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I picked up from our forum sponsors at a good discount some various trains;  some of the Lionel FT B  powered units to use to push dead Thomas trains at train shows so the kids could control them with the LionChief system.  This way I can swap around power to push various gutted Thomas characters and swap out engines if I have some problems. With Covid of course no shows this year I liked the Rio Grande paint scheme so I thought I would make up a Rio Grande train to use on the home layout having more time without the many local shows I normally do each year.  I used an old Atlas F9  A 2 rail engine built in the 1970's took out the gears added some crew figures and LED lights and speaker and wired these to the B unit to push it. (I need to find some smaller black wires to go between the 2 engines) I repainted the Atlas engine with some sanding, then Tamiya for plastics spray cans. Priming then misting on various yellow and orange colors till I got close to the Lionel B unit Rio Grande colors. I made the decals for the name on my home laser printer then used black pin striping tape to get the lines on and some water slide decal black stripes with lots of Micro Sol to get the black straight line to bend around the front of the roof. I put together several Rio Grande freight cars from my fleet and painted up a few more to go with it and caboose.

I picked up a set of I think they were custom built and painted old from the ??? 1960's wood Walters passenger car kits done in Southern Pacific Daylight colors. I now have a full train. I had picked up a Weaver E8 A Southern Pacific body many years back and was able to swap around stuff I had using a Williams frame and motors with LionChief PCB board to control it. I had a Weaver Amtrak E8 B unit so I sanded and repainted this with various Tamiya for plastics spray cans. Priming then misting on various yellow and orange and red colors till I got close to the SP A unit colors. Then I used a Testors Silver paint pen along the raised edges to get the silver lines between the colors. It looks pretty close to the SP Baggage car and A E8 so now I have a full train. I also have an SP orange red colors 4449 steam engine in 2 rail but it will not pull such a long train. The next project will be to explore getting the passenger set to run. The passenger cars currently has very short scale couplers and 2 rail wheels as it was used as a shelf display. 




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Last edited by kj356
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The lighting on your pix show why it is hard to get a good match for Rio Grande units by looking at photos from books, as I have tried to do. Lighting really affects how "Grande Gold" looks. Seems you did a pretty good job. I did the same thing with the Atlas F9 and a Lionel Legacy F7B, but I painted both, so didn't have to try to match. Tamiya x6 is a pretty close match to their 1-stripe paint scheme. The Microscale decals I used came with the curved roof stripe.




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