Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Some Hobby Shop Finds

Greetings All,

Two weeks ago my local hobby shop, TrainMaster Models in Buford GA, had their eighteenth anniversary sale. Not needing much since I was just their a week or two before on a parts supply run I was going to skip the event. On the parts supply run I did browse the store and came up with a Roundhouse CB&Q 50' Automobile boxcar (see post dated: August 15, 2015). There was not much else that caught my eye on that trip. Anyway, I made it to the shop right after they opened and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of new and used merchandise that awaited me.

First thing I saw were  two boxes of engine and rolling stock shells each offered for the price of one dollar. So I rummaged  through those first and came up with three pretty good finds. First was a round roof 40' Roundhouse P&E boxcar, second was a BN GP30 shell with all glass and handrails intact and lastly an ATSF E8A shell with all stirrups present. To me these were the home runs of the day.

A custom painted P&E boxcar with metal grab irons added. The shell was one dollar. I bought a WM 40 boxcar kit for five dollars and here it is on that frame with IM metal wheels and Kadee #5s added

Someone put a lot of work into this car adding the metal grab irons and the paint job. I'm happy to see it out of that box and being used on the layout. This car will eventually be fitted with a track cleaning pad.

BN GP30 #181 shell with all handrails, glass and horn intact. Believed to be a Lionel model. Same tooling as some of the a Bachmann models that I have so I grabbed it for future use. Price $1.00

A Rivarossi ATSF E8A shell in very good condition minus "glass". This shell virtually flew out of the box and into my cart. Several years ago I bought some Proto 2000 E units from an acquaintance down sizing his collection. Included in that purchase was an E6A power chassis. I've been looking off and on for a shell for this unit and here it is! Price $1.00

The P-2000 E6A power chassis with detailed cab and figures

After removing two tabs from inside the shell it fits! Now to scrounge up a windshield

After loading my shopping basket with the above shells I wandered over to the used section of the store. Seeing the shop buys collections and from stores going out of business you never know what you'll find. It's hit or miss. But if you see it, grab it, because it will be gone when you return for it. Here are a few finds from that section;

Atlas UP 60' Double Door Auto Parts Boxcar #960568 sits in Terminal yard after a shot of Testor's Dullcote. and having it's wheel faces and trucks weathered 

The model features opening doors and a decent looking interior.

Frame and brake details

Atlas Illinois Terminal Cylindrical Six Bay Cover Hopper #128 and Atlas 70 ton SCL hopper sit in front of Wonder Bread

The press pins holding the truck to the bolsters have been removed and replaced with 2-56 screws

An Athearn BB Rock Island tractor and forty foot trailer. The Rock actually had trailers in this paint scheme

The new tractor trailer sits outside Anchor Cargo and Distributing.

Athearn BB B&O 40' Hi Cube boxcar #19818 with IM metal wheels and Kadee #37 couplers added. This is the second BB B&O Hi Cube #19818 on the roster and was given to my B&O fan son. 

And last but not least that Roundhouse WM shell that came with the frame being used for the P&E car.


  1. Nice finds! I'll be interested to see what you do with the E8 -- maybe one of the jade green NYC units? A Tuscan PC?

    1. Thanks John! Both E8A suggestions sound good and have me thinking... Hmm... We'll see which way I lean on this. Appreciate the ideas!

  2. Timing is everything and you had it! The MN State Fairgrounds model railroad flea market is coming up next week. I hope I'm half as lucky as you were! I'm especially envious of the GP30 shell with everything intact. My local hobby shop's back room offers plenty of used loco shells but they rarely include handrails. I found a dummy Rivarossi E8 at a flea market in KCS scheme that I converted into a PC unit. I'd like to find a powered chassis for it someday. Great to get that P&E boxcar back on the rails!

    1. Thanks Ralph! That GP30 shell was the only one that was intact in the two boxes. Plenty without hand rails. This was the first time the LHS ever had boxes of shells offered for individual sale. You hit it right on the head, timing was everything. I hope your search is as fruitful at the MN State Fairgrounds model railroad flea market. Good Luck!