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 Christmas Train

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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:37 pm

As you might recall, several months ago I acquired my first Stainz. It was in a Christmas livery. I originally thought about repainting it, but after further consideration, I decided to assemble a Christmas train. Now as you might have noticed, most LGB Christmas rolling stock is pretty pricey, so a little creativity was called for.

First, I picked up this Christmas Niederbordwagen on eBay for the princely sum of $30.

I don't really care for the cardboard "Christmas Tree Farm" sign, so I'll be running it without that and I will likely be looking for a different load for it. So far, so good.

The Music Car
I just had to have Christmas music with my train, but I didn't want to give $100+ for the LGB musical wagon, so here's what I did. I had this car which I had purchased off eBay a while ago:


It was supposed to have a steam engine sound system in it when I bought it, but the sound system didn't work. It was also less than pristeen condition.


Removing the sound system and speaker left me with a nice hole for a speaker:


which I filled with this one, a 3 x AAA battery powered mp3 player speaker I bought for $7 at a local variety shop.


Next, I painted the car a suitable Christmas red (sorry, Laurent, yellow just isn't very Christmassy). and decorated it with Christmas stickers I bought at an Arts & Crafts shop.
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

I also got a cheap mp3 player ($5 shipped on eBay) and installed it and the speaker in the car. Voila- a Christmas music sound car.
Image hosted by servimg.com

The mp3 player uses a single AAA battery and will accept an SD card up to 2GB; I am using an old 32MB card I had with 5 or 6 Christmas songs played on music boxes. The songs will continuously repeat as long as it is playing. I can access the controls for the spraker and mp3 through the door of the freight wagon. I'm thinking of adding a bank of batteries and R/C Controls to the wagon for powering the whole train.


The Tanker
I also had one of these Chinese Knock-off (Newqida) Tankers which I bought on a whim and never really used. (Please don't banish me from the forum for buying one!)
Image hosted by servimg.com

I needed something to haul my Hot Cider around in, so why not a Christmas tanker? With a little more red paint and stickers, I have a Christmas Tanker as well:
Image hosted by servimg.com

One of my chief complaints about the Newqida cars is the cheap looking plastic used for the bodies. I am pleased to say a few good coats of paint takes care of that problem. It looks much better now.

The Future
I'll need to add at least one passenger wagon to the mix - more likely two. I currently use one of the cream and red starter set passenger cars and a green Fukultativ wagen, but these have no special Christmas markings on them. Since the LGB cars typically sell for many more dollars than I think they're worth, I'll have to be creative again. I have several unused passenger wagons I am considering. I'll work on it between now and next Christmas.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)


Last edited by KleineDicke on Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:22 pm

What a charming train Bill! I'd love to know how this typically American custom started. My friend in Kimball (Tx) has 25 feet of track and runs his LGB round the tree and his hall. He only uses it at christmas!! What a waste!!

Mikey
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:16 pm

Christmas Villages, mostly with a train runing through them, are part of a traditional American Christmas. I have no idea how it started, but it's been a tradition for many years. My father had electric trains for Christmas as a child in the 1930s. He bought me my first set in 1955, when I was 1 year old. It is a Lionel O scale set with EMD F3 A/B Diesels
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and Aluminum bodied streamliner passenger cars.
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I still have it - mostly in original boxes- and it's probably worth a fortune. My 2 brothers also each had their own trains and each Christmas, Dad would set them up in the basement on a 8ft x 12ft platform, complete with a village and, of course, our tree. It was more toy than model railroad, but we loved it. The trains "mysteriously" disappeared sometime in January until the next Christmas.

We were not allowed into the basement while Dad was setting it up until Christmas morning (we thought Santa set them up when he came). What a thrill to come down the stairway and see the trains running and the tree all lighted up. The aroma of an evergreen tree combined with ozone from the AC motors will always mean Christmas to me. I really miss those days. I tried to duplicate it with my children, but we don't have the room or a basement, and with my daughter's allergies, we have to use an artificial tree, so it just isn't the same.

Funny thing- I always thought Christmas Trains (real ones) were more a European tradition than American. I guess I assumed setting up trains around the tree was a tradition over there as well.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:23 pm

I think its a lovely tradition. I havent seen it done in peoples houses over here or in UK but the shops certainly have a display, normally 'victorian' themed. Love that Lionel set Bill!!

mikey
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Paulus



Location : The Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:17 pm

They just look great Bill! Great job! I just love that snowman face on the soundcar, it makes you happy instantly!
Smart to use an MP3 player. Probably the sound is much better than the 'mechanic sound' of some of those (older) sound modules.
And you can play the Christmas songs YOU want, from classics to metal! Twisted Evil

Looking forward to your next Christmas line-up!

_________________
Paul pirat
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:09 pm

Paulus wrote:
And you can play the Christmas songs YOU want, from classics to metal! Twisted Evil

I'm looking for the KISS Christmas CD



.... No luck so far.

Actually, I did find a Gene Simmons Christmas ornament this year-
perhaps it will become part of the train's load.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:54 pm

What a fantastic idea to use the craft stickers, the train must have looked/sounded great. Carry on with the good work

_________________
Wake me up by noon please.

Patrick
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Paulus



Location : The Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:07 pm

Quote :
Actually, I did find a Gene Simmons Christmas ornament this year-
perhaps it will become part of the train's load.
Ah yes! But you have to change his clothing into more seasonly red!

And this could be a good alternative for the Kiss album you were looking for:



Or go for an other type of "metal music": Christmas Metal...Handbell Ringers.... lol!
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:24 am

I like the way you think, my friend.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Spule 4



Location : Tennessee, USA

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:51 am

The tradition goes back to the US-German tradition of the Christmas Putz, basically a model village of gliter houses and nativity scenes.

