I created sets of scale builder plates, each with the right serial numbers and dates for ET&WNC ten-wheelers 9, 11, 12, and 14.
I also used photos of the real number plates to make scale versions of them.
Bachmann did a great job on most of the engines, but they always do their plates as opposite images of what they should be
(black lettering on bronze, which of course is opposite of how they looked in real life).
I converted a #12 to 9, rather easily, but the number plate had me stymied,
until I managed to find a good photo of the real one, then I added a light color background to the number,
as period photos (and movie film) of #9 during WW2 clearly show it wasn't red like 11 and 12's were.
So, you just print these on photo paper, 4X6 and they should be scaled right.
I also included some 'no trespassing ET&WNC" signs as well,
and some period RR crossing signs I used on my own layout.
I then punched them out using a "Maxi Punch Set" stock #473660 from Hobby Lobby.
It's largest die was EXACTLY the right size needed for the front number plate.
From there, once you have it punched right (you'll need to punch a couple to get the right position),
I suggest running a dark yellow marker around the edges so it doesn't look like a paper disk when viewed from the side.
I then glued them to the existing number plates using white glue.
The finished product, I think, doesn't look bad:
I did the builder plates much earlier and did them with an Exacto knife,
which is why I had to use a punch for the number plates.
With this, I think you can improve the look at the front end of these, as well as making a #9 if you want one
(Woodland Scenic dry transfers makes a set that is a perfect match for the cab and dome numbers).
If you try it, let me know how it worked out!
Just keep in mind,
the number plates are from photos provided by the ET&WNC historical society,
and I created the builder plates myself, and they're copyrighted by me.
Please don't print and sell them.