G Scale Model Train Forum banner

Taking the AMS coach apart

3983 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jlyans
Hi All,

A while ago now I asked ‘how to take an AMS coach apart’, and Kevin Strong (EBT) responded â€" thanks Kevin.

It seemed to be difficult with a particular trouble or difficulty at the ends. Product improvement seems to have been done because now the ends are very easy.

Remove the 4 screws down each side of the coach on the underside of the floor; those hold the sides to the floor. All the others which are shorter hold the plastic floor molding and seats on it to the metal floor. There is also a set of wires that have a polarity specific (like the Bachmann loco ones) with a couple of plastic latches to hold it shut.

With the screws out get a small bladed screwdriver and pass it along the edges between the outer side and the floor gap; at the end of the sides give it a flick, and it should free off the ends, there are no ledges at the ends now. This will allow the coach body to be lifted up â€" I did this with the coach upside down on my knee and it was surprisingly easy to free it off.

Separate the plug, and it is now free. Debits to the design for me are â€" the opening door spring is in the way of cutting out end windows; the circuit board is in the middle of the floor and seems to be a tight (push?) fit thus holding the floor unit on (when all the screws are removed; why could it not have a fixing screw instead? The end handrails will also need changing as they are too high.
Notwithstanding the debits I can work with it to backdate it (2 windows behind the stoves and 4 end windows, + a deep letter board as Kevin Strong’s (EBT) very useful topic.

The body of the coach is made from 4 sections twos sides and two ends all screwed together then the roof and clerestory unit being added last, and keeping all in position; the roof vents for the lamps are cast in to the moulding; .the stovepipes are separate, and glued in to the roof.
This construction has allowed RioGrandeModels(UK) to produce some laser cut plywood replacement sides, (no connection) â€" see the following web link http://120pointme.blogspot.com for details of them.

I have attached a couple of photos, the first shows the floor and seat unit, with right in the center the circuit board, that is all that is now holding the seat unit to the floor. Just seen are the four holes along the edge of the floor/seat unit that hold the two parts together.

Does anyone know if a sharp push from below will remove this circuit board from its position please

The second is the interior of the body and roof, note the four lugs that hold the fixing screws (as above). The roof will unscrew then the 4 piece body can be taken apart, being held together with screws.
See less See more
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Just to clarify--mine didn't have ledges on the ends, either, but the sides weren't in the mood to flex on mine, and were quite reluctant to free themselves at the corners. Glad to hear yours went much easier.

If I recall, the circuit board is held in place with some 2-sided tape or a blob of silicon glue or something to that effect. I don't remember there being any mechanical fastener, though I could be wrong. My circuit board and interior (sans seats) is now in the local landfill, so I can't double-check.


Thanks Kevin I will investigate with a screwdriver!

In the lower (body) photo a thin white line can be seen on the upper body side; this is the upper edge of the groove that fits over the ledge on the metal floor that Kevin talks about. He has 'junked' the metal floor and made a new one in wood).

I will grind off most of the lower (plastic) part, on the inside of the body side, leaving a small section in the middle to assist in holding it back on when it has been modified.

Extra - further delvings reveal that the circuit board is held by a small screw, (that is alsmost hidden down a hole (you need a small screwdriver to get at it) that will release the seat unit, EXCEPT for the 3 sets of wires from the bogies and their wipers will need to be cut (& marked before cutting so as the ensure the correct ones re-joined if required, otherwise they can be discarded)
See less See more
The coach is in bits, with the body off, unscrew the 4 screws that hold the roof to the sides and ends; then the sides & ends can be separated by undoing the 8 screws that hold them together - the roof has to come off first as 4 of the 8 screws face upwards.

After some thought, and asking questions I removed (there is a quite well hidden center screw to the circuit board which I think is mainly a voltage regulator) the circuit board, and (see below) all the wires from the bogies - there were wires snaking around between the seats)freed off the floor and seat unit when all has been removed. The seats etc are glued on to a pre-drilled 1mm sheet of plastic card. This has been sprayed 'red oxide in color, and naturally that color covers all - understandable when the price of this very good coach is taken into consideration.
But of course not good enough for me and others! It is now is now loose; and very floppy - see the photo below; the seats are well glued onto this sheet; I used a razor saw to get them off, 1 side at a time (so you have a reference guide to their location) and the seats have all been re-painted. With one half of them off that side of the floor can be painted to represent a planked floor, using various earth colors. Now to the mass of seats I have painted the frames black, and crimson for the seats themselves. Some D&RG seats were old gold. 'Big65Dude' (Jack Thompson, who has been very helpful - Thanks Jack) painted his a grass green color.If you varnish them (later when the have been re-fitted they will look like they are leather covered - you can have a mix of cloth and leather. Then glue back one set close against the outer edge of the base sheet, and repeat for the other side.

