Post a write up and pictures of Homemade Lionel (or other) style cars or engines you have made or modified or scratch built. 

I have made homemade copies of several Lionel cars when I cannot find them or afford them at the time.  I will start with my recently completed Lionel 6413 Mercury Capsule transporting car. 

After looking for a reasonable or inexpensive Lionel 6413 Mercury Capsule transporting car or raised-center flat car body (they are rather hard to find and I have never seen one at a train show) I decided to make one. 

I have the other two center raised-center flat cars.  The first car is the Lionel ACMX 6519 Allis-Chalmers condenser car and it needed a raised-center flatcar deck to handle the tall height of the condenser (made 1958-61).  Then Lionel made the Lionel TLCX 6544 Missile Firing car using the raised-center flat car body from the 6519 (1960-64).  Later, the Lionel TLCX 6413 Mercury Capsule car (made 1962-63) was made from the Lionel Allis-Chalmers Condenser raised-center car body and the Mercury Capsule from the Lionel 3413 Mercury Capsule Launching car Missile.  This let Lionel use the body molds from the Lionel Allis-Chalmers car for to two new cars, and to double use the Mercury Capsules, a typical thing Lionel does.

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Here are a couple of the Lionel 6413 Mercury Capsule transporting cars I want to home make (picture from the internet).  The slightly aqua green blue car in the front is rarer and brings more money.  Notice the track can be seen in the openings between the two metal straps holding up the Mercury Capsules.

Lionel 6413 aquamarine 1 2-16-2018

 

Zero money was used to made the car.  A Lionel 6800 flat car, with a broken corner (the plastic  was harder than normal after being stored in the hot attic) and no trucks and wheels was found.  The second car used was a small Lionel un-numbered flat car complete with trucks in my junk box.  Plastic from a discarded daily desk calendar base and a plastic paper easel were used.  On hand glue, blue paint, two toy optical viewers and letter decals and rub-on numbers were used.  I did get to spend many hours of fun time building the car. IMG_2111

 

For the body of the Mercury Capsule car, the Lionel 6800 flat car was used upside down to make the raised centered car and cut out the middle of the brown flat car leaving the trucks.  IMG_2112

 

The ends of the small Lionel flat car with trucks were band sawed off to add to the cars height.  I patched the broken corner of the 6800 car and added plastic to extend the skirts of the trucks.

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I decked the top ends of the car with decking left over from the short flat car.  Two small lugs were glued on to the edge to act as hooks for the elastic cord that would hold down the Mercury capsules.  I added in some seams to the side of the raised center car and added skirts to the trucks and extended the raised hump as seen in black plastic in picture below.

I made the rest of the top decking from plastic with holes for the Mercury capsules.  I made the deck a little wider than the car so personal can walk on the deck alongside the capsules.  The Lionel 6413 is wider in the middle than at the ends. 

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The Lionel 6413 holds the capsules via two metal brackets across the near bottom of the car with opening from the top to the tracks, presenting a unfinished look.  The Lionel Mercury capsules have cylinder on the bottom to simulate the mercury capsule retro rockets and the capsule is the same one used on the Lionel Mercury capsule rocket with the Lionel  3413 Mercury Capsule Launch Car and Rocket.  The real Mercury capsules would never be transported with the retro rockets attached.  My capsules set on the bottom of the car and the bottom is enclosed, the kind of job one would expect from NASA and the US Government.  The real Mercury capsules are only 6 ft in diameter and 6 ft tall and would easily fit in a gondola or box car with wide doors so the Lionel Mercury Capsule cars is a fun item and allowed the use of existing molds to make and sell another interesting car.

My Mercury capsules are made from two toy optical viewers that lets the the grand kids see diamonds moving around when viewed and rotated.  I took out the clear plastic end to make the cones lighter.

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I added some heavy paper strips to make the cones look more like they had heat shields on the sides and show the door and window.  The astronaut sits with his back to the bottom heat shield and views through the window.

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 I painted the car with Model Masters 35183 F  S Bright Blue paint which I had and is fairly close to the Lionel 6413 color.  I then added “NASA” decals as I did not have room or letters for “Mercury Project Cape Canaveral” that Lionel used.  I also added press on numbers of 6413, not as neat as I wanted and all I had room for.  Clear glossy spray was used to seal on the lettering.   

I added a metal washer to the top of each Mercury Capsule with clear caulking to allow the Lionel Gantry Magnetic Crane to lift them up and give another load for crane operation.

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I think the Mercury Capsule car came out very well and it can serve as another car and load to use my Gantry Crane for, sort of an action car after all.

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Let’s hear from a few of you car and engine builders about your cars and engines.  I find fixing up a common car into something more special or useful a satisfying part of the model train hobby.  I have several more to share as the topic moves on but do not have the pictures of the building process like the 6413.  Most of them are painting and lettering projects.

Charlie

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This isn't quite on your level, but about a year ago, I repainted a 244 Lionel Scout locomotive pink for my oldest daughter in homage to Lionel's "girl's set". I also included diamond rhinestones over the coal load and left "Lionel Lines" visible on the tender.  She ended up loving it Now she has her own to play with her older brother. 

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Charlie, your 195Os action packed layout thread inspired me to go forward and get a modest layout up and running in a 5x9 space. Thanks again for sharing all of your great ideas. 

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JD replied  "Charlie, your 195Os action packed layout thread inspired me to go forward and get a modest layout up and running in a 5x9 space. Thanks again for sharing all of your great ideas. " 

JD  Thank you for the kind words.  I enjoyed building it, and writing it up and you comments fulfill the hopes I had when writing up the post.

