This is a 30 year old Cohen #7. I have a real #7 as well and it looks identical, almost no different.
My point is how the metal ages. I am going to go into Nickle Plating at some point.
Couple of questions: How many people polish their brass and/or nickle engines? Can the brass handle repeated polishings or is it just better to leave it unpolished?
I live in an area where many people used brass and copper for cooking utensils. The stuff seems to look great, even after 200 years.
I've also heard quite a few people coating brass engines with sealant to avoid the tarnish. I don't personally think that this is a great idea but I've spoken to one or two collectors that swear by it.
This car was produced in brass. There really is no comparable Lionel counterpart. It does match the 1912 and or #7 beautifully. I find the coloring almost timeless. I wonder if the copper and zinc mix could be changed to make the coloring darker or lighter?
One thing I don't like about brass though (and this is a cautionary note to collectors); brass can be aged quickly by exposing it to amonia fumes. This can age an engine or car very fast that really isn't old at all. How do I know? Well, I had a "trusted seller" that I bought a substantial number of trains from do exactly the above. He weathered some new items and sold them to me as original. This was about 15 years ago before I knew the difference and knew what to look for.