CNR trucks

Yesterday was pretty hot – it was the sort of day that made one want to sit under a ceiling fan and watch Apocalypse Now, just for the immersive experience.

Instead, I sat near the air conditioner and tackled some lettering projects – including two CNR trucks.

Lettering for Canadian trucks is hard to come by in any scale, I find – but it’s particularly difficult in 1:64. Fortunately, some HO scale lettering is available for the trucks I wanted to do so I cobbled together what I needed.

They’re not prototypically accurate. But this is a compromise I can live with for now because the lettered trucks tell a better story to viewers than they did when unlettered. If someone does produce correct CNR truck lettering in S scale, I can always repaint – but I’m not holding my breath.

CNR Express truck:
 photo CNR-ExpressTruck-01_zpsf9f60f5e.jpg

The lettering for this truck includes CNR Express wafers from Al Ferguson at Black Cat Publishing. The “CANADIAN NATIONAL EXPRESS” lettering is from an HO scale passenger car set (300-006, produced by Microscale for the CNR Historial Association).

The truck is parked next to the depot in St. Williams, ready to accept express off Mixed Train M233.

CNR Cartage truck:
 photo CNR-CartageTruck-01_zps3d400d9f.jpg

This truck is lettered with decals for CNR 1959 Piggyback Trailers, produced by Down East Decals for the CNR Historical Association. It’s a big compromise for my truck, but this was the only set I could find with the CNR Maple Leaf and “CARTAGE” lettering.

Since these decals can barely be seen on the finished truck (which is parked behind the Port Rowan station, and therefore about two feet from the front of the layout), I also added the “CANADIAN NATIONAL” billboard lettering to each side of the box. This helps viewers immediately identify the truck as being a CNR cartage vehicle – and therefore helps tell the story of the relationship between the trains and the CNR’s trucking operations.

I gave each truck a light dose of weathering, and will add licence plates from Penitentiary Productions next time I’m doing a batch of cars and trucks.

These trucks were nice, easy projects and I’m surprised at how much they enhance the scenes in which they’re placed.

5 thoughts on “CNR trucks

  1. You were on a major roll yesterday, the variety of stories on the Port Rowan Branch are increasing almost geometrically as your efforts continue. Thanks.

    • Hi Tom:

      Thanks – and yes, I was on a roll, wasn’t I?

      Really, though, saving up little projects like lettering until you have a bunch of them to do is the most efficient way to get things done.

      Using decals is a process of doing something for five minutes, then waiting for the solvent to do its work. Since you can’t turn over the model to do the other side until you’re sure everything on the first side is dry, doing several projects assembly-line fashion gives you something to do while you wait.


    • Cool! One of my favorites. It got me to read both books that were the basis (“Dispatches” and “Heart of Darkness”).

      I; and some other modelers; have used Don Mills HO truck decals on S vehicles, they work well.

      • I told this story to the cashier at our local video store today. She laughed her head off…

        I’ve found some HO scale decals for Canadian trucks, offered by Black Cat Publishing. I held them against a couple of trucks I plan to letter and they will work really well. In fact, I think the lettering for the door of the cabs works better in S than it would in HO.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you're not a nasty spamming robot thingy * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.