My Custom American Bicentennial Passenger Set

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I have always wanted a HO scale passenger set painted in the red, white, & blue Bicentennial scheme. There are several really nice sets in O scale but nothing like this concept in HO scale that I have ever seen.

Working with a few friends, we have developed a concept and the materials for my first attempt at this project. Here is my idea for a custom painted streamliner celebrating our country's 200th birthday.

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Starting with the original Tyco / Mantua Bicentennial Alco 4301 version one engine and some Tyco streamliner passenger cars I would apply a paint scheme modeled after the Lionel "O" scale TCA Bicentennial Passenger set.

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I worked with Robb Lozano to develop custom decals for these streamliners, we selected several images to create the exciting bicentennial theme. Robb used his expert skills to edit the digital images and create some incredible decals for the project. We started with the basic replacement decals Robb had already developed and then I found a digital image of the original American Bicentennial Emblem or "Fat Star" that Robb digitally re-mastered. For the last step or finishing touch I developed some text with various road names for each of the cars, road numbers, and of course the theme or title line for the project.

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Once I was able to scan in a good image of the flags that I like from the decal sheet below we had almost everything we needed for the project.

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I really liked the flags on this decal sheet and with some of Robb's digital magic we would be able to make our own flags in various sizes for this project. Robb took the scan that I had made and cleaned it up to make absolutely beautiful flags in two different sizes for the engine and passenger cars. You can purchase many of his digitally created decals on  eBay or contact Robb and have your own custom decals created.

These images below are in the early stages of the decal development, we wanted to create custom road names, numbers, and car names to complement the bicentennial images. At this point we were just trying to decide on the font style and size to fit the cars properly.

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I played around with the images to try and visualize what the cars would look like with the paint scheme I had in mind.

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Starting with the engine I found one of the rare version one Tyco / Mantua Alco 4301 Bicentennial engines that made it out into the public before the famous "Richard M. Nixon" recall,  these have the really good quality motors that run strong and quiet.

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The engine was in wonderful condition with the exception of the decals which were badly flaking off. With Robb's awesome replacements that would not be a problem. I carefully disassembled the engine and stored all the parts while the project continued.

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After soaking the shell in hot soapy water to clean off all the dirt, grime, and remaining decal residue the shell was ready

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Next was the passenger cars, I found a set of cars on eBay of all places that were in mint condition. When they arrived I could not have been more pleased, it did not appear that these cars were ever put on a track.

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Rolex Di Tong took the replica watches first time in 1963, and 6239 was the rolex replica watches first generation of the design. This is only produced in 1968 6239 kept in good condition, and are rare, so you can take replica watches uk 150 thousand Swiss francs (about RMB 1 million) the price is not surprising.uk replica watches

There were no marks or dirt anywhere, even the brass on the wheels was super clean.

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I carefully disassembled each of the passenger cars and removed the plastic window inserts along with the silhouettes of the people in preparation for the new "American Bicentennial Special" paint scheme.

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Then I carefully erased the original Amtrak road name, car names, and washed the cars.

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Here is the washed engine shell with some of the dry test decals to give me an idea of the placement.

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The passenger cars after the first base coat of white paint.

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Engine shell with the new decals from Robb applied.

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After two coats of flat white the passenger cars were carefully masked for the second color, the first coat of blue paint was applied to the roof of each car. With each step I am becoming more and more excited about this project. I can not wait to see the finished set of passenger cars with the restored engine.

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Here is the finished engine shell; It has been carefully disassembled, washed, receive new decals & road number badges, and then everything was protected with dull coat to preserve all the new decals. This is a early version one Tyco / Mantua Bicentennial Alco 4301 engine but I decided to include the "Spirit of '76" nose emblem that was only found on the version three and later models. This decal was also added to both sides of the engine along with the American Bicentennial "Fat Star" which I plan on using on all the passenger cars as well. While the first coat of blue paint is drying on the passenger cars I will start reassembling the engine.

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With two coats of the blue paint on the roof sections the masking tape was removed and the excitement continued. This was the first look at the bicentennial paint scheme taking shape. After masking off the window areas I would apply the third color... red.

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The final color red has been applied, the masking tape has been removed and this is the first look at the completed bicentennial paint scheme. After all the paint completely dried and the detail painting has been completed I will start applying the decals to the passenger cars.

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Here they are, all finished. The engine has been dull coated and reassembled, the cars have received the red, white, and blue paint scheme along with the great decals. After I finished with the three base colors Sandy added some details for me with some gray paint on several key locations giving the cars some extra excitement.

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The engine was renumbered with 1776 badges, road numbers on the sides of the cab, and several new decals. The American Bicentennial "Fat Star", Spirit of '76, and Presidential emblems were added. I also used the large '76 emblem on the nose even though this is a rare version one model that did not have that decal.

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All of the passenger cars received the "Fat Star", Spirit of '76, and American Flag along with it's own unique name and road number all celebrating our country's 200th birthday.

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This page was last updated on 05/31/09. Enjoy your visit to "My Trains"

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