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What a score at a train show today!

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What a score at a train show today!
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:03 PM

My wife and I spent this weekend going to train shows. We started on Saturday at the annual train show in Jacksonville, Florida. Nothing special this year, but it was a good time.

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We went to Orando and took the girls to dinner on Saturday night to our favorite Brazillian Steak House. That was a great time.

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Today we went to the Annual parking lot sale at Zitnik's Trains in St. Petersberg, and I had the find of the year. I know it is only 6 weeks into 2019, but I am going to call it already.

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One of the sellers had a horribly painted caboose for $10.00 on his table. People were just walking right by it, but I noticed instantly that this model was my coveted tall cupola, side door, brass caboose from Far East Distributors I have been searching for! Yahoo, score! It is a little rough, but I bought it immediately.

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When I took it apart I noticed it was painted for BALTIMORE AND OHIO on one side, and PENNSYLVANIA on the other. Both were really done poorly.

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It is now soaking in a bath of DOT-3 brake fluid to get the paint off.

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I am so excited to finally have this prize in my collection. I can't wait to get it into STRATTON AND GILLETTE paint.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:06 PM

Kevin,

Nice find!

How well does brake fluid work for stripping brass?  Its a new one for me, but then again, lots of things about custom painting brass is new to me.

Thanks,

Andrew

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:09 PM

I prefer brake fluid for stripping brass. You can let it soak for a couple of weeks, and almost any paint will come loose.

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I then clean the model with Brake Cleaner, dry it with compressed air, rinse it in distilled water, and let it air dry.

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Then I soak it in vinegar for about a week, rinse it in distilled water again, and let it air dry.

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Then it will be ready to prime.

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I will post pictures as I go along with this one.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 8:40 PM

After about five hours of soaking in brake fluid the paint is already coming off.

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This looks really creepy!

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by dknelson on Sunday, February 10, 2019 8:44 PM

He shoots, he scores!   Far East Distributors (FED) had some interesting stuff in their line, although as you can see from this caboose everything seems "thick" and not always in the same proportions, as if someone had tried to "eyeball" the item from photos rather than follow scale plans - from time to time they'd import stuff like this that just did not live up to the standards of the time and often they would frankly admit this and offer it at low (for brass) prices.  But other stuff looked OK.  I'd wager this caboose is circa 1970 or so.  That MIGHT be factory paint by the way!

Somehow I recollect that FED was a branch or subsidiary of North West Short Line and that these were some of the early Korean brass versus Japanese brass which was becoming very expensive by the late 1960s. 

Was it NWSL or FED that used the term "Disaster Series" to describe imports that were just wrong enough that they had to be sold at clearance prices.  A lot of us bought our first brass that way.  I think my Cotton Belt 4-4-2 is one - even the importer referred to it as the "Rotten Belt" Atlantic and offered a retrofit kit called "MIM" - make it move, because it would not move as it came in the box.  They tried to cut costs with a Tyco train set motor that just could not turn the drivers and valve gear!

Anyway have fun with the caboose but don't fail to look at it with a critical eye once the paint is removed.  

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 8:48 PM

Far East Distributors had a "Junk Brass" series. They surely could have had a "Disaster" series too.

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I had one of the "Junk Brass" models, and it really was junk.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by PRR8259 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:21 PM

Hey SeeYou190--

Congratulations on the score!

Please come back with the "after" photos, once it's all done, and show us what you did to it, ok?

Thanks--

John

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:30 PM

Way to go Kevin. 

Nice find! Always a great feeling when something like that comes along.

Yes, the peeling paint in the brake fluid does look creepy. You could leave it like that until Halloween and then put it on display.Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

Brake fluid does remove paint very well. I noticed that you specified using it to strip brass, but I would like to let others know, as I am sure you do, that it can do a lot of damage to some plastic shells. I used it to strip a BB F7 (IIRC) and the shell started to crumble as I was scrubbing it. It had been in the brake fluid for a day or so which no doubt was part of the problem, but there are many less risky products available for stripping paint off of plastic shells so why take the risk? 

