Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, March 14, 2020 9:17 PM

Hi Penny,

The Ives steamer is indeed a beautiful model. You can see why Flyer was eager to have it join their roster after the bankruptcy. This is what Flyer did with it in 1929 and 1930 before they designed a steam engine of their own.

and paired it with their Pocahantas cars.

The brass piper is Fyer's own design.

Improving the detail on the Ives engine may have helped them, however I have read that some of their problems were caused by the large amount of handwork that went into making their trains and the policy of taking their products back if the customer was not satisfied.   They sometimes replaced broken items with a brand new piece of equipment.

BTW I really like the Ives Circus set too.

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Posted by Spanners on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 11:04 AM

  Hello!

I've been living under a rock as of late but thought I'd share my wares. I'm fully addicted to tinplate / prewar bits but am a "rubber gauger" - as most of us toy folks are!

I'll add more pics as I go through stuff, and you may notice that there are sets behind sets, so I'll rotate the same around if of interest. Everything works as intended and gets run often. 

Thanks for starting this thread (those many years ago!!). 

Jeff 

 

 

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:39 PM

Hi Jeff,

Welcome  to the thread.

Thanks for posting the photos. You have some great trains there from a variety of manufacturers.  I can tell you have been gathering your wares for a considerable amount of time. I hope that you will share more of your photos with us.  If you are going through your collection I am sure that you will find things that you forgot you had.  I know I have.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 7:19 PM

Northwoods Flyer
you will find things that you forgot you had

Aint it funny how that just happens? 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 7:22 PM

Great collection Spanners!  Dinner  A feast for the eyes!  Dinner

Is that the Flying Colonel on the second from the top shelf?

Becky

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Posted by Spanners on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:19 AM

Thanks all! 

You nailed it, Becky. The engine has been repainted unfortunatel, and the litho is rough, but I dig "use". It's an awesome reminder that these were, and shall always be, toys. 

I believe John DeSantis said it best, that he feels sorry for mint trains, as they didn't get the enjoyment they deserve. 

Thanks for the note! Jeff

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 7:05 AM

If the set has litho cars, it cannot be a Flying Colonel set.  The Flying Colonel set always had enamel painted cars.

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Posted by Spanners on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 7:59 AM

Oops, you are of course correct, it's the Presidents Special, got my names mixed, sorry about that. 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 3:15 PM

Wide Gauge

Passenger Cars

#4332 Observation

1931 - 1936

There were two variations of this car during its run in the catalog.

Variation

(A)

The primary identifiers are decal doors, a clear circle in the brass platform railing and white painted number identification on the bottom of the car.

 

 

Variation (B)

Primary identifiers: Brass doors, no hole in the platform railing and black number identifer stamped on the bottom.

Some comparison photos:

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 8:11 PM

Sorry, I should have been more specific.  I was referring to the locomotive itself which had a different paint scheme than the President's Special.

Col:

Pres:

 

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Posted by Spanners on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 8:34 PM

No worries Becky! The biggest giveaway is the third "plaque" under the center window on the Colonel, along with the additional brass bits, however, I have seen a President with the three plaques, but many of these sets were Frankensteined to cobble a decent looking, albeit non-original set. 

If my pic blows up on your end, you may also note that the cars have four vs. six-wheel trucks, which is not correct either. The second set of Pres cars behind the piper is as it should be. 

I know I have some Colonel cars packed away somewhere that I will dig out, no engine though, however. 

Thanks,

 

Jeff

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, March 22, 2020 3:28 PM

Wide Gauge

Passenger Cars

#4331 Pullman

1931 -1936

There are only two variations of this car listed in the Greenberg guide.  They match the two observations that are shown back a few entries.

Variation (A) 

Variation (B)

 

And a comparison photo:

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Posted by LL675 on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 10:55 AM
that is a great collection and layout Jeff

Dave

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Posted by wrmcclellan on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 9:30 AM

Spanners - thx for posting! 

All - Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by JonEddy on Thursday, April 2, 2020 7:42 AM

I just got this delivered yesterday, AF O-gauge 3325 with 3323 tender. It has some play wear but everything works even the firebox light.

     Jon

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, April 2, 2020 12:55 PM

Spanners,

I agree with Roy, thanks for posting the photos of your collection.  Keep them coming.

 

Jon,

The Type VIII engines (1931 - 1937) are among my favorite.  I think I have at least 4 of them.  One of them is in a family set that ran around our Christmas tree for years.

I watched this one with my head on the living room carpet for years.

I believe this one is unusual because there are holes in the skirting that allow the firebox light to show through  I have not run across another one.

I particularly like it paired up with the semi-Vanderbilt tender as yours is.

This one came with a set of Man of War cars.

This one was an impulse buy.  It was on ebay and has been completely restored.  The firebox light and the ringing bell both work as well as the headlight.  It makes me think of what these engines must have looked like when new on Christmas morning.

Thanks for posting your new acquisition.  Have fun with it.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Thursday, April 2, 2020 3:45 PM

Northwoods Flyer

I believe this one is unusual because there are holes in the skirting that allow the firebox light to show through  I have not run across another one.

 

 

Northwoods Flyer

 

 

Northwoods,

The lighted firebox is a feature of the earlier engines.  I have four 3300 engines from 1931 in my collection and all of them have lighted fireboxes with the holes in the sides of the firebox.  Some of my other 3325 engines also have the lighted fireboxes, but I cannot specifically date those years.  The other engines which I can date are from 1935 or after and do not have the holes in their fireboxes.

