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While I was finding a home for my new postwar Marx set, I decided to take down my other two clockwork Marxies and give them a spin on the layout while the mainline was clear.

First I brought out one of my favorite Marx trains in my collection, a handsome prewar set that I picked up on everybody's favorite auction site last year. It has a matching set of silver litho framed passenger cars with riveted tab and slot couplers.

Early Marx Reverisble Commodore Set with Silver Litho Frame TSC

The locomotive has diecast wheels, a screw-in key and the bent-over start lever indicating a reversible mechanism. I believe that this is a fairly early set from the mid 30s (1935-1938) since the locomotive and cars both have some peculiar features such as three steam domes and round frames.

Closeup of the Vanderbilt with Reversible Clockwork Motor

Here's an elevated view that shows off the cars a little better. I have two Montclairs and one Bogota-- I'm not sure if the earlier passenger sets came with observation cars, but my set doesn't seem to have one.

Elevated view of early prewar Marx windup set

Here's a video of this lovely silvery set running around my layout-- it runs just as nice as it looks!

And of course, we have to demonstrate that reversible motor too, don't we? I only wound it up partway since the set tends to pick my Fastrack switches and derail when running backwards at full speed.

Here is a more humble offering. Not a real set but a convenient assortment of cars that I often run together. I've had the cars and Pennsy tender for almost fifteen years, they were some of the first O Gauge trains that I bought when I started out in this wonderful hobby. I bought the engine at one of the antique shops in Putnam last year. I was planning on using it for parts but I realized that it could navigate the switches on my layout. I had so much fun sending the little critter scurrying around the mainline that I started dabbling in clockwork for my collection!

Rag Tag Set with common clockwork CV and Pennsy tender

Here's a closeup of the locomotive. The Marx Commodore Vanderbilt must be the most common windup train in the United States, but thankfully it's quite a good looking little streamliner. It has stamped metal wheels, two domes and the typical Marx clockwork motor with ringing bell.

Lots of miles on this little locomotive, but still runs like a train!

Despite being rusty and battered, the whole train still runs like a rabbit. Check it out!

I have a pair of Hafner sets as well, I might put them out on the track next. Tinplate is very addictive you know!

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  • Early Marx Reverisble Commodore Set with Silver Litho Frame TSC
  • Closeup of the Vanderbilt with Reversible Clockwork Motor
  • Rag Tag Set with common clockwork CV and Pennsy tender
  • Lots of miles on this little locomotive, but still runs like a train!
  • Elevated view of early prewar Marx windup set
@Fatman posted:

The drought at Musée de Fatbloke came to an end recently which also signalled a new beginning for me ... In my hunt for all things wonderful to me I have always drawn the line at "No Plastic" ( lol ) but in order to finally get my hands on  a Marx setup I have always liked, that unwritten rule had to be bent ... although Marx etc is very common to you fellows in the States , outside the U.S.A. its actually hard to find sometimes , but luckily I came across the following set at a very FatFellow friendly pricing along with local shipping to boot ...

A sight familiar to almost everyone here I would think ...

But inside lurked a set I have wanted for a long time ( loco-wise anyway)

And yes ( shudder...) Plastic 8-wheel wagons ... but look at that glorious Monon A & B !!!

           

Hasnt seen a lot of track time either by the looks ..

So while its a very common piece over in the USA , I am pretty stoked to have found it here in such good nick ( even with the plastic )

But....

I realise it just wouldn't be me if I didn't post something hopefully exotic lol ... Sooooo in other news this week , I also managed to pick up a little bit of French history in the form of a rather sun faded , but otherwise nice condition  Martinan & Larnaude ML180 toy locomotive ... A quick bit of research so far shows me only one other example in an auction listing grouped with several other trains on a European catawiki sale,  Apparently Martinan & Larnaude started C1920 and produced until the mid to late 30's , Mainly cars trucks and planes , but obviously also at least one locomotive .. they were interrupted by the war then at some point resurfaced ( possibly in name only? ) to produce many tinplate toys in the 50's-60's on ?

Apart from that one auction reference I can find no other info ( yet) about this well made floor train, it looks to have wheels similar to those types found on cars of the time which ran on litho tracks , so maybe there was also a circle or oval supplied ( all that is pure conjecture tho)

( Might need some intervention from @FRENCHTRAINS here?)

Only the second ML Fabrication item I have seen in my days of hoarding. Here is the 1st one.



ml fabrication nord 8256 w tender 8.91

They look strikingly like the Memo locos

memo 502 35.55 BINmemo 602 loco 185.00 BINmemo 802 loco 28.51 BINmemo 702 loco 15.51 lost

This ML race car is pretty neat too.

