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Creating Posters For Fictitious Railways


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  • RMweb Gold



I've recently been enjoying making 'expanded universe' assets to help bring fictional layouts and railways to life, they've appeared elsewhere in the forum but thought it'd be nice to post them here too.


These are more often than not created in photoshop, sometimes using stock images and sometimes photos I or friends have taken.


Here's some examples.


Early 1900s.


Great Southern Railway


Working with the one and only Linny and their wonderful GSR project, we created a few posters advertising the range of services this line has to offer.


The colour palette and texture references were taken from a CLC poster of the time., as well as the signal and grass. The GSR crest is of course taken from the Irish equivalent, slightly adapted.




This night scene was a good challenge, Linny posed it like a miniature movie set - it's not yet a 'proper' diorama! Did require  some work to remove the glow from the plastic walls and to highlight the differing light sources inside and out.




I am a big fan of this last one mainly due to the composition and artistic licence. The horse race painting is not one of mine (surprise surprise) but integrating it with the photo of the model loco and trying to make the fake paint effects match was fun.




I am particularly pleased with the first one as the star of the picture is still under construction! Here is the donor image. The front end was patched in from the 0-6-0  and the splashers built entirely in photoshop. The lone carriage was cloned to create the whole train.




1930s Art Deco


North Western Railway


A rather different approach, these were created by taking a photo of the model, and tracing over the top in block colours, before applying texture and shading.




This one advertising sleeping car services on the long range trains.




and this one boasting of their ability to supply fresh produce.


I made a video on the process of making this style, going from photo to poster, here:




Skarloey Railway


An attempt to create something akin to the very early days of preservation, a dual language Manx/Sudrian poster mimicking a painting from one of the books of No.4 trundling up the valley. The donor image is a 1950s one of Edward Thomas at Tywyn Wharfm the enture background was added digitally, the colours changed and steam added.








Recently Gary (Oak Hill) and I worked on creating a crest for his new Nutley, Crowborough and Groombridge Light Railway project.


Gary did some digging and found symbols that the towns used to represent themselves, the Deer being a sign on the entrance to Nutley, the Crow from Crowborough (naturally), Groombridge's shield is from a large sign in the town I found a photo of online. The tree represents the Ashdown Forest, the NCGLR being primarily a logging line.


The whole thing was tied together using the LBSCR garter with the letters removed and replaced. The colours are deliberately a little muted so as not to jump out too much.









Reference Books


The Great Southern Railway


Once more to try and blur the boundaries between reality and imagination, this used reference pics of books my friends would often post, sometimes with the text replaced, but with a suitably doctored image composited on top, degraded and distorted to try and match the pages bending!





The wooden fence was put in digitally, one not being to hand at the time! The house on the left is a real one from the Linton area, as are the rolling hills beyond.




I've really enjoyed making these and I hope you have too, if you've got any of your own similar creations I would love to see them!



(mods please feel free to move this if it's in the wrong section)

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  • RMweb Gold

Was determined to do a new NWR poster before Christmas rolled around but kept drawing a blank, until I found a great Southern Railway Art Deco poster with the slogan 'South for Winter Sunshine'.


Drawing a lot of inspiration from this, I finally came up with this, which has been sent to the printers. Am happy that its included a familiar loco from the NWR ;) 



Edited by Corbs
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  • RMweb Gold

They look fantastic Corbs. Very impressed with how you master the styles. 


This one is also my favourite:


On 20/05/2020 at 02:03, Corbs said:





Reminded me of this:



Source: Getty Images, embedding permitted.


Edited by Mikkel
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  • RMweb Gold

Thank you :)


A bit more mucking around with a different style. This 1920s LNER poster has been lightly reworked. Definitely not as original or involved as the other ones but fun to do.


Turning the red and black funnels into the red and white ones for 'SS Vienna' was a challenge, as was converting the smokebox door to be the right way around after the image was flipped!


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