Large Scale Central

Triple O Gloss -- Passenger Car & Parlor Car

I am putting myself on notice that I have to follow through on this project this year, not only to meet Triple O - 2024 Plans & Objectives, but also to honor others’ efforts to scrounge the parts! In addition, it’s team we took on a proper kitbash.

The Mik is astern of us…this project is next on deck! This will be our first proper kitbash, as the last phase of the project will involve cutting. Those cuts will be irreversible, turning a project into MIK-meat for next year if we screw it up!

The plan is to take this in three steps, working in parallel where appropriate, and starting with the simplest project to build skills and test ideas before culminating in the most complex which will involve cutting. Along the way, I have a couple side projects in case I get bored, stuck, or frustrated! In accordance with CINCHOUSE directive, “This cannot be just your hobby,” my rule that “All may, but none must, participate” will, of course, be in effect! I hope this project will also knock out or at least provide parts for a few Triple O - 2024 Plans & Objectives.

Step #1: Paint and rehab an LGB Box Car.

Not gloss, but an easier start! This will be the grain carrier for O.D.'s elevator, currently on the lanai and fitting out (see Mik 2024 – Hui Laulima Mahi ‘Ai na M&K and its original thread New Industry for the Triple O - A Grain Elevator). The box car needs a new roofwalk, brake wheel, etc. I also plan to practice painting and lettering on this, a freight car, before tending to the “gloss!” This will, at a minimum, include painting trucks and undercarriage. I am debating painting the whole thing and lettering for “M&K Sugar Co.” or the Triple O, adding a patch pannel for either company, or leaving it as is. I’ll probably put it to a vote. I figure the trucks and undercarriage will at least give usa sense of what paint works with what!

Step #2: Paint and Rehab a Bachmann Coach for the Triple O

Peter (@PeterT ) and David ( @David_Marconi_FOGCH ) had been scrounging about looking for B’mann coaches good enough for a project but battered enough to stifle calls from the 1:1 crew to restore them. Many thanks to David who found the perfect duo for this! We will build on the skills of the boxcar unit to make an OR&L inspired coach for the Triple O. It will also build on the research we did when O.D. long ago transformed bits from Rooster’s (@Rooster) scrap box into a shorty that still serves the workers along the permanent tracks of the M&K Sugar Co ( Ke Ka’a Piki (the Shortened Coach) – Passing the Baton).

Step #3: Convert a Bachmann Coach into the Triple O’s Observation Car

Pete has challenged us to make a representation of Parlor Car 64 at the Hawaiian Railway Society , which was Benjamin Dillingham’s private car that once carried him, his family, and Hawaiian Royalty. While I’ve no intention of creating a replica, I do think we can pull off an OR&L inspired representation, consistent with our OR&L inspired railroad. The basic plan is to cut out some of the walls, saving them for our future inspection loco, and deck the exposed area. The underside of the now exposed roof will be a real trick!

The Bits
The LGB box car is an LGB box car. It is missing a door and roofwalk, but runs well.

The passenger cars came to us in December by sea, and Komaka Nui slowly moved them from the Haluku’ilio docks to the Pu’u’oma’o yards.

Kid-zilla and the 1:24 gang quickly broke them down to get a sense of what we were dealing with here.

Clearly, we will have to paint the trucks black and coaches OR&L green!

Also, over his objections, I told him the circus lettering would have to go. He did insist upon salvaging the end marker.

This may force us to at last develop some heraldry for the Triple O!

We inspected the main components to see how they fit together and how they would interact with our 1:24 citizens.

You’ll note the chairs are closely space for our 1:24 guys; however, we are hoping to enlist O.D. to help convert at least some of these benches to tables, especially in the parlor car.

This will be a big project, but if we begin with a field trip to the Ewa Railroad for research, go slowly, and remember to stop and run trains, I think we will be fine! Oh, and if we get sidetracked by a desire to OR&L a B’mann 4-6-0 hulk, blame Rooster!


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I enjoy reading the Triple O plans and objectives. I feel like I’m a foreign investor getting an annual report and need a glossary of terms to fully comprehend the Triple O activities.

I can’t find this word though. What is a Komaka Nui?

Oh, and whilst I am asking, may I ask some probably silly questions too?

  • Looking up what the OR&L was, I saw that Disney didn’t take all the Hawaiian railways and there are quite a few Heritage Museums. How many have you visited and would re-visit?

  • Are there regional accents between the islands? I saw there are interstate highways. Do many people ferry their cars between the islands for holidays or is the mainland the vacation destination?