 

Mitch

I really enjoyed your Razorbacks adorned cars and engines.  I have lived in Razorback country 3 separate times.

Also liked your giraffe engines to go with the Lionel giraffe cars, one of my kids and then grand kids favorites.

Charlie

Another homemade car was a Gold Bullion car.  Windows were cut in both sides with a Dremel Moto tool with saw blade and a razor saw and plastic windows were added.  Gold bars were made from kitchen match sticks painted gold.  Two 12v or 7v in series mini Christmas lights were added, a feature the Lionel version does not have.  A light pick up was made from brass shim stock.

Gold Bullion car 4-20-2016 001

 

Detail of homemade Pickup is below.  A piece of tin can was added to improve durability of shim stock.

Gold Bullion car 4-20-2016 008

Come on you closet Homemade car fans, lets see them.

Charlie

HEre are some Custom Jobs done:

K-Line_MP15a

K-line MP15 Switcher

K-Line_MP15bK-Line_MP15c

Complete with Full cab interior

K-Line_MP15eK-Line_MP15g

Custom N.T.T.X. 5 unit Container Spine car. 

NTTX-Spine001NTTX-Spine003NTTX-Spine005NTTX-Spine006

The White Spine unit is what this car was originally developed from. 

NTTX-Spine007PRR_Na1

Custom Built [and not by me] PRR NA cabin car with complete interior

PRR_Na2

PRR Custom built XM Boxcar - All wood Construction

PRR_XKPRR_NDa

PRR NDa made from a Gloorcraft 4 wheeled ND kit.

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

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Keep those great Homemade cars a coming.  I have really enjoyed seeing them and knowing other OGR members like making them and saving money.

 

Here are some of details of my Homemade Centerline Track Cleaning Car, a $3 to $4 version of the brass Centerline, O gauge track cleaning car and it works super.

The price of the Centerline Track Cleaning Cars is quite high listing for $133 plus postage. It is made from brass.  The brass Centerline car is a work of art and not required to do a mundane job like cleaning O gauge track.  I like the cars design as it has no pads to glue on to replace and no pad motor like the Lionel model. 

I worked from a picture of the Centerline track cleaning car and made a body out of wood.  The heavy weight of the brass for Centerline is not needed to clean the track as the roller brush rolls freely in the center of the car.  The center pit of my wooden version was lined with aluminum flashing and glued it in with epoxy.  This area gets wet from the cleaning solution and that would attack the paint and wood of the body.

I used 1 inch diameter mini paint rollers for the cleaning brushes and cut them 1/8 inch of less than the width of the pit (the rollers were the only out of pocket money spent).  Pit is 2 7/16 in wide, 2 7/16 in long and 1 5/8 in deep using a part of 1 in diameter paint roller 2 5/16 in long.   I used a short piece of ½ inch pipe coupling as weight inside the cleaning brush.

Rubbing alcohol is normally used the cleaning solution.  Two or three extra dry cleaning brushes are used after the alcohol saturated cleaning brush and run until the all the wet solution is removed from the track and the dry cleaning brushes show little of the dirty picked up cleaning solution.

The dirty cut off mini paint rollers can be washed in the home washing machine by placing them in a small nylon net bag used for washing small items.

 

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Below is Track Cleaning Car, cleaning roller brush and 1/2 in dia pipe coupling used as weight inside roller when cleaning

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Charlie

 

 

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Choo Choo Charlie posted:

Keep those great Homemade cars a coming.  I have really enjoyed seeing them and knowing other OGR members like making them and saving money.

 

Here are some of details of my Homemade Centerline Track Cleaning Car, a $3 version of the brass Centerline, O gauge track cleaning car and it works super.

The price of the Centerline Track Cleaning Cars is quite high listing for $133. It is made from brass.  The brass Centerline car is a work of art and not required to do a mundane job like cleaning O gauge track.  I like the cars design as it has no pads to glue on to replace and no pad motor like the Lionel model. 

I worked from a picture of the Centerline track cleaning car and made a body out of wood.  The center pit was lined with aluminum flashing and glued it in with epoxy.  This area gets wet from the cleaning solution and that would attack the paint and wood of the body.

I used 1 inch diameter mini paint rollers for the cleaning brushes and cut them 1/8 inch of less than the width of the pit (the rollers were the only out of pocket money spent).  Pit is 2 7/16 in wide, 2 7/16 in long and 1 5/8 in deep using a part of 1 in diameter paint roller 2 5/16 in long.   I used a short piece of ½ inch pipe coupling as weight inside the cleaning brush.

Rubbing alcohol is normally used the cleaning solution.  Two or three extra dry cleaning brushes are used after the alcohol saturated cleaning brush and run until the all the wet solution is removed from the track and the dry cleaning brushes show little of the dirty picked up cleaning solution.

 

IMG_0941

IMG_0946

 

Below is Track Cleaning Car, cleaning roller brush and 1/2 in dia pipe coupling used as

weight inside roller when cleaning

IMG_0966

Charlie

 

 

Charlie, 

  Very nice on the car design and especially smart on the weight to weigh down the roller!  Glad to know it works well. 

Tom 

Quite a long time ago, I bought an MTH 19th Century reefer. Shortened the frame; relocated the trucks; and replaced the body with my scratch built reefer with the doors positioned toward the ends. The model is suposed to represent a 34' car I saw in a photo. Fun project. 

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