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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

Right up front, I have to state that Jim / Stillakid has inspired me to (hopefully) tackle this project. He recently executed a beautiful restoration job on a Marx tinplate 391 loco. As I peeked over his shoulder, I got the tinplate bug, and have just picked up this Lionel 1681E tinplate loco and tender, circa 1934. It needs a little t.l.c., so I plan on diving in. If my fix-it job turns out OK, I'll offer a big "tip 'o the hat" thank you to Jim. However ... if I screw things up big time (entirely possible!), he might soon here a little "TJ wrath"!

Condition -- The Bad News -- paint is dinged and chipped in several places, especially the red. Some oxidation / wear to the chrome on the shiny metal pieces. A little splitting of the tin on the front of the tender.

Condition -- The Good News -- almost no rust. Metal tabs all OK. Engine and E-unit both run. Engine needs a full tuneup, but servicable.

What I Hope / Plan to Do -- I'm jumping into this primarily as a self-education project. I'm intrigued about painting skills, and will likely do a full paint strip to bare metal (one exception, explained below), and then reprime and respray in gloss. I'll have to remove and reassemble all of the tabs and little pieces, but I think that's all doable, with no huge problems.

I've posted below a pic of Jim's Marx redo. I love -- LOVE -- his black/red two-tone. I'll stick with black/red on this Lionel, however ...

I'm thinking seriously about painting only the round boiler and boiler front black, and then the cab, frame, front pistons, and cowcatcher all red ... echoing Jim's look. I kinda like the "old toy" feel of that. What do you all think???

I NEED YOUR OPINION ON MY NEW PAINT SCHEME IDEA, please!

The tender paint has the most chips / dings. When I looked at this on ebay, I was hoping (naively) that the "red name region" on the tender was a separate, removable insert. Not the case ... it's all one with the tender shell, with lithographed "Lionel Lines" lettering on a red field. So ...

I'm hoping that I can carefully strip and/or sand/prime the black area around this red field, but tape off and leave the red and letters intact. I.e., repaint the black, but not the lettering. We'll see.

CHOICE OF PAINT MFR TYPE --

RichT here has touted the benefits of the thin/sandable Rustoleum primer. I'll go ahead and use that as a base.

For a gloss top coat, I was thinking (naively) about using Krylon ... in my limited experience, it's a bit more durable than Rustoleum top coats. But maybe I'm wrong ... SET ME STRAIGHT HERE ... WHAT TOPCOAT PAINT TYPE WOULD YOU USE?

More info to follow as the project explodes ...

TJ

My Lionel 1681E, as found:








For comparison, here's Jim's Marx redo ... I like this black/red scheme and transition:


For comparison, here's another Lionel 1681E in ALL RED, as produced in 1935:



UPDATE --

Quick computer cut-n-paste paint ideas ...

Red cab and roof:


Red cab, but black roof:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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AWWW! You have a Lionel JR.

The paint sounds OK. You will get plenty of tab practice. I use blue tape to mask. That will be needed for the tender. I see no problem with saving the lettering on the tender. The red does need to be done on the engine. Have fun!
 

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Thanks for the mention.... I feel honored.

Kylon is good stuff.... and it dries fast.....

The Red/Black you spoke of sounds like it will be really nice... Masking out the lettering should do the trick.... Like T-main said.. the 3m Blue painters tape will come off clean without lifting off the letters.

Maybe even just mask an area slightly bigger then the letters and then you can paint the inset area red... remove the masking then hand paint a gold boarder around the seam of the old an new red paints to make it look like a little plaque.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rich,

Thanks for the thumbs-up on Krylon. I think I'll give them a shot.

You must have had a bird chirping my thoughts outside your window. My wife has one of those Pilot fine-tip gold paint pen markers. I was thinking of using it to carefully dab on the (painted only) rivets that surround the tender letter area, and maybe highlight the bumpy rivets on the loco. If I can do that with a steady hand, I might try your idea to create a gold border/transition between the red and black in way of the tender letter region. That would look slick if I can pull it off.

Thanks very much for your great advice in this and many other threads!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Jim,

I haven't done anything yet ... those are simply quick-n-dirty PHOTOSHOP paint scheme ideas. I have a long road ahead with this project ... a LONG road :)

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Point of No Return ...

Quick update ...

Loco and tender all disassembled ... I crossed the point of no return!

Little metal tabs all good. Metal throughout generall in good shape. I'm proceeding with strip to bare metal.

