Jump to content
Max's Model Railway

Lone star 0-8-0 rebuilds and screw plus tender chassis inquires

Recommended Posts

In the past year or so I discovered, a new to me, but a very old Pioneering company that has been really useful so far for the plan I've got, I've been busy rebuilding 0-8-0s from a Foreign company called Lone Star which I'm sure many of you are familiar with the company.

 

 My project has been switching out components in the models so they look like they are from Treble O Lectric, but are really not...

 

 The plan is to rebuild four, and use the 5th for spares as the first photo isn't as Up to Date, as I'd like it to be, The Components are near to impossible to find!

 

(where i'm from at least) 

 

The First inquiry is a non original but strong chassis to push the 0-8-0s so they can move along the 60s track with the die-cast freight cars in tow, 2nd inquiry is the appropriate screws to replace the flimsy plastic crank pin on the rear axel of the locomotives, what would you suggest?? I'd really Appreciate any help on the matter, thanks!

 

 

1009758F-8EBF-4D08-AC55-30CAFBDCDA7D.jpeg

0C84FF44-BAF5-4F7B-852D-D625BE92E01F.jpeg

Edited by Max's Model Railway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't help with a chassis recommendation as I prefer to keep my Lone Star collection original.

 

If you want to try using the original chassis, the drive bands can be cut from 1/2" neoprene tubing. That's what Lone Star themselves did.

A weak motor is usually down to loss of magnetism. They can be remagnetised which if something I'm intending to try.

 

Small self tapping screws are readily available, I got a batch of various sizes from eBay, down to just below 1mm in diameter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh, those models look pretty awesome! The middle loco I like the best because of the free-wheeling chassis and it gives young modellers the chance to use their imagination to visualise the smoke and valve gear in motion depending how much videos depicting trains they have watched (mostly those with age-old charm like Thomas the Tank Engine and Ivor the Engine compared to modern contemporary ones like Underground Ernie or Chuggington). It gives the impression of heavy freight engines in North America or Canada. I have some Lone Star locomotives myself. I used to collect them when I was a teenager which pretty much explains how and why N Scale became an interest to me. It's been a while since I did anything to do with said-scale so this topic got me thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a very young child I only ever had the push along loco in the blister pack with the plastic valve gear seen in the pics above. However from various photos I have seen of the powered locos they seem to have a simpler metal con-rod.

 

What I have never been able to establish is whether the same plastic wheels were used on the powered versions as the later push-along versions. As far as I can tell the powered ones only ever had black wheels not red, but did they have something a little more sophisticated and robust than the soft plastic moulded in one wheelsets/axles of the push-along era?

 

Just curious...

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lone Star? That takes me back to my childhood.....

 

I guess it’s all relative, but far from being a foreign company, they were produced in the UK.

 

I had a paper round with our local newsagent who sold Lone Star models. They had a factory just round the corner from our home in Palmers Green. First time I had ever come  across 000 models. Found this website which talks about a second factory in Hatfield.

 

http://www.robertnewson.co.uk/LoneStar/bygonelonestar.htm

 

They even had a Baby Deltic back in 1960...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Star_Toys#Trains

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, gordon s said:

.....I guess it’s all relative, but far from being a foreign company, they were produced in the UK.

 

There are several clues in the OP to suggest they are Stateside.

Edited by dhjgreen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, dhjgreen said:

There are several clues in the OP to suggest they are Stateside.

Believe that they were made in the UK! Plenty of online information.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Star_Toys

 

Living near the Hatfield factory, childhood was much enlivened by this manufacturer. For a start it 'leaked' like fury, and then there was the tie in with Shredded Wheat. Lost count of how many of my fellows I 'killed' with their superb range of weaponry: having the simulated WWI battlefield available constructed on the Cecil estate for the testing and demonstration of the original tanks only added to the fun...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember them we;ll /i had a modest collection and they were good fun .i remember having a dream about them being electric and low and behold a year or so later they appeared,Did they invent N gauge by mistake ?Of course many a foe was slaughtered with Lone Star cap guns.

Edited by friscopete
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Believe that they were made in the UK! Plenty of online information.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Star_Toys

 

Living near the Hatfield factory, childhood was much enlivened by this manufacturer. For a start it 'leaked' like fury, and then there was the tie in with Shredded Wheat. Lost count of how many of my fellows I 'killed' with their superb range of weaponry: having the simulated WWI battlefield available constructed on the Cecil estate for the testing and demonstration of the original tanks only added to the fun...

The OP is Stateside not the models 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To cut a long story short, the Lone Star "Locos" push along OOO range were half-size replicas of 1950s Tri-ang and Hornby-Dublo models, with all their little foibles and issues. That's why the gauge was 8.25mm. The track closely resembles Tri-ang OO gauge standard track.

