Free Stuff!

Free Stuff!

Postby areibel » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:16 pm

On another list someone posted a link to some downloadable shipping containers in HO scale. When I checked out their website they have several other odds and ends you can download as a PDF (buildings and accessories), print (they recommend 110 lb. printable cardstock) and build your own. And they're all free! For the containers they have singles, stacks of two and stacks of four, 80 pages of them so you could load up a trainload if you're railroad is modern enough. ... ngs%20.htm
And if you check out their home page they have several instructional videos (disclaimer- I haven't watched any yet!)

I do have a question for the more tech savy types on here- If you download them in HO, can you use a program like Microsoft Paint or Photoshop to reduce them to TT, or enlarge the N scale ones? Normally when I'm doing something like a HO scale plan I can use a regular copier and mess around with it until I get it right (usually an 80% reduction followed by a 90% gets you real close), but printing color I'd rather try and get it in one shot and not waste a lot of ink. I'm not that familiar with those programs but some of the smart people I work with know them, can a PDF be imported into either and work? They list them in N HO and O, I thought about emailing him and seeing if he'd add TT to the list (since it's common as an architectural scale anyways) but if it's easy enough I'll do it myself.
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Re: Free Stuff!

Postby krokodil » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:06 am

As the downloads are PDF files, it is not very easy to rescale them. On the other side you can adjust your printouts, ie the picture will be downscaled on the printer itself. If you open the pdf file and start the print process you will find in the printer window the resize box. Select this in the next step you can adjust the scale eg for 78%.
That is all and PRINT.
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Re: Free Stuff!

Postby Arseny » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:13 am

Hello, Al!
In fact it's very simply to convert them to TT.
First of all - use H0 version. Anytime it is better to scale down the picture instead of enlarging it - otherwise you will lose some quality. (Try to enlarge any photo twice by copy machine or slide projector and you will understand what I am talking about).

Now you should convert PDF to some graphic format - PNG or JPG. It's better to use PNG, because JPG can lose some quality if you open the file and then save it again; and also borders, shapes and edges will not be too sharp.
So, open the PDF file by some viewer - such as Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's free) or Adobe Acrobat (not free).
Then click by mouse (left button) on the first page (it will become selected). Now click on the selected area by the right button of the mouse. You will see the option "Copy image (Ctrl-C)". Select it, or just press Ctrl+C.
Now open your graphic editor (Paint, Photoshop, etc.) and select "Paste" or "Insert" in the menu. (In Photoshop you maybe should create the file first)
Now you will get the picture in your graphic editor and can save it. Use appropriate name - such as "Super-Building-Page-1.png". You should better use PNG format if you do not save photos.

Now repeat all that steps for the second page, etc.
You will get several PNG files.

As for down-scaling, The TT-scale picture must be 73.5% of H0-scale. But you can check it - print it in draft (poor) quality and measure doors, windows, etc. Some buildings declared as H0-scale are too large.

Another option: you can use PDF file directly, without any conversion to PNG or JPG. Just open the file, select "Print" (Ctrl+P) and in the print menu select "User scale" or "Downscale" or something like this.
But in this case you can't edit the picture.

P.S. Adobe Acrobat (not Reader) can export PDF to some graphic format(s), but this program is not free
Last edited by Arseny on Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Free Stuff!

Postby areibel » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:16 pm

Thanks Arseny! It's good to have smart friends!
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Re: Free Stuff!

Postby MacG » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:36 pm

Arseny wrote:As for down-scaling, The TT-scale picture must be 73.5% of H0-scale.

TT is 72,5% of HO-Scale!!

I would do it with the scaling-funktion of the printer driver. I would do it with the scaling-function of the printer driver. But it mostly only accepts integers without decimals. - we send worldwide :wink:
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Re: Free Stuff!

Postby areibel » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:18 pm

For some reason if I try yo do it in one shot, going to 72 or 73 percent the copier I use (black and white only) will give you a slightly oversized image, 71 percent will be too small. If I do the 80%/90% it comes out very close, maybe two or three inches over the length of a locomotive. I haven't tried it on other big copiers so it might just be how that particular machine is, maybe a one step would work better on others but I don't know. There is a color copier I can use, but I don't want to try it 4 or 5 times to get it right! But if I can scale them I can even take them to a Staples or Kinkos copy place on a thumb drive and have them printed and save some effort.
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Re: Free Stuff!

Postby CN-TT » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:01 pm

Scaling it down exactly from H0 never worked for me. I tried several settings untill I found the right one for my printer. After that I went to Staples and that was totally different again :thumbdown: I had to rescale it again and did some test prints after that.
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Re: Free Stuff!

Postby CFRiad » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:50 pm

The most reliable and consistent way to do this is by resizing the images in a graphics program and printing them at 100% after.

I downloaded a container image from the website and I am not impressed by the quality. Judging by the fuzzy images, they used JPEG compression to create them and with quite a lossy setting at that. Hey, but they are free.
fuzzy.png (54.62 KiB) Viewed 416 times

Photoshop can open and save PDF files natively -- they are both owned by Adobe, after all. Use it if you have it.

Since you start with bad quality, you want to preserve of it as much as possible. Arseny is right, resize down from HO, not up from N. You can preserve the quality by keeping the pixel size unchanged and increasing the resolution, thus making the printed image smaller and, as a bonus, a tiny bit sharper.
  1. In Photoshop open the PDF file (File > Open...)
  2. Open the Image Size dialogue box (Image > Image Size...).
  3. In the dialogue box uncheck the Resample Image option.
  4. In the Document Size area read the Width value.
  5. Calculate the new width based on the HO to TT scale factor.
  6. Enter the new width in the dialog box and hit Tab. The height and resolution values should adjust automatically.
  7. Make sure the Pixel Dimension have not changed and that the Resolution value has increased.
  8. Click OK and save the file as a Photoshop file.
ImageSize.png (23.19 KiB) Viewed 408 times

To print at home, print directly from Photoshop. To print at Kinkos, I would print the doc at home to a PostScript file and take that file to the shop.

Alternatively, you can save the file to a PDF format, but then you will have to fiddle with the printing settings at the shop, and they may not let you do that. When printing a PDF, you want the Page Handling settings in the Print dialogue box to look like this:
PdfScaling.png (7.15 KiB) Viewed 413 times

It is essential to have the Page Scaling set to "none", otherwise the printer will scale it however it wants. You have to do this at the time of printing, on the computer you are printing from.
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