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Looking to purchase passenger set (probable used)

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Looking to purchase passenger set (probable used)
Posted by Penn Central on Thursday, July 29, 2021 10:48 AM

Hi everyone, I'd like to purchase a passenger set with full interiors. I've been looking online (ebay mostly) for used sets simply for the lower prices. Also Greenbergs is coming to my town in a few weeks. Was hoping for insight on the sets I'm currently contemplating as well as any I may have missed. 

I'll note that my centerpiece set is an 8 car Superliner (Kato) set complete with two P42 engines. Also have Lionel's Polar Express and a set of older PRR cars I will try to renovate with interiors and lighting.

So looking for something on the classic side, like:

- NY Central / 20th Century Limited: can't seem to find any of these in HO scale

- Baltimore & Ohio (Walthers, Bachmann Spectrum): some nice ones, probably the leader right now in my mind

- Southern Crescent Limited (IHC); pretty nice

- Orient Express: I've seen some really cool ones out there but its mostly a Bachmann set from the 80's. I'm hesitant that it would run well on my tracks.  

In the past I bought some older Rivarossi Amtrak cars and turned out to be a PIA to find parts and get them running smoothly.

Any other recommendations on insight on my above prospect would be greatly appreciated!

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Thursday, July 29, 2021 1:08 PM

Hi Penn Central, I hope this is helpful.

A) Regarding your older Rivarossi Amtrak cars.  If they're the 1980's-90's Red Box Budd units, they're generally very easy to repair and upgrade, which I find fun to do. Depending on the year produced, some units came with interiors some did not. After painting, I installed an IHC interior and metal wheelsets on the "Riv" Budd below: 

What parts do you need? Plenty of "Rivs" show up at model railroad swap meets and flea markets. I got one coach for $9 which I cannabalized for the glazing and diaphrams, while using the shell as a paint tester.

B) There are HO passenger train sets currently on the bay. Depending on the manufacturer (and seller), starting and finishing bids can be "wallet crunchers".

You could consider doing what a number of American passenger train modelers already do.............build your trains 1 to 2 cars at a time.  I performed a search on the bay, and there are individual Bachmann Spectrum heavyweight passenger cars in the B&O paint scheme up for bids.  They do look nice.

NOTE: As of this post, there is an AHM B&O smooth sided set on the bay with a low "Buy-it-now" price. Yes, it is 1970's technology but, like Rivarossi Budds, they're very easy to spruce up and detail to make them look decent. 

Good idea to replace the plastic wheel sets with 36" wheel sets (cut off the brake clasps).  A step further; Walthers trucks (with adapaters) can be installed on Riv and AHM cars. 

C) Do you perform decal and/or painting work?  If so, instead of targeting specific train sets, you can easily build up your passenger car fleet with the older run Walthers cars.  There are LOADS of them on ebay and they're factory equipped with interiors.  I have a nice sized fleet of Walthers Budd, and PS cars and am currently repainting (metalizing) them into the SCL and ACL schemes and have been enjoying the process.  My "ancient secret approach" is to target Walthers cars that are in the least popular railroad names as they often sell at cheaper bids. Afterall,  they're going to be paint-stripped anyway Stick out tongue.

 

 

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Penn Central on Thursday, July 29, 2021 4:48 PM

Hi AntonioFP45 - 

Thanks so much. You've given me alot to think about.  I may try this route. I do like little projects like this but have never done any in this area. So couple thoughts & questions....

 

A) On my Riv purchases I'll have to get out the boxes and let you know. They were red boxes. 4 cars to a pack (got 8 amtrak cars). They were used off eBay. And then I got them the trucks were partially ruined. I may have found new trucks cant remember. Only that I was frustrated and disappointed. 

B) I would love to try my hand at making my own, especially if its fun and lest costly.  To your pioint about one on ebay right now, do you mean this one?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/133703886215?hash=item1f215f6587:g:xQAAAOSwArFgW-n9

I'm always trying to see if they have interiors or not, sometimes hard to tell.  I'd love to either get interiors and/or paint existing ones and add lighting and figurines. Again no idea how to do that. 

 

C) lastly to your question about painting and decal, def never done that. I'm worried b/c I feel like there's little room for error and its all very small, which I'm not great at handling. 

How do you strip the paint? Also which types of Walthers cars do you target with your "ancient secret approach"? could you give me some examples? 

I've seen some custom interiors sold on ebay. How exactly do I know if they will fit a car I have? what exactly do I need to measure? I guess I can ask the seller that too. 

