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I have been admiring some prewar tinplate structures and trains on ebay. I love the colors and the lithographs are fantastic. Is there a rule or general consensus on repainting some of these things? If I were to repaint a tinplate bridge or some Marx stuff am I destroying a piece of history or can I just make them how I want them?

Sorry if this is a foolish question, I am very new to this hobby and unsure of how to handle older items properly.

Thanks
Scott
 

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I would think it really depends on several factors including the condition, how rare the part is, and how much of the original paint is left. I have a friend restoring a Dorfan Bridge for me right now and he was able to get down to the original paint under layers of paint that was done over the years. He found enough paint that was good that he recommended against a repaint and just do a restore. It looks really good for the age and I like it. All in all it still really depends on you and what you want to do. Everyone has a different opinion.
 

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I'm in the same boat you are Srook. New to the hobby and an admirer of tinplate. I've seen a thread or two where T-Man has cleaned up some tinplate cars, accented certain parts and maintained most if not all of the originality. IMHO an overkill attempt takes away from the patina and cheapens the item. Again, to each his own but I'd recommend researching the "art" of properly cleaning and protecting the original lithographs before making a final decision.
 

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The problem with Marx tinplates are the painted on detail, how do you replicate that?

Decals would be the best way, or handpaint the detail back on like TJ did with some of his stuff. Time consuming to be sure

Some of that old, early Marx tinplate engines and rolling stock were really colorful and would look cool on a layout.

I would probably buy what interests me and then store them until you can figure out a resto solution,

TJ, T-Man and big ed, have done some really outstanding resto work and will have a wealth of suggestions and guidance for you...;)


HTH,

Cheers, Ian
 

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The price guides and cat id's give you a sense of value and rarity. I learned just by shopping around and seeing what is available. I normally paint to protect the piece. If there is rust most likely I will. Lately I have removed spoted rust on blued frames and reblued. Other times I have cleaned spots on painted items and sealed with acrylic floor wax. I have also stripped them and left them bare too. TJ reproduced a tin litho, intense work.
 

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The price guides and cat id's give you a sense of value and rarity. I learned just by shopping around and seeing what is available. I normally paint to protect the piece. If there is rust most likely I will. Lately I have removed spoted rust on blued frames and reblued. Other times I have cleaned spots on painted items and sealed with acrylic floor wax. I have also stripped them and left them bare too. TJ reproduced a tin litho, intense work. TJ, where is it?

It is fun to see the before and after pictures,
 

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The acrylic gives a shine. Some have used a pencil spray for better results. I clean with a polishing or rubbing compound. Plus the acrylic is removable. The 6111 cars are normally rubbed down. I want to save the side lettering.
There are plenty of options. Clear coats I save for copper or brass pieces.

The only negative thing you can do is try to pass a repaint as original. I try to make that obvious. Sometimes I like the beat up look, I secretly wish to have a collection of wrecks. I enjoy seeing them on ebay.
 

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The acrylic gives a shine. Some have used a pencil spray for better results. I clean with a polishing or rubbing compound. Plus the acrylic is removable. The 6111 cars are normally rubbed down. I want to save the side lettering.
There are plenty of options. Clear coats I save for copper or brass pieces.

I should go back and tag the better threads as "restore" not much there,
 

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T-man,

For sure!

I've looked for resto threads as well, not much there unless you get lucky and run across one...

I sometimes wonder if we should have a seperate section for resto threads.....;)

Just sayin'...:p
 

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T-man,

For sure!

I've looked for resto threads as well, not much there unless you get lucky and run across one...

I sometimes wonder if we should have a seperate section for resto threads.....;)

Just sayin'...:p
THAT would be nice! I'd like to attempt refurbishing our Diesel 2344 and could use a step by step reference among other things. I haven't had much luck with the forums search feature.
 

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tinplate painting

Hi,fellas.. I`m about to repaint a marx commodore vanderbilt.It is scratched up somewhat. Wear spots. It is black. Should I go with black,flat or gloss? Is there any other colors that Marx used on there trains?. Special paint or what.
It`s shiny now more or less.

