I bought a Lionel 400E Blue Comet awhile back as part of a big collection. I’ve searched around on this forum and in some Greenberg’s literature to nail down what I’ve got here.
I am somewhat familiar with what it is, but I could use some help in identifying more specifically the authenticity of this, and of course all the nuances to such a thing. Ultimately I'd like to sell the item.
Here’s what I know:
- Lionel 400E with 400T tender.
- Nickel Domes / Trim - supposedly pretty rare
- Turned handrail stanchions
- Tender ladder has small gusset attached
- Previous owner claimed 1935. Literature says likely 1936
The boiler paint has some blotchiness to it. Perhaps this is due to temperature in a warm garage? Maybe sunlight? The tender does not have it, as I know the two were stored separately for a bit.
The paint is also scratched here and there on the light blue boiler and cab. There is no evidence of coats underneath, so hopefully this is original paint.
The darker blue Frame piece paint is nearly flawless. There are maybe only one or two scratches on it, so I’m starting to believe this has been repainted. I don’t actually know though.
The tender is missing one of the handrail stanchions, and one has come out. Looks easy enough to put back in. I *THINK* I may have the missing handrail stanchion somewhere. Need to find it…
The two sheet metal tabs on the stack that hold the stack in place…. One of them has broken off. Interestingly, this reveals the material to be copper. Were the nickel trim domes similar to the copper ones and just plated?
The latching smokebox door is difficult to latch. It’ll work, but I think the sheet metal has been bent ever-so slightly.
I haven’t run it, so not sure how well it works. Would prefer someone who is more familiar with operating these to okay it before I do it. I don’t want to damage anything.
Other items replaced?
What do you think?
All in all this is a beautiful model, but I would like to sell it, and obviously I’d like to get the most value out of it. I have other hobbies (relax, still trains) and don’t want to spend too much time on it. I’m fine with some things, like cleaning it up.
So, I could use some advice to help identify / inspect / confirm exactly what I have here and perhaps what it’s value is. An in-person inspection would be good too. I’m located in San Jose, CA if that helps. (The Train Shop in Santa Clara couldn’t help)
Any advice on this forum / recommendations would be greatly appreciated.