Very boring! as a relief paint the toilet enclosures in a wood color, my version is an early D&RG one (pre 1912 so it will be tuscan red) so from photographs there were no notice boards so they were removed first. The rectangular box is for iced water so it can be silver.

The stoves are black, and as I removed one of the dividers between a stove and the seat and it would not go back correctly I added some small coal boxes to fill the gap between the stove & divider' the stove side of the divider ought to be metal covered, to protect it, and stop coal dust getting through the planks. fill the plank gaps and paint dull silver; this can be seen in the second photo.

The grain of wheat bulbs can be lit with a battery - Jack Thompson used a re-chargeable battery in the toilet; another member used a 9v PP£ battery in a case under the floor. Re-chargeables here in the UK are expensive things, I will use a PP3 I think; this means the wires on the bogies are removed and the wires that lead to the voltage regulator were unsoldered. Keep the white plug that connects the wring for the roof and bulbs and I will re-use that later.

I now have to decide if I do in reverse what I did with the Carter coaches and reduce the windows by closing off the toplight (as Kevin Strong(EBT) has done) and that is then like coach 300 and 301, or get some of the replacement sides with a flat arc top to the windows, and that is like coach 292 or 296. There are also replacement sides available for 300/301 but I can do that myself I think with the also added deep letterboard. There is also a chance of some sides etc for the RGS private cars (of which Edna as it now is) was originally owned by the D&RG. More is awaited!

There is a slight problem backdating these coaches; the end doors spring mount gets in the way of where end windows fit, and also the upper lug for 4 of the screws that hold the sides and ends to the roof, may also be in the way. The spring can be removed and fix the door part open or shut. I will have to measure carefully IF I fit end windows; otherwise there was an early rebuild of the ends; and that meant an undocumented replacement of the end windows - the narrow gauge did have a lot of derailments after all! That is possibly my story & I am sticking to it

I have attached a couple of photos; the first shows the flexibility of the seat base sheet, with the repainted done and all the seats re-fixed - I used impact style glue, using the outer fixing point for the locations and the other half as well. To the left is the water tank on the toilet wall, the stove has not been re-fixed at that end yet.

The second shows the stove and the inside of the toilet is the original 'red oxide' color; I will add a blind (as my carter coach) on the windows here, and all the others again those will be small ones. The extra (missing) windows were where the stoves are - the D&RG filled them in as they were always getting broken. Also the modification to the low wall between the stove and end seat can be seen.

That is it so far - much more to do, but I think the coach is very good value, I have found a UK source for the thin foil tape so I have now some in stock for the roof, to be done later.


See less See more

I have added to the end the 'miller coupling' lever which is needed for an early coach.

This is a piece of 1mm plastic card with the top portion being 48mm long and the small bit under the end beam being 7mm long. It is tapered from 3mm max width a bit and a handhold is formed at the top. Fix it on each side with a couple of pieces of 1mm square for the housing topped with a couple of 1.5mm dia bits of rod for the pivot. The bit on the underside is fixed to the rear part of the beam (its hollow underneath).

The metal floor has a slight rise in it; this will be eliminated when the sides are put back as they will hold it straight; I will remove most of the lower portion of the side below the groove, leaving a cenral portion; this will allow an easy removal of the body when it is re-assembled.


See less See more
It's looking good, Peter. Thanks for the detailed photos! Do you suppose it's possible to paint the chair arm casting without removing the seats? I intend to try.
Hi Vance,

With difficulty, and they will not be all painted as there is no space to get the brush in; this applies to all 7 holes, particularly with the thickness of the sides, the casting being 2mm thick) and the source of difficulty with the ends in the center. The extra 'poking' of the brush to try to get in to thoe lower reas will also speed up the death of the brush I think., and may also bring too much bending of the thin (1mm thick) base sheet

I thought about it, the outer one is OK, but that one is close against the side walls of the coach, so to an extent does not particularly matter.

The small gap of the central aisle is where there is insufficient space; using a razor saw is quite quick at getting them off (the glue used is good stuff, and does not like giving up when added to, though the USA plastic glue may be better; if that works, it is much better as you will have the holes which the (cut off pegs on the bottom of the seat bases) go into .

I found that the locations can still be (just) seen to assist in gluing them back, I did one half at a time, to let the other half give you a check for re-fixing them back, and it reduces the boredom factor in the painting of them all. You also have the assistance for location of the outer peg being right on the edge of the seat base sheet

Fill in the central holes that held the voltage regulator(?) circuit board along the way, but leave the ones at the end as they are for the screw fixing the upper end of the bogie fixing spigot.
See less See more
Would it be easier to cut them off and then glue them down to another sheet, I wonder? Scribed siding, for example.
Posted By FH&PB on 05/17/2008 10:03 AM
Would it be easier to cut them off and then glue them down to another sheet, I wonder? Scribed siding, for example.

