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Am Stan baggage exterior


Am Stan baggage Interior 1

Am Stan baggage interior 2

60' heavyweight baggage car from an American Standard kit.  Assembled and detailed by T. Nelms.

New Orleans 1

 K-Line New Orleans which resembles an 8-1-2.  Interior and overhead lighting

Night Route 1

K-Line 17 1/2 inch Night Route, sister car to New Orleans.


K-Line 17 1/2 inch heavyweight repainted to Santa Fe Jonathan.


K-Line 17 1/2 inch observation car repainted to Chief Red Cloud


K-Line 17 1/2 inch dining car with window treatment.



Images (9)
  • Am Stan baggage exterior
  • Am Stan baggage Interior 1
  • Am Stan baggage interior 2
  • New Orleans 1
  • Night Route 1
  • DSCN2540
  • DSCN1792
  • DSCN1793
  • DSCN2552
Last edited by rattler21

This is a Walthers 4 compartment/lounge/observation I rebuilt from a started kit someone gave me several years ago. It was in rough condition. This type or Pullman Plan was not all that common. About 25 or so cars were built by Pullman to Plan 3960, Lot 4889 in 1925. Nearly all had Revolution Era place or building names. Most cars were assigned to the New Haven and the Pennsylvania railroads for high-traffic Boston - Washington DC service. 

The model was finished as PRR's Federal Hall in its 1940's appearance.  PRR converted it to a coach in 1948, and it was one of the last open platform observations in service on the PRR by that time. It has ice-activated AC, popular with PRR and on the prototype car. Nearly all the original parts were retained in the rebuild. Interior detail with figures was added, along with LEED lighting on the car ceiling. Contacts in the roof and car body complete the electrical circuit when the roof is on so no wires and plugs are needed. The original Walthers trucks were rebuilt and tuned. 

Tuning assures all axles are parallel and in tram (square to the track). Also that the center plate (bolster) is level to the rails. That all helps to make a truck easier rolling. Sometimes the stamped steel brackets that hold the truck side frames to the bolster are not in alignment. That can cause a truck to be out of tram or the bolster top not level. Usually I can find another bracket in my truck parts stash that will be better or I make a matched pair of new brackets with brass bar stock.

205A S205F    S. Islander


Images (2)
  • 205A S: Walthers kit number 4822 (old, having divided vestibule door windows) or 9101 (recent, with single pane vestibule door windows).
  • 205F: Interior of Pullman Plan 3960, four compartment/lounge/observation.

My favorite Walthers cars are the 9122/23 series.  These are coaches, and they come with windows paired or not, and clerestory or turtle roofs.  For my purposes, they approximate PRR Cars I used to see in the 1960s on the Main Line, and seem to come almost close enough to the SP Harriman cars to please me.  I do have PSC Harriman cars, and if I were going to be picky, I would say that PSC got it right.  But they sure sound tinny rolling around the test loop.

Anyway, here are a couple Walthers coaches.

PRR CoachSD&A Coach


Images (2)
  • PRR Coach
  • SD&A Coach

I've got to disagree with Bob2 on one count - the real master passenger car builders on this forum include Santiago, and SIRT.  I'm more about building a model railroad with nice looking rolling stock running on it than super detailing individual cars.  Being in my 70's it's comes down to time management  - where does one get the most enjoyment for the invested time.  We each individually get to make that call and in this hobby fortunately there are a lot of options.   I hope this thread and others like it encourage folks to learn more about prototype passenger cars and the unbelievable diversity models that have been offered over the last 70 years in O scale - and a big thanks to Scott Mann for continuing to bring in passenger cars with custom quality paint jobs at value price points.    

Well, I am going to do battle with Ed - then I will post a few more photos.

Ed and I are in the same branch of this hobby.  Guys like Erik and Santiago are in a different paradigm - both are artists with camera and airbrush; both do great work, and neither has the slightest interest in making a Walthers passenger car look halfway decent.

Those of us who share O Gauge are as varied as a hobby gets.  Some of us collect Kohs models, some go for Lionel, some collect what are known as "doorstops" - you get the idea.  I spend time admiring Erik's and Santiago's spectacular photos, and I could afford to collect PSC cars if I wanted.  Indeed, I wanted, when the original cars hit the market; I have a string of nine Harrimans and a Pullman Observation, along with a pair of Sunset Pullmans.  They are all great models.

