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Printing yellow stripes for a model railroad locomotive

Printing yellow stripes for a model railroad locomotive


I have Jon's Athearn Baldwin S-12 (ho-scale)

He painted it a basic black, and I see it sometimes 'disappears' in the dark areas of my model railroad.
So, I wanted to add some safety striping for better visibility, like a real railroad might do.

But I didn't want to permanently paint anything yet.


I put the picture into Turbocad and traced the end frame by the steps,
and guessed some width of yellow stripes. The paper label is white, so I had to
print the black space between the yellow.
And I used one shade less than basic black, like a weathered surface.

I copied and pasted extra stripes onto the sheet.
And drew some yellow squares, 9 x 9 inches, again with almost-black spaces between them
for the side frames. (I made the first two black rectangles with full black, to see the difference in shades of black)

I also wanted a logo and locomotive number

But after I printed and applied it, I didn't like it.
I will come up with something else, later. It is easy to get the tip of a knife under the edge of the paper label and peel it off.
My old address labels might have their gum drying out, which keeps them from sticking too hard on the plastic.

BCRN for Bruce's Crossing Railway and Navigation Company
which is the mythical modernization of the pontoon bridge rail route near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.


Here's my other two striped locomotives,
a Walthers Fairbanks Morse in CNW colors
and a Roundhouse Soo Line Alco (over 30 years old and I still didn't put the handrails on it)
and the Baldwin with paper labels stuck on it. I think I should have used the full black color after all.


What I like most is the yellow safety stripe squares along the frame,
that much is enough to keep this loco from disappearing in the shadows.

Maybe I should remove the paper strip and apply some yellow shiny decal tape that would look more like Scotchlite reflective tape?
I have some yellow electrical tape, but it can be hard to cut without curling,
and it's adhesive might be much more aggressive, maybe melting into the paint?

How did I get the black louvers and covers and radiator to show up in this picture?
I put an LED ring light over the scene, hovering like a UFO above the scene.

And afterwards, I saw a picture of a black Southern Pacific switch engine at the Niles Canyon Railroad of California.
They had diagonal stripes in many places, including all the way around the radiator grill.
My Baldwin has a very large radiator and not much space for making labels all the way around the sides and top,
so I just made some shorter strips up the corners.

This picture is too close, I can see the printing.
It looks best when viewed from over 2 feet away.
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This page was wrote in November, 2022