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Model Train Material

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  • Member since
    July 2023
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Model Train Material
Posted by hondabones on Monday, July 31, 2023 12:30 PM

What were/are metal trains made from? I keep being told brass but it doesn't look like brass. HO scale are the ones I have. Thanks.

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Posted by davidmurray on Monday, July 31, 2023 3:46 PM

In the past there were two types of minature trains sold.  The least expensive ones were referred to as "tin-Plate".  The better ones were made of Brass.  Some brass ones are still made, but are quite pricey.

If you take the shell off, brass ones will look like brass.

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, July 31, 2023 4:13 PM

I thought they were made out of money.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, July 31, 2023 4:21 PM

Welcometo the Forum.  Your posts will be delayed in moderation for a while.

We can't see your trains. 

Some were made out of brass and if painted, that may not be obvious, some metal high in zinc (and they suffer from zinc rot) and some mysteriously referred to a diecast, which is non iron/steel mix.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 12:18 AM

hondabones
I keep being told brass but it doesn't look like brass.

If they are not brass models then they are a probably a pewter-like cast metal that goes by many names and formulas.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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Posted by PM Railfan on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 1:54 AM

Bones) Model trains have been made from many metals over the last 100 years. And not in just in HO scale. Scale in this case is irrelevant. 

Best way to tell what a model is made of is visual inspection.

You will actually have to look at a part of the model where you can see the 'bare metal'. Then you can determine 'what metal' it is made of.

If the model has been painted, and alot of brass models are painted now-a-days, you may have to get into the nooks and crannies to see bare metal (upside down or inside model maybe).

 

Alternate ways:

Get the manufacturer name. Brass models are easily determined that way. As is any other type of model.

If unpainted, its obvious what metal it is, but if painted... get the type, roadname, roadnumber, and class of model if possible. This can also be used to trace a model.

Buy it NIB where youll know its brass, OR, from one of the hobbys many reputable brass dealers. 

 

 

Clear Ahead!

PMR

 

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Posted by PM Railfan on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 1:59 AM

kasskaboose

I thought they were made out of money.

 

 

Best answer so far! Laugh Laugh

 

PMR

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Posted by NVSRR on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 7:26 AM

For something that heavy.  My pocket sure gets lighter 

PM Railfan

 

 
kasskaboose

I thought they were made out of money.

 

 

 

 

Best answer so far! Laugh Laugh

 

PMR

 

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 1:36 PM

  Many trains were made from ZAMAC. An alloy of zink, aluminum, magnesium and copper. Some like early Bowser were lead. Then you have tin plate which is a stamped sheet metal.

    Pete.

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    June 2005
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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 6:24 PM

What trains do you have?  A lot of different metals have been used, but brass and zinc diecast are the most common.

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