Vol. 4 Issue 2

February 2012

in this issue
web specials
bargain bin
quick links

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Happy February from all of us at Microscale. We are running our adhesive web special with the enhanced MicroWeld formula for one more month. After March the system pack will only be available as separate pieces. Take advantage of the substantial discount while you still can!

The Q Connection has in stock Whalebelly hopper kits. Microscale printed decals specifically for this kit and are availble in CB&Q, CSX, BN, SAL, SBD and Dragon. Kits and decals available through the Q Connection. Decals available directly through Microscale as well.

You might've seen Microscale's ad in the past issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine. Be sure to look for us in the December issue too!


September 2011 New Releases         

Back in Stock Coming this MONTH!


87-114/60-114 Santa Fe (ATSF) - Passenger Car - Streamlined - Super Chief

87-291/60-291 Santa Fe (ATSF) - Trailer - 40' - Red & Blue Lettering
87-354 Union Pacific (UP) Diesel - Hoods - Large Number on Cab
60-482 Norfolk & Westerm (N&W) - Caboose - Red WIth White Lettering
60-528 Illinois Central (IC) - Diesel - Hoods 1988+
60-672 VIA Rail Canada - Passenger Car
60-673 VIA Rail Canada - Passenger Car Stripes
60-677 Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) - Diesel - Cabs & Electrics - 5 Stripe Scheme - Gold Leaf
60-945 Norfolk Southern (NS) - Diesel - Dash 8-40C, Dash 9-44CW
60-1218 Rock Island (CRIP) - Pre & Post-War Rocket Pool Passenger Cars

Modeling with Microscale

Chris Palomarez  


In the March 2010 issue of the "High Green" I explained how to create your own custom TrimFilm colors utilizing enamel paints and painting over clear or any other color trim film to better match to a target color. In order to further advance the topic, I'm going to look at a problem that custom decal printers have come into. A few solutions exist to get around the issue at hand. Let's first examine the problem and work out a few approaches to getting around it.


The scope of this piece isn't about HOW to print your own decals. The target for this article are those already printing their own decals that have run into printing a field of black with white lettering showing through the black background. What is experienced when trying to print a black box with white or colored characters in it, the black chips and flakes around the trimmed edge of the black revealing the white decal film below.  


To get around this, a better understanding of why this is happening. Toner and ink from consumer type printers isn't formulated to fully adhere to the inks used by Microscale that are printed to decal paper. When the clear liquid decal film is used, it behaves much like a laminate, sealing the printed area water proofing it.  


Since the toner isn't truly adhered to the decal surface, it is completely reliant on a seal being created around the printed area. This is much like using a laminating machine to attach two pages together. There is no direct bond between them, the seal happens around the laminated objects. As you my be familiar, once you cut all the clear lamination off, there is no physical way to keep the objects stuck together. Those that have printed their own decals are probably familiar with trying to print black on white TrimFilm. Coting it with Liquid Decal Film MI-12 to seal the printed areas. When attempting to trim the printed object to the black, the toner along the trimmed edge will lift and flake off since there is no longer a physical seal to the edge of the black field to the white TrimFilm decal surface.    



The best way to print the objects with a black field is to break the application into two parts. First you will need to lay down on the model a white backup, cut to the same shape but cut a little smaller. The second application will be the clear TrimFilm that has your custom printed objects on them.  

As you get familiar with this method, it will allow for more complex printing with white backup. I have in the past printed a cut line on the white TrimFilm to assist my accuracy when cutting my white shape to lay on the model first. Attempts to line up the two components on the model will be much easier and less subject to "dead reckoning".


I have also in the past for custom number boards on locomotives, printed a backwards image on clear decal film then following the March 2010 article, painted the white over the backwards image then sealed it with MI-12 Liquid Decal Film. This method works if the modeler absolutely needs to keep the application to one layer.


Further information on custom printing your own decals have been covered in the model railroad press. One of my personal favorites is Rick Sutton's on the subject. Available for viewing on TrainLife here:



All Aboard - Free Stuff
We invite you to submit your best "HOW TO" articles for publication in our monthly newsletter. We know how talented you are and we figured it would be a great way to showcase your work.

The only condition is that you write an article that will be of interest to other Microscale modelers and that you use some Microscale products such as Microscale Solution or Microscale decal set(s).

If your article is selected and used in our Newsletter, you will be entitled to 4 FREE decal sheets of your choice from our regular stock.
Send submissions to: railroad@microscale.com
With your submission, please include your written release for Microscale to use the information and photos for publication. 
2009 Catalog IN THE WORKS

Each month we will be letting you know what we're working on for the near future. Please remember to check out this newsletter each month for details of upcoming releases.   
Coming Soon...
Oregon, California & Eastern plus Columbia & Cowlitz late boxcars
Tropicana Reefers, Including TrinCool 
C&NW Insulated Boxcars
BN Gondolas and Woodchip Gons
Microscale has been serving the model train hobby market for over 50 years. We pride ourselves in delivering the finest quality products and service. We also provide a variety of custom printing services for manufacturers and other organizations alike. If you have a custom decal project and want us to provide you with an estimate please contact us at vickie@microscale.com or ryan@microscale.com.
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