But Ed prefers to take a dirtbag Walthers kit and turn it into a thing of beauty, easily rivaling the Fisher models.  I do the same, but I stop about halfway, and Ed goes the full measure.  That's why I put Ed in the top tier.

I shall leave it there - I also admire the 3-railers who have gone the extra mile, creating scale layouts that rival the best of the 2-rail layouts with the exception of the track - but again, different facet of the hobby - almost as different as, say, dollhouses or model airplanes.

End of rebuttal.  Next, how about some history?

These are rather interesting cars from the 1930s.  I want to say they are J-C, but they might be scratchbuilt, out of card stock.  They did not match my collection, so I sold them, and made a friend in the deal.  They are still floating around in the midwest somewhere - my friend passed on, and some of his collection made it back to me.


La Belle 003miller JC RPO


Images (2)
  • La Belle 003
  • miller JC RPO

My idea of superdetailing a car is to take a Golden Gate Pullman and putting Kadee couplers on it.

Fred, you are far too obsessive compulsive!  My idea of super detailing is taking a PSC heavyweight (NO interior)! I can't see it anyhow  and putting a Protocraft coupler on it. I know, I know! Few are willing to go to those extreme, greuling measures! LOL


Last edited by Simon Winter

Here is a B&O dining car I built, to match B&O a specific prototype. Although custom built for a display, this model is  perfectly capable of operation on an O scale model railroad. Basically, it is a Walthers car, using a 55 YO hunk of Walthers wood roof as well as Walthers cast ends, ventilators and dining car chairs that I 'modernized' for it. Below is a B&O diagram for that specific car, the only one of its class. I made the car sides from roofers' aluminum flashing, with impressed rivet and belt seam details. The car has details for a dual brake system, per prototype. The trucks are Golden Gate Depot from a Pullman I bought and changed the trucks to a 242 type its prototype had.  Because this model was intended as a display item for a B&O dining car china collection, it has a fully detailed interior, including the ceiling.       S. Islander



Images (5)
  • 005: B&O diagram for dining car 1035. It's clam to fame was being in the consist of Queen Elizabeth II's royal train October 1957, that ran for Washington DC to Staten Island NY.
  • 024
  • 034
  • 049
  • 064: Finished model on it's display track. While detail loaded, it actually a fairly rugged piece, capable of running on a model railroad..

The opposite end of my passenger car spectrum is best seen in a 'before and after' setting.  I tend to be a champion of sorts for lost causes in this respect.  The subject is a pre-War Walthers observation car I found as a 'junker,' at one of the O Scale Midwest March Meets for $10.  It had stamped, wooden block ventilators, parts of a built-up-brass rear platform railing and one truck. The old NY Central decals on it were elegantly done in gold with thin, black outlining - something Walthers never made again.  The model was of a high-end Pullman accommodation: 3 compartment / 2 drawing room / lounge/observation.

After is how it looks, becoming a model of the private car "Virginia City" when owned by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg.  They may not be so well known now as they were in the 1950's from their many railroad photo album and narrow gauge books.  The prototype photo of Virginia City was taken at SP Yard in Sparks, NV, where it was stored between trips. Here it shows some age, after Beebe's and Clegg's deaths. It was later moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where it was sold, and updated to Amtrak standards and painted in SP's former two-tone gray livery. For a while, was available for charter. S. Islander.





Images (3)
  • VCITY02: A pre-War Walthers kit built model
  • VCa: The old Walters car, in a new life.
  • VC006a: The prototype "Virginia City" at Sparks NV, late 1950's.

Yep.. Look at those beautifully contoured ends on the roof.

Another thing I am just now noticing - Ed's B & O colors are more pleasing than most.  Do I detect some slight blue hue in the grey?

Ed is an inspiration.  These Walthers kits have serious value.  I personally do not care for the prewar rivets on the sides, but Ed makes them look great!

Let me post a few PSC - these are, with the exception of dust and tarnish, right out of the box.  All have been run on my test loop in trains behind my famous MM-2 fleet of back-up Malleys.

Top is a later production (good roof end contours, better trucks) Pullman.  These are really gorgeous models for their era (1980s).  Next is a Harriman diner, and the bottom, obviously, is a Harriman RPO.  The Harriman cars have correct roof contours, something that has not yet been duplicated in O Scale.

I said it before - I actually prefer my Walthers cars - not nearly as accurate, but on the other hand, I invested more labor than screwing on couplers.  I may never paint these things - they sort of lose their brassness with a really good paint job.