 

Well youv'e given me alot to think about. And you've talked me back from dropping $250-$300 on a set.  At least I'll hold off until Greenbergs comes to down at the end of August :-)

 

Thanks again

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Thursday, July 29, 2021 5:52 PM

Here's an example of what you can do with IHC cars:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/204295.aspx#2234213

I can't make the link clickable but copying and pasting works. You click Quote to get the link into your screen which then gives you access to the text to copy and paste into the browser window. Or someone who knows how will make the link clickable. 

Anyway, I did this upgrade and it's worthwhile.  I don't like McHenry couplers  so I'm slowly replacing these one by one with the Kadee upgrade which is a bit more involved. You need to file the coupler box openings a bit to get the Kadee adapter to fit.

I have a set of Rivarossi heavyweights which work well with Kadees and metal wheelsets. I fit the 33" same size as Rivarossi uses so didn't have to clip off the brake shoe mouldings. 

Rivarossi trucks benefit from a little cleaning, tuning and lubing. 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Thursday, July 29, 2021 7:55 PM

You're welcome. Yes, that the set that I mentioned.

BTW: Very good tips from Alyth Yard on how he spruces up his IHC passenger cars.

Regarding purchasing cars from Ebay. I'm modeling the mid-1960's to mid 70's era. Walthers 1990's-early 2000's production lightweight passenger cars (unplated, tan-blue-red boxes) imho fit the bill nicely. The newer Walthers Proto series (gray boxes) are better detailed and more expensive, but if you find good deals on them, go for it!

I was just trying to be funny Clown about my so called "ancient secret".  In reality all I did was scour ebay patiently looking for older run Budd and Pullman Standard coaches, diners, sleepers, lounges, combines, observations, and "bags". Cool factor is some are "new-old-stock" and used ones are usually in good condition. Pricewise, in a number of instances, road names such as: L&N, Rock Island, and Burlington Northern, tended to sell at lower bid prices than Santa Fe, Burlington, or Southern Pacific. Whenever I found units I was interested in, I'd keep an eye on them and bid within the last 10 minutes of their closing. Since passenger car modeling interests started shifting to newer cars (plated units, Superliners, Amfleet, Surfliners, etc....) I usually got the car I wanted at a good price. 

Here's a sample of what I target and consider a very nice deal.

Interiors: I'll be flamed for this, but I'm not super picky regarding precise accurate interiors for Rivarossi, IHC, and AHM cars. The generic IHC one-piece 1930's interiors usually fit in with little trimming required. They show up on ebay regularly ranging from $5 to $30. I paint them (paint brush, Polyscale Acrylics) before installation, focusing on seats, tables, or anything that's going to be visible. I no longer paint the floors since I add window shades (strip styrene) on to the glazing which makes the floors virtually "out of sight".

Paint stripping / Painting - That is a very in depth topic in that there are  multiple approaches. Fortunately there are a number of painters on this forum so you'll find plenty of excellent tips. I'll be glad to share my approach(es), but first.......do you have an airbrush / compressor set up or will you be taking the spray can route?

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Penn Central on Sunday, August 1, 2021 10:32 AM

This is all great stuff. I have to say I've been inspired. I think this might be something I'd really enjoy trying and will also provide me what whatever I want to make or can dream up :-) 

On the painting question I dont own anything right now.  I do have a compressor I use in my garage so could I ue that for painting? I guess I'll have to do some real research here.  And I'll post a new thread topic when I start.

Finally, you mention the strip styrene for your window shades. I noticed that right away in your picture above. Makes it look so authentic!

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Posted by Penn Central on Sunday, August 1, 2021 10:38 AM

PS - @AntonioFP45, on the picture of your model above, I thought I recognized the name. We used to vacation in Naples with my kids a few years ago. Each year we'd visit the Naples Train Museum which I think is part of an old Seacoast Line museum. Anyway out back they always had this old Seacoast lounge car that you could walk through.  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/23711298@N07/8454258907

 

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Posted by Penn Central on Sunday, August 1, 2021 9:42 PM

PPS - I've been browsing ebay for older and/or unpainted passenger cars. Lots out there.  Also found these brand new Walthers cars. But these seem to be in line or cheaper than what I'm seeing on ebay. and these would be in mint condition. All I'd need to do is paint/letter, etc.  Not that that's easy.

thoughts?


https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/walthers-mainline-ho-910-30100-85-budd-10-6-sleeper-car-unlettered/

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, August 2, 2021 7:25 AM

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by Trainman440 on Monday, August 2, 2021 10:28 AM

Hello! I think Rivarrossi/AHM heavyweight cars can turn into fine models if you spend the time to upgrade them.

