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Asking the experts on this. Can anyone describe/explain how Lionel produced the wood grain pattern on their car inserts? Such as the attached for an example. The one in the photo, I don't plan on touching as it displays pretty good in the car.  From the variety of cars I have- 603, 601, 602 etc. , no one pattern is the same, even on the same car, which floors me. How in the heck, even if sprayed, way back when, could that be? Maybe just haven't seen enough?

Getting the base color right or very close isn't a problem, although have noticed varying shades on that also. Using a dry brush or sponge black overlay technique may work?

Thanks for any help!     John

Lionel wood grain insert


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  • Lionel wood grain insert
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That must have been a very tedious job, Harry. Hope you didn't have very many to do.

I knew a guy who custom painted an AF #4042 wide gauge observation car. He used a very fine engineering drafting ink pen and a very small circle template to duplicate the original lithographed rivets. Don't know how many hours he had in the project but it looked awesome when finished. Looked like it was lithographed, not painted.


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