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Has anyone else noticed how many similarities there are between Varney and Revell cars and locos? Revell used the talgo trucks and metal frame but that's about the only difference. And I have some Varney with the metal frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I don't have any Revell products to compare, but I did check Revell locos on ebay and I can't see any similarities to Varney's. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place.

A Revell F-7

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Nice looking , but plastic with different trucks and drive mechanisms.

But I do have a funny story regarding my last two Varney purchases, both from the same seller and days apart.

The first A/B set had different roof inserts that did not match. Second set he offered had the inserts intended for the first set. Evidently, he or the PO swapped them around. I bought the second set + some Varney parts and got the originals back together.

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Have an A-B-B-A F unit set in Santa Fe red warbonnet. Custom painted & detailed by yours truly. Have Athearn drives stuffed in them.

My dad has a set in NYC cigar band with Hobbytown drives.

Think we have 3 of the 4-6-0 steam engines. Also have a few SW7/NW2 offerings with either Athearn or Hobbytown drives.

And I think we have a couple more A-B-B-A sets in the making...been a while since I dusted off my HO collection....been mostly working in O scale with my boys.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
NYC cigar band . Thanks, had to look that one up, hadn't heard that before. Guess a few more road names could qualify for that tag too.

So your saying that you use Varney shells for Athearn and Hobbytown drives?

I keep finding Varney F-3's with flywheels stuffed in them. Poor choice, inhibits turning radius among other things. Took this Pennsylvania RR F-3 and cut the brass insert down then finished on the drill press chucked up and held a file to it smoothing it out. This one arrived with no drive belt so I used a standard rubber band. Works great and runs as well as my coil spring drives.

Pictures are in inverse order. Media blasted the PRR shell and frame and painted satin black, waiting for single stripe PRR decals to dress it up. Intact flywheel pictured is for reference.

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Most if not all of mine were just shells. Cut the tabs off the blue box Athearn F7 and the chassis slides in nice and snug.

I glued the roof hatch in place. Installed gobs of detail parts - grabs, handrails, headlight castings where appropriate, etc.

Put a Hobbytown drive in there with a big can motor and flywheels...with right gearing it’ll easily coast 4+ feet.

For the switchers, same deal. Either use an Athearn SW7 blue box or toss Hobbytown underneath as they made a switcher chassis at one point....or make your own out of brass stock.
 
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