Chris Wurr's line drawings and the final typeface.
When the Spirit of Progress was introduced in 1937, Art Deco was at its peak, with organisations of all kinds keen to conform with the bold and relatively hip styling of the time.
The Victorian Railways was no different, producing their own typeface for application to the Spirit's cars and locomotives. All of the promotional material featured Art Deco content also, however different typefaces were used compared to that adorned by the sleek train.
Being a proprietary typeface, it isn't easy to come by. And neither are decals for those that wish to repaint Powerline cars or cars of their own, and reapply the lettering.
When the S cars were first produced by Powerline some years ago, some of the sets included decals for
Ready for decals!
undecorated cars. These have long since dried up. With my imminent super detailing project, I was in need of such decals.
Not being able to find a typeface that even slightly resembled that used by the VR, I set to work producing my own with the aid of photos, images, diagrams and most importantly, people that were 'in the know' whose opinions and suggestions were of most value.
With the help of Bruce McLean and Chris Wurr, drawings were acquired to help with rendering of shape and size. Chris' drawings are based on those name boards once worn by the S class locomotives and their consist. To fill in the gaps, Chris applied a 'protocol' which was determined by the design of the letters that were available. The End result is an
provisional first class car and provisional second class car, as the VR had, when those in service required withdrawal for servicing.
The 'blue car set' also features the 'Buffet Car', 'Club Car' and 'Spirit of Progress' boards worn in standard gauge service, along with four named car name boards; Mitta Mitta, Moorabool, Tanjil, Wimmera. Enough 'VR' decals are provided for four cars, which were applied in SG service.
Car numbers and weight lettering are also provided for riveted and welded car numbers along with a 'Spirit of Progress' end board worn by Parlor Car.
For those wishing for additional lettering, a special decal set provides enough lettering for four first and four second class cars in both yellow/blue and silver/red schemes. This set also comes with four named car boards in silver; Mitta Mitta, Moorabool, Tanjil, Wimmera.
The 'red and blue car set' also features silver lettering for 'Parlor Car', 'Dining Car' and 'Buffet Car', although I am unaware if these name boards existed on the prototype.
The 'red and blue set' also features the end board for a Parlor Car and the car numbers and weight lettering as per the 'blue car set'.
If you wish to order a decal set please click here.
alphabet of the VR Art Deco typeface.
I used that graphical alphabet to produce a TrueType typeface suitable for its intended application;
decals for use on models of the prototype. It has been about two years in production, but it will be worth the effort.
The processing and printing of the artwork was completed by Wessex Transfers of Tasmania. This process was most comprehensive by the printer, who ensured a smooth and trouble-free experience with excellent advice.
The final printed decals feature lettering for both the blue cars and the red cars.
For blue cars, there is enough lettering for an entire 11 car consist, comprising a CS guard's van, DS mail van, three second class cars, Dining Car, four first class cars and Parlor Car. There are also enough decals for a