Often, it’s the finer detail on a layout that really brings things to life, and street name signs are one of those little details. They’re very easy to make… you can use a ready made set of signs or if you have the know how, you can make up your own designs from real photographs that have been cropped and resized on a computer or draw you own using graphics software.
For this tutorial I’m going to use our own S001 Street Names set in OO/4mm scale, which is available as both a download or a pre-printed kit including wire for the posts to make a selection of both post mounted and wall mounted signs.
What you will need (Download version)
- S001 Street Names Pack
- 1mm diameter stiff wire – Black florists wire or stripped 1mm solid core copper wire
- 200gsm matt photo paper or light card
What you will need (Pre-Printed version)
- Street Name Signs & Posts pre-printed pack – Includes wire for posts
What You Will Need (Pre-printed & Download Versions)
- Grey or black acrylic paint (optional)
- Grey or black felt tip pen
- Craft knife with a new/very sharp blade
- Wire cutters (Side cutters are ideal as they will give a nice square end to your posts)
- Steel ruler
- Cutting matt
- Glue – Deluxe materials Roket Card Glue is highly recommended, but Super Glue or even PVA with a fine tip applicator will work just as well.
Instructions (Download version)
- Open the S001 Street Names PDF file in Adobe Reader and print it out onto 200gsm matt photo paper or light card stock at 100% / no scaling for 4mm/OO scale. For other scales, use the appropriate scaling percentage to reduce or enlarge the print out as required, i.e. 51.35% for N gauge, 76% for TT etc.
Instructions (All Versions)
- Using a sharp craft knife and steel ruler, cut out the required street names from the sheet as required. Take your time to ensure they’re cut out from the sheet as accurately as possible.
- Using a grey or black felt-tip pen, carefully colour the white cut edges of each sign. It may be necessary hold the signs using a pair of tweezers as they can be quite fiddly.
- Once complete, this sign is now ready for mounting directly to a wall such as the side of a house or factory, or mounted onto posts.
- For wall mounted signs, simply apply a small drop of glue to the reverse of the signs and fix into place on your chosen wall or building. Looking around in the real world, it seems that there is no hard and fast rule as to the positioning of the signs, other than that they tend to be on the end house / building on a street, or facing a T junction etc. How high you put them up on the side of a wall is entirely up to you. “Out of harms way” is probably a good rule of thumb.
- For post mounted signs, measure & mark appropriate lengths onto the 1mm diameter wire. For a sign mounted onto 3ft posts on a OO scale layout you’ll need to mark 12mm lengths. Allow extra if you’ll be drilling small holes into which the post will be inserted. The wire I used is the same 1mm, matt black steel wire that is supplied with out pre-printed signs kit. The easiest way to mark this I found is to use the back of your knife black to make a small scratch on the wire at 12mm intervals.
- Using wire cutters (side cutters are the best choice as they give a nice square finish to the ends of the posts, or even the cutters on a Swiss Army knife which work brilliantly for this), cut the strips of wire into posts as marked in 5.
- Now flip the sign over, paying attention to keeping it the right way up and apply two very small dots of glue to the reverse of the sign, approximately 1 to 2mm in from each end of the sign. Then position your posts as required, ensuring the top of the posts are just flush with the top edge of the sign.
- Once dry, mark the position of the signs on your layout & drill 1mm diameter mounting holes if necessary, alternatively small drops of glue can be applied to the ends of the posts and the sign propped up into position with a blob of blutak or a lego brick while the glue sets.