I have an O scale stock car, cast in aluminum, that I bought at an auction about 40 years ago. From a couple feet away, it is a very credible piece. I have no idea who the maker was, nor how much time the builder spent filing draft off the pieces. It is hand lettered--J Harold Geisel, who did most of the drawings for Model Railroader at the time, lived in this area, and would do hand lettering for friends on occasion. Having seen other samples of his work, I believe that either he, or someone as good as he (very unlikely) did the lettering. It is a very nice piece of history, and deserves to be preserved in it's present condition--although it is used in operation on my lime.
____________________ Fix it again, Mr Gates--it still works!"
Jose, I own an ancient sand cast "Northern" which has an almost solid brass boiler, hollowed out to just fit an equally old "Pittman" type motor. I suppose these old models were neat in their day but this one (to be finished well) would require a good bit of bondo work on the superstructure due to various tiny "holes" and blemishes. Of course it weighs a lot and would certainly help with tractive effort. This was given to me by a friend who sells "toy trains" at shows across Texas. He said that he had offered this old loco for as little as 10 bucks and nobody wanted it. It has a long vanderbilt tender made from pine and the 3 axle trucks appear to be sand cast also. Probably would make a great anchor for a 12 foot fishing boat!
____________________ It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
In the same category was the original Kemtron HOn3 C-16 kit. The boiler was a solid brass turning, which had a small space milled out for the drive shaft and gear box. The Lindsey motor was in the tender. I almost bought one partially assembled at a Timonium train show a couple of years ago. They wanted $35 for it. I looked at it, walked away, thought about it, went back and it was gone.