On the subject of charming old tinplate, I sort of hit the jackpot Sunday morning at the TCA Atlantic Division meet up in NE Philadelphia. The meet was well-attended and often there are some interesting surprises that either appear on the tables or come in through the front door. If you can get past the tendency of some of the old timers to clam up about what they have, guarding their treasures like they were made of solid gold, or that they are classified state secrets, you can sometimes learn a thing or two and get to see some interesting trains.
On one table I found this wonderful and seldom available Dorfan #426 three-story illuminated tinplate station from 1930. This is the second largest station that Dorfan offered. According to reference materials I have, tinplate stations like this with clock faces over the entrances may have been made for Dorfan in Germany. The station is missing its roof but it is otherwise complete except for the interior light socket. There is some flaking but the flaking on the yellow brickwork actually makes it look really authentic. Needless to say I grabbed it when I found out I could have it for a mere $75.00!
Once home I took to the shop and fashioned a Mansard roof for the station out of mat board, glue and some spray paint. I think you'll agree that it makes a stunning tinplate display! I love the platform posts and the corrugated covers and the little arched tunnel that runs from the front to the back of the station. These stations were, of course, intended to go with either 0 gauge or standard gauge even though their scale is a bit small for standard gauge, but we're all familiar with that from Lionel villas, etc. This acquisition was certainly a surprise and made my day, needless to say!