There are many decal options available for model railroaders. Whether you want to simply change a number, letter an entire car, or even design your own, decals are a great way to customize a model. Commercial decals are available for most major railroads in many scales. You can also make your own decals on a computer.
In addition to the decal sheet itself, all that is required are some basic modeling tools. Before beginning, it helps to start with a clean car. Gently wash the model in soapy water to remove any finger prints, oils and dust. A gloss surface also accepts decals better than a flat finish. You can spray a clear gloss finish over the car prior to decaling, taking car to mask windows or other parts you don't want to cover. If you are starting with a factory painted model, this step is probably not necessary.
Next gather the tools and materials you'll need to apply the decals:
- Small saucer or dish with water. (Distilled water works best.)
- Decal setting solution
- Hobby knife