And now for some more photos. First below is my most recent finished project. The original brake wheel stand was broken off, so I changed that. And it was missing the searchlight dome cover, so I made one from the plastic from a milk carton, along with this clear ribbed plastic stuff that is really made for kitchen shelf covering. Now some might argue the Disney figures are completely unprototypical. Depending on your feelings about the Penn Central... I have a friend who jokes the Penn Central was a Mickey Mouse operation, so maybe it's more realistic that it seems. 

Penn Central searchlight car

Next below is prototype and fantasy combined. I like the Norfolk Southern Enviro scheme that was used on one single engine, the 999. Norfolk Southern has no Alco FA's, but I do. I realized finding decals for the "wave" part of the white striping was going to be impossible. And doing an identical paint mask on each side was going to be a huge challenge. So I did a simplified version of that scheme and added a zero to the unit number, though I still have to make the number boards for this one.

Norfolk Southern Enviro Scheme Alco

Next is a shorty Lionel plug door box car. I know it's the wrong shade of blue for CSX rolling stock, but I like it over the dark blue that is normally used. RMT had issued one of their 2-bay hoppers in the CSX Coke Express scheme. But the RMT version had white lettering. I looked high and low to find a photo of that car with white lettering and could find none. So I did my own Coke Express hopper and stumbled upon this shade of blue. I knew it wasn't right (those hoppers were black) but I liked it. So then I did this box car also. We 3-railers are a funny breed, aren't we? Somethings bother us, even though they're accurate, and other things that aren't accurate, we like. Well... maybe NOT all of us. 

CSX 027 box car

This next one was inspired by a fantasy paint scheme MTH put on a Lehigh Valley steamer. This one below was one of those Lionel late 1980's DC only starter set engines. Aside from the paint scheme, I added weight to the engine, so it can pull a train now. I also added a headlight, handrails, some other details and moved the drawbar from the tender to make the engine and tender closer.

Lehigh Valley 2-4-0 steamer

Next is a K-Line flat done up for NS. For some reason, K-Line had a thick round mounting on the body, where the trucks attach. I used a Dremel and sanded down the thickness of those, so that the car sets lower to the track and looks much better. I don't remember where I got the bars running along the deck surface... I cut them down from something... they hold items like these Tonka tractors in place. But I can also now put a whole variety of items on this particular flat car, which I like the flexibility of.

Norfolk Southern k-line flat car

Next below, a Lionel woodside reefer. Aside from repainting, I also cut down the body mounts where the trucks get attached to the car, so that the car rides a little lower to the track and looks better with my other smaller more 027-ish rolling stock.

Lehigh Valley woodside reefer

I might have posted this one on one of the Saturday Switcher threads. On my local division of the Norfolk Southern, there's some tight curves that the bigger engines just cannot maneuver through. So some Alco FA's had to be put into service. This was one of the older K-Line unpainted, molded plastic colored engines, either a Pennsy or Southern from one of the starter sets. Looks good to me now.

Norfolk Southern Alco FA 5284


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Glad you started this thread too. You are so right buying those old relics and making them look like new. I’ve been doing it for years in “Scale” now you have encouraged me to do some O27 for some reason  these days I’m leaning towards O27. I really like what you did with the NH Piggly Back. Two years ago I wouldn’t even look at O27 now its at the top of my list. This is why I love this “O” scale over HO and others. Hope to see more of your work 

Brian, your restored, repainted and renovated trains look great.

Although I prefer O Gauge with 031 and wider curves to 027, I also prefer traditional sized trains to Scale sized trains because of my medium sized layout (35 feet long and to 3 to 4 feet wide around the walls of 2 rooms in my basement). Traditional enables me to make trains with more cars to traverse my reverse loops.

Now if I had a large layout (50 feet by 20 feet or larger without reverse loops), then I would go for scale over traditional. For instance, I recently became a member of NJ Hi-Railers Club (layout is 185 feet by 30 feet without reverse loops) and scale size with huge locomotives and trains with 50 plus cars looks awesome. Arnold 


In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

brianel_k-lineguy posted:

@Lionelski, nice work. You know, I've been tempted to try your elongated SP caboose project. Years ago there was an article in the OGR magazine about doing that very same project. I thought, wow, that'd make for a good "027-ized bunk or crew car. The Wabash caboose looks good too!

My whole point in doing this thread was to encourage people to try their hand at fixing up older trains. There's plenty of beaters out there and plenty of well worn common train items that don't have much collector value: All great candidates. If I found something that WAS actually worth money, I'd try to sell it so I could then buy more beaters or common stuff to repaint.

Many years ago at my first YORK show, some guy was giving me grief over repainting trains, telling me they were all collectibles and worth money. So... I pulled a well-worn gondola out of my purchases bag and told him I'd sell it to him for $500.00. He laughed and said, "That's not worth $500.00! That's a $5.00 train car, at best." I then laughed and told him he'd just shot his initial argument full of holes and then went about my merry way, looking for more candidates for repainting.

At another show, I was talking to the owner of Ross Custom Switches at a train show. I was looking over his products and admiring them, when he asked if he could help me. I told him I was a strictly 027 guy and was just looking.

To my surprise, he encouraged me. I asked why and he answered that every 027 item I buy from Lionel helps to keep them in business. Which helps Lionel to put money into the new high end scale products, which in turn, helps his business grow.

I thought that was a terrific answer, showing a great attitude towards business and a realistic outlook on the 3-rail hobby.


We are on the same wavelength Brian, thanks for the comments too.

At first I hesitated to post these pics here as I was concerned that you might think that I was hijacking your thread, I'm glad that you did not feel that way.

Nice work Bill. It looks like you put some kind of interiors into the cars, or maybe it's some kind of framing or treatment to the windows. 

We often see posts addressed to the train companies, when are you going to make this? Then people assume the train companies don't listen or don't care. Wrong. They have to have enough demand for a product, so that they can make a quantity that will cover the production costs. Or tooling and R&D if it's a totally new item. A lot of money these days especially given the small production run numbers that I am aware of.

So how long would it have taken for one of the train makers to make Spokane Portland & Seattle passenger cars of any kind? Never mind tinplate. It's the same question I've often asked myself, about the 027 products I'd like to see made, which is why I do what I do.

Maybe repaints don't have much value (unless it is something that someone specifically wants), but I highly doubt the original badly rusted cars Bill T. started off with had much value either, other than possibly sentimental, if even that. One thing for certain: I'm sure the cars look far better now than they did when Bill got them. And he has something he wanted in a road name he likes. Sounds like a win/win to me.

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