I’m down with that !


I personally think the “Triple O Gloss” high varnish would be a LOT easier if you just added junk underneath starting with an AC unit (especially for your climate). Massive battery box (unless you get even deeper and go HEP) , add waste and fresh water tanks.

THEN !!!

Paint it silver, black out the windows, gut the interior and call it done. Transport it to the Zilla Shops so he (the kid) may add HIS vinyl Viewliner (phase 4) striping. When it returns into your hands you should add metal wheels ,a little weight on the inside (since the windows are blacked out) then give her a test run !

Only a suggestion

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There are only three railways left here, one on O’ahu, the last of the OR&L, and two on Kauai, one an actual plantation railroad and one a recreated plantation railway. What was left of the one on Maui perished with that town last year in the fires. We have visited the one on O’ahu, where we live, and the recreated plantation line on Kauai. Both are fun, and, if it were closer, I’d be a volunteer on the local on. Hawaii has a museum that was worth one visit. All islands have whispers of “high cane and high iron,” and, as I find them, I document them here: Echoes of Yesterday…Last Vestiges of the Oahu Railway & Land Co. Oldest Daughter and I took a more deliberate adventure a few years back, which we recorded here: Ke Ka’a Ahi na a Leina a ka Uhane / Train to the Leap of the Soul.

Standard English in Hawaii has a unique intonation and rhythm, its share of local idioms, and many borrowed words from Asia-Pacific languages. Pidgin English varies from island to island and locale to locale based upon the predominant ethnic group in that ahupua’a (land division). Someone born here will be able to tell right away “where you stay from” just by listening, though I am told it is homogenizing.
The best way to describe it is English spoken with Chinese grammar, no plural, no verb conjugations, no articles. For instance, “Yesterday I went to the store” would be something like “Yesterday I go store.”

There are also two dialects of Hawaiian. About 5% of the population uses Olelo Hawaii as a working language, it is the second official language of the state, it is a language of art, it is a liturgical language, and it infuses both standard and Pidgin English in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure.

Oh, and we have no ferry. We have a very expensive barge service. You need to fly and rent car if you travel to another island. This is a very bitter local political issue. Look up “Super Ferry.” Still, folks do fly to other islands for a “stay-cation,” followed by Vegas, the U.S. West Coast, and probably Japan. Most families have branches in the first two locale; at least a third have roots in the latter locale.

I shall stop hijacking my own post now…



We have picked our research day for later this month. They have been restoring an OR&L coach, so we hope it will be far enough along to serve as a model. We have photos of the parlor car, but more cannot hurt, and we have that 4-6-0 and 0-6-0 to investigate for a motive power project. Of course, we shall also have to relax and ride the train! :steam_locomotive::railway_car::railway_car::railway_car: :palm_tree:

I have been also been resto-modding a rocket from our local hobby shop’s salvage bin to bone up on my spray-painting and masking skills. I’d rather botch up a glorified toilet paper roll than a train car! Rustoleum’s 2X series is what we have locally, and it seems to adhere to plastics, paper, wood, etc. We’ve used it in the past on a handful of train projects, but, again, a trashed rocket seemed a better practice piece! I just relearned, for instance, it doesn’t cure as quickly on certain plastic as it does on wood!

Speaking of wood, the aforesaid practice project involved working with basswood for the fins and epoxy putty for the filets. Both may see service on these cars, so, again, the practice project seemed like a good place to start! The meh cuts on the fins and clunky fillets showed that practice was, in fact, in order.

I am planning to take this project slowly, working in series rather than in parallel, testing paints and techniques on that boxcar first before moving on to the coaches. I’ll work the kids in for phases in which they are interested. O.D. for instance, wants to get involved with the painting and I hope to enlist her for the interior. Last summer’s submarine carrier ( Submarine Transport for the Triple O - Modeling / Rolling stock - Large Scale Central) taught me that patience for longer projects can be limited, which is why I’ve a few easier side projects to prevent burn-out.

Updates as warranted!


I have heard through the grapevine that you may want to ask Rooster about Rustoleum and cold for curing. :sunglasses:

Being a modeler for some 60 plus years and have painted with just about everything out there from my air brush, rattle can, and brush, I find all to work, but each needs to be used with good commonsense, or should I say practice. Since you mentioned Rustoleum X2 I have found it my go to paint for spraying on my G Scale models, it’s way different then using the air brush, for sure. One of the biggest problems that can happen to the novis user, is the paint really comes out of the can fast and thick, this will defiantly take some getting used to, to get you applications correct and not too thick. I apply wet thin coats. which may sound not easy to do with a rattle can, but yes you can do it. I won’t go into how I do it here, but if anyone wants to know, ask the question and I will try to answer it, if I can.


