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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after years of saying I'd do it, I finally broke down and decided to "dip my toe in the water" so to speak. I am referring (of course) to making something from a kit rather than just buying it and having it look like everyone elses! Over the years I have slowly started to "bash" my engines into something more towards what i would want but these have been with styrene and various accessories that could be bought. This time, it was to be a modification of an AMS 1:20.3 coach turning it into a replica of the #259 as used on the RGS. The kit is laser cut wood and metal parts (grab irons etc...) and is a direct replacement for the sides on the AMS coach.

The kit comes from Rio Grande Models UK http://www.riograndemodelsuk.com/ of whom Electric Model Works is the North American distributor. I must say that this first experience was fantastic! The directions come with actual photo pictures taking the guesswork out of the process. The laser cuts were clean and accurate and everything went together like a jigsaw puzzle! While the kit mainly deals with the outside, the wide open windows allow anyone to see into the passenger compartment quite easily. This meant that i had to spend a little time and thought as to what I wanted to do about the freight side of the car.

I opted to cut out half of the seats and leave the freight side bare metal with only a coat of brown paint to match the floor of the passenger side. Since the lighting is four rice bulbs spread out over the entire coach, I decided to remove two of them over the freight side and "double them up" in the passenger compartment. This should help immensely with the dim lighting. One thing the kit doesn't have which I had to supply was the clear plastic for the windows. That was easily accomplished with a trip to Hobby Lobby. The other thing was a wall between the passenger and the freight sides. I utilized an old Bachmann divider from a 1:22.5 combine which, while not the exact size, was close enough to work. Since the freight doors don't open it wasn't a critical detail. If I were to go back and detail the inside I would fashion one that would be 1:20.3 but that would be sometime way in the future!

Anyhow, the project is almost completed. I am waiting on some decals to show up and I have some grab-irons to still mount but overall, I think she came out just fine and I am now confident that my skills are improving to the point where I can do these magnificent kits justice! I thought I'd share some photos of the project so far:





 

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Hi,
Nice work Steve it looks good, who is doing the decals? I did my own: they are shaded as my coaches (I will be backdating the sides with anotjher window each and adding end windows to c.1885) . Stan did them and they look very good.
 

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What paint did you use for "coach green" the new sides? A special mix? I have ordered the Chili Line bay window kits for my AMS coach. Very nice work on your combine!
 

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Sweet! It looks great, Steve, and wll be a terrific addition to the front end of your train. That, a boxcar and a coach would look at home anywhere between Farmington and Denver (or even to the east :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys! I used Floquil Pullman Green for the match. I used both the spray can and the bottle for detailing and then top coated the sides with a semi-gloss finish which seemed to even out the color between the wood and the original plasic parts. The decals are coming in the mail so I'm not sure which company it's being made by. This was fun!! I don't know what I was scared of! I'll probably go ahead and get one of the "regular" combines when AMS finally gets them out but now I'll have a nice train to go behind my K and Connie!
 

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Steve,

I just bought one of those kits from Jonathan. I'm waiting to pick up a coach at the ECLSTS. I have many questions about the construction but I'll limit this post to just one. What glue did you use to laminate the side pieces and assemble the whole thing? Was that really 2 questions?

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just what the kit recommends, wood glue for the wood pieces, in this case Tite-Bond II and a high end CA glue for the metal pieces and plastic. The wood glue sets up like rock for the tabs and actually holds them while you screw in the original screws!
 

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Steve,
Excellent job! Will you be bringing it to Wichita, Saturday for the Clinics? Hope to see you there.

JimC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks! Yes Jim, I'll bring it Saturday. By the way, I "fudged" a little in that I decided not to use the clerestory strips that were included in the kit to bump up the number of windows to the correct thirteen rather than the eleven recessed ones that AMS provides. What I did do was to paint over the ones that led to the freight compartment (every other one was painted anyway) and then drill, cut and file out all of the ones that are in the passenger compartment. I didn't like the clear windows showing the rice bulbs so I decided to "frost" the windows by using a squirt of flat clear on them. When the bulbs are on they now diffuse the light quite nicely!
The decals arrived yesterday from Jonathan at Electric Model Works and I have decided to letter it for the D&RGW as that is what I run on my pike. I'm still numbering it #259 but I have made it truly a one-off car!
 

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Posted By Steve Stockham on 02/27/2009 5:54 AM
Thanks! Yes Jim, I'll bring it Saturday. By the way, I "fudged" a little in that I decided not to use the clerestory strips that were included in the kit to bump up the number of windows to the correct thirteen rather than the eleven recessed ones that AMS provides. What I did do was to paint over the ones that led to the freight compartment (every other one was painted anyway) and then drill, cut and file out all of the ones that are in the passenger compartment. I didn't like the clear windows showing the rice bulbs so I decided to "frost" the windows by using a squirt of flat clear on them. When the bulbs are on they now diffuse the light quite nicely!
The decals arrived yesterday from Jonathan at Electric Model Works and I have decided to letter it for the D&RGW as that is what I run on my pike. I'm still numbering it #259 but I have made it truly a one-off car!



Steve,

A beautiful job. Mr EBT and I are waiting for some of the clerestory strips from Rio Grande. (If I'd known you weren't going to use yours... wanna sell them?) Our J&S coaches get converted to an EBT 13 window coach #3.

A while ago, Jason Kovacs produced a thread on stained glass windows for his clerestory. I borrowed his artwork and resized it to for my (Don Winter) combine.

The stained glass was printed on some Avery stick-on clear address labels and then individual windows cut out:



The sticky stained glass overlays were then detached and stuck to a strip of clear styrene, carefully marked to match the windows. A bit fiddley, but worth it - here's the result:

 

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Looks great! I've got plans for two more coaches from the AMS cars, one will be converted to another 13-window coach similar to EBT #3, the other will get shortened and built into EBT baggage/express #19. At least that's the long-term plan. I love the "modular" design of these cars that allows for easy swapping out of sides. That'll eventually give me a nice 5-car train. Maybe I'll even have my EBT mikado by then. (Pete, I don't want to hear it! ;) )

BTW, Geoff Ringle (Old Iron) found a shop up in Vancouver that still does custom dry transfers. They're still pricey (about twice what Stan charges for decals), but IMO infinitely easier to apply. (For me, it makes up for the price difference.)

Later,

K
 
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