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Creating a Small Range of Etches


Kamome442

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Kamome442

More Road Signs Coming

 

While working on printable road signs one this has become pretty clear. There are a lot of sign shapes I did not include on the etches I created. I doubt I would be able to replicate every size and shape there is so much variation. That said I will be creating a set of supplemental signs to go with the first set of etches. These will be the things like the smaller rectangular signs and the little end of restriction circle seen in the picture below. 

1377871521_Screenshot2022-09-03at11_50_00.thumb.png.02d6981ec1767348ef1883caa5c96d66.png

 

Progress on the Signage

 

I have started to set out the sheet of signs. I think I should be able to comfortably fit around 1000 road signs on a sheet of A4 paper, I don't want to cram them too close together otherwise trying to cut them out will be annoying. I decided to indicate which etched back the sign fits on with a little picture to the left (If there are any I have not etched yet it will just be a black filled shape). I have also included the dimensions for each sign for anyone creating their own backs.

16590929_Screenshot2022-09-03at11_57_39.thumb.png.e0198f9c4821b198207d433b9cd66391.png

 

A Little Help Needed

 

Now that I am setting out signs on the sheet I am trying to think about the numbers of each sign. I want to make sure there are plenty of the most common signs so that you don't have to keep printing sheets to get the signs you need. Speed signs are a good example, me feeling is there would be more use for speeds that are used in residential areas or around stations. Should be more for speeds between 20-50kmh than 80-100kmh?

 

From what I have seen looking at pictures and moving around on Streetview speed limit signs are often accompanied by no stopping or no parking signs, like the example below. If I have 10 of each speed 20, 30, 40 and 50 should I include 40 no parking and 40 no stopping signs?

898313085_Screenshot2022-09-03at11_49_45.png.bed16277fcc7e6e9c05f561be1b9fa5c.png

 

The ascent sign shown is taken from near Hakone Yumoto Station for a rather steep incline, signs like that along with height, width and weight restrictions could have a lot of variation. I am happy to create lots of versions however the number of possible combinations could probably fill an entire sheet by itself. Would you prefer one or two alternatives, incremental steps (8%, 10%, 12%, 14%) or a couple of each angle, height, width and weight?

 

I could also make a sheet with plenty of the most common signs and later add additional sheets with alternatives and less common signs.

 

Screenshot 2022-09-03 at 15.00.28.png

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maihama eki

I have had my etch sheets in hand for some time now. The shipping to the U.S. was incredibly fast - almost faster than me shipping something to the U.S. east coast.

 

These are excellent designs and excellent quality photoetch. Exceptionally done all around.

 

The base material is Nickel Silver. I don't know that I have experience with that material. I guess it is a little like brass - a copper alloy.

 

I will be interested to see some painted or otherwise finished versions of these. I think I will prime them before painting.

 

I can't wait to see what you do next.

  

 

 

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Martijn Meerts

Nickel silver is a copper, nickel and zinc alloy. You likely have experience with it, most (modern) track is made from nickel silver 🙂

 

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maihama eki
23 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Nickel silver is a copper, nickel and zinc alloy. You likely have experience with it, most (modern) track is made from nickel silver 🙂

 

Interesting. I always thought track was nickel plated over some other base metal like brass or some other copper alloy. That made me concerned about using abrasive cleaners on track since I thought I might eventually sand through the plating.  I learn something new here all the time!

 

I also thought most of the photo etched stuff I have experience with was brass or stainless steel. Maybe I was wrong about that too. The brass is easy to tell because of the color, but maybe some of what I thought was stainless was actually nickel silver.

 

 

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Most of the etched stainless steel I’ve seen is for tools as it’s stiffer than the nickel silver. 
 

abrasives mainly leave more micro scratches on the surface that places stuff can cause gunk from micro arcing to get produced.

 

jeff

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Kamome442

Hi @maihama eki, good to hear that you got your order. I have been using Nickel Silver for most of the etches on the layout. You are exactly right it is similar to brass so much softer and less brittle than steel. I find it makes it easier to cut, file and bend. Personally I always prime the parts before painting just to be on the safe side. When I get around to doing fencing, I will probably use stainless steel just because the frames are going to be very thin.

 

I am nearly done with the road signs now just a couple more to draw up, then I can start to think about my next project.

