The New Penn Central

Now with crunchy marshmallow bits!

I am not a model railroader. I don’t even know what an F7 is. But I am the proud owner of some antique toy trains of exceptionally high quality that have been put away in air-conditioned storage for fifty years (sorta air-conditioned). So right now I’m exploring the right side of my brain with these toy trains. I want to be able to see my plastic model kits with “fresh eyes” and be able to make a decision about whether I’m done with plastic kits (a possibility) or whether I may just want to build my nostalgia builds until old man death comes calling for someone to play the U.S. in Third Reich.

Let’s start with another one-horned beast.

It’s a whistle, son…

Here’s the Aurora (Trix) Cannon Ball with horns by Kato and furnishings by Dicker and Dicker of Beverly Hills.


The color “oddity” doesn’t show up under normal light. Gaslight, I mean. So… you were saying?

Let’s talk about drilling. I cut off the old horn with a razor saw (Zona only!) and then filled the surface with plain old super glue. It took a couple of drops and then the whole thing was left to cure. Then the surface was sanded down and the holes were drilled for the new horns.

Here’s the drill I used. It sucks. It’s a fool’s version of “efficiency.” It has a chuck on each end for utility but it’s impossible to use it that way. It would drill into your palm long before it did anything else.

The hurting thing.

So I went to Ax Man and got some hard blue balls.


…and drilled a hole in one of them to make a “handle” for the drill.

C’est manifque!

I’m not saying that your experience with blue balls will be as pleasant as mine, but it’s nice to know what can be done with a little effort.

Now who remembers the funny color on the roof of that loco? Nobody? Good.

In my original, 1968 Postage Stamp trainset I had some other damage. This reefer came with a damaged walkway.

From contented cows. Ask them!

Busted. Aurora just had lousy quality control.

Why didn’t we demand a refund? Ya got me.

I’m still in the market for a replacement or, possibly parts to repair it. This is what a hobby is all about, I think. Not rivet counting.

Here’s something I bought on eBay.

The Caboose. The train’s office. Where boss (conductor) worked. Now, I welcome our new robot overlords.?

Let’s talk about General Electric U30C locomotive number 7924. Old number 7924 was purchased from the bastards at Smith Bros. Hobbies in Lancaster, CA in 1985.

Ole’ 7924

It was purchased using Federal Reserve funny money which was worth more in those days, for some reason.

9mm… not that kind!

Then old 7924 became part of The New Penn Central when the old Southern Pacific of my adolescent nightmares was liquidated and absorbed by the spongy mass of Pennsylvania Polka-singing fellas in bib overalls.

Into the paint barn you go!

I got the markings from these guys. There were not bad, but you have to be careful. They look like an HO sheet that was downsized to N scale.

Use a knife and straightedge. Don’t do like me.

The painting and decaling was just like a plastic airplane. No diff.


I’m waiting for the last coat of Future to dry.


The Future of the past!

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