Just me - sort of opinion.


PSC Pullman ObsPSC DinerPSC RPO


Images (3)
  • PSC Pullman Obs
  • PSC Diner

And a decal note - I had some really nice passenger car decals done by Jim Wilhite - gold, with thin black outline.  The masters exist with the LaBelle remnants, and I believe the new proprietor can do decals from Jim's software and Alps printer.

If he can, any of my masters can be used for free.  I have on file Southern Pacific, The Overland Limited, PRR, PRSL, Long Island, Norfolk & Western, Sud Pacifico de Mexico, California & Oregon, EPSW, and maybe others, along with a sheet I made for Stevenson's SP locomotive kits.  And more . . . some freight car stuff and logos for Jim Seacrest's DW & P Consolidation fleet.

How about some baggage?  This unique, stream-styled B&O baggage car was the only member of its class, B-8aa number 627. it was intended for use with the late 1940's National and Capitol Limiteds. B&O found many other uses for it as well.  


This is the interior of a Class B-8, fresh from the ACF Shops at St. Charles MO in the mid-1920's. Those wooden straps on the floor kept baggage and other packages off the floor.  Rain and wet items could get in during station stops, also snow melting off those items would puddle on the floor of the steam heated baggage cars. Steam heat radiators are along the walls, behind what looks like  rugs hanging there.


This is the interior of the model I built of B&O 627. Golden tan walls and ceiling, but I failed to paint the floor Tuscan red, per prototype! The side wall radiators were modeled with pieces of worn-out handkerchief glued to a frame.   Someday, maybe I'll get back to that floor . . . . . . .   


The finished model was built with Walthers ends, ventilators, trucks and underbody parts. The sides were scratch made with aluminum flashing, with accurate  rivet and weld repair seams embossed on them. It helped to have left and right side photos of  the prototype for that!  The eight side doors can be opened, sliding into pockets in the car walls like the prototype. It's one of those things you do just once . . . .


S. Islander


Images (4)
  • 003: Prototype B&O 627 in a mail and express train.
  • 006: Interior of a brand new B&O B-8 baggage car, mid-1920's.
  • 046: Model interior.
  • 050: Completed model of B&O 627

I don't care for plastic or urethane, but this is great news for the hobby.  Also, for some Pullmans and coaches, the 3rd Rail plastic cars are as good as they get - I have one of their plastic Pullmans, and for detail and fidelity, it is better than the very high end brass.

And Ed - that is gorgeous.  Tell us about colors and decals!

@bob2 posted:

I don't care for plastic or urethane, but this is great news for the hobby.  Also, for some Pullmans and coaches, the 3rd Rail plastic cars are as good as they get - I have one of their plastic Pullmans, and for detail and fidelity, it is better than the very high end brass.

And Ed - that is gorgeous.  Tell us about colors and decals!

I’m going to have to push back on that, Bob. The plastic heavyweights by GGD don’t come close to high end brass. I owned a couple from the last run, and this was apparent side to side.

B&O Baggage 627 was painted inside with a mix of artist's acrylic colors to get to 'golden tan,' a brownish deep yellow.  The exterior was done in Scale Coat I 'B&O Royal Blue.'  I added a few drops of SC I Locomotive black to it. That helps darken the hue a bit, as I think SC B&O Blue is a bit too bright.  The gray is Scale Coat I D&H gray, to which a few drops of Pullman Green are added.  B&O gray had a slightly greenish hue, not easy to catch in model paints but this helps give it a deeper hue as well.

The decals are Champion.  Micro Scale's O scale B&O set is more accurate but I was unable to get them when building this car. The difference is basically in how the letters  "E" and "T" are shaped. The B&O design (railroads had their draftsmen design lettering and numbers, so there really was no standard 'font' as such at the time).  The B&O "E" has a droopy middle finger, the "T" is fully arched underneath.   B&O lettering and numbers are available at the B&O RR HS website.  Striping was done with Champ decals as well.  The black is Floquil, as I still had a sizable stash of it then. The underbody has brake piping, but no fully detailed brake rigging (yet).  I do super-detailing  of past models to avoid  building too many new ones! 

A light coat of Testors Gloss goes over the decals first, to blend them evenly into the paint. A light spray of Dull Coat follows day or two later, just enough to somewhat kill the high shine, yet not completely dull the finish.