2028515985_Screenshot2022-09-08at22_22_33.thumb.png.67ef9080c698f6bac4352da5a6b8c1d8.png

 

 

 

 

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Almost there!

 

I am really done with drawing up the road signs. Hopefully I have covered most of the bases. First up are the warning signs:

295284016_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_05_50.thumb.png.9f273c8ed99467c607248e8501fe1f3d.png

 

There are a some new animal sings in the mix:

1219862994_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_10_10.thumb.png.f9a53639d9d11413f25302adbbcb2601.png

 

Don't worry @Martijn Meerts I added some alternative designs for the crab:

1068194288_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_10_42.thumb.png.e049f27b5bcd4a00da58550cd0cf2e73.png

 

I have had a go at making a Godzilla sign, I wanted it to be the 1954 version seeing as Toho studios is just around the corner from Yurakucho and some the location shoots took place in the area. 

1454328782_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_09_04.thumb.png.d91e797e1c61e06b290c495fe6297f8b.png

 

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Next up are the exclusion and restriction signs I have tried to create plenty of options:

563333684_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_48_37.thumb.png.126aecb1a9273ed849ee9c2944bdb81f.png

 

1478356437_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_48_53.thumb.png.ff7bcfe28197eeddea09f05e8c680772.png

 

912684146_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_49_07.thumb.png.2be1594e48585ead5f3f1e43b5d81de4.png

 

I also have a few alternate versions:

2139160290_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_53_31.thumb.png.3503c1449de0a9b943b9f21fc3093f92.png

 

If you notice a sign that is really common which I have missed please do let me know.

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1 hour ago, Kamome442 said:

Almost there!

 

I am really done with drawing up the road signs. Hopefully I have covered most of the bases. First up are the warning signs:

295284016_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_05_50.thumb.png.9f273c8ed99467c607248e8501fe1f3d.png

 

There are a some new animal sings in the mix:

1219862994_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_10_10.thumb.png.f9a53639d9d11413f25302adbbcb2601.png

 

Don't worry @Martijn Meerts I added some alternative designs for the crab:

1068194288_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_10_42.thumb.png.e049f27b5bcd4a00da58550cd0cf2e73.png

 

I have had a go at making a Godzilla sign, I wanted it to be the 1954 version seeing as Toho studios is just around the corner from Yurakucho and some the location shoots took place in the area. 

1454328782_Screenshot2022-09-15at19_09_04.thumb.png.d91e797e1c61e06b290c495fe6297f8b.png

 

The Big Guy at last!

 

Dave

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Last up are the supplemental signs. To be honest there are so many of these I could probably spend a year drawing them up and there would still more to do. In N scale these will be so small individual letters will be almost invisible or at least a cluster of blotches when printed. They do add a nice little extra detail to a street sign though. I have tried to create a range of sizes and vary the position and amount of characters so that even if you can't read them you can still make a bunch of unique signs.

1035021810_Screenshot2022-09-17at12_46_19.thumb.png.86e6afac52277f503bdc736907dd9047.png

 

I aim to make about 100 versions of these, what you see above has taken 3 days (most of that time was actually spent trying translate the signs!). So far I have managed to resist hiding messages such as 'Joe for President' or 'give Yurakucho a like'.

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3 hours ago, Kamome442 said:

Last up are the supplemental signs. To be honest there are so many of these I could probably spend a year drawing them up and there would still more to do. In N scale these will be so small individual letters will be almost invisible or at least a cluster of blotches when printed. They do add a nice little extra detail to a street sign though. I have tried to create a range of sizes and vary the position and amount of characters so that even if you can't read them you can still make a bunch of unique signs.

1035021810_Screenshot2022-09-17at12_46_19.thumb.png.86e6afac52277f503bdc736907dd9047.png

 

I aim to make about 100 versions of these, what you see above has taken 3 days (most of that time was actually spent trying translate the signs!). So far I have managed to resist hiding messages such as 'Joe for President' or 'give Yurakucho a like'.

Thank you for your effort and dedication, Joe, in this time of sorrow in the U.K.

 

I'm watching a live stream from Westminster on the BBC New website.

Thousands of patient and respectful Britons honoring the Queen.
 

Dave

Edited by Dave K
Minor edit.
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Joe these are wonderful! Especially having the signs translated. Pre image translate days I ended up putting some odd sings in places at times that was later told about…

 

Thank you!

 

jeff

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Thanks @Dave K it is certainly a strange weekend in the UK.