I wont go into detail on these, but I did make a video in more detail if you're curious, but in short:

1. add weight using BBs and lead weights into the small holes in various underframe details (below interior piece which can be purchased separately)

2. add Intermountain metal wheels 36", trimming the break shoes along the way (by default they actually use 33" wheels so 36" wheels need more clearance)

3. replacing much of the molded on grab irons/handrails with formed metal ones

4. adding pickups to the trucks

5. adding constant interior lighting

6. adding body mounted kadee couplers

You can go further by repainting them with more accurate colors, adding markers, adding more underbody detail, figures, painting the interior, flush mounted windows, etc. 

These cars can be turned into really nice looking and operating models, they just need some work!


-------------

as far the other brands youve mentioned, Walthers (non proto, $20-40) can sometimes be had for exellent low prices and are great! Proto cars are literally non proto cars but with a bit more paint and the included wire grabs are preinstalled for you, but you end up paying almost double($60-80)! Note Walthers' special 20th cen limited cars are between $45-110, with the observation car being ridiciously expensive these days. 

Bachmann spectrum cars ($15-20) are basically upgraded rivarossi cars but are based off of PRR prototype (painted for various other roads) and a good value. However, their new line of cars are literally the same as the older spectrum cars but with flush windows and cost twice as much. ($54) https://youtu.be/yBWxX_CRWMk

Branchline kits are great if you can find them, and are very accurate and detailed($20-30)! they take time to build but you end up with a model more detailed than walthers.

There are some other kit brands like Bethleham car works, NKP car co, etc. which you might find some obscure B&O or NYC cars. MTH also makes a really good 20th cen set but good luck finding one for under $500.

Good luck! Hope the prices help you decide what to get at your next train show!

 

Charles

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, August 2, 2021 10:43 AM

Trainman440
Hello! I think Rivarrossi/AHM heavyweight cars can turn into fine models if you spend the time to upgrade them.

Yes they can! I have seen many excellent upgraded Rivarossi passenger cars.

Trainman440
Branchline kits are great if you can find them, and are very accurate and detailed($20-30)! they take time to build but you end up with a model more detailed than walthers.

I have four branchline heavyweight passenger car kits. My only complaint is that they never offered many needed body styles.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Trainman440 on Monday, August 2, 2021 1:26 PM

SeeYou190

I have four branchline heavyweight passenger car kits. My only complaint is that they never offered many needed body styles.

-Kevin

I agree, they shouldve produced more types of cars, but I think given you could only choose so many types, Branchline picked the best (most common) ones. I wouldve loved to have seen more types, but because of them I got a pretty sizable collection of pullman pool sleepers now!

Also, they based their single window coach cars on NYC protoypes*, making acquiring this popular car (which no one else made for some reason) much easier than buying brass. 

I wouldve liked to see a 3-2 observation and a 28-1 parlor car but that's just me :D

Charles

*Instead of Walthers who based a lot of their cars off of arguably obscure prototypes, such as their "generic" diner, baggage, and RPO baggage cars off of MP prototypes. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

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Posted by Penn Central on Monday, August 2, 2021 9:47 PM

Trainman440 - amazing details, thank you! the instructions are great as well as the video. Watched the whole thing. You've given me alot of inspiration here.  Scouring the internet for different options out there. 

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Thursday, August 5, 2021 6:14 AM

Hi Penn Central.

Apologies for not replying sooner as I've been busy with work/home issues.

I did forget to mention the "Walthers Main Line" series passenger cars. They are attractive but (don't take this negatively) my issues with them are

1. The 1970's "Con Cor" style window glazing (2 long pieces of clear plastic, attached to the roof, 1 on each side).  I've been spoiled with the flush fitting glazing strips of the older and newer Walthers proto cars, which (imho) look more realistic. Even the 1980's production Rivarossi Budds used flush fitting glazing. But this is just my preference. 

2. The Main Line coaches, diners, and Bagg-Lounge cars use the same 10-6 sleeper underbody. Of course, that helps to keep the cost down.

3. Talgo Trucks.  Although not an issue if you're dealing with sharp curves on the layout.

But for the price, they are very nice cars, equipped with interiors and metal wheels. I do own one Main Line Bagg-Lounge car that I'm paint stripping and refinishing as a stand-in car for an SCL unit that had a vaguely similar appearance. I'll post a thread when I finish it.

Cool that you visited Naples. Walthers actually produced that ex-SAL observation car. They pop up on ebay in various road names, including Amtrak.  The only "prototype" glitch is that the light housing on the roof is too large (how did Walthers get that wrong when there are at least two prototypes still in existence?).

Regarding paint stripping  Walthers (unplated and older run), Rivarossi, AHM, IHC, Con Cor, and Bachmann cars are "generally" easy to paint strip.

