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Applying Decals to a Kato E231 - Any tips?


gavino200

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I've never applied these before. I'm assuming they work like the decals that come with Kato buildings. Cut them with a scissors or knife, then carefully apply them. Is that right?

 

Anyone got any tips for doing this? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of? 

 

HS8Oi4d.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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Use a scalpel-type knife, a steel ruler, possibly a magnifying glass, a pair of fine bent-nose tweezers (I forget if that's the correct name) will come in handy, good light, clear clean draught-free work area, lots of patience.

 

A strong torch will come in handy to track down the tiny bit you just cut out which despite your best efforts has managed to vanish itself.

 

 

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Thanks Squid. Any idea what these various markings mean. Do the colors mean anything? 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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That's a generic set of decals for various E233 and E259 versions. The bottom row look like generic priority seat (優先席表示) and pushchair (ベビーカーマーク) stickers, not sure what the star-shaped ones are (if those are anchors I guess they belong on the E259 "Marine Liner").

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If you download the good translate app, it has a function where it can scan the text and translate it from the picture!  I've found it super helpful for reading instruction for figuring out where things go.  Its not always able to read the small stickers, but it can read the heading text that tells you what each group is for.

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20 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

If you download the good translate app, it has a function where it can scan the text and translate it from the picture!  I've found it super helpful for reading instruction for figuring out where things go.  Its not always able to read the small stickers, but it can read the heading text that tells you what each group is for.

 

Good idea. Oddly enough easier to do off the screen here than from the paper. 

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I wonder if these could have come with my NEX and got mixed up with the Yamanote E231?

Edited by gavino200
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Wow, it can even translate the tiny writing. I think I'll go with "Shinagawa/Shibuya direction Yamanote line 1603 G"

Edited by gavino200
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I would like to suggest that you translate the titles too as usually only one set of stickers apply to each variant. I'm fairly sure the 233 series was not used on the yamanote.  Checking the paint of your cars (or even the box text) would determine the line they are used on, then you can search which services they ran and finally choose one of the services that are provided on the sticker sheet. Otherwise the paint and the destination signs would not match.

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3 minutes ago, kvp said:

I would like to suggest that you translate the titles too as usually only one set of stickers apply to each variant. I'm fairly sure the 233 series was not used on the yamanote.  Checking the paint of your cars (or even the box text) would determine the line they are used on, then you can search which services they ran and finally choose one of the services that are provided on the sticker sheet. Otherwise the paint and the destination signs would not match.

 

Thanks. Yes, I fixed the thread title. I'm fairly sure that the small decal sheet goes with the Yamanote. The second generic E233 sheet must have come with my NEX and gotten mixed up with the Yamanote. 

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On 2/16/2018 at 10:17 PM, railsquid said:

Use a scalpel-type knife, a steel ruler, possibly a magnifying glass, a pair of fine bent-nose tweezers (I forget if that's the correct name) will come in handy, good light, clear clean draught-free work area, lots of patience.

 

A strong torch will come in handy to track down the tiny bit you just cut out which despite your best efforts has managed to vanish itself.

 

 

 

I took your advice. I used 3x loupes, a bright light and a brand new scalpel. It was hard.

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This was tougher than I expected. And I expected it to be tough. I took Squid's advice and went to work. So I'm going to travel back in time and give yesterday's me some advice on what I was about to experience. The majority of people here have skills so far in advance of mine, that with a lifetime of practice I wouldn't catch up. I'm aiming this feedback only at someone on my novice level. This is surely not the only way to do this, and I'm not saying it's the best way. It's just what I learned today.

 

Cutting out the front/rear cab decals wasn't tough. I used the sharpest knife I had and some magnification. The cabs are fairly forgiving. There's a rim of tinted front cab 'glass' around the decal, so as long as it's cut reasonably accurately it will go well.

 

TxfUYmF.jpg

 

The reason I'm giving the feedback is because of the direction sign decals on the side of the cars. They are extremely difficult to place. In the past I would have just looked at them and said "uh, no". But I've been inspired by many people here, and now generally give stuff like this a try.

 

Z2GXf4p.jpg

 

 

First thing - Don't cut out a lot of these at once. I did and it was a mistake. It's better to cut as you go, so you can judge exactly how to cut them. 

 

Surprizingly, the decals are ever so slightly oversized. If you cut them exactly as printed, it's very difficult to get them in place and laid fully flat. I found the trick was to cut them ever so slightly smaller than printed. Basically, you need to leave the tiniest hint of a black line behind on the paper, framing the decal you cut out. If you do, then the decal fits, perfectly, quickly and easily.

 

The amount of 'black frame' you need to leave behind is tiny. I can't even guess a true measurement - a fraction of a millimeter. The amount is about the width of one "brush stroke" on one of the characters printed on the decal. Be careful not to leave too much black behind. If you undersize the decal anymore than this (say another brush stroke width) then you can easily see a rim of clear window plastic decal around the decal. Basically, you need to leave behind just a hint of black, and no more.

 

These are the tools I used. 

 

HgsWVCv.jpg

 

This is how I placed down the decal. I held it where it needed to be with forceps. Then I gently padded it down with a dental pick. It took me a few cars before I came upon this method. (Picture courtesy of my wife).

 

J5KZk1I.jpg

 

Result

 

MlWtxE4.jpg

 

Kato gives you 27 decals. You only need 22. So you get a few Mulligans. I've used one so far. I'm going to wait until I have interior lights installed before deciding if any more need replacing.

 

Happy train back on the track

 

yAWrT1u.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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BTW, I tried a different method for applying the side decals. I tried to do this by opening the car and removing the window glass - then applying the decal to the glass, before replacing the glass. 

