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@leapinlarry posted:

@Arnold D. Cribari, that’s a cool video of the magnificent Hudson pulling that beautiful passenger train, the clikety-clack of the cars negotiating your neat layout was music to my ears. Even though Lionel and other manufacturers have made larger articulated steamers, the Hudson style remains my favorite. Great video.

Thanks, Larry, I consider myself very fortunate to have the magnificent 773. Incidentally, I very much enjoy seeing the photos and videos you post of your gorgeous layout. Arnold

This is undoubtedly THE BEST passenger car I have ever had and likely ever will, the GGD Daylight 3/4 dome car, shown first below as it came stock:


Notwithstanding the excellence of the stock model, I basically tried to make the interior as realistic as well as colorful as possible with a full house of passengers, especially in the dome lounge area:



The body and interior dome floor are brass as are the prototypical leaf motif screens  - I only messed with Scott Mann's fine product because I thought it deserved the full treatment inside. I studied the SP prototypes at length for ideas although this rendition of them is not an exact duplicate of any particular one.


There is a "how to" thread about this car posted over on the 3Rail Scale section, but as I have been running this car in its completed form for a few weeks I thought it was a good candidate for this thread. The background explanation is here:


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Actually, it looks more like a 6/7 dome. But it IS a great-looking car. Your additional work makes it look even better.

Yeah, Vern, well I completely agree about the proportions - only the original 10 window dome version of this car was near 3/4 but that’s not the one Scott opted to make as there were more railroads that inherited the later 12 window version. Still, I know that someone may make the original in O scale, also in brass.

I have the Lionel gene in my DNA and a life-long affinity for the Rock Island RR (CRI&P) because that railroad served my hometown (Peoria, IL) when I was a boy.  In two decades, I acquired trains with RI décor from Lionel, MTH and other train-makers. My favorite is the MTH model of the GM EMD Aerotrain. All three trainsets of the Aerotrain were ultimately sold to the RI, which initially assigned them to its Peoria Rocket route. As a teenager, I once rode "The Train of Tomorrow" from Peoria to Chicago - where I was a student at a boarding high school. When running at speed, the ride was uncomfortable, so the RI transferred the train sets to a commuter route (Joliet to/from Chicago) where lower speeds were the norm.

As a remembrance of that bit of my own train-related history, I bought the MTH model with RI décor and subsequently added more coaches to the factory set for a 10-coach consist, as per the RI prototype when it ran the rails as the PEORIA ROCKET.  A short video clip is attached.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394


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Aerotrain Flyby
Last edited by Mike H Mottler
@Pingman posted:

Astonishingly life-like little people @Hancock52; the paint and posing is remarkable.

Did you reposition heads, torsos, etc.?  IF so, how'd you do it?

Not in this project although I have in the past. The figures are from a variety of sources, including Artistta, MTH Railking and one Hong Kong supplier who has started doing S scale 3D printed figures. I know practically every seated figure the main importers offer for passenger cars and in this case was able to source 30+ individuals to populate the car. However, there is only just enough variety among figures that will actually fit inside an O scale car to make the scene realistic. All came pre-painted although faces needed touching up.

This may be my best photo:


I particularly like the way the foreground scenery blends in with the backdrop.

If my memory serves me correctly, the backdrop was painted first, on Masonite that I attached to the walls of my basement playroom. Then, the plywood board, track, foreground scenery and trees and structures came next.

Most of this was done about 25 years ago. The thought occurs to me, and I could be wrong, that little was planned, that the backdrop was painted with latex and acrylic paints (I hate turpentine) over and over again until I was satisfied with the results (I was a poor to mediocre student in elementary school art class), and the blending of the backdrop and scenery was largely an accident.

The trees are homemade using Woodland Scenics scenery materials and real branches from my yard and nearby State park. Finding symetrical branches and making the trees was a lot of fun, and my young children (now 30 something) may have helped me make them. My objective assessment of my homemade trees is they are pretty good, not great, yet satisfactory to me.

I share these thoughts, especially for those who have their doubts about their ability to make nice scenery including backdrop. Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it.

However, if you want to have great scenery, that is different IMO; I believe making great layout scenery takes a lot of knowledge, artistic talent and skill, which I definitely lack.



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Well like everyone in this thread my BEST is quite often " The Next One!"

But I reckon I have a couple that for different reasons make a "Best list"

First up a gentle reminder I am a mainly clockwork tinplate collector ... so my best might be a little simplistic or garish to scale peeps But anyway here we goooooo!

I think in terms of excellence and semi scarceness comes my two John Van Reimsdijk 4-4-4 locos ... these are controlled clockwork locomotives , where the speed can be easily set and maintained with a very clever governing system he invented ... This enables the full run of the spring at the selected speed with no great losses , based on customised Basset-Lowke motors

JVR also was involved in establishing the UK National Railway museum , and was a key contributor/partner to Aster Gauge 1 locomotives With Count Colluzzi  . During WWII his vast experience in Europe spent traveling on trains with his father stood him in good stead and he was sequestered to the Special Operatives Executive ( secret spy stuffs!) where he aided in reconnaissance and operations , but his ingenuity as an inventor saw several of his inventions used  , one was a STEAM powered radio set ! no batteries required which meant if you had paper or sticks .. you could call England! Another one close to my heart was a clockwork powered Moo-cow horn ... which was attached to supply drops where it would deploy on landing , and Mooooooo! every minute or so , so that the resistance in France etc could find the drops even in total darkness ... and on more than one occasion "Farmers" were intercepted by the odd Nazi while " Looking for ze runaway birthing cow "  which them Mooo'ed on cue and ze farmer was excused to find it  LOL!!!