Today was research day! Naturally, 'flu stalks the household, so it was only Kid-zilla and I. We decided not to ride the train so that the other could enjoy the leisurely tour and we could focus on our research. Our big goals were to:

  1. Make a rough comparison between surviving coaches and our B’mann derelicts (thanks @David_Marconi_FOGCH for findng these! Perfect!) to decide on a way forward.
  2. Inspect the surviving locomotives to check the practicabilty of resto-modding a shattered B’mann 10-wheeler into a 0-6-0 or 4-6-0.

We loaded the car with our models, lunches, tape measures and notepads…

…and arrived in Kapolei in time to see the MOW train pulling in prior to the tourist run.

The railroad is largely volunteer staff with handful of paid cadre. The yard itself, per one of the cadre, was purpose built from OR&L leftovers on an old junkyard.

Never research on an empty stomach…

…or a visit to the Toy Train museum. This houses a nice three-rail O scale layout and a good collection of vintage trains.

Of course, Kid-zilla got a backside tour…

…and a chance to hold a “crocodile.”

The docent then let him compare this LGB narrow gauge version with O, HO, S, and LEGO versions of the standard gauge Crocodile while the docent and I discussed his tentative plans to use donated LGB in an outdoor layout on site.

It was then time to get to work. Our first stop was the car shops, where they are busy restoring an OR&L commuter car and where they store the parlor car. We confirmed that Rustoleum “Hunter Green” is still their preferred paint, and we ran amok with the tape measure…

…counted windows, photographed interiors, and discussed the project. Some of the photos are below.

Commuter Car

Parlor Car

The cars differ from our donor a bit in length, number of windows, clerestory, and other details, but the B’mann donor coaches will work fine for our purposes. Form the beginning, we determined the Triple O would be “OR&L inspired” and not a carbon copy.

Both coaches had long strip wood floors, so the donor coaches are spot on. Also, the parlor car had interior compartments but no fixed furniture, so we can actually remove the B’mann seats. Our parlor car will lose a set number of windows and walls, and we’ll salvage the bulkhead to seal up teh cabin. Another gentleman we encountered was taking the same approach to a more rigorous interpretation of the car. That being said, I haven’t the foggiest idea, however on how to even attempt the exposed stripwood ceilings let along the metal work. I’ll chew on the former and select / make “good enough” for the latter.

The Locomotives

I’ll compile these photos in a separate thread when / as we approach that project, but we got permission to stage our shatter ten-wheeler (Thanks, @Rooster for rounding up the donor!) on an 0-6-0…

…and a 4-6-0.

We both agreed that the rods make cutting or donor down to an 0-6-0 a real challenge, so the second locomotive, which, per a docent, apparently went to California as movie train before accidentally going to Maui where it was under restoration before being reclained. Truth or lore, it is a good story!
The same docent, once he knew he had train nuts at hand, regaled us with similar stories, let us run amok through the yards, and showed Kid-zilla how to run the speeder.

He also showed us all number of MOW equipment, explained why the yard has standard gauge modern flat car, and showed us the only dual gauge track on the island, where they just converted a standard guage MOW machine to narrow gauge (there may have been some in the Naval yard in the '30s and '40s).

Lots more pictures, but I am derailing my own thread!

When the docent asked what brought us to the railroad, Kid-zilla showed him the forlorn 10-wheeler. Guess what? He had two B’mann derelicts on his lanai gathering dirt, and he gave them to Kid-zilla to support the project! Here they are posed back at home in the Pu’u’oma’o Yards where the 1:24 gang gave them the once over.

They will serve to bring the donor (underway in front of a curious contraption we got by way of @PeterT

…back to life as #85 in honor of that forlorn 10-wheeler in Kapolei.

I explained to Kid-zilla that when we are polite to people and show interest in their craftsmanship, good things happen. They did! I also explain that now we HAVE to follow through. He has already cleaned the parts queens, ransacked my parts bin, and started making plans to get all “three under steam.” Good…Goooooodddddd…

Then we went for ice cream.

He earned it!

I have a couple projects to clear off the lanai, but we’ll get underway soon, starting with that box car for practice. It’s on!



The ceilings can be made from thin “scribed siding”, bent in to a curve. Accucraft coaches have a similar plastic molding under the end overhang. After your successful scribing of the door on the (?tower), you can take a thin piece of plywood and scribe your own.
Alternatively, take the thin piece of plywood and glue thin strips of wood to it.