Could be Vance, but you have to add a couple of stoves, then the two toilet enclosures, and the low planked division between the seat back and the stoves; finally, there are the 8 body fixing screws that will also need re-drilling. I used the original floor and any planking would be only seen on close examination as it would only be easily seen in the aisle.

The other smaller screws that held the sheet down to the metal base (or floor) can be dispensed with a replaced with glue! Just be careful to align it correctly.

I painted (in halves) the floor with a light wood base color, then added some earth color on top to simulate the boots of the passengers - no first class with carpets for this coach! I used impact adhesive to re-fix the seats in position and that has worked well. The 1mm sheet is very very flexible! It normally stays on the floor unit, which gives it some protection.

The ends of the coach are somewhat 'tight' to fit an end window in (as they were built); the upper tab for the upper screw is in the way, and I think ill have to be removed; it will then be replaced with a square piece to hold the upper part together till the coach body of the 2 sides and 2 ends is re-united with the roof. That will hold it all together, aided by the bottom fixing screws of the body at each corner. The end windows are offset towards the center door from photos, and NOT centered by the way; I guess that Jackson Sharpe also had difficulty with retaining some strength in the body corners! offsetting the windows allows that bit extra almost matching the sides when the extra window (behind the stove (filled in by the DRG shops) is put back.
See less See more

The sides of the coach by the wat are 3.5mm thick, with an internal reduction where the window 'glass' fits of 1mm; the glass (clear plastic) itself is cast on two levels the upper toplight being slightly thicker. The windows as Kevin said are fixed buy a heated point at the corners and some cement as well. This can be persuaded to soften with the application of the liquid stuff, then leave it for about 1/2 a minute and see if it has loosened. The windows could be brittle, so any heavy pushing could break them I do not know.
A few comments:

1) The seats can be glued to a new floor without much difficulty. This also gives you the freedom to reverse some of the seats so they face each other, as the prototype seats were able to do. The catch--the lugs that hold the sides to the floor need to be able to clear the seats so the sides can lift off the floor.

2) The "stoves"--and I definitely use that term loosely--are ripe for replacement if you're going to do some interior work. The bathroom paneling is similarly expendable--or could be cut free of the floor and placed on the new floor.

3) The windows pop out quite easily, once the "L" shaped bracket on the right side of each window is pulled off. Those little brackets come off with varying degrees of difficulty. Some snapped right off with some gentle prying, some had to be clipped off bit by bit. You only need to worry about pulling those brackets off if you're doing a full interior on the coach (or modeling an open window.)

4) The tabs that hold the sides together that interfere with cutting end windows can be removed without causing any problems for the car. The screws that hold the roof onto the sides will keep things together with just the lower tabs.

I promise, I'll update my progress on my coach in the next week or so.


See less See more
Hi All,

I have bought a set of the replacement sides from Rio Grande Models (UK), for the D&RG coach 292. This set has the flat arced top to the windows.

The sides are I believe available in the USA from Electric Model Works; here in the UK Steve Warrington at Back2Bay6 sells them. They cost £70.
Here is a photo of the parts

This is half of the parts, in addition there are a set of frames for the 27 clerestory windows and 24 small squares between the windows included, a set of small plywood squares the fit into slots, and replicate the fixing squares on the original AMS coach. Finally there is an A3 sized sheet showing the parts and a 4 page color set of instructions. The lower side ahs lasercut matchboard planks cut into the outer surface, though they do not show up . I have compresssed the original quite a lot and that may have removed them - thay are there.

I have no connection with the makers of the sides by the way; I am just a customer.

I hopefully will add into the sheest the window on the right hand side of them that was filled in as it is behind the stove, and add the the AMS ends the end windows as well.

Watch this space for further progress; but first I have to finish off a flatcar and the (very like a stock car), 'head end' car that the DSP had, that were built on flat cars, in the same way as the DSP coal cars were (but were kept cleaner!).
See less See more
Your coach is looking great Peter. I am following your progress with great interest. Part of the beauty of this coach is it's price. Most people probably wouldn't start cutting apart a brass coach! When you factor in the cost of the new sides it's still not cheap.

Vance, I tried painting the arm rests black while they were still attached to the plastic floor. It was do-able but after I did the first half, (one side), I said to myself, "this it crazy." I removed the chairs on the other side and the painting went much easier. It was very simple and quick to re-attach the chairs. Also with the one side of chairs removed it was much easier to go back to the side that was still glued down and touch up some of the spots that I had had a hard time getting to.

1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.