Neither of these are restored and only 600 were made in 1948 , so who knows how many are still around ...

I also have a 0-6-0 JVR which is from a slightly larger production run of 1000 or so

To me these represent the pinnacle of clockwork evolution , made in a time where even though electricity was becoming dominant , one man decided that Post War there should at least be one last triumph in the world of clockwork O gauge .

Next best is ....

My little Karl Bub Sonderklasse locomotive ... its a OO/HO fellow , built in 1938 ( and yes good old Adolph messed it up for everyone , and as such it was only made that one part year )

Bing and others had already "invented" OO locomotives a decade before , but this little Bub took things to a whole new level ... It is indeed still clockwork , but the intricate mechanism allowed you to quickly set 5 different speeds with the aid of a little spanner!

And yes thats the original paperwork and spanner!

Only 13 cm long  ( 5 inches)  so much goodness in such a teeny package

This is one of the locos where I truly don't know how rare it is , I suspect due to timing not too many where made , and as to how many survived , well its the only one I have seen for sale, ever .. I was lucky enough to have grabbed it .

And my last Best ( I promise , for now anyway )

A British Bing Set ... important to note not a Bing for Britain one ... Bing prior to WWII made lots of different sets for the English market , but in 1934 Stephan Bing , son of Ignatz Bing the founder , saw the writing on the wall with the nazification of Germany and Hitler coming into power ... Many of the great toymakers of Nurnberg( Nuremburg) were Jewish , and as such their business's were soon to become forfeit , to be sold onto sympathisers and good nazi citizens. Bing ( the company) saw this happening and while the other Brothers Bing carried on as best they could Stephan fled to England ( where he would eventually found the TRIX empire) But in 1934 he was on his own and Wenman Bassett-Lowke , who became Stephans partner in Trix gave him a place to live and access to the workshops at Winteringham ... So Stephan did what he did best and made a limited run of toys to earn him an income , he produced the Bingoscope, a toy like film projector which was very popular , and a line of clockwork wooden boats .Which were advertised as Bing British , with a Double B trademark ... It is also evident he made a few train sets as well ... these are pretty rare , I only know of one or two other sets , one owned by Michael D Foster ( the guru) , and this one I have ...

( there could well be more about , I have seen one or two carriages and ONE boxed set  in others collections but as to complete sets  not many baby! )


Who knows the depth of this Hobby? We all have a little niche of what we think is "cool" and I tip my hat to you for your collection of clockwork trains.  When you think of the era, all four of your "besties" are remarkable.

The controlled speed John Van Reimsdijk 4-4-4 locos and the Karl Bub Sonderklasse locomotive are beautiful pieces.  I am sure finding these units is the epitome of success.  Congrats!

@Fatman - What a collection, the pieces you showed are almost beyond "rare".  The stories of Bing and others who withstood the evil of Hitler are truly uplifting and the fact that Stephan Bing helped found TRIX was unknown to me and very pleasant to learn.

@Robert S. Butler- A great picture of the Aerotrain set in marvelous scenery.  In addition Robert, I received the October 2022 (Vol 68, No.4) issue of "The Train Collector's Quarterly" the other day and noted that another of your pictures made the cover.  Congratulations on really superior work and thanks for all you do for the hobby.

Best Regards


95D62292-AAFD-41F6-8D96-67F567D94F818DE56F55-ADB2-4215-A612-830C348CCAF62B5B0B34-E337-43F6-B51B-6DCEE86AA094A62E0D6F-EB80-4A70-A90C-E8D6B120480FCF682B06-A5BE-4AA6-AC73-37EF2E908DAAThus far, these are my best and they would fall into a “best redecorate” subcategory.  If practice makes perfect, then these fourth and fifth attempts at recreating QA&P boxcars is getting me closer.

As stated in a recent WORKBENCH post regarding these cars; in the past I have created a lot of fantasy or ‘what if’ QA&P cars in various paint schemes (it’s tons of fun for me), but these boxcars in this post actually ran in revenue service. The boxcar itself may not be exact, but the paint and lettering are.  
Closing thought: these two cars are not heavily weathered to cover up the idiotic mistakes I made.  The simulated black soot of a steam locomotive simply highlights the wonderful detail of these Lionel cars.


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Last edited by Rob Leese
@Tom M posted:


This is my best train, because everything except the flatcar is custom work done by me and a close friend. 100s of hours of work have culminated in this unique O-gauge train set.

@Tom M

Tom, did you start a thread about building this train? I would enjoy knowing more detail and more pictures would let us see your work better.

Is it operational? Conventional or Command controls? Is it a rendition of a specific RR company?

Congrats on your effort in building this.


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