ML 7-inch race car 164.50

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  • memo 602 loco 185.00 BIN
  • memo 802 loco 28.51 BIN

I took down my two Hafner sets down from the top shelf and got them ready for some track time! First, my prewar Hafner 1010 streamlined steam engine with its questionably-period menagerie of cars. I think that the engine, tender and gondola are from the same set since they have similar wear, but the caboose is probably from some other set.

Prewar Hafner

I bought this along with a box of assorted Hafner on a whim a few years ago. I couldn't get it to run at all until I figured out the secret to success with clockworks-- heavy-handed lubrication of every axle and gear on the whole train!

Prewar Hafner on the main table

This engine runs a little stiff, but it does still run!

I also have this neat postwar Hafner set. This is one of the few vintage sets that I own with an original box lid. I don't really care much for train paper but I do like box art when it's something worth looking at.

Postwar Hafner set with box lid

This set is headed up by a Hafner 2000 locomotive in an interesting black and red livery. I read a TCA website with a page on Hafner trains a while back that suggested that these engines were primarily made in the immediate postwar period, just before the Wyandotte buyout in the early 1950s.

Postwar Hafner locomotive

The set included this neat ATSF boxcar with a clever slide-open door. This is one of my favorite Hafner cars, it's really nicely made with some nice lithography. It had a mysterious rattle when I first picked it up, and after some effort I extracted this mysterious wooden block from inside of it. I would like to think that Hafner included some little wooden blocks to tuck into their boxcars, but more likely this is some unrelated toy that a curious kid inserted into the doors many years ago. Anyone else seen these blocks before?

Hafner SF Boxcar with mystery block

I wound up this set and started it off on the layout. Unfortunately, this engine has a questionable regulator and the bell clapper tends to catch on the Fastrack switches when moving at speed. By the time I remembered this I witnessed the most horrible sight imaginable in the train room: a locomotive plunging to the floor! Thankfully the strategically placed thick carpets protected the lightweight 70-year-old engine from any noticeable harm.

The horror, the horror!

I've been slowly constructing a little layout to run my fat-wheeled Marx and prewar Flyer on. I call it the Lower Deck since, quite naturally, it is tucked underneath my "main" layout. I set the speedy Hafner up down there and cut it loose for a whirl. You can hear the bell clapper striking on some of the track switches as it spins around.

Hope you all have a nice weekend and don't be like my Hafner #2000, keep them all on the rails!

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  • Prewar Hafner on the main table
  • Prewar Hafner
  • Postwar Hafner set with box lid
  • Postwar Hafner locomotive
  • Hafner SF Boxcar with mystery block
  • The horror, the horror!

I have always had a great interest in high voltage trains and box cab locos, so when I had the opportunity to buy this lovely MARKLIN in gauge One, I jump on it. Pictured with a French Marklin catalog from 1926. And as always, or near..., with Marklin, it runs very well.

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Have a nice weekend, a nice York show for those who attend,  Daniel

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Beautiful find Daniel ! @FRENCHTRAINS

Remarkable condition for its age and just lovely!

This week all I can add is the result of a wonderful young fellow up in Queensland who started off by saying he might have a tender for a Mettoy A4 loco I already have ... and well , you know how it goes ......

Soooo eventually I managed to sweeten the pot with a little Robilt ( Australian ) 0-4-0 , which came with a rather rare brass double bogie tender ( needs wheels for one bogie)  along with a little Marx electric mech, and a Mettoy passenger coach for the A4 as well

The Robilt , as many are , is a very much a roughie! but its the green version which is not too common ...

Even Mongrels need a loving home

( thanks Peter ! )

Hello everyone, I am just catching up with the postings as I have been absent for about 3 weeks on vacation.  Trainguy Ken- some neat Hafner sets, I also have some and I agree with your comment, the 1010 loco was first produced in 1938 but the 2000 loco dates from just before Hafner sold out to All Metal Products (Wyandotte) in about '51. Glad to see you run them.  Frenchtrains (Daniel) that Marklin gauge 1 loco is in amazing condition, what a find!! Fatman - loved the Robilt although the tender looks more robust with its brass bogies than does the engine (LOL).

