Scale models of cars, trains, military vehicles and Science Fiction ships remain a popular hobby. We might have expected this type of pursuit to become less popular with the advent of computer games and other digital age technologies. But digital technology has actually added to the possibilities of scale models. Hobbyists now have more options than even before, and the ability to create models from scratch rather than rely on shop bought kits.
The two biggest advantages the computer technology provides for scale model hobbyists are 3D printing and decal printing.
3D Printing comes in several forms, working to either build up 3D objects from soft plastic, or to sculpt 3D objects from solid blocks of material. either of these processes can be used to create models, or parts of models. Often they are used to create accessories for other models, such as station platforms, tunnels, trees and landscape features for model trains.
Decal printing is used to add details to models. Pre-made Decals have been used for years to add insignia and fine detail that would have been impossible to produce by painting. But hobbyists were limited to what was available commercially. Now it is a simple matter to order inkjet decal paper and print whatever design they wish, anything that can be created on a computer graphics program, or scanned into the computer. This gives great creative scope for creating original models.
Model trains are a little different to most other scale models. They are meant to move on a track and be part of a larger display; they are part of a larger landscape. Decals and 3D printing provide almost unlimited possibilities for creating scenery, buildings, bridges, vehicles, lights, signals, road signs, and human figures for moving train displays.
Waterslide Decal Paper
Complex and finely detailed decals can be produced on any almost home computer/printer setup. Just order inkjet decal paper and make the decals you need.