In early 2021, I found a tub of pretty battered LGB U.S.-styled pieces of rolling stock and a string of Kalamazoo cars (coach, combine, drovers caboose) on Craigslist. I have learned that when you live on the end of the global supply chain, if the price is right, go for it! All were missing parts; some were not rolling well; all offered opportunities to explore techniques without too much investment of time or money. Later, I added a trio of road-weary LIONEL brand freight cars on a run to the continent, but all but two of the trucks did not survive transit…
Despite the relative ease of these projects, I never got around to doing anything about these cars until recently when I realized having this stuff sit around on the lanai was not improving their condition…I had mentioned in my Triple O – 2022 Plans & Objectives that I had considered going all-in on these projects, but their deterioration led me to believe it was more prudent to get them back into service more or less “as is.”
I’ll begin with the Kalamazoo set. I like these. They are nearly impervious. Serviceable and rugged, they earned the name Diesel Dan’s Favorites and entered service as found: Video: Diesel Dan’s Favorites Enter Service (January 2021). It’s too bad that Kalamazoo / Delton / HLW are gone. Stuff like this is a needed bridge between seasonal toys and models.
Almost a years and a half later, Kid-zilla and I began to seriously look at some of the broken rolling stock. The LGB cattle car simply wouldn’t ride, per this picture from January 2021:
Tightening the trucks did not help, so this was a “set out only” car until Kid-zilla recommended swapping out the wheels a couple weeks back. Why not? A few loops behind Diesel Dan proved the kid was right, so we pried the walkway off the even more broken box car and restored this one to service.
Brakewheels have about a 4 minute half life around here, so there is no rush to replace that! Oh, and if the kid gets much smarter at troubleshooting, I am going to stop posting about him!
Flushed with success and armed with trucks of unknown manufacture, we set to on those LIONEL cars. After a quick trip to the hardware store for screws and washers, they soon passed speed trials behind Mike Bananapeal:
Video: LIONEL Cars Passing Speed Trials.
These are nice, but they are a case study in how fungible “scale” is in the world of “G.” Shorter than LGB cars, they will be right at home given the variety of car types across the Kingdom / Republic / Territory / State of Hawaii on various estates, public work projects, and common carriers. Quick note…Kid-zilla noted a missing brakewheel, rummaged through a bag of parts, found one, had me drill it out, selected the glue and accelerant, waited for me to apply the glue, hit it with accelerant, and finished the job.
That brings us the fist actual project that goes beyond a simple repair, a busted LGB combine that the 1:24 rolled out for examination earlier this year
Broken hand rails, missing door, missing truss rods, missing coupler, missing chimneys…I had thought to salvage the trucks and convert the combine into a freight shack or get really ambitious and make a motor coach out this. The crew voted for a repair…To be fair, I like these combines, and a motor coach would have been a bit ambitious.
This week I finally had a chance to make good on the vote. Being under the weather, I have been exiled to the garden and lanai (suffer!). When not simply taking in the Vitamin D and watching trains loop the Triple O as part of my cure, I applied some lessons learned from our crane car project ( Crane Car for the Triple O) and crafted truss rods from piano wire and craft beads:
I am half tempted to leave the beads “as is” to see if anyone ever notices…
Next came the easy part, the broken handrails. I tapped some holes, pushed in the handrails, and added a bit of CA glue.
For the door, I plan to use a piece of clear plexiglass salvaged from a broken homemade aquarium lid as the core, cut a pattern from thin styrene, paint that yellow, and then glue it to the plexiglass. The plexiglass is the thickness of the door, and the styrene the thickness of the battens and trim."
A quick test indicated that the glue on hand should help fuse these plastics.
As long as I’m not coughing too much tomorrow, I’ll start the cuts!
I know there is not a lot of fine modeling here, but posting keeps me honest.
Have a great weekend!