 

I am glad the translations help @cteno4 to be honest they have been a huge help for me making the signs. I am pretty sure I would have ended up drawing the same sign twice if didn't have a translation to check against 😃

 

I have started drawing up the printable sheet. I have included the translations but it is already feeling very busy.

1594193484_Screenshot2022-09-17at21_12_23.thumb.png.53cbfaf458c2889f67bb973198d662d4.png

 

The font size is also very small. Maybe I over did it with how many signs I made? Nah, but I might change to a number for each sign and a key perhaps on a separate sheet so you don't end up printing it every time.

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I have tried several times to take pictures cutting the etches. I have finally realised I don't have enough hands to hold the cutters, etch and take a pictures that isn't blurry. I have decided to resort to diagrams.

The first step is to fold the etch along the line the parts you want to cut, this should make it easier to get the cutters in close for a clean cut.

Then I tend to cut the parts off close to the frame, leaving the tab on the part.

Finally cutting the tab away. I have tried when possible to have the part full thickness where the half thickness tab attaches. This way I can slide the blade across the tab until I feel the resistance of it pushing up against edge of the part. Then I know that I cam cutting it flush to the part.

 

1551425364_Screenshot2022-09-25at16_14_48.thumb.png.cfa0619260678e8ea5cb66d61fb81738.png

 

As for holding the parts steady while cutting I tend to hold them between my thumb and index finger. 

533804363_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_04_05.thumb.png.c4deb287f227bbe9824bccdbf4ecd243.png

 

The tactiles are particularly tricky to cut as the tab had to be the same thickness as the etched tile. I find it easier to turn them over as the backs are shiny which makes it easier to line up the cutters.

 

When cutting the animal barriers, I have tried to keep the tabs at the widest points on their bodies even so before making a cut check that cutting angle won't accidentally cut off and ear or fin.

 

If it is helpful I will try to take a video cutting a tactile and an animal barrier.

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Here is the current progress on the street signs:

896307845_Screenshot2022-09-25at11_50_23.thumb.png.a1f94ec01f06ebb052f4e7a6dba2fd01.png

 

The sheet is filling up nicely, actually I am struggling to fit all the designs on one page. I am considering creating a second sheet that has large quantities of most commonly used signs. As it is I can only fit 4 or 5 of a particular sign in order to fit all the designs on a page. If you have to keep reprinting sheets and only using 10% of what is on there it could get quite frustrating.

 

I have test printed the sheet to see how they will look. There are a few improvements that I wasn't to make but on the whole I am really pleased with the results. Bearing in mind this was just on plain paper and not a matte photo paper this is how the crab came out:

594901930_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_05_44.thumb.png.e4f85a3bfcec703c8dd3f7a13d82f7b9.png

 

Considering the sides of this sign are only 3mm I think it holds up. Even Godzilla is reasonably clear:

1437888752_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_06_07.thumb.png.85691d85bfd8ac36f86a0d30d61884d5.png

 

By far the most impressive are the times (8 -20) visible at the top of the no stopping and no parking signs. Those signs have a diameter of 4mm!

325486259_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_06_48.thumb.png.a8936ad54d97b3f432456f48d9f842b2.png

Edited by Kamome442
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7 hours ago, Kamome442 said:

I have tried several times to take pictures cutting the etches. I have finally realised I don't have enough hands to hold the cutters, etch and take a pictures that isn't blurry. I have decided to resort to diagrams.

The first step is to fold the etch along the line the parts you want to cut, this should make it easier to get the cutters in close for a clean cut.

Then I tend to cut the parts off close to the frame, leaving the tab on the part.

Finally cutting the tab away. I have tried when possible to have the part full thickness where the half thickness tab attaches. This way I can slide the blade across the tab until I feel the resistance of it pushing up against edge of the part. Then I know that I cam cutting it flush to the part.

 

1551425364_Screenshot2022-09-25at16_14_48.thumb.png.cfa0619260678e8ea5cb66d61fb81738.png

 

As for holding the parts steady while cutting I tend to hold them between my thumb and index finger. 

533804363_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_04_05.thumb.png.c4deb287f227bbe9824bccdbf4ecd243.png

 

The tactiles are particularly tricky to cut as the tab had to be the same thickness as the etched tile. I find it easier to turn them over as the backs are shiny which makes it easier to line up the cutters.