Dave

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Posted by OT Dean on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 12:21 AM

[quote user="dknelson"]

He shoots, he scores!   Far East Distributors (FED) had some interesting stuff in their line, although as you can see from this caboose everything seems "thick" and not always in the same proportions, as if someone had tried to "eyeball" the item from photos rather than follow scale plans - from time to time they'd import stuff like this that just did not live up to the standards of the time and often they would frankly admit this and offer it at low (for brass) prices.  But other stuff looked OK.  I'd wager this caboose is circa 1970 or so.  That MIGHT be factory paint by the way!

Somehow I recollect that FED was a branch or subsidiary of North West Short Line and that these were some of the early Korean brass versus Japanese brass which was becoming very expensive by the late 1960s. 

Was it NWSL or FED that used the term "Disaster Series" to describe imports that were just wrong enough that they had to be sold at clearance prices.  A lot of us bought our first brass that way.  I think my Cotton Belt 4-4-2 is one - even the importer referred to it as the "Rotten Belt" Atlantic and offered a retrofit kit called "MIM" - make it move, because it would not move as it came in the box.  They tried to cut costs with a Tyco train set motor that just could not turn the drivers and valve gear!

Anyway have fun with the caboose but don't fail to look at it with a critical eye once the paint is removed.  

Dave Nelson

 IIRC, this was one of the well known early products of Far East Distributors.  The product reviews gave us a lot of laughs because they were just getting their feet wet in the bsiness, learning their way, and some aspects of those cabeese were decidedly crude.  One reviewer said that if some detective work needed to be done, there was a good chance of finding the worker who painted his example because he or she left a juicy fingerprint in the too-thick paint!  I have no doubt that if this is the model Kevin had been looking for, he'll be able to fine tune it to become a creditable model.  Besides, he's having FUN!

Deano

 
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:10 AM

OT Dean
I have no doubt that if this is the model Kevin had been looking for, he'll be able to fine tune it to become a creditable model.  Besides, he's having FUN!

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I am going to remove it from the brake fluid on Friday and see how it looks.

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I know one step is a little messed up. Hopefully not much more than that needs attention.

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Hopefully I can turn this whole project in a month or so.

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-Kevin

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:02 AM

 Beats my best, from Timonium a few years ago. I always do that show by going to the left after entering, all the way to the far end, and then up and down aisles working my way back towards the middle. So first row, saw a NIB P2K Reading GP7. Had a sticker for $25 on it, I was ready to pay without hesitation. Why these go for cheap and the rather crude looking Atlas ones are always $100 I still don't get, but whatever. I picked it up and was handing it to the table's owner, and he says "What's it say on there, $25? Gimme $20". Score.So it's that one, or scoring a brand new P2K S1 (from MB Klein none the less) on eBay for the $20 opening bid because no one else bid on it. It wasn't listed incorrectly, and another identical one went for close to full MSRP because of a bidding war. Always happy to take advantage of eBay idiots. 

                                 --Randy


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:15 AM

The only brass cabooses I need would never be $10 unless someone had a total loss of reality since Rio Grande cabooses are pretty rare and sought after.

rrinker
saw a NIB P2K Reading GP7. Had a sticker for $25 on it, I was ready to pay without hesitation. Why these go for cheap and the rather crude looking Atlas ones are always $100 I still don't get, but whatever.                                   --Randy

The Atlas probably get a higher price because the chassis are superior to the Proto2000.  Remember, the Atlas GP7's were originally produced with a KATO mechanism and even after they went classic version, they still had a much better chassis. 

The Proto2000 will likely need cracked gears replaced, which may not be a big deal to handy people but to many that could be a deal breaker.  (It will add-onto the cost to buy the replacement gears as well, although $20 is still mega cheap if you are handy).  Also, at least according to Mr Fugate, he has reported the P2K chassis don't hold up over-time on regular operating sessions.

Sure, I get it that Proto2000 GP7's had good detail but Atlas typically cost more when new and buyers have a perception of Atlas as higher overall quality.