My find today is a little more mundane in that it only represents a single car.  However this one configuration somewhat unusual and for the 800/2800 series was only produced for 2 years (some sources say only 1).  It is the 2812X (as catalogued) gondola...although the catalog # is 2812X the car only carries 2812.  The differences are in the coupler and truck mounting.  This is one of the cars that Lionel configured to lower the coupler height (for more realism?).  It came painted in only this bright orange color with white stamped lettering and had automatic box couplers with a simulated knuckle on the top of the box.  The trucks were moved (in comparison to the prior 2812) closer to the ends of the car and the frame carried two depressions or disc's where the trucks were mounted.  This distinctive coupler height and truck placement differentiate this car and some other late production cars from the earlier members of the series.

Here is a side view showing the lettering scheme, note all rubber stamped and no "plates".  The car 's trucks are quite close to the ends of the frame.

Lionel 2812X Gon side

In a close up of the brake wheel end you can see the car number underscored and the date overscored.  Again best information is that these low coupler cars were only made in '41 and '42 ( and of course production of all toy trains stopped in '42) This picture also shows how close to the frame ends the trucks were mounted.

Lionel 2812X Gon end

Finally an end view shows the "simulated knuckle" on top of the coupler box and at the other end you can see the "depression" or "disc" punched into the underframe to mount the trucks.  This depression allowed the couplers to be low while keeping the body of the car at about the same previous height in order to match up with earlier cars.  

Lionel 2812X Gon inside-brake wheel view

Well that's my contribution this week.  Best wishes to all.

Don

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Love your posts and research @Don McErlean

Well a little more bottom feeding from the master catfish today ( lol )

( It has been said I have very long pockets and very short arms )

Just for fun and giggles , and because it was there and I have always wanted one .... a Little Wagner Walking Bear , sold under the Max Carl label in the early 1950's... He would look awesome in a big freight car lol

And coming via Dutchboy is what we think is a Charles Rossignol ( CR France) Train de Plancher  ( floot train )

Unsure as to dating , as it is very simple, so obviously low end, my gut is telling me 30's but could quite possibly be a simple post war offering as well ?

Also via Dutchboy is a wonderful Erno crane car .. Erno was a Swiss company that arose after WWII to fill the gap in toys with the new found prosperity after the war and broken supply lines because of it ... In Many countries after the war this happened , even all the way over here in Australia . It is very much an indicator in just how big the influence the German and Western European countries had in providing the hub of toy manufacturing in the early half of last century.

Erno started in 1945 but after only 4 years was struggling and it was bought out by Buco ...

Last in the bargain box was via a new friend up in Brisbane who passed yet another little "Sakai/Daikin" B&O set to me .... this was a bigger set than the others I have and included the stop rail ( which is the main reason I grabbed it )

Not O , but "S" gauge

Very ratty box lid !

But such treasures underneath!

Here are my finds from York...

First up is a trio of Robilt cars - in great shape with original boxes.  The wheels show little if any wear.  I know very little about these, but since they're Australian maybe @Fatman can chime in.  I gave $20 each - no idea if that was good or not.

IMG_1959IMG_1960

Next is a Kibri crossing.  Probably been repainted, but it's a nice job and I only gave $15 for it.  Based on some searching, it might be item #2210; unfortunately, I can only locate thumbnail-sized pictures.  Seeking information regarding what the missing item looked like (possibly a guard shack) so I can fabricate a facsimile.  Any help is appreciated.

IMG_1949

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Hey Fatman & Don:

Saw your post and just had to "chime in".

Buco forever!!!   Best 3 rail tinplate in the world!!!!

And still going strong some 70 years on.....here is a link to the Buco company in Switzerland that continues to manufacture pure tinplate Buco loco's, passenger cars, and rolling stock.  https://buco-gmbh.ch/

I have also attached photos of some of my own personal "Buco creations" I have made using original Buco tinplate wagons and passenger cars, cutting them, and joining two together, to make a longer bogie wheeled car or wagon. These are the wagons Buco never made, but should have!!!

I have also turned one of the original bogie wheeled passenger carriage into a motorized "rail car". I used the original Buco body and chassis, removed both end access compartments off, added  the standard Buco clockwork loco front and rear panels, installed LED headlights to both ends, and powered the whole thing using two diesel MTH motors, pick-ups and wheel trucks. Added an electronic E-unit board and bridge rectifier from JV Digital Engineering, and away it goes in forward or reverse.....smooth as silk!!!

My latest project.....taking the original Buco "drop-link" couplers off, and installing "Kadee" couplers.

Only done the conversion to a couple of selected loco's and some rolling stock at this stage.....don't want to "dilute the breed". They work at treat, look awesome, and I don't have to have "the hand of God" couple or uncouple my trains any more.

