After I’d assembled the truck kits, I needed to apply logos and lettering. The first thing was to see if there were any truck decals of the type needed in N scale, and it turns out that isn’t really a thing. I’d already done the research on trucking companies in order to get period-appropriate paint schemes; now I needed good examples of logos and lettering that could be made into decals.
The semi-trucks are painted for the McLean, PIE, and Freightways companies. It was fairly easy to find good examples of equipment and lettering from the era:
The PIE and McLean logos were easy enough to convert to hi-res images and scale to N-size. The lettering and numbers on the McLean trailer had to be done ‘from scratch’; but it wasn’t difficult to find a font that worked. I haven’t been able to find good images of the Freightways lettering, and it’s not an easy font to ‘scratch build’. For the moment the Freightways driver will have to be content with the paint job. As was common in the ICC era, the cabs are festooned with data, and I chose not to model that.
I haven’t made custom decals before, but the process isn’t hard. The sheets are not cheap, and there was the unexpected expense of Decal Bonder spray. I bought some decal solvent to help hide the edges. After laying out the work and sizing it to fit the decal sheets, I printed them off. I did a test run on regular paper to make sure everything would work. My decal sheets waste huge amounts of space, but for a first try I wanted to have room for error.
After printing, drying, application of Decal Bonder, and more drying, the decals work as usual.
There were some production problems in printing the decals, and the sheet came out crooked. Not a big deal: there were more usable decals than needed. I used a block of foam to rest the models on while decaling.
The Freightways truck is in the foreground.
Hey! It worked! That was fun. And the Mariners won.