This is new ground for me, but I'm sure it's old ground for many of you, and I'm hoping for some suggestions and guidance.  

I have a few junker standard gauge passenger cars of various types (mostly shorter ones); I want to repaint one and convert it into an interurban.  This would be a fantasy piece - no need for prototype fidelity in any fashion.  I've done basic train repairs, my soldering skills are mediocre, and I've had little practice with an airbrush.  Here are some thoughts and questions:

1.  Buy an airbrush, or use spray paint?  Leaning toward spray paint (I can always do it over!) - suggestions regarding brands / types?  Thoughts re an airbrush?

2.  Lettering - suggested source for decals?  Location of a good tutorial on printing your own custom decals?

3.  Headlight and pantographs - sources for parts and suggestions for mounting?

4.  Trucks - What kind work best, considering that one of them must be powered?  What's a fair price to pay for a powered truck?  Can a motor be mounted on an existing non-powered truck?

5.  The big one - what have I not thought about?

Thanks in advance for help and suggestions.


Original Post

I would use a 337 type passenger car as a start, they are common and cheap $20-30 as is.

A re-gauged marx motor is also very cheap, but McCoy, MTH, Williams and others have made Standard Gauge Traction motors in the past.

G gauge parts are close enough to Standard Size to work for Headlights and Pantographs.

Dry transfer lettering is still made, you just have to do one letter at a time.

I would strip all the old paint, repair any bad solder joints, prime with a spray can primer from HD.

Finish paint with a bright color spray paint from HD.

Remember this a fun hobby not a paid job.

When it becomes work, STOP.


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Well now, you are a man after my own heart . I made a M.U. set a few years ago using 339s  that I too picked up cheap.  I used a large pantagraph  found ay the YORK TCA show and I bought a MTH trolley motor for the front power source . I have to say I am very disappointed in the power truck and am seeking other methods to create my own . I also made my own catenary system so it would run off of it . It ran great up to the point that it didn't.  The motor basically has little to no power left in it .   If you google :  Standard gauge trolley/MU set on youtube , you should find my videos of it running under the live catenary .  I have about 12 videos on my channel ,  there  you will find  a few videos of my test circle and  my 4x12 layout .  I hope by looking at them helps you out .  All of my stuff was painted with spray cans from the Big and little hardware stores  and that goes for my catenary system as well . IMG_3847IMG_3846IMG_3843IMG_3842IMG_3841IMG_3839IMG_0836 


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I wish I had a  powered 300 series truck , instead I used the power truck from a MTH trolley . The #10 trucks are big , so big that I had to remove the air tanks from both cars , the wheels would scrape up against them . I'm always looking for standard gauge power trucks at all the shows I attend .  I'm also starting to build my own out of frustration .  Building prototypes  are time consuming and expensive  . 

G power trucks will work.  Just need to drill out gear and press in longer axle. And add a bridge rectifier.  And center pick up. Lgb. Usa. I guess MTH.  I know lgb uses a double worm as does usa. For the diesels. Steamers might be the same.


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