Hope you enjoy my tinplate fantasies.....stay well, and keep safe. Our Premier in Queensland has indicated we can "leave home" and come back again without any hotel quarantining come December 17, so look out Fatman, we will be on the move south, and you are on our radar!!!

Peter.....(Buco Australia) on the fabulous Gold Coast in sunny Queensland, Australia.

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                                                       Ampol - just for us Aussies!!!

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@Mallard4468  ... Major score on the Robilt !  @ 20US per ... you could probably buy one end flap off the boxes !

Listed here on ePay or similar you would make a considerable profit!

The most common is the plain wagon "Open Truck" and mint in box you are probably talking a min of $150AUD

The Brake Van would be higher than that

and the Peters Ice Cream is considered the MOST collectible of the commoner 4 wheel variants  and I couldnt put a valid price on it, as I haven't seen a NIB example sell in a looong time ...  but conservatively its well into three figures . Even ratty examples ( and I mean RATTY !!!) sell for $100+

Most Robilt was painted with regular paint and had no real primer coat , so they tended to chip and flake easily ... most pristine examples are repaints , but yours having the boxes amply demonstrates this is not the case ....I would hate to think of undervaluing it so lets just say ...you have tenfolded your investment in the open wagon and brake vans ... and in reality only the market on the day will determine the end point of the Peters wagon

What you have are truly Museum Quality examples   if I made that score I think I could safely say I had used up all my collectors karma at once and would never find a cheap loco again .

Probably also important to say that is LOCAL value here ...where there is a strong collector base for Robilt .... in the USA or many other countries they would never have been heard of , and consequently vastly undervalued ... which is why you got them for $20 each lol ... so resale in the US who knows ? but here in Aussie... you have the cream of the crop once in a lifetime find .

(oh and Buco .. I live in the arse end of nowhere lol .. but if you wanted to meet socially for a lunch or summat in a bigger locale say , we could probably do that )

@Fatman posted:

@Mallard4468  ... Major score on the Robilt !  @ 20US per ... you could probably buy one end flap off the boxes !

Listed here on ePay or similar you would make a considerable profit!

The most common is the plain wagon "Open Truck" and mint in box you are probably talking a min of $150AUD

The Brake Van would be higher than that

and the Peters Ice Cream is considered the MOST collectible of the commoner 4 wheel variants  and I couldnt put a valid price on it, as I haven't seen a NIB example sell in a looong time ...  but conservatively its well into three figures . Even ratty examples ( and I mean RATTY !!!) sell for $100+

Most Robilt was painted with regular paint and had no real primer coat , so they tended to chip and flake easily ... most pristine examples are repaints , but yours having the boxes amply demonstrates this is not the case ....I would hate to think of undervaluing it so lets just say ...you have tenfolded your investment in the open wagon and brake vans ... and in reality only the market on the day will determine the end point of the Peters wagon

What you have are truly Museum Quality examples   if I made that score I think I could safely say I had used up all my collectors karma at once and would never find a cheap loco again .

Probably also important to say that is LOCAL value here ...where there is a strong collector base for Robilt .... in the USA or many other countries they would never have been heard of , and consequently vastly undervalued ... which is why you got them for $20 each lol ... so resale in the US who knows ? but here in Aussie... you have the cream of the crop once in a lifetime find .

(oh and Buco .. I live in the arse end of nowhere lol .. but if you wanted to meet socially for a lunch or summat in a bigger locale say , we could probably do that )

Wow - thanks for the info.  My luck is usually the opposite.  This was a situation where both buyer and seller were uninformed.  And considering that the seller was happy with $20 each, he probably gave almost nothing when he picked them up - he told me that they were just "throw-ins" when he bought a collection.

As you mentioned regarding paint, the brake van has a couple of chips on the roof - can see the bare metal underneath.

While I'm thrilled about the value, I bought them because of the condition and I thought they looked cool.  They will be displayed and they aren't going anywhere for a long time.

Just returned from an antique show  with a new train.  It is a French model from LR and was offered in a homemade wooden box, certainly by the previous owner.

Interesting model as it dates from the 1940's time area.  The automatic couplers where introduced in 1938 at the same time that the new SNCF company emerged from the fusion of private railways in France.  Not a common find as trains where not produced in general during the second world war. The loco is interesting also as it is a 20v DC motor and it can be reversed from the transformer, a characteristic of LR trains was to be always a precursor in many toy technology.

