A quick update. So much mission creep! I didn't figure on messing with the frame so much, beyond the motor tower rebuild and cutting off the part behind the drivers. I recently shortened the front frame 2 scale ft., then re-lengthened it by 1' and lowered it by some arbitrary amount. (It was supposed to be 4", but was more.) It turned out very well, as the frame is just slightly above the driver axle centers.
I also wasn't planning on doing much to the plastic frontispiece beyond chopping off the doghouses atop the valve chests. Suffice to say there are a few more changes, which you'll see in upcoming photos.
As for a paint scheme, one idea is to paint it to go with my B&O General set cars. It would be a light blue and black, with white lettering. Similarly, I could do my version of the Lionelville Circus Special, for which I have all the extra cars. Another idea is to do a Coca Cola engine like the On30 model. Except, I'd do the boiler in glossy candy red over metallic aluminum. I'm still soliciting your ideas, here!
Cool, can't wait to see. I will keep my eye out for a general tender, my local hobby store sometimes has them in junk boxes.