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Old 05-01-2011, 03:39 PM   #41
Gerard
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I think the square on the roof is a characteristic of some of the early 1688E shells, though I never even noticed one until it was pointed out in this thread. I've seen two (out of hundreds) of 1688Es that have the extra windows on the front of the cab. There is one that recently ended on eBay (# 110675083077) which appears to have the same roof square if you look close, though there is no good shot from above.

This is my best guess on 1688 shell variations:

1688E, no cab wall, roof square + extra windows - rarest
1688E, no cab wall, roof square - second rarest
1688E, no cab wall, no roof square, one nameplate - third rarest
1688E, no cab wall, no roof square - common
1688, cab wall, no roof square - common

It seems like there were at least five different shell variations. I think all 1688Es have the older style 1681 motors, while later 1688s have either the older style 1681 motor or the newer plastic-bottom motor variation. Altogether that makes at least six total variations. My 1688 is a common variation with a cab wall, no roof square, and 1681 motor.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:01 PM   #42
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Gerard,

That's a fabulous delination of the 1688 lineage, above. Thanks very much for sharing this ... it helps fill in many fuzzy questions in my mind.

Much appreciated!

TJ
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:07 PM   #43
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Dressed in Black ...

A nice sunny, warm day for painting today. I used Krylon grey primer with a Krylon satin black top coat. The photo below is a little deceiving ... it almost looks pewter-colored in the photo, but it's black in real life.

That said, I was a little dissappointed with the satin. It has a bit more sheen than I was hoping for. I was trying to match the matte paint job on my 221 loco (which I ebay bought already restored). I thought the Krylon black would do well, but perhaps I need to go full flat on the next loco? Is there any paint that has a more matte finish ... something between true flat and satin???

Anyway ... trim details to get installed tomorrow, with luck.

Cheers,

TJ

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Old 05-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #44
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Looks mighty fine to me, a little "glow" is good.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #45
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Satin is Nice!

I am not crazy about flat black. The Satin stands out and says I'm freshly painted.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:21 PM   #46
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Wow! She's gorgeous!
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:53 PM   #47
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Lionel 1688 Loco -- Second Chances

Hi guys,

Well, I started this thread with a title of "Second Chances", and I'm happy to profess that optimistic outlook here again. After a weekend project repaint of the 1688 shell, I installed the trim pieces earlier today, and rekindled some life back into this old loco...

After some debate, I opted to remove the shiny metal boiler top trim for the repaint... the three mid-length "buttons", and the bezel ring around the smokestack. I had to grind away the button "peened heads" from the inside to remove them, but I think it made for a cleaner paint job. (Thanks to Jim Stallakid for twisting my arm here.) I installed them with a tiny drop or two of Zap CA from the inside of the shell, along with a drop of Kicker for a quick set. Ditto on the Zap CA for install of the red marker lights in the front. The handrails and the nameplates were easy tab bends.

I had previsously reconditioned the motor, which I had gotten running fine on a bench test. However, when I installed the motor and it's shell-mounted light into the loco, the motor would run, but the light wouldn't. Strange. Remove the shell, and the light worked just fine (with a ground). I checked to make sure that bracket that mounts the light to the shell had scratched through the fresh paint (as it's supposed to) to allow a ground to the shell, motor, and outer rails. All good there. Still, a no-go on the light. After some headscratching, I placed a small piece of paper between the top of the motor and the underside of the shell. Something in there must have been creating a short to the light circuit ... perhaps the bent tabs of the handrail? Anyway, with the paper as a little insulation barrier, everything now works fine ...

And the old Lionel 1688E loco is running again!

Cheers,

TJ

BEFORE ...



AFTER ...




Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lionel-1688-23.jpg (91.7 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg Lionel-1688-24.jpg (87.3 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg Lionel-1688-26.jpg (63.3 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg Lionel-1688-04.jpg (112.4 KB, 141 views)
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:21 PM   #48
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Let me be the first to say it's a bit of an improvement! Great job, looks super!

It needs a couple of Engineer figures in the cab.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:32 PM   #49
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Excellent! in the first picture, (the one that is not together) it shines like chrome.

I like.

Next one, Fire engine red with Gold leaf trim?
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:39 PM   #50
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That is a beautiful 1688E. I like the shiny satin black and I think it looks perfect all put together.

Whoever repainted my 1688 at some point (with a dull/matte black color) just painted right over the smokestack ring and trim parts, though the paint is pretty nice and I still think it looks great.

I think a red 1688 could look pretty cool. I can envision a 1688 version of the Red Comet set with some matching red 1630 passenger cars.
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