Some had trains, others even had water features.

Check out the historic photos, especially 1930 and before:

http://www.papatedsplace.com/main.html

This, and store window displays, is the start of the model railway hobby in the US.

_________________
Garrett
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:21 am

I took a couple of photos of the train today. It was a wonderfully sunny day and about 60 degF. I mowed the lawn and raked leaves. And ran my train, of course.

Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:42 pm

I have now added a passenger coach to my train. I picked up one of these little beauties on ebay for $24.
Image hosted by servimg.com
Looks nice and festive and has a red roof as well. It was also much cheaper than the ready-made Christmas coaches. But the Circus logo had to go. Using a little brake fluid, a rag, and some elbow grease, It looked like this. I left the multi-coloured balls on the coach, sice they looked "Christmasy"; I protected them with masking tape while removing the other graphics.
Image hosted by servimg.com

Then I applied Christmas stickers and I now have a nice coach for my Christmas train.
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

I also plan to put a string of Christmas lights (battery powered LEDs) inside for a bit more festivity.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:03 pm

I would imagine you've saved a good few dollars with this project Bill, and had a lot of fun doing it/ now looking forward to next December when we can see the video of it going round the tree!

mikey
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:19 pm

My Christmas Train continues to grow. I decided I needed a Speisewagen (dining car)- after all, what"s Christmas without copious quantities of food and drink? So, I started with this:
Image hosted by servimg.com

This is a car LGB produced as a souvenir of a LGB Club meeting in the US. Interesting as well, they were autographed by Alfred E Lentz, who was president of LGB USA, I believe. It is a dining car and there are a lot of them on eBay, usally selling pretty cheap (I paid ~$30 for mine). The body is white and it has red frames around the windows. The only downside is the interior seating etc. is a bright blue color, easily corrected with some masking tape and a rattle can of brown paint. I originally thought I would disassemble the interior to paint it, but this was not to be. The elves at Herr Lehman's toy factory assemble the interior of these cars so they won't come apart, short of breaking everything. I managed to crack the "window" plastic trying, fortunately in a place where it won't be seen.

I stripped off the original logos etc. with brake fluid and a rag (I did not remove the autograph, however) and painted the roof green in contrast to the rest of my train which is mostly red. Here's how it looked:
Image hosted by servimg.com

Finally, I decorated it, as with other cars before, with craft stickers.
Image hosted by servimg.com

BTW, when I went to the craft store yesterday to get the stickers, they were stocking the shelves with Christmas merchandise. Christmas in July, no doubt.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Paulus



Location : The Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:07 am

Very nice work Bill!

I was wondering if you succeeded with the LED interior lights on the coach. Are you gonna use them in the diner car as well?

Christmas in July... that's real early indeed.
On the other hand, you can perhaps get your hands already on some fine X-Mas figures (Santa, mrs Santa, dwarfs, red-nosed reindeer etc..) as passengers santa

It's inspirational to see your work... I'm thinking now to make some native Christmas scene on a flatcar myself... scratch Idea

_________________
Paul pirat
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:59 pm

Paulus wrote:
Very nice work Bill!

I was wondering if you succeeded with the LED interior lights on the coach. Are you gonna use them in the diner car as well?

Christmas in July... that's real early indeed.
On the other hand, you can perhaps get your hands already on some fine X-Mas figures (Santa, mrs Santa, dwarfs, red-nosed reindeer etc..) as passengers santa

It's inspirational to see your work... I'm thinking now to make some native Christmas scene on a flatcar myself... scratch Idea
I do plan to put Christmas lighting LEDs in both. I found some battery (AAA) powered multi-colored light strings in a shop last Christmas and these will be perfect. All I need to do is decide how to attach them to the interior of the cars.

I already have Mr. Claus - He will likely be driving the train. I'll have to look for other passengers. I am also still loking for a load for the flat car. I was thinking about getting one of those circus animal wagons and filling it with reindeer, but I think the train is already long enough for a Stainz.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:49 pm

Well, I finally found the load I was looking for for my Christmas flat car. I know, Christmas is a long ways away, and I really didn't need another project, but the opportunity presented itself, so, as they say, carpe diem.



I spotted this on eBay last week - and bought it for the princely sum of $15.



I originally bought it only for the flat car itself but then I got to thinking (actually my mind was wandering pretty much on its own) with a couple of rattlecans and some Christmas stickers, I think I'll have a Christmas Wagon.

First, I had to remove the Circus lettering - some of it was stickers which I easily peeled off, and some was painted on in typical LGB style. It removed easily with a little brake fluid and some elbow grease. The wagon is not a Lehmann product - it has the name "Bruder" cast on the bottom. It is also not made of LGB's special polymer; it appears to be plain old polystyrene. Interesting, it also has discolored quite a bit. This becomes quite obvious when the stickers and letters are removed.



You might also notice the facing wall of the wagon is a separate from the rest of the wagon; it slides and locks into place. I guess this wagon was offered in differnt configurations with this wall being different. I also removed all the blue parts (doors, shutters, etc.) for painting.

Stay tuned for further developments. I'll post more photos as it develops.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:13 pm

These caravans (roulottes) would make a good narrow gauge wagon on their own with suitable undeframe.
Bruder make a range of toys that might be suitable for bashing.... Laughing
But I couldn't find this caravan separately though.
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:28 pm

So.... after painting, the roulotte looks like this:





The (formerly) blue pieces are made of a different polymer- seems like polypropylene or polyethylene - and it doesn't take paint very well. I may have to repaint with a different paint. Time will tell. Now I need to get out my stash of stickers and go wild.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:54 pm

More progress: All stickered up now.





And finally, loaded up on the flat car and ready to go.


_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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PostSubject: Re: Christmas Train   Today at 6:18 pm

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