NWL

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, April 2, 2020 4:01 PM

NWL,

I thought that the 1931 #3300's (#3301) had a headlight visor.  Do you suppose that the pierced fireboxes with a brass headlight ring are castings left over from 1931?  I have been looking for a 3301 with the visor to head up my Ambassador cars.  I realize that finding one with the origianl die cast valve gear is very unlikely.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Thursday, April 2, 2020 4:45 PM

No, I suspect the castings with the pierced fireboxes lasted until around 1933, as there are other differences to the castings other than the cast headlight visor.  I suspect they just changed the mold at some point to remove the pierced firebox.

NWL

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Posted by JonEddy on Thursday, April 2, 2020 8:16 PM

Northwoods Flyer
Thanks for posting your new acquisition.  Have fun with it.

Thanks, of course now I need a caboose and some freight cars for it.......Wink

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Posted by Spanners on Friday, April 3, 2020 12:50 AM

Awesome pieces, gals, and guys! 

For something a little different, here is the tale of one-and-three-quarters (AF) Prewar Hudson's...

American Flyer Prewar O gauge is simply glorious. There are many categories, all of which deserve attention, but this post highlights the bigger O gauge Hudson locomotives (next I'll highlight the Northern's) and the precursor to the fantastic and omnipresent, 3/16th's scale / S gauge Postwar offerings after Gilbert took over. 

The 2-6-4 "Hudson" - Locomotive # 1681 - Circa 1936-1938, featuring an aluminum tender, and simple bar couplers (please disregard the missing journal cover on the trailing truck):

The great thing about almost all Prewar locomotives, regardless of manufacture, is the crude motor design, somewhat sloppy tolerances, but incredibly, if properly lubed, nearly silent operation, notice the firebox glow, per usual: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/187546244@N08/49730116442/in/dateposted-public/

 

 

 Fast-forward approx. two years to 1940, Gilbert is now at the helm, and Lionel is the ever-present target for market share in toy-trains. The fantastic 700E set the benchmark for realism in O Scale, and Gilbert brings out a Hudson numbered 570, being 3/16th's scale, however, it's running on O gauge track. I think you'll recognize the casting.. ;-)

   

Notice the bulbous tender trucks, although from a casting standpoint, identical in appearance to the later S gauge variant that would show up Postwar, six years later and the reverse unit in the boiler, located in the same spot as the later smoke-in-tenders in S gauge would end up (same casting). 

 

Here again, the locomotive literally runs like a sewing machine, nearly silent. I should note that the T-Rail track it's running on, is not fastened down, and under the carpet is Hommasote: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/187546244@N08/49730138157/in/dateposted-public/

And there you have it, your "useless knowledge of the day", brought to you from the sheltered-in-place, in beautiful Colorado! 

Thanks for listening and more to come!

Jeff

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Friday, April 10, 2020 4:58 PM

Wide Gauge

Passenger Cars

#4342 Observation  (Variation D)

1928 - 1932

From the Hamiltonian set

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Posted by LL675 on Saturday, April 11, 2020 9:32 PM

that restored steamer is beautiful!

Dave

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, April 12, 2020 7:02 PM

LL675,

Hi Dave, its good to hear from you.  If anyone appreciates a restored steamer, its you.  Wink

 

Wide Gauge 

Passenger Cars

#4341  Pullman  (Variation D) 

1928 - 1932

From the Hamiltonian Set

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 11:50 AM

Wide Gauge 

Passenger Cars

#4340 Club Car 

(Variation D - there is another variation that has a darker red baggage door that matches the darker red roof color)

from the Hamiltonian Set

1928 -1932

This set is from early in my collecting days.  It was purchased sight unseen from a typed list.  It was not in as good of condition as I thought it would be.  On line auction buying is so much better.

Note the two cam locking devices for the roof and the opening brass doors and the opening baggage door.

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 9:09 AM

Wide Gauge

#4678 New York Central style locomotive

Variation B

1928 -1929

This is the locomotive used in the Hamiltonian set.  It heads up the cars shown in the posts above.

It has lots of brass, die cast headlights that have the correct engine number, and a ringing bell mechanism.

Bottom views showing the bell mechanism and other goodies.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 6:52 PM

I've always liked the boxcabs.  There's still one surviving NYC T Motor:

By Sturmovik at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56332954

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, April 16, 2020 3:26 PM

Thanks Penny,

Its always nice to see photos of the prototypes that our toy trains were supposed to represent.

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Thursday, April 16, 2020 3:35 PM

Wide Gauge

The Hamiltonian

1928 - 1929

The set appeared in the 1928 catalog

(Wouldn't it be nice if the Presidents Special was made in both blue and red that year?)

and the 1929 catalog

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, April 18, 2020 1:27 PM

Narrow Gauge

1939 -    No. 19  Train Set

O Gauge Switcher

 

Lets start building this set from the head end with the O-6-0 Yard King Switcher.

Flyer's odd numbering system frequently gave the engine one number, the tender a second number, and the combination a third number.

So we have the #429 engine (Type XIV engine)

the #430 tender

(it has vestiges of the rubber stamped identification that have worn off in the indentations on the side)

and the combination which is #431

Here are the two pieces with their original boxes.

Notice the S on the box.  That will be important later.

The tender box is marked 430 Tender.  It is difficult to see, but in the proper light and angle you can make it out.

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