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tribute_2_tin_200Building Your Own “Lackies”

Tinplate-Inspired Cardboard Houses

When Ted Althof and other collectors started seriously cataloging cardboard Christmas houses, they came across houses that were built in the same factories as the glittered putz houses, but which had glossy painted finishes and no snow. 

This 'Lackie' from Ted Althof's pages is a cardboard reproduction of a  tinplate Lionel  house.Eventually, the collectors realized that the Japanese putz house manufacturers had also made houses for the toy train market.  Many of these deliberately imitated buildings made by Lionel, Ives, Marx, and others to go with their toy trains. 

Putz house collectors labeled these houses “lackies,” because of the heavy laquer coatings that were applied to give them a metallic appearance.  

In 2008, Howard Lamey, with help from Paul Race, began writing project A new 'lackie" based on a Lionel tin housearticles for building  your own “lackies.”  In a sense, the “Tribute to Tinplate” projects are both a tribute to the original tinplate buildings and a tribute to their cardboard imitators. 

The photo to the right shows one of Howard’s favorite projects, a new “lackie” based on a Lionel prototype, with free plans and graphic for several scales.

Don’t feel bad about mixing these with traditional glittered houses in your own Christmas displays - many old photographs show thAmerican Flyer-inspired station with O-scale accessoriesat combining toy houses from different sources was a very common practice.

The most popular “Tribute to Tinplate” articles are listed below, with links to the Howards’ How-To project pages.  Each has free downloadable plans, instructions, and when required, graphics.  Many include plans and graphics for multiple scales, so you can build a structure designed to look right with the rest of your collection.

Click to see surdy Lionel(r) trains that are perfect for your Christmas tree.


Visit our Sister Christmas Pages
Buyer's Guide Pages
Visit Family Christmas Online Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Free plans and instructions for building your own vintage-style cardboard village. Big Christmas Trains: Directory of Large Scale and O Scale trains with holiday themes Classic O Gauge Trains
On30 and O Gauge trains to go with indoor display villages and railroads


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