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Dressing Up Old WMATA Metro Cars


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Always been fascinated with the old WMATA Metro cars in D.C.. Soon as I learned there were models available, I had to go looking.

Turns out not only are they old, they're also quite rare.


I may or may not have bought litterally every single car that has popped up on EBay for the past year...

Now I have six, hopefully soon to be seven, cars and they need some work. The first thing that they're getting is some lights. They'll also be getting some smaller, more accurate wheels, power trucks (probably Stanton drives from NWSL), and truck details. Gonna do this right.


This first post will be reposting old pictures of the unbuilt cars and each post after this will be documenting the progress on the rest of the models from there on.




test fit of the body, frame, trucks, and cab end





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First update: tail lights


Drilling a hole through the factory lenses so my small tail lights will fit. On the proto type, there is a chrome ring around the tail lights and using part of the original lenses will allow said ring to be easily added when I find my silver markers...






test fit of the headlights and the newly modified tail lights





Edited by GDorsett
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I did some more tail lights




Enough for all six cars almost. Of course I touched one of them before the glue dried, so I'm down one...

Oops, will have to make one more I guess.

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I have found some numbers on wheel size and truck wheelbase. Soon as I hear back from NWSL about what sizes are available to special order, we'll have these things running.
Will also be painting two of my cars white to simulate the two vinyl wrapped 1k cars.

So far, one has gotten primer paint and is now waiting for it's fake vinyl (called paint).

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NWSL cannot produce smaller wheels than 33", so I will need something else. Probably will use Bowser trolley drives once I know what they're gonna cost.

Found a video finally of the inverter sounds for these cars, so work has begun on hopefully creating a sound system for it using ESU's V5 decoder. Found a few extra sound effects online like brakes and air lines that I'll also try to use. Not sure how I'm going to go about different speeds, but I might just design it to accelerate to one speed and then constantly run at that speed to simplify the workload on making sounds since I'm a noob with it.

Will be looking to get three pairs of Tomix couplers for them once I figure out which ones I want. Then I'll have to figure out how I want to do the drawbars between the cars.

Paint started on one of the vinyl wrapped units, although I need to find the right grey and red before I can finish it.

Started two modules for the New Carrollton Metro/Amtrak/MARC station. Currently just the WMATA and Amtrak side-by-side platforms, but once those are operational, they'll be joined by two more modules for the approach and crossover on the WMATA side and be arranged in a 2x2 grid.

Edited by GDorsett
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