 

When cutting the animal barriers, I have tried to keep the tabs at the widest points on their bodies even so before making a cut check that cutting angle won't accidentally cut off and ear or fin.

 

If it is helpful I will try to take a video cutting a tactile and an animal barrier.

Thanks, Joe.

This is very helpful.

 

Dave

Edited by Dave K
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3 hours ago, Kamome442 said:

Here is the current progress on the street signs:

896307845_Screenshot2022-09-25at11_50_23.thumb.png.a1f94ec01f06ebb052f4e7a6dba2fd01.png

 

The sheet is filling up nicely, actually I am struggling to fit all the designs on one page. I am considering creating a second sheet that has large quantities of most commonly used signs. As it is I can only fit 4 or 5 of a particular sign in order to fit all the designs on a page. If you have to keep reprinting sheets and only using 10% of what is on there it could get quite frustrating.

 

I have test printed the sheet to see how they will look. There are a few improvements that I wasn't to make but on the whole I am really pleased with the results. Bearing in mind this was just on plain paper and not a matte photo paper this is how the crab came out:

594901930_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_05_44.thumb.png.e4f85a3bfcec703c8dd3f7a13d82f7b9.png

 

Considering the sides of this sign are only 3mm I think it holds up. Even Godzilla is reasonably clear:

1437888752_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_06_07.thumb.png.85691d85bfd8ac36f86a0d30d61884d5.png

 

By far the most impressive are the times (8 -20) visible at the top of the no stopping and no parking signs. Those signs have a diameter of 4mm!

325486259_Screenshot2022-09-25at17_06_48.thumb.png.a8936ad54d97b3f432456f48d9f842b2.png

Brilliant, Joe.

 

We appreciate all the time and effort you have invested in this project.

 

Dave

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I painted some of your manhole covers. They look outstanding.

 

I sprayed fine primer on them, then sprayed a reddish brown, and followed with a black wash. It needed something more, so I used a pencil to highlight the raised details. Finally, I sprayed them with a flat coat. I would advise using fine grained paint and go light. You don't want to fill in the details.

 

They are a little hard to photograph. I need to hook up the camera on my microscope. This is one of the larger sakura pattern covers (large being ~4 mm).

 

IMG_1806croppedsmall.thumb.jpg.011f04bdca915abe222d442b8d8dcec4.jpg

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Thank for the words of support @Dave Kit has turned out to be a massive project but I figure there is no point cutting corners.

 

Wow @maihama ekithat has come out really well, thank you for sharing a picture.

I really like the idea of using a pencil to highlight the tops, I am going to give that a try.

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Amazing work and collection of signs so far! I wasn't going to suggest this as it seemed easy enough to do myself, but since you're doing so many different kinds anyway: Is there any chance you'll do some simple diamond ones with a number in the middle to denote which length of train should stop where at stations?

I mentioned them in your Yurakucho thread here if you'd like to take a look at some examples: 


These are very basic though, so I understand if that's not something you want to waste space on with your sheets. A simple 0 would be a good one if you don't want to waste too much space on it as that one is for all lengths of trains (I assume used on smaller stations, maybe?).

Edited by arkh
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Hi @arkh I can certainly add some rail related signs. There are plenty of signs and symbols to work with. 

1187639393_Screenshot2022-09-29at19_17_09.thumb.png.ef83f0a784cfc2d4a005bd297de8cd5c.png

 

I need to look as many examples as I can to try and figure out the font they are using for the numbers and if these differ between each railway company. It might be the case that I have to hand draw them as I did with the speed limit signs. I did manage to find a product catalog for station signs. It seems they are slightly smaller than the road signs at either 30cm or 40cm (the diamond road sign is 45cm) but at 1:150 I don't think it would be that noticeable. I can always create some etches with smaller sizes.

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My guess is that the coloured boarders denote the lines Chūō-Sōbu, Keihin–Tōhoku and so on?! At the weekend I will watch some cab view videos of some different lines to see if that is the case. I have found a few white with black numbers there doesn't seem to be a matching font between them. 

 

I make a basic set white with black numbers with a generic font and drop a screen shot here once they are done, to make sure you like them.

If the coloured ones do match the lines then it would be pretty easy to make these up as well, I just need to look up how many cars trains on each line run. I guess I could also add some smaller numbers for anyone running short formations.

Edited by Kamome442
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