Glad this question was asked as I might learn something.I`m not concerned about painting it just what would be best to do to look good.

Any help appreciated of course.Maybe someday I`ll be able to answer something for someone.

Many thanks,Everett
 

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One should be concerned about taking care of tin plate trains and think
long and hard about repainting them. Most tin plates where not painted but
printed with lithography and is impossible to replace. If any decent amount original lithography is left it is better to leave it alone.

As for painted item there are three camps here. The early stuff, as pre 1910
should always be left alone. The original finish is worth more than if you
were to restore the piece so you would only cost yourself money. And then
there is late stuff post 1910 most of this gets into the more mass produced
items and is more common so repainting would not be a big crime. Finally,
care does need to be taken as rare items do turn up and those once again
should be left alone. Take common pre war lionel so many pieces have been
repainted over the last 40 years it is getting hard to find nice originals and
unmolested items. I see it all the time on Ebay, cars for sale that are close
to 90% there and the seller discription states just needs a repaint to be nice.
<.< ugh.

So if you have something common that is painted and has really been
trashed over the years, repaint. Otherwise maybe it is better to send it off
to someone who wants something with some playwear.

Just my thoughts on the subject,

Pookybear
 

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Good dialog, above.

Most of my projects have fallen into the repaint category (including a few litho redo attempts, as noted). But then again, most of the stuff I've been starting with has been long-ago forgotten, dinged chipped and rusted, and pretty much in the junker category.

If one does consider a tinplate repaint, I would strongly urge a full strip to bare metal, and then invest considerable time to brush/buff the bare metal to a virgin shiny finish. It's critical to get rid of all surface oxidation and "rust veins" before any primer/paint work.

I always prime before paint (rattle can with both), usually Krylon. Do NOT mix/max brands of paint/primer.

Plan to spend a chunk of your time not just on the painted shell parts, but on the shiny metal trim parts, as well. Those will likely need some work. For clearcoat work on these, I brush on airplane dope ... dries very hard, super clear.

If you're going to strip/repaint tinplate, take the time to disassemble the shell into all of it's individual components. Be careful with the tabs ... bend open using a small flathead screwdriver, with the "flat" of the screwdriver making full contact with the full underside of the tab. Equal leverage pressure throughout during the unbend process.

Krylon's satin black has quite a bit of shiny sheen to it, actually. Many would call it near-gloss. (They have a gloss, too, but it's not much different.)

In general, most tinplate (as opposed to cast shell components) had a gloss or near-gloss finish. Not too much was flat.

For fineline highlight work (like gold striping, silver "rivet" dots, etc.), I use Pilot brand gold or silver paint pens. If you want to add a stripe right along a molded "bend" or crease in the tinplate, these paint pens work well ... you can swipe them right along the crease (freehand), and get a very crisp paint line.

If you want black "rivets" (or similar) on a lighter paint, a simple Sharpie works nicely.

Hope that helps a bit,

TJ
 

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Thanks,TJ.. Good advice.I`ll take her clear down to bare metal. I`ve painted several autos and sometimes that is best.They had extra decals on this one and I don`t particular like extra decals.I don`t know the year or the value of this train but the full scale came out in the 1930`s. I have the whole consist and extra cars which are good to go on the rails.

Have a good sunday,Everett:thumbsup:
 

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also if you can use spray lacquer colors, you will get a nice look to the piece
as most makers used lacquer from the start.

Pookybear
 

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painting

Hi all..I`ll probably use auto body paint as I fell in luv with enamel paint. I like lacquer paint if I`m in a hurry as it dries within 30 minutes and can be moved out of paint booth. really dry after 24 hrs and sets good after 30 days.Oil-based paint is hard to find in a normal paint store as all they know is water-based paint.

I guess I`m just old schooled anywho. Tnx for the input.

have a good week,sanepilot:thumbsup:
 
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