Thats probably why you see Atlas GP7's commanding a higher price.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:49 AM

 Not to draw this off on another tnagent, but the original Atlas ones were ROCO drives. ALso very good. MSRP on the P2K was higher than the Atlas, which was out first, and the Atlas detail is consisent with their origin timeframe - not always a bad thing if you need to handle the models, as the P2K fine grabs and such can become easily damaged if you are careless. No offiese to Mr. Fugate, but two of mine have run for many many hours at club shows - we generally don't operate, instead just keep trains moving for people to see, since the layout is after all just a really giant oval, although fully signaled and it COULD be operated. I don;t bother waiting for gears to crack - and P2K was not alone in that issue, either - I just replace them with the Athearn gears when I take the unit apart to installa  decoder. My two that run at the club, all I've ever done is clean the wheels and lubricate the gears, they've never given any trouble Ove the course of a week-long setup, my locos probably get 4-5 hours per day running, in about 1 hour continuous sessions. Typically, someone will bring out their train, run it for an hour or so, park it, and then the next person gets their train, and repeat. 

 I mean, on that basis - I think it was Northlandz who said for their contnuous running, Tyco locos held up the best. While the ones I had as a kid all do still work, they wouldn't be my choice of drives for a modern layout.

 It does seem there is much variation in P2K locos, depending on the run, and exactly what model - they didn't use the same drive in all of them. My 4 GP7s are all fromt he same vintage, possibly the same run and appear to be a improved Athearn clone - same arrangement but better universals, etc. Sort of in between a Blue Box and Genesis. I've added decoders to older P2K models - the SDs, which look EXACTLY like Athearn BB. So differing designs over the years may lead to differing reliability and perception thereof.

                                                 --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 9:44 AM

rrinker

Not to draw this off on another tanaent, but the original Atlas ones were ROCO drives. ALso very good. 

MSRP on the P2K was higher than the Atlas, which was out first

I've never seen a ROCO Atlas GP7 ever or heard anyone say such a beast exists until now.  Crazy!  I used to own a pair of yellow box Atlas GP7's back in the early 1990's and they had KATO chassis.  My yellow box Atlas GP40's, produced a few years earlier had ROCO and ran pretty good but not as good as the KATO drive GP7's.

I recall the street prices to be in the same ball park for both P2k and Atlas geeps, and honestly I never paid attention to MRSP because it was irrelevant to me.

No offense to Mr. Fugate, but two of mine have run for many many hours at club shows - we generally don't operate, instead just keep trains moving for people to see, since the layout is after all just a really giant oval, although fully signaled and it COULD be operated.

Apparently not all P2k have held up the same as your experience.  Food for some to consider if it matters.  Mileage varies with them.  As you yourself pointed out, there was a lot of variation in LL production of the P2K line. Wink

Why do you think there is a general price difference between Atlas and P2k?  Perception seems to be part of it.  False perception?  I've also heard repeated complaints about the truck side frames although I don't own any P2K geeps since they were never offered in a paint scheme I needed.

It does seem there is much variation in P2K locos, depending on the run, and exactly what model - they didn't use the same drive in all of them. My 4 GP7s are all fromt he same vintage, possibly the same run and appear to be a improved Athearn clone - same arrangement but better universals, etc. Sort of in between a Blue Box and Genesis. I've added decoders to older P2K models - the SDs, which look EXACTLY like Athearn BB. So differing designs over the years may lead to differing reliability and perception thereof.

                                                 --Randy

I suspect the variation is due to LL P2k diesel guy was continuously making improvements based on feedback.

While I don't own any LL P2k GP7 or GP9's, I do own a pair of LL P2k SD7's and SD9's of similar or perhaps earlier vintage and they have those Athean clone chassis with the awful coupler mounts - horrible.  Before they are active on the layout, they will need to be filed and couplers remounted.  They have nice detail and operating cab doors.

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 11:10 AM

Since we have wandered away from the topic of the FED caboose deal our colleague got, I wanted to point out for those with P2K EMDs with the infamous cracked gear problem that Walthers has gotten in yet another shipment of replacement wheel/gear/axle sets and even has them on sale currently.

https://www.walthers.com/replacement-geared-driver-assembly-diesel-wheelset-pkg-2-for-early-proto-2000-r-bl-fa-gp7-9-18-20-30-60-proto-1000-tm-f3

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 11:11 AM

 Those are older than the Geeps. The only coupler problem with the Geeps was that they used their own horrible plastic couplers. One ofmine had the knuckle jam open, beyond where it should open. No matter, I replace anythign that's not Kadee with Kadee anyway, no matter what the other brand coupler is. Nothing works ars well or as reliably as a real Kadee. The Trouble with the Geeps is that they have a cut lever detail, and the couple bux includes the buffer detail, and sliding the couple box into the opening after putting the shell back on, it takes a little wiglging with a knife tip to get the cut lever to pop over the box so it can slide in. I don't find it to be that big a deal, I've seen worse.

