylights out of the ones I've done, and if I ever get any I'm proud of I'll post pictures. Next ones will be flat-sided cars!
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mabloodhound


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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 08:14:07 PM »

a quick Google found this:  http://www.thestampmaker.com/Products/Mark-II-Stamp-Pad-Kit---White__MARK_II_KIT_WHITE.aspx
this all sounds like a good idea.
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Dave Mason

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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 09:06:33 PM »

Find a local screen printer that will burn you some small scraps screen printing is really the way to put painted letters on.

NM-Jeff
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railtwister

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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 09:10:46 AM »

One of the secrets of printing anything is to get the ink mixed to the right consistency and then evenly applied to the surface of the stamp. Most stamp pad inks are made to be applied to paper, which is pretty absorbent, so the ink is usually too thin for use on a model. Once the ink mix is right, spreading it evenly on the pad is the next problem, and this may require some sort of roller applicator. A good art supply store will have an assortment of rollers in their printing section. Current pad printing processes use an etched metal die to set up the ink, which is applied and excess wiped with a squeegee. The depth of the etching allows the proper quantity of ink to remain on the plate, and a soft silicone rubber pad is pressed onto the die and then onto the model to transfer the ink. This operation is usually done by a robotic arm so that the contact pressures can be kept consistently and accurately controlled.

Bill in FL
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ebtnut

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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 05:18:15 PM »

FWIW, many of the commercial rolling stock manufacturers use a fancy rubber stamp machine to letter their cars.  I saw one at the old Mantua factory about 30 years ago.  The rubber stamp was very flexible so it would mold itself to uneven surfaces (the machine was doing tank cars at the time).  I presume the secret is in the type and consistency of the ink and the way it is applied in a consistent manner with the machine. 
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DWU

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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 09:49:01 AM »

Having a collection of older Lionel,alot of these were rubber stamped,some heat stamped.Its quite obvious they had the same problems with the amount of paint on the stamp,some are heavy some light,few if any are perfect!Ive tried rubber stamps also,I used colored Sharpie markers instead of an ink or paint pad,just rub it over the lettering on the stamp.Again not perfect but a little weathering and nobody knows.Unfortunatly to my knowledge Sharpie does not make markers in white,others make paint pens in white which might work,I find them a bit sloppy or is that just me!
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