Custom Decals

I make both custom waterslide decals and custom cut vinyl lettering. Most lettering prior to World War Two used Railroad Roman type font with the exception of some of the billboard refrigerator cars which used any font that advertised their product. Since World War Two, railroads have designed their lettering to be specific to them many with licensed trademarks including fallen flags. This is why I am licensed with both CSX and Union Pacific. Most railroads up until the early 1980’s used paint to apply their lettering using specially designed painting masks. Since the mid 1980’s railroads now use special designed vinyl decals that have a self adhesive backing. For most of the scale models, waterslide decals work best. For those into live steam, a vinyl decal will work, but I am unable to layer vinyl such as used on the billboard refrigerator cars or multi-color heralds. This where the waterslide decal works best.

Custom waterslide decals are available for F scale through 1:32 scale as well as O, On30, HO, N, and Z. Waterslide decals are printed with an Alps 5500 micro dry printer. I have almost all the fonts available at web page with his permission to use them for decals. I am licensed by Union Pacific and CSX to make their current and fallen flag railroad logos. However I will not make decals from companies who prohibit the use of their trademark logos such as BNSF, Missouri & Arkansas, and The Indiana Harbor Belt. Most railroads consider it good advertising. I can print white, metallic gold and silver, and millions of colors. I will not make decals for automobile, motorcycle, aircraft, or trucking companies or any that I know are licensed.

Vinyl lettering works best when the letter size is ¼ inch of higher. I do not layer vinyl so if you want a 2 color vinyl decal, I suggest you see your local print shop. The vinyl cutter cuts the solid vinyl sheet just as a printer applies ink to a piece of paper. All the excess parts of the lettering must be cleaned (weeded) out before use. With RAILROAD ROMAN lettering in very small sizes, you can go out of your mind removing the inside of letters. Many of the commercially made pieces use a thin printable vinyl. One example is both USA and Aristo Norfolk Southern diesels. You could apply stripper to the shell and everything will come off except the white stripe as this is vinyl. I once soaked an Aristocraft Mobilgas tank car in stripper for a day. The paint and small lettering came completely off except the text MOBILGAS which I had to wet sand off.

I will also accept pdf files. I use Acrobat. A Word Document can also be sent.  But when sending such a file, please check with me for instructions before send file. An instruction sheet is sent with each order to explain how I would apply the decals as my custom made decals are thinner than Microscale.

All the pieces show on the web page and in my catalog are lettered with my own decals.


  • Waterslide decal $ 20.00 per 8.5 x 11 sheet plus $3 shipping
  • Vinyl decal $20.00 per foot. Vinyl can be cut as long as 39 inches with a height of 9.25 inches