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Graffiti: My Views on the Subject.

April 2, 2008

  Basically, here’s how I think of Graffiti:

This is my opinion only, and I don’t endorse the act of vandalism, neither do I encourage trespassing, or the theft of the spraycans some taggers decide to resort to to support their passtime. This is purely a view of professional modelbuilder (Me), and nothing more.

-Buildings: Defacing Private Property, and usually unattractive.

-Non-Railroad vehicles: Tacky, and usually novice taggers “bomb” things like mitsubishi cabover delivery trucks, usually with an unpleasant result.

 -Railroad Locomotives: Once again, tacky. All locomotives deserve some road grime, soot and some rust, but NOT graffiti. They’re the Flagships of the respective railroad, they deserve respect and care.

-Historical Equipment shouldn’t ever have graffiti on them, it’s anachronistic AND tacky.

-Passenger Cars look awful with graffiti on them.


I think modern freight car benefit from some WELL-EXECUTED graffiti. Does all graffiti look good to me on a freight car? NO. I’ll give you some photographic examples to show you how some graffiti helps and hurts freight cars, and how that relates to Modern US model railroading.

 Ok, so here’s a couple of examples of where Graffiti Artists were courteous to the Equipment, and also did some excellent work, which in turn sealed some rust spots on the car, and I believe enhanced the car and made it more attractive as a modeling project.


The extreme rust on the panels of this ACF covered hopper are enough to motivate me to do this as a weathering project, but the well-executed graffiti makes this car really stand out.

Another great combination of good weathering and attractive graffiti. Also notice that the tagger was smart enough to add the reporting marks back onto the car for an excellent finishing touch. The Pitted rust and the fading is also awesome on this car!

 More good graffiti here, mulitple colors, nice calligraphy, and depth. Also note that th COTS label has been thoughtfully aviouded by the tagger.

———————————-WHERE IT DOESN’T WORK—————————

Ok, this is one of the ever-decreasing numbers of DRGW GP40’s still floating around the UP system, and they did WHAT?! They tagged it. Yuck. Plus it looks terrible, no creativity. One could liken it to cats peeing to mark their territory. Could they at least have picked a GEVO or SD70 to “piss” on?

 So there’s my opinion, take it or leave it, don’t chew me out for it, but comment on it if you wish.


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