PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale

The Mechanical Department of the Middle Division has implemented new painting and lettering equipment and has had much success. An HP Color LaserJet MFP M281fdw provides the base, augmented by Ghost White Toner and MicroScale decal paper.

Printing custom decals on a laser printer with decal film is nothing new, and last week I cut my teeth using MicroScale film. It is available with multiple background colors to augment the printer's "process" colors of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black -- commonly referred to as CMYK. If your initial attempts result in the film "sliding" and producing "smeared" images, see if your printer has a "paper type" setting. Mine does and I found "Heavy; Glossy" to be just what the doctor ordered. IMG 0011
My first project was to create some full color and red decals for my James E. Strates Shows train. I was very pleased with the results. IMG 0001
To print in white, the first thing you do is remove your printer's Black toner cartridge. Technically, you can remove any of the four CMYK colors. IMG 0012
Next, you install the Ghost White toner cartridge in the same slot. The entire process takes less than a minute. IMG 0013
Place the film in your paper tray. Create your artwork in your software of choice, preferably a drawing tool that uses vector graphics. I use MacDraft. Anything that you want to print in white, use black. The computer and software do not know you've made the switch. If you removed a color other than black, set your type to the corresponding color to get white. I also add a label to indicate what the decal sheet contains, so you don't have to read the white lettering. Remember, if you substituted the black cartridge, your label has to be in a color that doesn't require black. Here is my finished sheet for my protolanced Pennsylvania Midland Railroad. IMG 0014 
I chose a fairly simple paint sceme for the Penn Midland. I am not a veteran painter. In fact, the locomotive above and this caboose were my first attempts at custom painting, I used a rattle can from the local Ace hardware store. Two light coats, then the decals, then two light overcoats of Scalecoat II Clear Flat. I'm pretty please with the results and am in the process of painting a second pair.