 

When they went motorised with the Treble-O-Lectric range, they visited their local model railway club, (De Havilland Model Railway Society) for advice and asked what was the "most accurate model railway gauge" at the time. The answer they were given was EM (4mm scale 18mm gauge for our overseas enquirers who may not know this).  This is why their 2mm "OOO" scale models ran on 9mm gauge.  I believe Stuart Goss was the main designer of the system. He was a good friend of 2mm modeller Denys Brownlee, who recounted a lot of this history to me.

 

Finescale OOO (which later became known as "2mm") was on 9.5mm gauge with a refined and proven track & wheel standard, aimed at scratchbuilders.  However, Lone Star were after the train set market and needed something more tolerant of use and misuse.  Rubber band drive made for easy assembly in the factory by unskilled workers.

At the same time, Arnold were working on 9mm N gauge. I don't know if there was any cross fertilisation. An American army officer and OOO modeller, Ted Brandon, was a consultant to Arnold, he may also have had links to Lone Star. Ted was stationed in Germany and is fluent in German. I ought to ask him to document these early days.

 

For a toy system, both flavours of Lone Star OOO were very high quality. I've never seen any which show signs of Mazak rot. The only real issue is the slightly fragile nature of the plastic mouldings of the 9mm track. Drive bands are readily made from 1/2" neoprene tubing, sliced into 1/8" widths, which is how the factory made them - on a wooden mandrel with a razor blade!

Later on in the late 1960s, push along Treble-O-Trains appeared in places like Woolworths, which were a mix of the two ranges, but to 9mm gauge and on a plastic track system.  Lone Star 9mm gauge items will run on N scale track but have their own unique coupling system, very much like the Tri-ang tension lock.

In the late 1980s, the Hatfield factory was cleared out and the last remaining OOO items appeared on the market, mostly unpowered Sulzer type 2s and Baby Deltics.

Development of new moulds and products pretty much stopped by the mid-1960s.  In later years, I think Lone Star considered re-entering the N scale market and a prototype HST was made.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, 2mmMark said:

To cut a long story short, the Lone Star "Locos" push along OOO range were half-size replicas of 1950s Tri-ang and Hornby-Dublo models, with all their little foibles and issues. That's why the gauge was 8.25mm. The track closely resembles Tri-ang OO gauge standard track.

 

When they went motorised with the Treble-O-Lectric range, they visited their local model railway club, (De Havilland Model Railway Society) for advice and asked what was the "most accurate model railway gauge" at the time. The answer they were given was EM (4mm scale 18mm gauge for our overseas enquirers who may not know this).  This is why their 2mm "OOO" scale models ran on 9mm gauge.  I believe Stuart Goss was the main designer of the system. He was a good friend of 2mm modeller Denys Brownlee, who recounted a lot of this history to me.

 

Finescale OOO (which later became known as "2mm") was on 9.5mm gauge with a refined and proven track & wheel standard, aimed at scratchbuilders.  However, Lone Star were after the train set market and needed something more tolerant of use and misuse.  Rubber band drive made for easy assembly in the factory by unskilled workers.

At the same time, Arnold were working on 9mm N gauge. I don't know if there was any cross fertilisation. An American army officer and OOO modeller, Ted Brandon, was a consultant to Arnold, he may also have had links to Lone Star. Ted was stationed in Germany and is fluent in German. I ought to ask him to document these early days.

 

For a toy system, both flavours of Lone Star OOO were very high quality. I've never seen any which show signs of Mazak rot. The only real issue is the slightly fragile nature of the plastic mouldings of the 9mm track. Drive bands are readily made from 1/2" neoprene tubing, sliced into 1/8" widths, which is how the factory made them - on a wooden mandrel with a razor blade!

Later on in the late 1960s, push along Treble-O-Trains appeared in places like Woolworths, which were a mix of the two ranges, but to 9mm gauge and on a plastic track system.  Lone Star 9mm gauge items will run on N scale track but have their own unique coupling system, very much like the Tri-ang tension lock.

In the late 1980s, the Hatfield factory was cleared out and the last remaining OOO items appeared on the market, mostly unpowered Sulzer type 2s and Baby Deltics.

Development of new moulds and products pretty much stopped by the mid-1960s.  In later years, I think Lone Star considered re-entering the N scale market and a prototype HST was made.

 

So how did they get into American outline stuff? Through Ted Brandon,?

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Higgs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our next door neighbour, when we first moved to St Albans in 1987, made the moulds for the Trebl-o-Electric track. 


Also, the blue A4 On CF, ‘Dominion of Canada’ started off as a Lonestar body, donated by Malcolm Stone, the founder of the 2mm Scale Association. 
 

Tim

Edited by CF MRC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Chris Higgs said:

 

So how did they get into American outline stuff? Through Ted Brandon,?

 

Chris

 

The push along range had some copies of Tri-ang "Transcontinental" models, including a replica of the original semi-freelance cab unit diesel with its odd squared-off nose style.   Lone Star had a healthy export trade for their other toys, having a number of overseas offices. It looks like there was a tie-up between the US retailer Montgomery Ward and Lone Star.  Of course, the big advantage was the ability to have a wider range of liveries of US and Canadian railroads, some of which are now highly sought after. The F-unit diesel is a good model for its time. It's to 2mm scale so bigger and heavier than the UK outline models.  The ones I have definitely run better than the UK equivalents. The US models are definitely colourful and very appealing, just like the OO Tri-ang Transcontinental range.