TJ

 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Quick update ...

Loco and tender all disassembled ... I crossed the point of no return!

Little metal tabs all good. Metal throughout generall in good shape. I'm proceeding with strip to bare metal.

TJ






Looking stripped all right.

From the picture it looks like you got all the parts,

All except the engine?:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Big Ed,

I have the engine, as shown in the pics near the top of this thread. It runs, but needs a decent cleaning/lube job. Also, I'm sure that someone had replaced the shiny brass gear between the two drive wheels. Unfortunately, their replacement appears to be a touch smaller diameter than the original, such that there's a wee bit of slop between the motor's small-diameter gear, "this" gear, and the gears on the wheels themselves. No huge concern to me, as long as this old girl performs only light duty. I'll keep my eyes out, though, for a proper replacement option down the road.

Paint stripping of the disassembled parts shown above starts tomorrow, I hope.

More to come ... more to come ...

Thanks the checking in!

TJ
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Big Ed,

I have the engine, as shown in the pics near the top of this thread. It runs, but needs a decent cleaning/lube job. Also, I'm sure that someone had replaced the shiny brass gear between the two drive wheels. Unfortunately, their replacement appears to be a touch smaller diameter than the original, such that there's a wee bit of slop between the motor's small-diameter gear, "this" gear, and the gears on the wheels themselves. No huge concern to me, as long as this old girl performs only light duty. I'll keep my eyes out, though, for a proper replacement option down the road.

Paint stripping of the disassembled parts shown above starts tomorrow, I hope.

More to come ... more to come ...

Thanks the checking in!

TJ
I know I just had to say something.:laugh:

I should have said your arrangement of the parts looks very neat like they are laid out to be operated on.

Are you a doctor of some sorts?:laugh:

I notice your neatness in your first post of your HO layout too?:D:thumbsup:
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Huh?


Doctor TJ MD
 

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Wow, that is a beautiful engine TJ and it looks like you are doing a great job restoring it. Sorry that I have been missing for awhile, I just picked up a job at the local Home Depot and I have been getting my forklift training. Hopefully now I can save up some money and get myself another Lionel to restore.

Cory
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gents,

Another pic/update. Loco boiler, cab, frame, and piston is all stripped, ready for primer / paint. I'll paint each component individually, though the pic shown below has them quickly stacked together for a "fun / shiny" shot. Kinda sweet, huh?

I used paint stripper, then Easy Off to strip / clean the pieces. A little Dremel wire-brush buff/ cleanup after that ... Worked great.

I had to Dremel wire-brush strip the tender sides by hand, shown below. I was afraid to use any liquid strippers, as I'm attempting to save (and reuse) the red "Lionel Lines" painted inset field.

If the weather is nice this weekend, I'll start spray priming / painting.

More to come ...

TJ

 

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TJ,

What paint stripper did you use, and how did you strip it? Spray or brush?

I'm used to stripping plastic with Easy Off, but I have very limited experience stripping metal
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ian,

"What stripper did I use?" ... Uhh ... I think her name was Barbi or Bambi or something like that. Dohhh!

(Sorry ... couldn't resist.)

This is my first loco strip/refinish job, so I'm naively learning as I go. To get the "first" layer of original paint off, I used Klean Strip KS-3 Premium Stripper (bought at Home Depot). I applied this with a throw-away "chip brush" over a throw-way tinfoil tray. Use this stripper with care, and with plenty of open-air ventilation. That got a chunk of the original paint, but not all. So ...

I then did the Easy Off bath in a throw-away tinfoil tray. That worked great. In fact, so good, that I think I'll go straight to that next time, and forego the Klean Strip.

I used two baths of Easy Off, with a Dremel wire brush rub down after each. Be careful about what type of Dremel wire brush ... there's a (mild) steel one, which shouldn't mar the loco metal. Dremel also makes a staineless steel wire brush, which can be much more abrasive / detrimental to the loco shell and parts. Use with care, if you go this route.

After the stripping and the brushing, I gave everything a careful wipedown with denatured alcohol.

(I stripped the side portions of my tender car with Dremel, only ... no Easy Off, as I wanted to save the original inset painted region.)

One other thought ... about halfway through the Dremel tender strip, I realized that this old Lionel paint was likely lead-based. This thought popped into my head as a cloud of black dust was encircling my head ... and likely into my nose/lungs. Not good. Stupid mistake on my part. I then donned a respirator and pushed ahead with the job.

Hope this helps!

TJ
 
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