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Let's Play Name That Artist


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I photographed the actual car below - and replicated it as a model - but was wondering who the incredible artist was. I don't see many whole cars with this much time put into them!




I also had a silly question. I see most flicks have the car road number censored out. I presume this is to keep the photo from being evidence.


When I model a real car - I try to keep it authentic and leave the numbers on. It kinda goes against the code - but I can't very well do a replica with blurred-out numbers! And I can't leave them off. I could possibly change the last digit or two. But is that crucial...?





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that is awesome.


you should make a thread for yourself (i suppose here or metal heads would be the best choice) of your re-created cars.



and to lep^ .. i wouldnt mind really, i mean, look at the time he put into it, it isn't really your shit that would be the main focus, this guy goes all out with the tags and everything. it's a beautiful thing and wouldnt mind my stuff being on one and him making money off it.

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yo mike..sick work man! unreal! honnestly i dont think it matters at that point about the numbers..the stuff you do replics of are mostly really old and I doubt a scale model could be used as an evidence..

I'd be so stoaked to see one of my pieces on one of your scale models..maybe one day! I'll keep checking your site periodically. keep doing you thing and good luck in hollywood!

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Thanks for the compliments, guys.


I'm still learning as I go... so I am sure there are some cars I've modeled that don't jive. It's difficult to do an actual car if I can't see both sides in real life. I pull a lot of the streaks off the Net, but I do photograph many locally. About 90% of the regular graffiti is what I have photographed on cars. Once in a while - I pull some art off one of the railfan sites. I don't really use graffiti site pics.


As for profiting from the work of others - a sizeable chunk goes right back into purchasing the models and supplies like ink and paint. I'm hardly making good chink off the graffiti cars. Believe it or not, most model railroaders with $$$ are older fellows (and sometimes retired RR employees) who frown on tagging. The realism I achieve is lost on these guys, and they turn their nose at me and my cars in person.



You guys do most of the work, obviously, but I do have to scout around to find cars sitting still. I have to photograph them up close at high resolution - so most of the time I am on RR property and arouse suspicion!


When it comes to mixing one guy's work with another's - I do that just to get some cars up with enough quality art on them. If the whole side of a real car has three pieces that look colorful and reproduceable - I will leave it as a unit. But that's rare.


Back to the "borrowing" of an artist's work... I have wondered about the commercial decal manufacturers (there are 3 I know of) selling graffiti decals to modelers. Much of it is real stuff... not pretend. That would be more of an infringement than what I am doing by making a one-off car. I look at it as sort of a tribute to the artist.


There are a few guys who try to hand-paint what they see on a real car onto a small model. That's when stuff gets altered or interpreted in my opinion. Mine is a photograph shrunken down. So it's the artist's work generally unmolested.

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I got something running in your collection....


but of all things, I can't understand:


a) Why that one

b) where would you have seen that one in particular

c) why put it on such a vastly different car



straight up though, those are hands down the best models I've ever seen, and you're ability to replicate the actuall proper styles of the writers in refreshing.



please email me at Fr8otech@hotmail.com

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...wow man...keep it up...you migh be getting frowned upon by some of the collectors with money now...but i know a lot of railfans and more of the younger ones are more down with grafitti, especially when it's pulled off proper and shows respect to the car...i would think that if you keep puttin in work like this than eventually it's going to pay off...and something you might not have even considered is that a lot of us writers do pretty well financially, those of us that are older...you may have a market right there...


...i don't think that what you're doing is in anyway a violation of the work of the artist...we don't own the trains...in my opinion, once a piece leaves the yard it's not mine anymore...i just put it out there, whatever happens after that isn't up to me...


...and if your having a hard time getting flicks you should talk to people about trades...i'm sure some people might be down...

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Originally posted by Pfffffffffft@Oct 18 2004, 03:10 PM



your work is great..

just curious what inspired you to get into this??


the more time you spend at the yard, the more quality pieces you will see..


good luck and post more stuff =)


I dunno. I have always been a train geek I guess. A few years ago I bought some of the retail graffiti decals to spice up some of my freights. But when I looked at real trains - I thought "Some of that stuff looks better than what I'm using".


I hang out at the local swap meets and RR shows. All I see are club guys running model trains straight off the shelf. You know... "Notice what I bought... and how new it is". So one show, I brought some early examples of my work (Before I got better at it) and asked if I could run them around their layout for a bit. Usually they will say "No". They let me... and soon there was a small crowd of spectators around the layout. Parents and kids were going "Wow! Look at those cars with the realistic graffiti on them! Just like we see at the RR crossings, honey!!!"


Naturally the club guys were envious, and said "Time's up". Folks were snapping photos or shooting video of my train. I felt kinda special. It's what I see in real life - and the crowd agreed with me.


Soon I started photographing real FR8's for like a scrapbook... and then began making my own versions instead of buying decals from the store (that looked cheesy to me). My goal was to make a model look like it was a shrunken down real car. Instead of just a toy.



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graffiti is a hard thing to reproduce without actually being a writer,cuz you actually have to understand letters before you can reproduce them properly...mike you seem to have no problem doing it,you should pick yourself out a name and go paint your own trains,id be interested to see how it would come out........

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Guest cheesecurd
Originally posted by Pfffffffffft@Oct 18 2004, 08:38 PM



most of those pre-fab decals you can buy in the stores ARE actually graffiti writers that do paint train, but i do understand you point of not looking as good. keep up the good work MM.



i'd just like to say that at least 1 decal producer, SRG graphics, pulled a whole mess of their images off of fat ridged gondolas, which look a little funny when made into a flat image.


RIP wisconsin southern gondola


keep up the good work

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Thanks again guys. You're too kind. Yeah... I've had people accuse me of photo trickery before. You know... shoot a real boxcar... and Photoshop model couplers on it... etc...etc...


They're all genuine HO model trains. I shoot them outdoors, so the backgrounds are real. That adds to the mystique I guess.


Essentially, the process is finding a real car, shooting the art in the biggest resolution possible, and uploading the image into my PC. Then I have to "clean it" and remove shadows and big rivets. That takes time! Then I shrink it to roughly the size I want, and print it as a decal (like in model plane or car kits). That takes a special printer. Not an inkjet or even a laser. Another tricky step is getting the finished decal to lay down tight over all the ridges and doors and stuff.


I have a lifetime of modeling experience behind me (i.e. being a geek... hee hee). At least now people are going "Wow!"


I want to do some more buildings though. Things they don't sell in stores. Like make a self-serve car wash. Or a convenience store. Or an IHOP. That kind of stuff. And more run-down neighborhoods. I don't want to burn out on trains too soon.

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