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The train looks great. I can almost smell the smoke here. Very nice.
Those fan driven smoke units are great.
 

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Here are a few more pictures of fragrant smoke I took on the layout yesterday. The Challenger was the second S gauge Legacy engine and the first that was true 1/64 scale. The Big Boy was the first but it is a little oversize for S because it used an old K Line casting.
The diesel is one of many I have with fan driven smoke. Lionel now puts smoke in all the Legacy diesels but none of the FlyerChief diesels. This is much better than it sounds and is realistic. I run diesels more often now that they also smoke.
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Today for a Photo of the Day I am posting a picture my dad took Christmas Eve, 1949. This picture is significant to me because it is the first tree with a bit of a layout under it. I was not old enough to talk or walk and certainly do not recall it. I chose this to post because it shows my four original H&H street lights just a few days after they were purchased. The buildings are a detailed cardboard kit that my mother assembled, they are HO scale and can be illuminated so light glows through the windows. I still have them. The cars on the roadway actually run, there are 8 of them that circle the town. My dad made this by using a washing machine motor, three pulleys and a large size rubber drive belt. The cars are attached to the belt that is under the layout. I still have the cars.
The following year, 1950 the first American Flyer trains arrived.


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Very cool pic Tom. My how time passes. I recognize the base from your other pics.
Very nice Christmas photo. Magical.

What-No video of the cars running? Just kidding. Not much video back then.
 

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My dad bought an 8mm movie camera in 1952, no videos before then.
The brick paper around the base was called Chimney Paper back then. It is crepe paper and tended to stretch a bit over 2 or 3 weeks. That is the small brick size. I now use a commercial heavy duty corrugated brick paper on my layouts since the original stuff is no longer available. The commercial material is large brick size only.
 

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Out standing idea with the washing machine motor and the running cars. Love the way that tree looks Tom. Takes me back to my childhood Christmases. My mom loved to drape the "ice sickles" or "tinsel" on quite heavily as your picture shows. I haven't seen ice icicles or tinsel in years. Is it still around or did some stupid government regulation deem it unsafe because kids might choke on if swallowed? Cool that you still have those cars and cardboard buildings.

Kenny
 

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Kenny, I still have the C6 lights and the bubble lights as well as most of the ornaments on that tree. Those icicles were lead, no longer legal. Also when one of them fell across the track it would short out the transformer. The new ones are a type of plastic that are non conductive and safe to handle. They are still available but hard to find. About a decade ago I bought a lifetime supply of icicles in an after Christmas sale. I last put them on a tree in 2015, maybe this year I will use them again. When it gets close to Christmas I will post pictures of some of the collectibles.
My dad was far more mechanically inclined than I am.
 

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Looking forward to those picture. I didn't know those early icicles were lead. That would for sure short out a transformer if one landed across both rails. I still don't remember seeing the newer version as you describe anywhere. I have some bubble lights but the newer version, not like yours, and one string of C6 lights has survived all these years. My dad used bubble lights all over the place not just on the tree. My parents were Christmas decorator crazy. My dad assembled my first American Flyer set with the cardboard trestles around the base of the tree in a figure 8.
Since my wife's passing 5 years ago I don't do the tree anymore. Might get out some of my mechanical operating figures this year and put them in the middle of a small oval of track on the floor and run what red and green passenger cars I have and use those street lamps too. I'll see how my dog reacts to those moving figures being on the floor.

Kenny
 

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The newer icicles are mylar, similar to the metallic appearing party balloons. The old lead icicles are not smooth, they have fold ridges across them. They are not as shiny as the mylar replacements. If you want some old lead icicles go on ebay in Nov/Dec, there are always some used packages for sale. I never bought any, too pricey. By far the worst tree decorating product sold was Angel Hair. I was finely spun fiberglass intended to be spread out and put on a tree. It was really nasty stuff. If handled with bare hands resulted in scratched skin and a day of itching.
I do not recognize that collectors name. I think you will need to do a Christmas train layout this year, it is doubtful I will have one. Looking forward to pictures.
 

