Using a PC to select a livery for a 4 wheel coach

It is often quite hard to imagine what a locomotive or coach will look like in different liveries. This page describes how to do this for a Brandbright PS17 4 wheel coach with the use of a PC, scanner and Paint Shop Pro software (versions of which are frequently available for free on the cover discs of PC magazines). The main requirement is for a good quality black and white line drawing. The Brandbright catalogue features these for the majority of their rolling stock. Scan the required drawing, connect any broken lines using the paintbrush tool with a fine tip, and save this as a 2 colour (ie black and white - not grey scale) .tif file. Its well worth making a few backup copies of the file, so that a clean master is available for each new colour scheme trial.
It is very important to work with .tif files as opposed to .jpg files. This is because .tif files are uncompressed, and do not change on saving. On the other hand .jpg files compress which causes colour blurring, and means one colour can't be cleanly replaced with another. Once the .tif file is clean, and all the lines are connected, increase the maximum number of colours to 16 million. Open the colour pallette is, and select possible colours for the coach and load these onto the pallette - in this picture red and dark brown are being added.
One of the many useful features of Paint Shop Pro is "Flood fill". Select the colour of interest, in this case cream, and flood the desired panels with this. The colour will flood beyond the desired panel if there are any breaks in the black lines around the panel. If this happens, just undo the last flood fill, find the break in the line and repair it using the paintbrush tool. Once the panel line is repaired, try again with the flood fill.
Repeat the process until all the panels have been filled with the desired colours. If you make a mistake at any time, just use the undo function. Save a copy of the picture as a .tif file.
Another feature of Paint Shop Pro is "Colour Replacer". To change all the green panels to say brown, select green as the foreground colour, and brown as the background colour. Select colour replacer and double click on any of the green panels. They will all become brown. Repeat this process as often as you like to see the effect of different colours on different panels. It is a good idea to save a selection of the pictures as .tif files to allow comparison.
The next stage is to see how any insignias or letters will look on the coach. I decided to use Garden Railway Specialists GWR transfers on my coach, and scanned these into the PC. Letters can scanned separately and then combined as a single file on a white background.
To accomodate the perspective angle, select the vertical skew tool and adjust this by eye.
Flood fill the background with the appropriate colour, and save the result as another .tif file.
Cut and paste as a new layer the letters onto the coach picture. Move these into position, and then merge the layers together into a single layer. When all the insignias and letters have been applied, save the final picture.
Print the picture, and use this as a painting guide for the model.
This is my actual coach. By using the PC, I was able to be sure that the livery was what I wanted before I came anywhere near a pot of paint.