The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Lionel OO PRR boxcars with Tichy and other decals

As mentioned in prior posts, Tichy decals can be purchased in OO scale versions. One set that caught my eye was this one, for a PRR boxcar in the same scheme that Lionel used on their models.

First let me state that no desirable, collectible model was altered to create any of the repainted boxcars seen in this article. All had been previously repainted, and they were beat up as well, great candidates for rebuilding. Also I would freely admit I’m not a Lionel collector, but I do appreciate Lionel OO and it is certainly very collectible. But with that said, I’m a model railroader at heart, my rebuilt cars are intended for layout operation.

I also don’t own any Lionel OO with really great paint and decals, as Illustrated by the 0044 boxcar seen here. The comparison of the actual models is quite interesting to me, as the Tichy decals are scaled correctly and the Lionel ones have a couple intentional compromises. The big one is the body molding of the car has a space with no rivets where the Lionel Lines decal was as the model was originally produced. As a PRR car, the PENNSYLVANIA lettering should be slightly longer and lower on the body, but Lionel (wisely) opted to size and place that lettering to fit in the area with no rivets.

The cars in the back row in the second photo have Microscale HO decals and the one in the front on the right has vintage Champ HO decals. these are other accurate PRR schemes, and the car does look nice in all of them.

Readers might be interested to know, as an aside, that I did not even own one Lionel car for many years. I did not come to OO from an interest in prewar Lionel models, but rather from a model railroad history angle. So for me initially the $$ was too high to buy Lionel, and the standard lettering schemes were not of special interest. With the passing of years, I have obtained a few of these classic models that I enjoy working with (many of them are seen in the series that starts here). However, I hardly ever operate any Lionel OO models with the stock paint and decals, they just don’t fit with my layout theme, and boxcars lettered with 0044 as the car number especially don’t seem realistic enough. So these repaints are the ones I run, they all look good, and I must say I really like how the Tichy decals came out.

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