If you subscribe to the S gaugian you saw in the latest issue an article by Roundhouse Bill about his self made Royal Blue Passenger set. I was really surprised to see that article as I too had been working on just such a set since early April of this year.
The cars are re-purposed pre-war AF passenger cars (3/16 scale) and are made of metal. They were made around 1940-1941 I think and they were O gauge cars.
After the war AF re-released the Royal Blue set in S gauge but never produced blue painted passenger cars to go with the S gauge 350 Royal Blue Pacific loco.
I always wanted some matching passenger cars for my 350 engine from set 48T.
So I made my own.
I acquired enough O gauge passenger cars in a variety of colors, dis-assembled them, stripped all the paint off (soaking them in straight ammonia makes the old paint fall right off and doesn't hurt the metal), primed them, and finish painted them in a nearly perfect rattle-can Royal Blue color straight off the shelves of Walmart.
The window trims were painted white where they occurred.
The O gauge cars used were:
494-- one baggage
495-- three coaches and one diner
496-- two Pullman cars
497-- one pullman observation
I did a little research on the prototype Royal Blue train and found out that the original 1937 heavyweight car sets contained 8 cars each.
So I made my set 8 cars.
The numbers I used are actual numbers used on the 1937 sets although maybe never in the same train.
Then I got a little creative just because I could.
I always like "named cars" so I created my own names for the cars. They all had to start with "Blue".
I also added the name "Pullman" to every car...again maybe far from real but hey...it's my train!
I also added constant voltage LED lighting to every car. That took a little doin' as the cars are all metal and great care had to be taken to insulate the + and - from each other.
I used: (per car)
One rectifier to change the AC to DC,
One 1000 uF capacitor to prevent "flicker" of the lights on dirty track,
One voltage regulator to deliver a constant 9 volts to the lights so they don't heat up at higher track voltages,
One length of LED light strips to fit the car length,
One 2-wire plug/socket disconnect so the shells could be detached from the chassis if needed.
I had to re-truck every car with S gauge trucks. I used all sintered iron side frame trucks as I like the added thickness and detail they show. Wheelsets were all 1 metal and 1 plastic wheel per axle for electrical pick-up.
I have yet to decide if I want to paint the side frames silver or not.
The best part is I bought the decals from our own forum sponsor LBR Enterprises LLC!
Dave at LBR is very helpful and helped me design just the look I wanted for the decals.
It's not easy to get custom made decals in WHITE but Dave can do it.
Contact him if you want any custom decals made.
I currently am using an AF B&O Mikado (TMCC) to pull the set and it looks and runs great. My original Royal Blue 350 has link couplers and can't be attached to the set which is all knuckle coupler.
Maybe someday I'll cobble together another 350 with TMCC innards and knuckle couplers.
I finished all the cars with "FUTURE" floor wax to give them an extremely high gloss shine.
So without further fanfare here's my fantasy Royal Blue Passenger set.
(I like to imagine I'm the guy standing on the Observation platform waving to all those unlucky pedestrians..)