 

Here's one overview of the early days from a US standpoint
http://davidksmith.com/birth-of-n/lone-star.htm

and here's a link to some info from a US enthusiast
http://www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/TrebleO.html
http://www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/TrebDocuments.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw a rather interesting layout at the Olney MRC exhibition recently, which included, I think, all of the items from the original push-along range, plus sundry items from the slightly later push-along, and very nostalgia-inducing it was.

 

We had vast amounts of the stuff which, like virtually all of the toy trains in the house, of which there were many, was all second-hand. Jumble sales were a good hunting ground for the odd carriage, loco, signal box etc, and sometimes we would get a shoebox full of stuff for a few pennies. My two brothers and I would build a layout covering the entire dining table, usually three sort-of concentric circuits with a big yard in the middle. Best push-along runners were the US-style diesels and their streamliner coaches, a very strong parallel with Triang, where the big Transcontinental diesels were definitely the best best for reliability. Biggest problems were the wheel-retaining thingies breaking-off the axle boxes, the track scratching the table, and having to put it all away at tea (=dinner) time!

 

A bit later, when I had moved on to dismantling HD, Triang, and the dreaded Farish SR Q class with Q1 wheels, to find out how they all (didn't properly) work, Woolworths started to stock the follow-on range, which IIRC had silver soapy-plastic wheels. I bought a few for display rather than play, including some 0-8-0 steamers, and a US diesel in green BR livery IIRC.

 

And, of course, we shot one another with the cap guns. I even managed to get in a LOT of trouble, by flinging one such gun down the length of the garden and badly wounding the local toyshop owner's niece on the forehead . Looking back, the gun-flinging incident was sheer folly in more than one way - I should have cosied up to the girl instead, given that her aunt's shop contained everything a boy could dream of: the entire Triang range; endless Airfix kits; hundreds of Dinky and Matchbox cars; even brand-new, and totally unaffordable, Hornby Dublo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until today, I had no idea that Lone Star also  provided sprues of almost-N gauge people. I do not know who manufactured them for them, but they bear a striking resemblance to the Modelmaster range now sold by Peco. The sprue on the incomplete set I have is clearly marked 'LONE * STAR'.

 

Tony

Edited by Prometheus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Until today, I had no idea that Lone Star also  provided sprues of almost-N gauge people. I do not know who manufactured them for them, but they bear a striking resemblance to the Modelmaster range now sold by Peco. The sprue on the incomplete set I have is clearly marked 'LONE * STAR'.

 

Tony

 

A long time ago, that. But I seem to remember that there was a strong link between Lone Star and Merit. And Merit were indeed the source of numerous Peco kits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did wonder about a Merit origin Joseph. Two of their sets are now marketed by Peco, but the Lone Star pattern appears not to be.

 

tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/11/2019 at 14:24, Prometheus said:

Until today, I had no idea that Lone Star also  provided sprues of almost-N gauge people. I do not know who manufactured them for them, but they bear a striking resemblance to the Modelmaster range now sold by Peco. The sprue on the incomplete set I have is clearly marked 'LONE * STAR'.

 

Tony

 

I've got a couple of sprues of those figures.  They good enough to pass muster even nowadays plus they have the advantage of being a variety of body shapes and sizes. It's quite possible they were moulded in house.  In style, they're more like the Airfix 4mm scale figures from the same era as they have the traditional massive circular paving slab moulded to their feet. That might be why more people travelled by train in those days. Driving a car with that attached to your feet would be.... ambitious!

1+Lone+Star+Treble-O-Trains+Treble+O+Lec

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brings back memories . I had the push along models from Woolworths . I remember the 0-8-0 described but also a Union Pacific diesel and coaches . There was a type 2 that was in BR blue , a class 24 maybe ? Also had a Jinty and my 1 coach in red .  Vaguely remember having a signal box too and maybe a colour light signal?

 

Sorry just vague ramblings . I ne er realised these models were part of a larger system

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! I'm not sure what to say, but Thanks, I never would have Imagined I'd get nearly 20 Replys! Its really heart warming... If anything I should probably get back to working on these little Guys! you guys gave me a Huge chunk of inspiration, I'm also working on a New OOO layout now! (Just need to order a few bits of Track and a New Terminal piece off ebay, They have one I want) Here is a Photo, she's still very much a Work in Progress but its where I plan to run the majority of the Treble O Stuff during Community Chat Sessions on instagram and on YouTube (I'm in a group with other. Hobbyists online) 

 

CC819B4E-0B54-4C05-87DB-1C9466ADFA7E.jpeg.bdf4650041c9c35ca18ed348b8d1a8d3.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.