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Quick update of the manhole covers. While I was printing the water slide transfers for the pipe barriers I added a few manhole covers to one of the sheets to see how they look. I will say now that they look much better real life than in the pictures and I did a terrible job of cutting them out so there is a little white around the edges.

1:80 version:



1:150 version:



I did a quick look for rub on transfer makers and oh wow the prices are insane! The best price I could find was £360 to make one A4 sheet (3 colours). I am sure there must be cheaper options out there.


I also wanted to share some test etches for new lids.

1:150 first:



Pretty happy with these, you can make out the little sailboats (left). 

Now over to 1:80 scale and boy did these come out well, the covers are 7.5mm across and you can even partially make out the word Hiroshima (top left):








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Nice joe! Maybe make the black out circle a bit larger diameter so you have some black to trim off once decal in place on the cover? I wonder if close cutting then last bit use fine sandpaper. But it must be tough holding a 4mm n scale manhole!


so this was a decal onto an etched cover or blank cover? If on an etched cover did you try and micro sol on it to relax the decal down onto the etched details. I’m guessing this is getting to the very limit of decals and the surface relief! Also inkjet decal paper does come in several weights and bes on small stuff is the thinnest. All the laser decal I’ve used seems all to be the same thickness and a tad thicker than the thin inkjet decal paper. Toner added as well makes them come out much heavier/thicker than inkjet and they don’t lay down as well with micro sol I think due the harder toner not being as flexible.


yes the runoff transfers use a dye sublimation system to print them and print white too, but are very pricy machines.


i did have a rub off transfer system that printed toner onto a transfer sheet. You then applied a sheet with transfer adhesive to it and pulled off the backing. You then had to cut carefully around your decal area to cut it out and stick it onto your model and remove the transfer backing. One issue was it’s easy to get a halo of transfer adhesive around the toner of the decal and that can very quickly suck up dust bits if not sealed up right away with a dull coat. Also same issue of clear decals that white is not printed so will be a hole in your decal so has to go on white if you want it white and best to remove the transfer adhesive in that area as well. It was a bit of a mess but worked and I had one side of a tama train done as a test on a blank Tomytec portram I had and Tomytec announced their tama train so I decided better use if time on other projects and jsut bought the Tomytec model! Not sure if that system would be viable for sale though.





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I have measured the height between two floors of some of my Kato, Tomix, Greenmax buildings.


Tomix it's 20mm:



Kato it's 22mm:



Greenmax I think it's even a bit more than 22mm.

Given that, I would not reduce the height to 17mm, but deciding between 20 and 22mm is difficult. Some of the buildings also have higher lower floors.





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@cteno4 This was just a transfer applied onto the road. I haven't tried placing one over an etched cover yet. I was rushing and could have done a better job of cutting and trimming the cover however it wouldn't hurt to make the black boarder a little thicker. It might work better on clear transfer paper, then you could get away with not cutting the circle perfectly. You probably could sand or file the edge carefully while it still on the backing paper. I will have another go at the weekend and try to cut more carefully. I will also try to apply one over an etched cover. The next time I have something to print on clear transfer paper I will add a few covers to test them. 


@Madsing The 1:80 covers came out great, I will have to make them available. I have not had much success with sales in this scale that said I have only really scaled up the pipe barriers, I should probably offer some more items.

Thank you so much for taking the time to post pictures of buildings to show the dimensions. You have no idea how helpful that is.

I am happy to offer the steps in different heights. It really won't take long to alter them. Below are the adjusted steps top 20mm, bottom 22mm:



The steps are spaced slightly differently, and the 22mm gains an extra step.

Also for reference here is the 22mm height comparing a 35 degree (left) angle and a 46 degree (right):



At some point I would like to offer add on packs with alternative landings and steps to allow more variety between buildings. 


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A Possible New Project


Now that I have a handle on designing fire escapes I have been thinking about another project to work on. I would quite like to have a go at a range of arcade roofs. They are something that feels very Japanese and I think they would add a nice little detail to a street scene. I have been looking around for some nice examples they seen to range in size form moderate to monstrous. I am certainly happy to have a go at a few moderate designs to start off with.


I have not done much work on this so far as I am not totally sure it something that would be popular. I know that Tomytec offered an arcade section so I would want to make sure that I am offering something a little different. My feeling at the moment is to just offer the roof as an etch along with templates for cutting all the cladding to the fit correctly. It would be very much a kit that needs additional work I am not even planning on including legs, at the moment, as the heights appear to vary greatly but include tabs at the bottom of the roof to slot legs into. 


I found some lovely pictures of an arcade in Sakaide of a section that had all the cladding removed so you could see the internal structure. I was able to use this to draw up a rough idea I what I am thinking:



One thing I have noticed is that most examples have at least a catwalk to service the roof and many also carry utilities above the street. This was case for the example above. It also had raised sections for crossing roads which look rather cool. It seems like something that could be expanded upon with a basic pack that has a straight section then other packs that offer raised sections, wind breakers for open sections, junctions or bends.


This is the section I drew up using the above design:





I included the raised section, catwalks and masts for utilities. I just find these structures interestingly ugly (in a good way). 


I would like to hear your thoughts if you think it something that you would interested in.





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Martijn Meerts

Too much cool stuff 😄


Since I've sort of picked up the N project again, I may need to order some things at some point ...


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Posted (edited)

A Few More Items Ready to Order


The original sets of external stairs, which I was selling at half price due to a small error in their design, are sold out in some styles. So I will be ordering a new sheet with tabs orientated correctly. I figured I could add 4 more designs to etch this time. The new designs look like this:




I will introduce the next 4 Guard Rail fences the coming months. The most recent set did not sell very well, maybe I have saturated the market a little?! Oops.

Oh well, I really enjoy making them so I will carry on regardless. The next designs look like this:



Finally I am making up a test batch of ready made Rabbit barriers, seen here enjoying their first coat of paint:



I am planning a small run of the most popular designs. I am not sure how much they will be at the moment (hopefully around £2 per barrier) or even if I am going to sell them as an individual barrier (ie 2 rabbits connected with pipes) or as sets of 4 or 5 barriers. The batch above are for me to test different techniques for painting the eyes and nose. I need to find a process that is reliable and repeatable. 


If they do sell I will make a batches of elephants and dolphins (they both use the same colour), followed by either ducks or frogs.






Edited by Kamome442
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