Y&MV Freight Car Box Labels Added
It has been a long time since I made custom box labels for my rolling stock. While running errands today at Costco I noticed that they had their own brand of Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper. I forget the exact price, but a box of 150 sheets was under $20.00. I decided to grab a box and experiment with this paper to see if it would be suitable for box labels.
Particularly annoying to me is how small the reporting marks and numbers are on the ends of rolling stock boxes as produced by nearly every manufacturer. For me there is no bit of information more useful than that. To have to put my nose up to a shelf of boxes and read the tiny print should be unnecessary, but necessary it is.
My master PowerPoint file has separate pages with basic label templates sized to fit most of the different sized boxes in production. It is easy to size these labels for different boxes as needed.
The current need for me to create some labels is the cars I am custom painting now that the paint booth is in production mode. The Y&MV Thrall All-Door boxcars being the current project on the workbench put them at the front of the line for new labels.
The image above emphasizes the issue of font size that has steered me to design the labels as I have. Visible are stock boxes from Intermountain, PWRS, Athearn, Athearn Genesis, Walthers Proto, Walthers Platinum Line, and BLMA. From this distance you really cannot read the individual car identification on ANY of them. For contrast, some boxes that I have made labels for are mixed in. If you are holding NTO 880890 in your hand, you waste no time finding the right box to put it in if its layout time has come to an end.
One last addition to the label format is the manufacturer's stock number in very small font centered at the bottom of the label. One thing I noticed while cataloging my freight cars is that many manufacturers do not keep a history of car numbers/stock numbers out of production on line. I keep the stock number as part of my database. I spent considerable time researching the stock numbers for several cars that I had previously made labels for, obscuring that information. It is easy to just add that info to the label so I will make that a standard practice going forward.
The labels printed on the Kirkland photo paper just fine. I used a metal straight edge and an X-Acto Knife to cut the printed sheet into properly sized labels. In the past I have had adhesive labels fall off after the passage of some time. I have experimented with different glues since then and have settled on one that is perhaps a bit overkill, but it works and will likely last forever!
My adhesive of choice is Liquid Nails. I always have a 4 FL OZ tube of this stuff around the house so squeezing a bead of this product on the end of a freight car box is easy. Then I use my finger to smear the Liquid Nails evenly over the area that will be covered by the label. Next I gently press the label onto the adhesive and it is done! Any excess Liquid Nails that is pushed out by the label can easily be wiped away before it dries.