Daubing without doubts

Experiences with the graffiti stickers made by Langer Grafix


Important note (4th October 2014): In recent weeks we have received several emails from readers suggesting that Langer Grafix has ceased trading. To verify this information we have written to Mr. Langer ourselves and are currently awaiting a response. We would like to emphasise that there is no business connection between tiny-world-BIG.com and Langer Grafix, and it is not possible to buy their graffiti stickers through our website.

Update: Mr. Langer did not reply to us. Sadly, with regard to the emails from our readers, we have therefore come to the conclusion that Langer Grafix has ceased trading.

We do not know whether you prefer an ideal world on your model railway layout where all the trains are spick and span and where nobody could even imagine a dirty wall. If you are a bit closer to reality, you might be interested in putting some graffiti on wagons and buildings. But who is skilled enough at making miniature paintings properly with a spray gun? That's not necessary, says Patrick Langer, owner of Langer Grafix, who produces graffiti stickers for model railways.

two graffiti stickers on miniature containers

Apart from the stickers you will find on his homepage www.modellbahnaufkleber.de individually printed shirts and other interesting stuff for model railway fanatics (English language is available on the website). Everything can be easily ordered at his online shop; the sticker sheets cost from EUR 2.55 (N gauge) to EUR 3.99 (H0 gauge and suitable for 00 gauge as well).

close-up of a stickerAt the moment you can choose between three different editions - one made for trains, another one for walls and one that consists of graffitis for various objects.

When we got our first sticker sheet we were a bit sceptical. Can ordinary stickers, similar to those children collect in special albums, really be smooth enough to properly cover the uneven surfaces of model wagons or miniature brick walls? We HAD to try that! No doubt that it would not be a problem to stick the graffiti on even walls - so we chose large containers with their characteristic grooves as test objects instead.

Soon we had to realize that on uneven surfaces some extra work is necessary. But be careful: Pressing the graffiti to an object with your fingernails might damage the print. So we used the warm air from a hairdryer to make the sticker film smoother after being put on the object surface just loosely, and then we carefully pushed it into the grooves with our fingers.

close-up of a stickerApart from its vulnerability to finger nails the print quality of the graffiti is superb; only a very close look will reveal that they are made of countless tiny dots and marks. And the miniature ‘paintings’ are true to scale, but the sprayers must have definitely used a ladder - converted to 1 : 1 size some of the graffitis measure more than two metres (approx. 7 ft) from the bottom to the top and thus can only be applied to bigger objects.

Therefore a further edition with some smaller graffiti is number one on our wish list. But maybe the N gauge stickers can be used on smaller objects like e.g. traffic signs etc. in an H0 or 00 gauge layout - we have not tried them yet.

By the way, the manufacturer promises that all stickers can be removed easily at any time. Okay, that could be proved in a long-term study but is this special quality really important? We are pretty sure that nobody would ‘clean’ a boxcar after weathering it years ago with a lot of effort and energy…

graffiti sticker sheets

conclusion

All in all, we can recommend the graffiti stickers made by Langer Grafix. Putting some of the stickers on your trains and buildings is an easy way to make your model railway layout or diorama look more reality-like. And unlike in our real world you can decide yourself which objects will be spared from graffiti…

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