 The SD7 I added DCC to, it was the older one with the big board with no DCC socket, one of those "cut here" types of boards that I just tosss anyway. I don;t recall any coupler issue - just put a decoder in it, put the shell back on, and it went to work. It didn;t use a plain old #5, I'm pretty sure I had to use a different one, but that was the only "non standard" thing I can remember. I actually found the old pictures I took of the DCC install, I'll have to take a look at the whole thing to refresh my memory.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 11:20 AM

rrinker

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 I mean, on that basis - I think it was Northlandz who said for their contnuous running, Tyco locos held up the best. While the ones I had as a kid all do still work, they wouldn't be my choice of drives for a modern layout.

 

                                                 --Randy

 

Ok, way OT.

Actually, I think the Northlandz guy said he chose Mantua GP20s because they held up the best over long term continuous running.  Just goes to show how different manufacturers have different strengths and weaknesses.

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 11:26 AM

riogrande5761

 

While I don't own any LL P2k GP7 or GP9's, I do own a pair of LL P2k SD7's and SD9's of similar or perhaps earlier vintage and they have those Athean clone chassis with the awful coupler mounts - horrible.  Before they are active on the layout, they will need to be filed and couplers remounted.  They have nice detail and operating cab doors.

 

You've got the first run of those.  The first run was the only run of SD7/9 that had those awful coupler mounts.  LL made another bluish box run in RG paint with normal couplers.  Look for the letters NMRA Couplers printed around the emblem.

LL/Walthers also produced a gray box run of RG SD7/9s. 

All have the same drive and shell, although the old shells don't fit preceisely on the NMRA compatible frames.  Not sure if they quit making the operating doors or not.

- Douglas

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 12:26 PM

rrinker

 Those are older than the Geeps.

Acknowledged in last post.

The SD7 I added DCC to, it was the older one with the big board with no DCC socket, one of those "cut here" types of boards that I just tosss anyway. I don;t recall any coupler issue - 

                                           --Randy

Mine has a DCC socket; must have been a later run than yours.  But it still has the Athearn frame coupler mount which is that hunk of metal that a plastic cover simply clips over the horn hook coupler it comes with; it works with the horn hook but only nominally. 

I dislike those Athearn type coupler mounts that are same as the old Athearn blue box kind - and back when I bought those SD's it was most definitely an "issue" as I was pretty much a noob and didn't have specialy skills that some here take for granted. 

One article in a magazine back then, possibly MR, recommended filing a lot of the metal off the bottom of that metal coupler "post" so that it's even with the Kadee height guage and then drill and tap it and mount Kadee's in the traditional #5 box.  Not a user friendly solution as really you would need to remove the motor and gears or wrap them well to keep metal filings away, where there would be a lot of it.  Expect manual filing would be a lot of work or speed it up with a Dremel and the file it nice and flat - good dexerity required.  Not my idea of fun hobby time really.

There are probably other solutions but for beginners "user hostile" lets be honest.  Of course all the mechanically inclined can over come it but it helps to be "handy".  A good model RR engine shouldn't be sold this way and of course LL did change coupler mounts after that and rightly so.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 4:20 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
rrinker

 Those are older than the Geeps.

 

Acknowledged in last post.

 

 
The SD7 I added DCC to, it was the older one with the big board with no DCC socket, one of those "cut here" types of boards that I just tosss anyway. I don;t recall any coupler issue - 

                                           --Randy

 

Mine has a DCC socket; must have been a later run than yours.  But it still has the Athearn frame coupler mount which is that hunk of metal that a plastic cover simply clips over the horn hook coupler it comes with; it works with the horn hook but only nominally. 

I dislike those Athearn type coupler mounts that are same as the old Athearn blue box kind - and back when I bought those SD's it was most definitely an "issue" as I was pretty much a noob and didn't have specialy skills that some here take for granted. 

