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PAT44 posted:

Joe A: nice job on the atlas car. Those cars were very popular in the 80's/90's. Details are impressive even by today's standard. 

Thanks, Pat!  I agree with your statement about these “old” cars.  I tend to snap them up when I find them in roadnames/paint schemes that I like...and usually don’t pay much for them.  

Although there’s some work involved in replacing the original plastic trucks & couplers (mainly plugging those large bolster holes!), I’ve done enough cars to have established a routine...I sort of have the process down now!

Last edited by CNJ #1601
PAT44 posted:

Atlas catalog from the early 70's

Cars were $7 ...  the equivalent of $42 today

Original trucks were good for 2-rail and tubular 3-rail tracks.

The big coupler was "claw compatible"




That is very cool, Pat...thanks for posting it!  I’ve converted and detailed several of the 52’ gons in addition to the boxcars.  And AtlasO is still offering all these models today in their Trainman line.  I’d say they’ve gotten their money’s worth out of this old tooling!

Dave Funk posted:

Beautiful job on the switcher!!

Where did you get the decals for it?

Did you add the brass stair treads? They really spruce it up.


Thanks, Dave

I was able to find the decals at a swap meet. They are Microscale.  I chose to use the sans serif style lettering and early numbering to date the engine somewhere around 1942.

The tread plate was another swap meet find....3 large sheets of etched brass of a few different tread patterns plus various  builders plates.  From the straight strips of tread I cut portions to fit.


Last edited by brwebster

Just finished 3RS’ing a Lionel PS-1 40’ boxcar.  Up until now I’ve only added Kadees to Weaver and Atlas cars...this was my first Lionel scale car.  Mario’s shims (ordered from Shapeways) made the job very easy...thanks, Mario!  Of course I couldn’t stop with the couplers: it was just begging to be weathered!   Here are some cell phone shots of the finished car.  Thanks for looking!









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Last edited by CNJ #1601

Just finished 3RS’ing another Lionel PS-1 40’ boxcar.  This time it was an uncataloged Rutland car produced by Lionel for the 2008 TCA convention in Burlington, VT.  Like the Erie PS-1 boxcar above, Mario’s shims (from Shapeways) made adding Kadees a breeze...and like the Erie car, I couldn’t stop with only swapping out the claws for scale couplers: this car also got the full weathering treatment inside and out.  Here are some cell phone shots of both the "before" and "after".  Thanks for looking!

Before-right out of the box...IMG_3356


After Kadees and weathering...IMG_3385








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Last edited by CNJ #1601
Dave_C posted:

 Joe, really nice job on the Rutland car. Can you comment on the chalk marks. Nice detail touch that really adds to the look of the car.  I've done a couple of cars with some Clover House dry transfers. Are these commercial products your using or are you doing these free hand ?

Thanks, Dave!  I make the chalk marks free hand with a combination of white or light gray colored pencils sharpened to a fine point.

Here’s my latest 3RS conversion. My wife and I made the trip to Cass and afterwards I decided I needed to add a Shay to my steam roster. I was able to snag this very clean Proto1 piece at a super low price and upgrade it to PS3. Definitely a difficult task as there is very little room inside the shell for the new harness.


I scratchbuilt the coupler box mounts and installed Kadee’s. 


I added a handmade spark arrestor into the stack. This really makes the smoke bellow from the stack.


I also painted the window frames and the Shay nameplate and installed glass in all the windows. 


Added an Arttista fireman and painted the interior green. I still need to figure out how to mount the new engineer. Then add whistle and bell cords. 


Once I get the courage I’d like to weather it. I’ve never done a steamer so I’m a bit hesitant. 


Here’s a clip of her running


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