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The newer icicles are mylar, similar to the metallic appearing party balloons. The old lead icicles are not smooth, they have fold ridges across them. They are not as shiny as the mylar replacements. If you want some old lead icicles go on ebay in Nov/Dec, there are always some used packages for sale. I never bought any, too pricey. By far the worst tree decorating product sold was Angel Hair. I was finely spun fiberglass intended to be spread out and put on a tree. It was really nasty stuff. If handled with bare hands resulted in scratched skin and a day of itching.
I do not recognize that collectors name. I think you will need to do a Christmas train layout this year, it is doubtful I will have one. Looking forward to pictures.
Thanks for the information on the icicles and the ebay lead. I'll check it out. It looks like nobody caught my little pun regarding icicles when I wrote "ice sickles". I wasn't a big fan of them since it seemed every time it came time to take the tree down, those things were everywhere. It seemed as though a couple of them would turn up on the carpet for months.
The collector I mentioned, Mark Speichert, was on the cover of a past issue of S Gaugian. They did an article on his layout and collection. No I didn't write down the issue but will go back and get it. The only reason I know the name was from the article in CTT on the KleerPac cars where they mentioned him as the supplier of all the cars in the article.

Kenny
 

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I missed the pun.
I saw the name in the KleerPak article but did not recognize it.
The 1949 picture I posted above is a scan of a negative my brother did at 600dpi. Consequently the resolution is not so great. On Wednesday we are taking Phase 1 of our picture scanning project to the professional shop for high resolution scanning. I have peviously scanned some 4x6 prints on my home flatbed scanner at 1200dpi and they were pretty good. We are having the prints scanned at 2400dpi and the negative of that picture along with the other 7 from the roll at 4800dpi. Hope to have them back in 2 weeks or so. Since the negative is in perfect condition I hope the image quality will be much better.
 

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It seems as though I am going through a period of giving out wrong information. For whatever reason I said that Mark Speichert appeared on the cover of an issue of S Gaugian. WRONG AGAIN!!
The picture of the guy I was thinking of and thought I remembered, (right there is the biggest problem, memory), is that of Ron Schicht and about his outstanding traveling show layout.

Kenny
 

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Tom that's a remember when, as in remember when we could go to those shows when they held them. I don't have any of my old Du Page tickets. Honestly, I haven't checked if they are having shows there now. With the state rules, I doubt it. Too many people in one place.

Kenny
 

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All the events at the Fairground are cancelled through the end of the year. No DuPage Trainshows this year and possibly not next year. In 1996 I was living in SoCal. That show schedule was very important so my secretary could help plan my schedule and travel for me to be in Chicago for at least 4/year
 

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Not surprised that all DuPage shows are cancelled. Rotten shame. Supposedly the Oct. 18th Railroadiana and Model Train Show is still on at the Kane County Fairgrounds. I haven't been to that show in 3 years. I always liked that show because of variety between real train merchandise and AF stuff. Actually got some pretty deals there. Some of the venders that attended the DuPage show would usually be at Kane as well. I will call before I drive 85 miles. Not to hopeful.
I was just browsing eBay and came across a KlearPac 24125 Bethlehem Steal Gondola. $365. Car looks new, wheels show no wear but the KlearPac package has scuffing on it as the seller mentioned. It shows up in the pictures. For me that would be a train show only item so I could examine the packaging. I only mention this car because it is the first KlearPac I've seen on eBay in a very long time.

Kenny
 

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The main reason the DuPage shows are cancelled is the Fairgrounds were closed by the county. No reopening date has been set as of yet. The train show schedule will be set after the county provides a reopening plan and date. Concern is the Fairgrounds reopening plan may have restrictions that prevent the train show from operating profitably. Apparently Kane County is still open.
The most important thing for a KleerPak is that both correct black endpieces are present with undamaged lettering. Scuffing on the clear plastic can likely be removed with plastic polish that is used to restore modern car headlights. What variation is the car? The unpanted version is worth about $50 with load, the painted version is worth $225 with load. MY "data base from experts" was that KleerPaks are worth $150. To be worth $365 the car would have to be the painted variation if my $150 for a KleerPak is right. It the Car is unpainted then the KleerPak has to be $300. Maybe they have escalated a lot since I last checked on their value.
 

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I did read somewhere the those KleerPacs are worth $150 in pristine condition. This one did have both the correct ends. I have used the headlight polish on clear plastic countless times and it works well. As to whether or not the Bethlehem gondola was painted or not, I would have to go back and check. I don't recall if the seller even mentioned it or not.
Good to know about the Fairgrounds. Something less to wonder about. Still will call ahead about the Kane County show.

Kenny
 
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