The passenger cars are also equipped with diaphragms, really uncommon in France as only Hornby has offered that option some years before. The baggage car is equipped with a red lantern which is broken and needs to be repaired. Some general cleaning will be done later also.

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Have a nice weekend, Daniel

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Well Tinplate fans, like Daniel, I just unpacked  something new today.  Not all that rare but a car that I did not have in my collection.  It is a variant of the Lionel #809 manual Dump Car.  This one from 1932 with all Ni trim and a green heat stamped bin.  This date is about 2 years later than the more common orange bin version.  He was a busy car, came in one color or the other (orange or green) in 6 sets or outfits from 1932-1941 with 5 different engines (262,259E,289E,259,and 204). Note there are two versions of the green bin, one like this one from 1932 and one from 1939.  The difference, which you can't see in this picture is that this one has the early "thick" axles and the 1939 version has "thin" axles.

Here he is with his green bin stamped with identifying information.  The stamping is only on one side the other side is blank.  This is the second version or "5-line" version of the stamping. The first version only had 4 lines, leaving off..."in the U.S.of America".  The frame, unlike other cars of this series, has no markings nor does it have an "oil label".

Lionel 809 Dump side view

Here is an end view, showing the dumping mechanism along with the locking lever that kept the bin from dumping while in motion.  All trim including brake wheel and stanchion are Ni .

Lionel 809 Dump end view

Here is a view of the inside of the bin.

Lionel 809 Dump bin view

Well folks, again Happy Halloween and best wishes for a good week to all.

Don

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Don @Don McErlean thanks for the post. I just learnt something new. My TCA standard of the world book doesn’t detail the information about the 4 or 5 line stamping. I have the copper journal box series and an orange 809 dump with 4 lines. I need the 805 box car to complete my series, of one of each car offering. I usually don’t try to get each variation. However, I may have to add a green 5 line to my lookout list. Would that 5 line version been available with the copper journal?

BAE40FFB-1C7E-4EFA-ACF9-2F207071CC2A  

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Heh Heh ! I think looking at his other auctions that was a wrong decimal place effort ! $24.99 or else I want whatever he is having !

I only have one new find this week .. picked up in Denmark , and advertised as "Made In Denmark" but I suspect it is a Karl Bub from around the late 30's ... Interestingly though it DOES have a taller funnel than usual ( I think) which incorporates the Danish Rail colours , and there is NO "Bub" on the front boiler footplate nor on the cab sides ... So is this a "remodelled" Bub with the introduction of Danish identity in its early history, or could it possibly have been an import order from a Danish importer from Bub ?... I think only time has the answer to this and we are left wondering ...

A very cheaply made non-reversing motor , and yet the higher class polished wheels , no handrails yet provision for them ... an interesting beastie made to a price point

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@Don McErlean I seem to have the same version I picked up on Ebay last year for $29. But I am not sure if it has the thick or thin axles. I assumed it was from 1939-41, because that is how I interpret the text in the TCA book:

"DUMP, 4-Wh. 1931-34.

orange-RS

medium green-RS (uncat.-circa 1939-41) "

I read that as the green are all from the later period, but that is not correct? Like @Rich Wiemann,  I'm surprised the book doesn't go into more detail and differentiate the 4 and 5 line stamp.

Anyway, a charming little car and it carries and dumps candy on my Christmas  layout.

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Will: That seems the same version as mine in so far as the trim and stamping is concerned.  My reference that I used is Greenberg's Guide to Lionel Trains, 1901-1942: Volume II, edited by Christian F. Rohlfing.  This is dated 1988 and is a revised edition of Volume I.  It lists two versions of the "green" dump with Ni Trim.  1932 with thick axles, a frame with two 3/16" dia holes punched in the frame about 1/2" behind the coupler for no apparent reason (for this car).  It then lists 1939 version, with a frame not having the holes punched behind the couplers and "thin" axles.  I can't find the data at the moment to tell you the dia of the thick/thin axles but I can tell you that if you hold two cars together and compare, the thick axles are obvious.

Thanks for your comment.  I agree, this makes a dandy little "candy carrier" for a Holiday layout.

Best Wishes

Don

  My reference that I used is Greenberg's Guide to Lionel Trains, 1901-1942: Volume II, edited by Christian F. Rohlfing.  This is dated 1988 and is a revised edition of Volume I.

Don thanks for this reminder. I tend to just default to my TCA Standard of the World book. And I neglect to look at my Greenberg’s Guide. Yes, this has a whole lot more information such as 8 different variations discussed. I will have to leave this book on top of my bookcase rather than in it. LOL

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