The first standard gauge pieces I acquired was a set from around 1926 featuring a Lionel 33 motor with a 35 coach and a 36 observation:
At the time I was looking for something to run around the Christmas tree, and this old set seemed to fit the bill. The old fellow I bought it from had "restored" the locomotive but the cars were in really rough shape. Too eager to get them cleaned up, I found some dry transfers, stripped them and used a can of Testors olive-drab spray paint and a top-coat of clear satin lacquer. I managed to save the brittle plastic strips for the celestory part of the windows, and hand-painted the trim as was done originally. Some day I'll get the car lighting sorted out, and there are a few teeth knocked off one of the drive gears on the loco that should be replaced. The color is wrong, just as the color on the loco is wrong, but they still look sharp running on a loop of forty-two inch diameter track around the tree.