One article in a magazine back then, possibly MR, recommended filing a lot of the metal off the bottom of that metal coupler "post" so that it's even with the Kadee height guage and then drill and tap it and mount Kadee's in the traditional #5 box.  Not a user friendly solution as really you would need to remove the motor and gears or wrap them well to keep metal filings away, where there would be a lot of it.  Expect manual filing would be a lot of work or speed it up with a Dremel and the file it nice and flat - good dexerity required.  Not my idea of fun hobby time really.

There are probably other solutions but for beginners "user hostile" lets be honest.  Of course all the mechanically inclined can over come it but it helps to be "handy".  A good model RR engine shouldn't be sold this way and of course LL did change coupler mounts after that and rightly so.

 

The coupler mounts on those frames are worse than Athearn BB, the covers don't even fit well.  Filing and getting them the proper height is also a pain.

I suggest keeping the shells, but selling the old chassis.  Pick up any SD7/9 with NMRA couplers and do a swap. You can file away little nubbies on the inside of the old run shells to fit the new chassis a lot easier than filing the old chassis to fit new couplers. 

Sell the old chassis and the shell the new chassis came with separately on ebay and you'll probably push.

- Douglas

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:12 PM

Even greater deal as that caboose is worth about $90, assuming the box came with it. 

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, February 15, 2019 7:53 PM

BMMECNYC
Even greater deal as that caboose is worth about $90, assuming the box came with it.

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No box, but I give all my brass freight car boxes away anyway.

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The model has soaked for almost a week, and the thick hard paint is putting up a good fight.

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The model is back in the bath. I will try again in another week.

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-Kevin

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:38 AM

Congratulations on your find Kevin. 

I bet brake fluid works good for stripping paint.  One of the main reasons I put Fender covers on the Mustang if I'm working on anything that has to do with brake fluid. One little drop of that stuff sure makes a nasty blemish on the fender.

I can't wait to see your Caboose finished.  I have seen your workYes  I'm sure you're excited to add that to your Fleet of Cabeese.

TF

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, February 16, 2019 8:54 AM

Brasstrains.com has a youtube video on stripping and painting brass.  I've only watched part of it,   Samhongsa behaved differently in paint stripper than the other model they stripped.  One was lacquer thinner, the other aircraft stripper.  Sorry I don't remember which was which.

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, February 16, 2019 12:30 PM

I've had good results using lacquer thinner for stripping brass - that caboose would likely have been clean in less than half an hour. 
While I've used brake fluid to strip paint, some plastics don't respond well to it, and it completely destroyed an Atlas diesel shell, deforming it severely.  I don't really like using it, as it seems messier than lacquer thinner or methyl hydrate.
Another choice would be Super Clean - I've had good success using it with both plastic and metal items.

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, February 16, 2019 1:53 PM

doctorwayne
Another choice would be Super Clean - I've had good success using it with both plastic and metal items.

Yes  Ditto! Yes

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, February 16, 2019 10:10 PM

Well... I seem to be on a run at train shows lately.

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Today was the annual Scale Rails of Southwest Florida train show in Fort Myers. I had a table and sold this B&O boxcar for $40.00, and it went to a good fellow, so I am happy. I was very proud of this car, and I did good work. The person who bought it appreciated it. It was built from a Funaro and Camerlengo kit.

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I also bought this brass FP-9 by Overland, It was mint in the box, probably never removed. It runs better than Athearn, not quite as good as Kato, but sure good enough, and it is beautiful.

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It was only $100.00 for the locomotive. I am quite happy.

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It will be a while before this beauty sees paint.

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-Kevin

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, February 16, 2019 11:03 PM

SeeYou190
It was only $100.00 for the locomotive. I am quite happy.

Sometimes you can't even buy an empty Overland box for less than $100!

I'm glad to say that most of my model RR purchases have been what I would consider "below wholesale". 

Thanks for sharing Bow

Ed

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,274 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, February 18, 2019 8:51 PM

Kevin,

That box car looks terrific! I'm very reluctant to spend that sort of money on a box car, but I would be sorely tempted by that one.

The FP 9 looks really nice! You should be ashamed of yourself for the price you paid!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughThumbs Up

Cheers!!

Dave

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