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US Army truck markings: decal issues


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Hi all, I'm building 3 AFV Club US Army trucks for Vietnam GB. They are M35 Gun Truck, M35 Cargo Truck and M49 Fuel Tanker. Only the Gun Truck had Vietnam era markings and I used them on the fueler. Or rather, attempted to use them, I'm just no good with decals... I killed some of them and I only had enough markings for just one truck. 

 

So, what I'm on about are markings like the ones on the side of the hood. The "US Army" and the truck identification. Also, the five pointed stars on the doors. 

 

20200924143229-0344730c-me.jpg

 

Sadly, as it stands now I'm bingo on all markings... I don't have spares because I've never built US Army trucks like this before. And I haven't been able to find AM decals of this specific type. Time to turn to the community.... What I would like is three sets of numbers (with enough to spare, taking my clumsiness into account 🙂) and also a bunch of five pointed stars in a couple of sizes, for all trucks. Is there anyone who can help me with this, either by pointing me to a decal supplier, or supplying me with a file to print (I've never printed my own decals though), or even print them for me? I would be forever grateful. And pay for them when needed of course 🙂 

 

 

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Archer have the right font in their dry transfer range.  They do assorted stars too.  I did have some of those spare and some Peddinghaus star decals too, but sadly they went on eBay a few weeks ago.

 

Der Sockelshop in Germany stock a fair range of Archer transfers.

 

NB - you can't home-print white decals.  Any home-print decals with white in them need to be printed on white film.  Decals home-printed on clear film look completely different when applied to the model colour with out their white backing  And home print inks aren't waterproof........

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Thanks @Das Abteilung, the Archer decals look promising. Still having trouble finding registration in the formats "3A 0001" or "03A00168" which apparently were used in the '60's. Most available stuff is either WW II or modern, not much in between. I did find reg codes in a format which looks a bit like what I'd want so if all else fails I'll resort to that.

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I was thinking that you would just put the serials together from alphabet sets, which should contain all the necessary characters.  Archer have a good range of generic and specific alphabet types, but not everyone stocks all of them.  You can buy then directly from Archer in the USA, but at increased cost of shipping and risk of customs charges.  I would have thought that AR35107 lettering and its matching number set (35110?) would give you what you need here.

 

A few words of warning that dry transfers can be hard to use and get to look straight and even for making serials etc.  I find that all or any of the following can happen:

  • bits of other letters on the sheet stick to the subject in the wrong places
  • the letter being applied doesn't fully detach from the sheet
  • previously-applied letters are damaged when applying later letters.

There are possible ways of avoiding this.

  • Cut out the individual letters from the sheet with minimal front sheet
  • Cut a small aperture in the backing paper and position this behind the character being applied
  • pre-release the character being applied by rubbing over it on the backing paper before transferring to the subject
  • a rounded metal burnishing tool works better than a soft pencil to apply the letters
  • whatever tool you use keep it only over the character being applied and don't press too hard - that can damage the transfer

They can be applied to clear decal sheet.  This negates some of their advantage of having no carrier film, but can make them easier to apply on complex shapes or confined spaces.  It can also make spacing and levelling them easier using masking tape or pencil lines.

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Oh boy that sounds complicated! By the looks of it I would need AR35107 and AR35143 which is the non-stencilled number variant. Der Sockelshop does not (currently) have those in stock in white, I'll send them a note. Or order them directly from Archer, depending on shipping costs. 2 decal sheets are not really heavy, that may work. 

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