From time to time, I’ve mentioned the guys who are working on the Risdon & Rome model railroad layout who take it on tour every so often. One day in some casual conversation, they mentioned that they “needed” some things for the layout and I asked about billboards. I told them that I’d give them some “if” they displayed one for me most of the time. They readily agreed. I’ve already written about the Walthers billboard that I did for them but since they accepted my offer for more, I got to work on some additional “signage.”
I’m planning a similar project for another friend who is hosting some layout tours later this summer. I ordered some O scale billboards off of Ebay only to find out that when they arrived, they were really small for HO scale and not at all close to O. Nonetheless, I figured I could find a use for them then this opportunity turned up.
It turns out that the billboard signage wasn’t all that hard to do. The hardest part was to accurately measure the printed area I had to work with. Because of the way the billboard frames were made, this wasn’t really all that easy. But after a lot of trial & error, I concluded that the size was right around 3.5″ x 2.0″. With that, I created a blank in my favorite Paint Shop Pro software and went to work.
This first one was easy. I simply resized the Nickel Plate Historical & Technical Society’s logo, added the text and the web address and I was done. Cut it out and snap it in… one down, but more to go.
The next one was fairly easy as well since it recognized the guys who are working on the layout. They don’t have an “official” logo that I know of so it was pretty easy to do what I wanted to do. I thought the stenciled letters looked appropriate for a railroad sign and the Internet is full of all kinds of free steam train clip art.
The next one I did was purely “tongue in cheek.” My friend Mike is a part of the group and after his retirement from the city’s workforce here in Findlay, he spent some time driving a box truck for a local trucking firm. So it was pretty simple to grab a truck graphic and put this one together.
Once I got rolling, it was pretty easy to come up with the ideas. If one was to get stuck, they could always simply look at a whole bunch of billboard images online and get plenty of inspiration. This was a fun little project and one which isn’t over yet. More on that later…