Here are two American Standard heavy-weight cars I built. The RPO car was a rebuild of a car sent to me in pieces. The Pullman "Amsterdam" is from a kit I bought. Pullman assigned it to the B&O in the late 1940's into the 50's, wearing original Pullman Green.  It was an early kit, with a full wood roof (no pre-shaped ends, which came later) and real glass for the window glazing.


This Golden Gate Depot car bought new. It needed work to get the striping over the doors to line up with whose on the body and hang at a better depth. Also, to put window shades in, to get rid of  it's wide-eyed 'bombed out' appearance.  I also changed the trucks to Lobaugh, adding outside brackets for the side bearings to them in order to model Pullman type 242 trucks the prototype St. Angele had. The original Golden Gate trucks went under the B&O dining car I mentioned earlier i this thread. St. Angele here, wears its factory paint.


(Sigh....) another Walthers car here: the 'executive observation' which actually models a Canadian Pacific prototype. It was first built it when I was 15. It was rebuilt in the 1980's to become a B&O 'division level' 930 series office car. These were often older, wood body steel framed cars that had been updated with steel side sheathing and AC for use by division officials. B&O 935 wears side sill truss rods, betraying its up-dated appearance. 

It carries marks showing was originally a Baltimore & New York car, in the upper right end of the letter board.  This is how B&O designated cars that came in through mergers. The model has a detailed underbody, interior detail with some figures and lighting. It rides on Grace Line sprung trucks from the 1950's.

The rear makers and track inspection lights are battery powered, with a switch for them hidden in the water tank under the car.  The batteries in turn, are hidden under the beds in each stateroom.  When displayed on a table top with the roof off but the markers and track inspection lights lit, it creates a mystery for observant on lookers!             S. Islander






Images (4)
  • RPOH23: American Standard, rebuilt kit.
  • 160a: Built from an early American Standard kit.
  • 161: A "tweaked up" Golden Gate Depot car.
  • 018: A re-worked Walthers "executive observation'.
Last edited by S. Islander

It depends on how we define it.  As good as or better than are highly subjective.  In my book an accurate car model that is fully decorated and ready to run has a leg up on a better detailed undecorated car missing trucks and couplers that is somewhat better detailed.  Throw in that the RTR passenger car comes with an interior while the better detailed one does not tilts the balance more in favor of the RTR car.  Someone who has the skills, desire and time to complete that more detailed car might disagree.  Now there is a point that despite being unfinished the more detailed car is simply so much more accurate and highly detailed that I would say it is overall better than the RTR car.

I offer mine as a contrast - I think I could do a Bommer style restoration, but I always stop right after that shiny coat of Scale Coat.  My B&O cars (at least the heavyweights) are merely dirtbag used Walthers, with some of the creases removed from the sides.  I think the photo shows L&N, but rest assured, the other side is B&O.  I get away with that because I stand in the middle of a series of ovals, and it is impossible to see both sides . . .

I wonder if that describes my politics . . .

boiler 003

I should put a washer under that left side truck?


Images (1)
  • boiler 003

Yep, Bob!  Jack up that baggage end a bit. Mustn't have a coupler slip out!   L&N on one side and B&O on the other?   That's a page out of John Anderson's book to be sure!  His thinking was, you can't see both sides at the same time. So, he lettered freight cars for two roads -  one on each side. It gave variety without adding more cars.  On a passenger angle, you could do an L&N Pan American on one side and a B&O Metropolitan Special on the other, with both trains having similar equipment. Both trains also went to Cincinnati.  Even Pullman experimented at times and put two different liveries on the same car. It was probably done to test new paints.  But finding which car or cars were done so, would make a great model and be prototypically accurate!    

Here is a B&O non-B&O car I built. The Walthers four baggage door combine was unusual, but I found photos showing Wabash had some. Possibly NY Central too,  as Walthers had an HO model for a NYC car like that in the 'Favorite Prototype Series' of kits. I lettered it for B&O, but like the office car above, it wears the B&NY report marks and a different car number of my model railroad.  On my Baltimore & New York Railway, it was a rider coach on the mail and express train. A'la Wabash, the baggage compartment's doors are double doors that opening from the middle. A great detail, done with a bit of black decal striping. S.Islander

4 door bagg



Images (1)
  • 4 door bagg: Walthers kit 4761, built in 1968.  It was sold in 2013.

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