Pre war american flyer trains

Hugh has been in touch with his pre war american flyer trains:

“Hi Al

I think some of the American Flyer die cast Locos are nearly as detailed as mid 1930s Lionel.

So for Kid Proof Christmas displays I have used a couple AF 420 shells with Marx motors.

Some shells are broken and cheap but if they have all the trim the bodies can be fixed with products like JB Weld epoxy.

This red one is a mixture of many spare bits.

The tender is a Marx wedge with post war Lionel trucks.

The flat car is prewar Lionel with post war trucks and the PRR caboose is the last tin plate one that Lionel made in the late 1930s and continued into 1946.

The next to the last image is a modern era Lionel powered AF loco set up to pull a 1934 Lionel North Shore set.


pre war american flyer trains

pre war american flyer trains

pre war american flyer trains

pre war american flyer trains

Hugh’s last post is at the bottom of this one.

And now on to Rob:

“Hi Al,

You have published a number of videos from me, but rarely a running session.

I thought it would be interesting for people to see a little more of my layout.

In this video, I was still suffering from a broken foot bone so I was not as agile as I wanted to be. My layout has three 180 degree curves on it and racing the locomotive with my foot in a cast was a bit challenging.

Sometimes it is good just to run a few trains.

Rob – Farland Howe”

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

A big thanks to Hugh for sharing his pre war american flyer trains.

Thanks to Rob too – I loved some of the camera angles in Rob’s video – they really show off the detail of the layout. Impressive stuff.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

14 Responses to Pre war american flyer trains

  1. Brian Rockey says:

    Lovely video Rob, have enjoyed watching your layout develop.
    Great model of the trawler in the harbour. Have you plans to create realistic water. If so, after much experience and evaluating various products on the market, my recommendation is to paint the base varying in colour and then as many coats as you want with ModPodge (gloss) and art glue and fixer. It’s very cheap, and very effective. If you want to add extra movement you can dry brush when dry with white paint. Google ‘Sea Port Water’ – a very realistic model harbour.
    All the best

  2. Eric Rayner says:

    Great video Rob. Good to see FH in action, come a long long way since you started and great to see British railways in action across the pond, looking good, hope your foot gets better quickly.
    Eric (Leeds) UK

  3. Ron Schultz says:

    very nice and I loved it when the train stopped in the station . most video just show a train running through and not stopping to drop of and pick up the passengers . I departed in this station and will look forward to taking an other ride from here .

  4. Sid says:

    Love watching vintage train videos, I’m a steamer at heart. Thanks.

  5. Kevin McArdle says:

    Those American flyer trains harkens back to a wonderful time in my life, and I was seven when I got my first set of trains, but my brother insisted on getting them to run right, which meant using up all the smoke pellets before he turned them over to me. I am a lifelong train enthusiast, and thank you for helping me to experience my childhood once again.

  6. Tony, Kitty Hawk NC says:


    Fantastic video! I especially like the opening shot in the station. I know you have mentioned it before, but what camera do you use?

  7. Jim Aspin says:

    Really great stuff Hugh!!!
    Do you polish your engines and cars? If so what do you use?

  8. kwabena sankofa says:


  9. Rob McCrain says:

    Tony, My small camera is a Foxeer Legend.

  10. Robert Brady says:

    That’s Farland howe you and Dave put on a good series love watching,Very entertaining.

  11. Al, hello again…great job, thanks!….RE: English locomotives…..I worked as a
    electrician on Conrail power for over ten years and the interesting thing to me is
    the difference in thinking between English and American designers. For instance
    English using a cab on each end where Americans use two units back to back. I
    once hooked up five units for fifteen thousand hp. It was a 100 car hopper car
    train headed east over the Pennsylvania mountains. The foreman didn’t like it so
    I had to re hook it butt to cab to make it look pretty. There is a lot of different thinking on design which makes it interesting!!! Thanks again RJL

  12. Brian Messenger says:

    Very nice video Rob. As far as water is concerned, I have used Woodland Scenics realistic water ever since it became available on the market, on every layout that I have built so far. I have never had a problem with it. Just make sure that it is not poured thicker than 3mm at a time. You can either paint the base before pouring or tint the water with an acrylic color. If you want I can post a photo or two of my current harbor showing the product and the success that I have had with it. Also check my previous posts for photos.
    Brian – the HOn guy. Knysna – RSA

  13. Peter MacGregor says:

    Hugh….I just love your tinplate 3 rail, and what you can do with the AF’s to keep them running. Lets see more of your layout, and of the engine’s you have saved in more detail.

    Rob……Those diesels look and sound great!!! Your layout is incredible, and I have loved watching its progress through Al’s site. Your American “drawl” is so good to listen to when you narrate on your videos.

    Regards to both of you from Peter on the fabulous Gold Coast in sunny Queensland, Australia.

  14. Rod Mackay says:

    Hi Rob, lovely video, however we wouldn’t have separate sections of platform canopy like that, sure, you’re train might pull right down the end of the platform, so you may get wet running for it, but where you do have a canopy, it’s continuous.
    Keep up the good work!

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