The phone rang the other day and it was my friend Mike. "Hey Merk, are you going to be home in the next few minutes?" When a conversation starts out like that, it usually means he either has something for me or something that he wants to show me. Either way, it's a good thing so when the doorbell rang a few minutes later, I was curious as to what was on tap.
It turned out that he had a couple of cars that he had decaled with some decals that I had printed for him. Mike is always on the lookout for unusual cars whether it's on Ebay or at a train show, he seems to spot them immediately. A couple of years ago, he brought me a photo of a car that I think was on the Bay that was based around the Ohio commemorative stamp from some time ago. It had a few more Ohio-themed markings and it did look sharp. "I can do that if I can find an image of the stamp," I told him so the hunt was on. A quick search of the Post Office website revealed the image I was looking for and there were plenty of other Ohio emblems so the decals were pretty easy to create. Frankly, until he brought the car by, I had forgotten about doing them for him. After all, the car number, 2014, was the year I put them together.
Mike went on to explain that the car was one that had belonged to his father and he repainted it prior to doing the decal work. While I'm not really into commemorative cars like this, it did look neat.
Now, the next car was one that I created the decals for him on a whim. Mike's grandson has been working at the local Firehouse Sub Shop here in Findlay for several months now. My wife & I were there a few weeks ago for lunch and I picked up a take-out menu with the company's logo on it. Since Mike's grandson is also interested in trains, I thought he would like a Firehouse car and knew that Mike would letter it for him. So a quick scan of the logo and grabbing some previously done dimensional data only left the car number & reporting marks to complete the job. The rest of the work was up to Mike and he "done good!" While I seriously doubt that Firehouse Subs ships anything in railroad car quantities, it does serve as a modern day billboard reefer and will look sharp on his grandson's layout.
I'm sure that there will come a day when my ALPS printer finally gives up the ghost but until it does, one of the more enjoyable aspects of the hobby for me is the creation of decals of all kinds. These cars that I did for Mike will probably be around for a long time and will serve Mike & his grandson well. Best of all, I enjoyed doing them and was glad that Mike stopped by to show them to me.