 

This seems like the obvious method to use. However the windows on this model fit very snugly and the side direction indicator (the bit of plastic you're applying the decal to) sort of slides into place. I couldn't get this done without rubbing the decal off it's mark before the window plastic got seated. I still suspect that if anyone could master that step, then this might be a superior method. 

 

But today, in my hands, it's not a possibility.

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20 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

This was tougher than I expected. And I expected it to be tough. I took Squid's advice and went to work. So I'm going to travel back in time and give yesterday's me some advice on what I was about to experience. The majority of people here have skills so far in advance of mine, that with a lifetime of practice I wouldn't catch up. I'm aiming this feedback only at someone on my novice level. This is surely not the only way to do this, and I'm not saying it's the best way. It's just what I learned today.

 

Cutting out the front/rear cab decals wasn't tough. I used the sharpest knife I had and some magnification. The cabs are fairly forgiving. There's a rim of tinted front cab 'glass' around the decal, so as long as it's cut reasonably accurately it will go well.

 

TxfUYmF.jpg

 

The reason I'm giving the feedback is because of the direction sign decals on the side of the cars. They are extremely difficult to place. In the past I would have just looked at them and said "uh, no". But I've been inspired by many people here, an now generally give stuff like this a try.

 

Z2GXf4p.jpg

 

 

First thing - Don't cut out a lot of these at once. I did and it was a mistake. It's better to cut as you go, so you can judge exactly how to cut them. 

 

Surprizingly, the decals are ever so slightly oversized. If you cut them exactly as printed, it's very difficult to get them in place and laid fully flat. I found the trick was to cut them ever so slightly smaller than printed. Basically, you need to leave the tiniest hint of a black line behind on the paper, framing the decal you cut out. If you do, then the decal fits, perfectly, quickly and easily.

 

The amount of 'black frame' you need to leave behind is tiny. I can't even guess a true measurement - a fraction of a millimeter. The amount is about the width of one "brush stroke" on one of the characters printed on the decal. Be careful not to leave too much black behind. If you undersize the decal anymore than this (say another brush stroke with) then you can easily see a rim of clear window plastic decal around the decal. Basically, you need to leave behind just a hint of black, and no more.

 

These are the tools I used. 

 

HgsWVCv.jpg

 

This is how I placed down the decal. I held it where it needed to be with forceps. Then I gently padded it down with a dental pick. It took me a few cars before I came upon this method. (Picture courtesy of my wife).

 

J5KZk1I.jpg

 

Result

 

MlWtxE4.jpg

 

Kato gives you 27 decals. You only need 22. So you get a few Mulligans. I've used one so far. I'm going to wait until I have interior lights installed before deciding if any more need replacing.

 

Happy train back on the track

 

yAWrT1u.jpg

 

 

 

 

Wow, thanks for documenting the process of applying decals.  Thank you to the Mrs. for taking pictures as you are applying decals with surgical precision. :)

 

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1 minute ago, serotta1972 said:

Wow, thanks for documenting the process of applying decals.  Thank you to the Mrs. for taking pictures as you are applying decals with surgical precision. :)

 

 

Ha, yes, I'll pass on the thanks. She's remarkably supportive of all this train madness! 

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I've noticed too that on many trains the decals are printed a tad too large to fit perfectly. So far I always used a pair of tweezers, a small scissor and my fingers, which all in all gave mediocre results...

I have to try the method with a cutter knife and those other tools the next time, your results look really good. Thanks for posting it :)

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I’ve found with the stickers it works best to cut with a brand new xacto tip. A new tip is the best to cut just the sticker and not the backing (much), it lets you feel this easily thru the knife. Doesn’t take much pressure, let the edge do the work and lighter touch is easier to pull along the straight edge.  New xacto tips feel sharper than even a new 11 scalpel tip does to me, there is probably something in the edge geometry and points of the blades and what they are designed to cut. but they will dull quickly if used on anything else. Worth putting in a new blade when cutting the stickers, then then either save it for the next set or relegate it to the usual hobby hacking and whacking.

 

tomytec stickers work the same, just thicker material. Again though, the light pressure with the new tip just cutting the sticker and not into the backing much gives the best results.

 

i like the the really pointy tweezers as they are great at separating the sticker from the. Those cheap acne tweezers are great for this stuffing if you bung a tip up no biggie! I have nice micro dissection tweezers from grad school that cost a fortune but the tips can get bunged starring at them too hard and use for special things. But these cheap tweezers do the job well and can’t beat the price if they can get sent to you without duty...

 

Short ones (some like smaller tweezers)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3pcs-Acne-Needle-Tweezers-Blackhead-Pimples-Removal-Pointed-Bend-Face-Care-Tools/362160478132?hash=item54527257b4:g:q4QAAOSwOA1aDQYb

 

Longer

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3Pcs-Comedone-Acne-Needle-Tweezers-Blackhead-Pimple-Removal-Face-Skin-Care-Tools/401412473288?hash=item5d760c41c8:g:3LoAAOSwHptY9s59

 

jeff

Edited by cteno4
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One thing I do if I cut them slightly too small is to take a black sharpie and go over the rear of the rollsign to cover up the the clear bits. It still lets light through but cuts down on the leakage around the edge. Alternatively you can use gloss back paint but it doesn't behave well on clear plastic. 

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You inspire me.  I have that same Sumikko Garashi Yamanote line train, and have not even thought of putting the stickers on, yet.   Luckily my daughter, who actually owns the train, has not figured out the stickers are missing :)

 

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