Printer for model railroad work is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


New Member
I've just joined and am interested in modeling the LA area of the middle late 40s in HO scale. Right now I want to buy a new printer, and I would like recommendations for what I should buy to create high definition signs and decals in HO scale. Many thanks.


Well-Known Member
Hi Greg,
Welcome to the forums, there are lots of helpful folks on here with a vast amount of knowledge as many of us have been in Model Railroading for many years now as well as related fields.

As a former pro photographer I'd definitely check into the Canon Printers. I imagine most of them produce ink droplets of at least 2 Pico liters or less. A Pico liter is one Trillionth of a liter so the droplets are microscopic in size. I believe it the Pixma series you would want to check into. I have two different earlier Canon's an i950/ 8.5x11 & i9900/13x19 but will print mural prints up to 38"s long if I remember correctly.

I've printed shots from my Fuji S2, shot at 3.5Mp to 13x19"s that look as good as any actual photographic print from any lab and I did use a several if them being film based in past years. The key to fairly high quality prints is to have an image captured by a camera with at least 5Mp or higher and then the next consideration is the size of the sensor as that will dertimine the size you can blow the image up to.

They're a bit more costly as they use individual ink tanks, 6 & 8 respectively - maybe more now, which is an advantage as you only replace the ink tank that is out of ink not a tank that holds three colors with ink left in it. As an example, if your doing a lot of printing that requires more of one or two different ink tones those are the only ones you replace.

While different mfg's have less costly ink available I feel the Canon inks are formulated to retain their true colors longer.

Hope this helps?


New Member
Hello Trussrod: Many thanks. Yes, your comments are very helpful. I do have a Canon Digital Rebel that I purchased in 2009 and am very happy with it. I can see that production of quality printers might be a logical extension to their digital camera business. It appears that I might think about two printers---one for model railroad work, and one for general printing, of which I need a modest amount. Cheers, Greg


New Member
Thanks, Stoker, for the info on Inkscape. I didn't know about that, particularly that it is both effective and free. Through work I was able to get Photoshop on my machine, and several years ago I used that to make 1940s-era road signs as well as billboards and signs for buildings. Now I'm retired, and I don't know how much longer I will have Photoshop. By the time I get around to modeling, in about 6 months, I may no longer have it, so it's nice to know that Inkscape is out there. Thanks for the download link, as well.


Has anyone printed decals which have white printing on then? most printers cant print white. how do you do that?

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