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While I like the 3rd rail 2-10-4 Texas, past experiences have convinced me I really prefer how well MTH things just run awesome and  are tolerant to track imperfections.

While I know this won’t be perfect, I would like to update the MTH model I recently purchased to be closer to the prototype.  Not sure when I will start this project, but I am in the planning phases now.

Picture below is how it looks today.

I plan to move the class lights from the front of boiler to the  sides, similar to the picture  below where I did the same with my MTH northern from the mid 90s.  IMG_2230

The number boards look a little crooked and not sure how best to straight them out, if I knew they were brass for sure, I would just bend them. I am really having trouble finding a picture to verify they are brass.

I would really like to upgrade the smoke stack to not be the extendable one, but more like the Lionel one with the flip top.  Not sure how to get this stack out or maybe just cut it off and and attach  a new one.  Any one attempted this before?  Lionel doesn’t list this stack part on their site under the Texas.  I was also thinking a smaller headlight closer to third rails would be cool.  Not sure where to source the stack or the headlight.


Images (2)
  • IMG_2230
  • IMG_9405
Last edited by Hump Yard Mike
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For the 5011 class the number boards are in the correct location. They are made of brass and can be gently bent back into shape. No one makes a flip top stack for these. I had @harmonyards turn down brass stock to make one for me, but it was quite a project. You could model the 5011 class early in life where they just had a straight non-flip stack and it would look better than the stock MTH stack. Stock stack can be driven out with a punch from inside the boiler, just be careful. Boiler front should be gray/graphite as well.

Thanks for replies guys.  

It sounds like I need to locate a stack.  This could be adventure, I think a generic one could be available from Precision Scale?

It seems like graphite/oil mix color should be for any part of the boiler not covered by asbestos and metal sheathing, including the stack itself because of the heat, does that sound right.

I have seen a lot of different  colors for the graphite/oil color on the models.  Ruling out Lionel’s color issues where it almost looks white at times, any ideas why this might vary so much?  I assume there must be some variations in real life as well driving this color variation (oil color?).

If you're not dead set on a flip stack (which not even Precision Scale makes) you can just use a straight stack. The short one Lionel includes with their ATSF Northern or Texas would be appropriate for an as delivered 5011 class. Flip stack wasn't added till ~1946.

Stack and boiler front should be graphite (ATSF called it tarpon gray). You'll want a darker gray shade. The shade Lionel used on its release of the former MTH 5011 class Texas and 2900 class Northerns (minus the 2926 restoration version) is pretty much the correct shade of graphite/dark gray you're looking for.

Thanks Lou and Pat,

I think am going to try to print the flip top stack first using a resin printer. If that doesn’t work out, maybe I can ask for your help Pat…

Our local Library has a resin printer that is free for use, but it has been a hot minute since I used Fusion 360 to build a model.  The last (and only) project I used the model software was for the 9B switch electric lock project i posted on a couple of years ago.

If it works out I will try to post the file here.  If not, maybe I can ask for some help.



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