What Have You 3-Rail Scaled Lately?? Please Contribute to this Thread!!

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!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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"

 

catalog

Pat 

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!

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

AHM is another source of cheap rolling stock for 3RS.  The flat car is my favorite.AHM

Here is a picture of my vintage AHM gondola with Athearn trucks. You can use Lionel or Atlas standard 3-rail wheelset on these trucks. 

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Patrick Jean

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From the opposite end of the spectrum, this old All Nation 2R NW2 got a few detail tweaks and a set of pickups.  After paint, glazing, decals, and an old QSI sound board, she's sailing the rails ( 3 of them1 ) once more.

Bruce

Completely designed with your mind in mind.

As a youth, I would pass the All Nation Hobby Shop on my way to Northwestern Station and my ride home from a summer job.  Passing the window filled with glittering objects I could never afford reawakened my love of "Lionel" and here I am, 50 years later, happily fooling around with "Lionel" trains.  God is good. 

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

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.

Dave 

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.

Bruce

Completely designed with your mind in mind.

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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Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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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!

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After Kadees and weathering...IMG_3385

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Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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 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 ?

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.

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

Thanks, Ron.  Painting & weathering the inside of the doors is probably an unnecessary extra step, but I’ve really enjoyed trying different techniques...and I think it looks kind of cool!

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Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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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.

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

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

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

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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. 

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

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Here’s a clip of her running

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The latest car to come out of the “3RS shop” is another “old” Atlas (pre-AtlasO Trainman) car from Bev-Bel...this time a 40’ Lehigh Valley boxcar.  I really like these old Atlas cars in case you haven’t already figured that out!

It received my typical "upgrade" treatment: wire grab irons & metal stirrup steps to replace some of the molded-in plastic ones, Weaver die-cast trucks, extra weighting to improve tracking, interior painting, interior and exterior weathering...and Kadee couplers of course!

Here are some chronological photos of the entire process taken with my iPhone...

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Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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I have 3RS'd my Weaver cars since they are the easiest to convert. Most of them came with plastic truck & couplers and I bought die-cast trucks/couplers at train shows before they went out of business.

I switch out the trucks and take a flush-cutting nipper to the plastic coupler on the stem where it attaches to the body bolster. The little pad that is left keeps the oversized-flanged  wheels from rubbing on the bottom of the floor.  They can still couple to my 3 rail engines and cars with the large coupler.  Most times I used Kadee #805's since I like the fact that they're metal and won't break like plastic would in a long, heavy consist.

I also put Kadee's on my Atlas trainman 60 foot passenger cars because I had a hard time keeping them coupled and preventing the thumbtack from shorting out on the center rail.

Very nice work on that ACL GP35, Ben!  Looking forward to seeing the finished model after you add the pilot safety stripes and m.u. hoses.

The latest item to exit my "3RS Shop" is a Lionel C&O PS-1 boxcar.  After searching for this car for quite a long time (specifically, at a reasonable price!), I finally scored one on eBay a few weeks ago. 

Here's an "out-of-the-box" photo...

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And here are some chronological "step-by-step" 3RS conversion photos...

"CentralFan1976" Mario's spacers from Shapeways...

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Kadees boxes assembled, time to drill and tap the under frame (floor)...

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The stock "claw" couplers have been removed from the trucks, now time to cut the rest of the extra coupler-mounting "hardware" off...

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Testors Flat Black paint pen used to cover up the freshly-cut & filed bare metal edges...

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Kadees installed and trucks reinstalled...

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Here's the almost-finished car...

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I said "almost" finished because me being me, I just had to weather this car!!   Here's one quick shot of the fully-finished car.  I'll probably post additional photos/details of the weathering process somewhere else on the Forum...

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Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

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Ben Snyder posted:

Here’s my current 3RS project almost completed. MTH ACL GP35. Waiting on the safety stripes for the pilot and the new mu hose assemblies from PSC. But here it is so far with a few in progress pics. 

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What radius will this take with the fixed pilots? ACL/SAL/SCL are my roads as well, and looking to convert some Atlas power the same way.

Larry Neal TCA, LCCA Fan of the ACL, SAL, SOU, Clinchfield

CentralFan1976 posted:

Love it!

Great job!

- Mario

Thanks for the kind words, Mario...and thanks for your "off-line" help answering my questions about installation of your spacers on Lionel cars!  Up until recently I had only added Kadees to Weaver and Atlas cars...now I have three Lionel cars under my belt.

Joe A.

Enjoying this Great Hobby in memory of Dad & Pop...the "original Joe's" responsible for my interest in trains!!

Larry Neal posted:
Ben Snyder posted:

Here’s my current 3RS project almost completed. MTH ACL GP35. Waiting on the safety stripes for the pilot and the new mu hose assemblies from PSC. But here it is so far with a few in progress pics. 

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What radius will this take with the fixed pilots? ACL/SAL/SCL are my roads as well, and looking to convert some Atlas power the same way.

The smaller 4-axle units will negotiate 0-54 curves that I have in some of my industry sidings with no issues. I personally keep everything mainline a minimum of 0-72 and have had no issues even with an SD50 set up this way, and I run everything up to autorack cars. I find that cutting the Kadee box sides back 1/16” will allow a considerable amount more swing if necessary. 

I just finished this MTH AC6000 into 3RS. MTH doesn't offer this loco in 2-rail with fixed pilots and full length handrails, so I added the finishing touches. The handrails are 0.025 brass wire bent in the correct shapes. Also added the conspicuity striping and Kadee 740's. I previously did 2 other AC6000s that go perfectly with this one.

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Jeff Sohn

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Jeff78rr posted:

I just finished this MTH AC6000 into 3RS. MTH doesn't offer this loco in 2-rail with fixed pilots and full length handrails, so I added the finishing touches. The handrails are 0.025 brass wire bent in the correct shapes. Also added the conspicuity striping and Kadee 740's. I previously did 2 other AC6000s that go perfectly with this one.

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That looks great!

Nothing conveys sheer mass like O!

Sweat the details!...



 

 Finished up this Rutland gondola. Weaver car with the factory grab irons and steps removed. Used Scale City stirrups and what was left of my Atlas stock of grab irons. One brace was removed on each end to allow the car to sit lower and the 3 rail flanges to clear the underside. Dry transfers were used for the lettering. The marble slabs came from St. Charles Model Works. Ordered more than I realized so a few flat cars will be coming soon to the fleet. The Rutland owned a number of cars like these. They were 4 boards high rather than the 3 on the Weaver. The Rd. No. should be below Rutland. I used my modelers license and centered it on the car. 

 Joe's tip on the Scotch tape to position the transfers worked out well. I only managed to cut myself once using my new Micromark chisel for removing the grab irons.

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AmeenTrainGuyCentralFan1976paul\matttrainroomgarysuzukovichRapid Transit Holmes


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