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Hi all, does anyone produce custom shells (bodies) that can be attached to MTH subway running gear (and electronics)? I was thinking about how cool it would be to have a set of MTH "Q" cars with real wooden bodies. I would try it myself but my genral health and work schedule don't allow for this at this time. I wonder if any of the better craftsmen would take on a project like this/? I would deintaely buy a few balsa wood detailed and painted bodies that would resemble the ones used on the 3rd ave el.

any thoughts


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Hello Frank  (choochoo)

Here is the page link to the island Model Works BOSTON EL O SCALE CAR BODY SHELLS;

Boston EL O Scale Body Shells - PAGE by Island Model Works

It appears there is an MTH Chicago EL Car floor and twin motors inserted in the Boston Car Shell in the Large Photo link provided on the page  -- the bodies were both 48 feet long for both systems.

For operating on TWO RAIL scale track,  you must order Q-Car Company Motor and trailer trucks for your cars.

Remember, you must have the modeling skills to finish these body shells up --  cleaning any minor very thin epoxy resin  flash-material skin from the body castings openings (windows, etc)  - then  pre-prepare them for painting them,  and then decal them.  Also install working lights (running and interior)  and finding representatives of the interior seating details, and couplers.

Your dummy cars will have to have MTH CTA trailer car floors with the couplers on the trucks placed under them --- Of course all cars being for solely THREE RAIL track operation thus using MTH floors, trucks and couplers.


RE:  your comments per IRT 3rd Ave EL Q-Types -- I built a number of them in actual wood and some cardstock  over 20 years ago -- and did finished a few.  And by 2001 I did a small production run of cast epoxy resin Q-Car TRAILER and MOTOR Car bodies in 1:48 O-Scale -- and finished a number of them up.  By Mid 2000's I was the tech consultant for MTH on the Q-Type El car production runs ( IRT style 3rd Ave El &  BMT style 1939 Worlds Fair paint schemes)

You will have to find someone scale-modeling-qualified (needle in a haystack, heh)  to custom build (but NOT me !) Q-Types bodies made of actual scale modeling wood -- and that will be very expensive for a 3 or 6 car train (they were run in 3 car and 6 car consists).  And if needed,  pay additionally to that individual to finish the cars up as painted, lettered, detailed,  trucks and power trucks, etc., as fully finished models if you cannot do so. 

My strong advice -- if you REALLY desire to get the MTH 3rd Ave EL Q-Type Cars --- I strongly suggest you get them  for sale either thru a re-release by MTH . I believe they are now in the upcoming new catalog  - or also available  thru some EBAY sale offerings. They are out there for sale !  

HERE BELOW is the PDF Page LINK to the MTH Vol 1, 2017 Catalog out now; -- Open CATALOG link and use the right-side page arrow  to SCROLL (flip) THRU PAGES  until you get to side by side pages 36 and 37  advertising the Q Types as a re-release.  The 3rd Ave EL (Green)  and BMT 1940 Worlds Fair (Blue) are displayed.

MTH "IRT" & "BMT" Q-Type El cars re-release - Catalong Vol.1, 2017

Did you ever ride the Q-Type EL cars on the Manhattan & Bronx IRT 3rd Ave EL, as I did fairly regularly,  in the 1950's?   Or the same Q's  on the Brooklyn BMT Myrtle Ave. EL from May 1958 thru until October 1969 ??

Here are photos of some of the IRT "3rd Ave EL" style Q-Type EL cars on my N Y City 2-Rail O-Scale EL Layout.  The MTH  O-Gauge Q-Cars are excellent and as good as you can get now - especially for the reasonable price - for mass production model replicas.  They are shown in 2 photos with their fellow IRT running-mates,  my totally scratchbuilt IRT Elevated MUDC class EL Cars.

--- Regards - Joe F



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Last edited by Joseph Frank

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