The railings will be fun. Maybe get a set from R Kaapulaua (sp?) who made a model of this?

EBT #20 Business Car “Orbionia” has intricate end railings. I first made some from cast railings:

IMG_4035-newest railings-sm

I found some “Victorian Grills” which might have worked:

And then my pal Alan at G.A.L. said his laser cutting guy was intrigued by the complexity
and cut me these. They have the same metal frame as my first attempt.




Thanks. It sounds like the wood will be easier than I thought. I only need to do the visible parts, which makes it easier, and all the materials are available locally.

I also appreciate the possible ways forward for the railings. The “Victorian grills” seem a ready made solution, especially as I am not so worried about copying the design. In fact, I was thinking something with three overlapping “O” would be more in the spirit of the project. My plan is to make the appropriate cuts, get the car built, then see what is out there. The real car had two supporting columns on each side, one on each corner and one about “two panels” of railings in from the endbeam. I can fudge where that support column goes based on the railing “panels.”

First step here will be to break down that box car and practice getting Rustoleum 2X to stick to plastic!



For your location would some sort of a pineapple “O” letter motif be appropriate for the triple O?


Boxcar broken down and awaiting a deep clean. I am assuming dish soup and warm water will do the trick?

Also, the wood I need for the walkways and the lost door are on hand. I the door will require some thinking, as they slide in grooves on the top and bottom of the car that, of course, are not 100% aligned vertically. I’d show a picture, but my phone is deciding to sit on them and, no @David_Marconi_FOGCH , I am not even going to try to type using my phone! :nerd_face:

We are discussing paint schemes. The running plan for this:

  • Undercarriage and trucks: flat black
  • Roof and truss rods: leave stock to match the rest of the fleet. I’ve learned from reenacting that uniformity across multiple items creates a “realism” of its own that hyper-accuracy in a singular item can actually destroy. The goal is to make this car stand out amongst the others without making it stand out from the world in which it will operate.
  • Exterior: Sky blue top; forest green bottom. This car will be part of the M&K plantation system, and the colors are part of the advertising…lush tropical lands, blue tropical skies. The 1:1 crew are not sold on this. Regardless, I want a two-tone scheme to practice masking.
  • Weathering: enough to learn some techniques but not enough to overpower the project. We live in an area of bright colors and bright sun, the black and white photos of plantation and common carriers alike out here show well-maintained equipment, and, frankly, the Triple O is an escapist place for me, so I am OK with weathering provided by the natural settling of dust smeared by the occasional squall. Model Railroader just did a bit on weathering boxcars, so that article seems like a good starting point.

We’ll see if we can get the trucks and undercarriage in paint this week!


P.S. Bill ( @Hines ) , if my daughters can get that into Cricut, I may just steal that!

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I don’t either I just open the site on both phone and PC and edit the post on the PC after I install the pics from the phone


This project, not only did I remembered to put each set of screws in labeled Ziplocs, I also remembered to take photos of the disassembly process. Learning has been applied!

I just wanted to try and illustrate the door issue.

You can see the tabs that the door slides on. The upper one is flus with the front of the door. The lower one is flush with the rear. I am planning on laminating my door from two pieces of basswood (new skill alert!) with a little bit of offset on the top and bottom to make those tabs. The I can scribe the wood lines.

The roofwalk will use a bit of stripwood from the hobby shop which I imagine I can cut and sand to fit.

There’s lots of that stripwood, so learning through error is an option! Since it isn’t one of our projects without them, craftsticks will provide the roofwalk planks!

Again, the main goal of this phase of the project is to learn how to prep the paint areas, mask where required, and get a good paint job. This is preparatory to the more complicated restoration of the first of the two coaches.

Updates as progress merits!


Awesome research and now application of said research. That’s always fun.

As for the roof walk supports. Nibble the bottom v notch close. Then put a piece of sand paper grit facing up on the roof of the car using it as a form. Then sand the piece to a near perfect fit. I do this a lot especially when trying to mate two curved surfaces.

Thanks, Devon! We’ll take that approach!

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For roof walk supports, do them all at once. Easier to hold a block than a thin strip. Or do a block and cut it into individual supports afterwards.

Sounds like a fund adventure with the kid and the project. Even though I’m in the lower 48, I wish I was closer to say “come on over, and let’s cut X out for you”.

Thanks, Craig! It’d be a blast to pick up some skills from you in person!