After disassemblying a car, I turn the shell upside down, and soak the shell inside of a small tub filled with either 91% Iso Alcohol, or SUPER CLEAN (purple). With AHM, IHC, and Riv cars, the paint starts to float off in less than 15 minutes. I now let the shell soak for a least 30 minutes, then test-scrub it with a medium bristle tooth brush.  If the paint comes off easily, I continue scrubbing the entire exterior, turning the shell over and over in the solution. Once it looks clean, in the light, I wash it off with warm water and either Dawn, Ivory liquid, or any soap that has NO moisturizers, oils or perfumes. Surface should be absolutely clean with no oils or lubricants present.

NOTE:

A. You should wear gloves if using Super Clean!!!!  I learned the hard way after stripping a shell for a friend, then 2 days later the skin on my fingers (both hands) was flaking off. That was not fun. It is stronger than 91% Iso alcohol.

B. The paint on the Walthers Mainline cars is a bit more stubborn to strip with 91% alchohol. I found Super Clean to be more effective after soaking for at least an hour.

Here's my Mainline shell soaking. I left the underbody on it, just to see if it the paint was stubborn on it as well.

Success! All of the silver paint came off.

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Sunday, August 8, 2021 7:02 PM

Trainman440,

Nicely done on your videos! I enjoyed watching them. Good to see modelers taking inexpensive models and sprucing them up to the point where they would blend in nicely with higher end models in a train. Very nice job on the Observation car. What a difference shaving the bolster, adding realistic grabs, and good lighting makes!

Years back I decided to go ahead and sell off my Rivs and AHM units, after seeing (and gradually purchasing) the quality of the Rapido and Walthers units. But then as I looked at my Rivs and AHM's, the old adage "You should work with whach-cha got!" popped up in the back of my mind. After working on those older cars, I didn't realize at first that sprucing them up, from the crude "toy level" to "model level" would be so enjoyable.  I plan on tweaking and detailing them even more once I finish my Walthers and Rapido units. 

Your vids and posts are very encouraging and will hopefully helpful to Penn Central.  YesCool

Trainman440

Hello! I think Rivarrossi/AHM heavyweight cars can turn into fine models if you spend the time to upgrade them.

Charles

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


  • Member since
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Posted by Trainman440 on Friday, August 13, 2021 9:51 AM

AntonioFP45

Trainman440,

Nicely done on your videos! I enjoyed watching them. Good to see modelers taking inexpensive models and sprucing them up to the point where they would blend in nicely with higher end models in a train. Very nice job on the Observation car. What a difference shaving the bolster, adding realistic grabs, and good lighting makes!

Years back I decided to go ahead and sell off my Rivs and AHM units, after seeing (and gradually purchasing) the quality of the Rapido and Walthers units. But then as I looked at my Rivs and AHM's, the old adage "You should work with whach-cha got!" popped up in the back of my mind. After working on those older cars, I didn't realize at first that sprucing them up, from the crude "toy level" to "model level" would be so enjoyable.  I plan on tweaking and detailing them even more once I finish my Walthers and Rapido units. 

 

Thanks for the kind words! I did some very basic upgrades, and while they still look far from any walthers proto car, Im satisfied with how they look. I mostly wanted to upgrade their running characteristics, but wanted to avoid a full repaint.

People have done far more complex and complete upgrades, like Doctor Wayne in freelancing these cars. 

Here are some super impressive rivarossi santa fe superdetailing projects from the SFRHMS:

http://sfrhms.org/files/CaseyTom/ATSF_hwt_Diner.pdf

https://sfrhms.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/kitbashing_cars.pdf

Sample slide from ^

One day I hope to recreate it! (since the only other option is to shell out a few hundred for a brass model)

 

Charles

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

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Posted by PennsyLou on Sunday, August 15, 2021 3:35 PM

Quite a while back I converted 4 or 5 of the Riverossi cars that are correct for the PRR's Broadway Limited - very much like what is covered in some of the excellent posts above - added new body mounted couplers, new metal trucks, grab irons, painted interior w/figures and lighting, new paint and decals etc.  They turned into good looking models - not as nice as the ones out now, which are a bit pricy but I can afford that nowadays.  Of course I picked up the Walthers set, now I can mix the cars and run the Broadway in both directions on the layout.

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Posted by RealGomer on Saturday, August 21, 2021 12:40 PM

I have three Rivarossi Pennsylvania passenger cars from the mid 1960s. No interiors and no upgrades. Give me a shout if interested.

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Posted by Great Northern Fan 54 on Friday, August 27, 2021 9:01 AM
Hmm, Have you considered using AHM cars?

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