Written by Paul D. Race for Big Indoor TrainsTM
Note: Many of the files are large. If you have a dial-up connection, some of them will take a few minutes to download--that's why we provided small versions you could review before you clicked. In addition, when you view these files on your system, they will also seem several sizes too large, although most of them are actually the right size for printing on a 1200dpi printer. The reason for this discrepancy is that your monitor shows things at 72dpi, sixteen times larger than the same file will print on a 1200dpi printer.
You will almost certainly need to resize these once you have downloaded them. I could "preshrink" these for you, but you'll get a better end result if you do it yourself. In most cases, you can use Microsoft Word or any graphics program on your computer to do this. Open a blank Word ".doc" file, then paste the image into the file. Then resize the image to whatever size you need before printing. If you can't get an image down to the size you need, please contact us, and we'll shrink it for you.
I prefer to print on acid-free card stock or a vinyl sticker paper. Whatever you use, make a "test run" using cheap paper first. Then once you have printed, cut, and installed your signage, coat it with a clear acrylic spray, starting very lightly so as not to cause the ink to run, and applying several coats. This will also protect the signage from moisture, yellowing, and dust.
|Business Signs 1(335K). These are some of the business signs I made up to go on my trashbashed Fisher Price storefronts Using an ALPS printer, I printed some of these "backwards" on clear stock, then superglued them to white plastic, so the "ink" side would be laminated on the inside of the sandwich, so to speak. Then I glued them on the front of businesses. I also printed a few similar signs directly onto white .010" sheets of plastic. Although I don't know if they'll hold up as well as the "sandwich" versions, they're a quicker process. Dave Watts, of Watts Trains, gave me a "shingle" of a pestle and mortar for the pharmacy. Thanks, Dave. If you try these, you'll have to resize them in a graphics program to get them to print right for your buildings.|
|Business Signs 2(Large File: 991K). These are some other business signs I've created or borrowed from antique signs. I placed several on one page so I wouldn't waste the plastic sheets I was using to print these. Worth taking a look at, even if it takes you some time to download.
The Fort Tecumseh General Store, Indian Crafts, and Shirley's Kandy signs were created to go over signs on the Artline Western Town bird feeder, which I refashioned after a local business that sells candy and native crafts.
|Business Signs 3(Large File: 1.6M). More business signs I've created or borrowed from antique signs. The $38 dress store poster went on Kristen's Klothiers, a converted Fisher Price store front, in honor of my daughter's part in a local production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."|
|Tire Store Signs(Large File: 1M). I trashbashed a Fisher Price fire station into a garage and added these signs.|
|Station Signs(Large File: 1.6M). I bought two LGB "Toy Train" stations, which are actually Piko "Red River" stations with cheaper paint jobs. Since I repaint most of my buildings anyway, this wasn't a problem. I painted one with red primer, then used a "wash" of diluted white acrylic housepaint to flow between the lines to represent mortar. The other station, I painted white, then sponged
brick red onto it to represent flaking paint over brick. Then I created new graphics with the names of two towns I wanted to represent. I also printed up "No Spitting" signs, ticket office signs, and others you can probably use even if you don't want to use the same station names.|
|Toy Train Signs(205 KB). Working on another project, I collected a few thumbnail versions of old toy train posters and box covers. Other people scanned these, so I apologize in advance for the low resolution on several of them. These aren't big enough to print out and hang in your train room. But if you want to use some as posters on your model buildings or in a toy store window, they should work. One low-resolution sign I tried to clean up a little to make it more useful was the 1920 sign, which is provided in two different versions, in case you prefer the original scan.|
James Powell's Ad Sign Collection includes several scans of signs that were originally printed on wood sheathing as part of a hobby business that James used to operate. These include old soft drink and other product signs that could be used to dress up buildings, etc.
The Ande Rooney company (no relation to Andy Rooney) makes hundreds of vintage-style signs. If you check out the Ande Rooney Porcelain Signs on Amazon you will see many quality graphics of vintage signs of all kinds. I include these links on this page because if you click on any sign you like (and click on the sign again once you get to the page for that sign), your browser will display a nice medium-resolution jpg version of that sign, which may give you some great ideas for decorating your model buildings.
You could also check for:
Please stop by every once in a while - we DO have some other signs planned. Again, please contact us if you would like to see a particular sign.
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