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Good day to the list. I have been a lurker for some time and have appreciated the information on older or vintage models. This week I found a model in an antique mall, just the body and no floor or drive. I am hoping some of you can shed some light on it. Is it freelance, 3 rail or 2 rail, approximate age and what kind of trucks would be appropriate. I so far have not found any prototype doodlebug with ribbed siding. Over all length is about 58 feet. Hopefully the pictures will come through. My goal is to end up with a reasonable 2 rail model with a vintage look to it.
Thank you
Ian McKinleyIMG_20201017_202431882IMG_20201017_202454766IMG_20201017_202624202IMG_20201017_202647316IMG_20201017_202656230IMG_20201017_202713678IMG_20201017_202734952_HDRIMG_20201017_202745095_HDR


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  • IMG_20201017_202656230
  • IMG_20201017_202713678
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I think it was/is kitBASHED with emphasis on the bash part.     It looks like the body shell is one of the "modern" extruded passenger cars made by a number of builders including MAC shops and LIonel.    It looks like it was shortened.     The front looks to be the Walthers front for a Gas-electric.    They made a kit for this and I am almost sure offered the fronts and rears separately.     The body is not quite right for a gas-electric.    The section behind the cab would have the motor-generator set and be 10-12 feet long maybe (2-3 inches).    It would be closed off without windows and may have vents.    The roof should have some exhaust stacks.    As you say, it is hard to find a prototype with ribbed sides.    All the photos I have seem have flat sides like heavy weight passenger cars - some rivet lines.

Looks for some photos of what the Sunset or NJCB gas electric models have.    To me they look like AAR diesel trucks.    An interesting note, many of these cars had shorter trucks in the rear than in the front, probably because they only had the front truc powered.    To power the model with a vintge truck, an old Thomas truck or the one used by All Nation in their early single power NW2s would be used.    Another option is some sort of streetcar/interurban truck model which would have been easy to find in those days.

Hey thanks prrjim, I knew there were problems with the models design like the lack of space for a motor. However the front is a casting and the body is an extrusion so I was looking for leads. I plan to keep the original builders vision alive while improving on its over all design. Come up with something that will look like a railroad converted existing equipment to meet a need. Blank out a window or two up front for an engine compartment and have a branch line passenger service.



Definitely blank out one window on each side, probably 2 would look even better maybe. 

You only need a single power truck.     You would be able to pull one or two trailers with that.    The AAR trucks are the same look as an Alco 4 axle diesel. 

You have not mentioned if you want to power 2 or 3 rail.    If 3 rail, any truck out of a diesel from MTH or Lionel, or even Weaver.     They have all done Alcos and would be something that would pass.    The back truck should look the same but can be a dummy.   It would be neat if you make it shorter than the front one as on many prototypes.   Perhaps use a passenger truck.

For 2 rail, MTH and weaver die the trucks with motor on truck also.    Another option is a drive from P&D which is a descendent of the weaver single motor drive.    Just power one truck.

Make a frame/floor out of some very good 1/8 inch plywood or 1/8 styrene.

Thank you prrjim

It will be two rail and needs an engine compartment and a door for the engineer and maybe a baggage door. Looking at all the pictures I can find on the net and had noticed that many had different trucks. I appreciate the info on drives as I did not know what was available beyond Stanton Drives which would need side frames. I will be doing more research on line using these leads.



A lot depends on precise you want to be.    I was under the impression, this was to a representation not an accurate model of a prototype.    The ribbed sides make that hard.     so my power truck suggestions were based on pretty loose criteria.

Another power truck option that I mentioned before was used quite commonly for the walthers kits and others.    This was the single power truck that General Models and later All Nation  used to power their NW2 diesels.    They are similar to the modern trucks with motor on truck, but perhaps a little shorter wheelbased for the NW2.    These are not popular among modelers and therefore if  you find one at a show the price should be right.    They were sturdy and should clean up well.

I like the idea of the commonweath express truck for the rear unpowered one.

Note that the Walthers car and HO car both have RPO sections, which many cars had.    However, many cars did not have RPO sections.   I'm not sure about baggage sections.    PRR gas-electrics did not have RPO sections.    When one ran on an RPO route, it pulled an RPO.    I think most or all PRR cars did have small baggage sections in addtition to the passenger section.

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