Following are notes from the Mopac Modeling Group Build on building the AMB HO Mopac Drovers and LCL Drovers cabooses. Reference materical are 'The Eagle' Fall 1992 on the prototype cabooses with photos and diagrams and 'The Eagle' Fall 2010 'The Mopac Modeler: MP Drovers Caboose by Bill Herbert. Another reference is Cabooses of the Missouri Pacific Lines by Jerry Michels.
Here's a list of what's needed to built the AMB drovers/LCL caboose:
- 400 and 320 wet/dry sand paper
- Gap filling and thin ACC glue
- Exact No. 11 or straight edged razor blades
- Elmer's wood glue
- Sanding stick (or steal your wife's Emory board when she not around)
- Pencil or pen
- A weight for the interior
- Liquid Nail (to glue down the weight)
- Tahoe swing motion caboose trucks (MPHS has them listed on ebay)
- (optional) Some sanding sealer or enamel paint for the interior walls (I don't want the humidity inside the caboose so I seal the box after it's put together).
- Your favorite MP boxcar red (I'm using Tru-Color) and black.
- (optional but I use these on every modeling project where I have to cut or bend wire) Xuron flush cutting pliers, Xuron needle nose pliers and Xuron makes a Micro Bending tool (575 Micro Bending plier) that works great for bending wire or brass strip into a 90 degree angle.
- Open the box and look over the instructions (yes there's a lot of parts but we'll find a spot for all of them) and find the four interior walls parts 1, 2 and 3 + 3 the two ends.
- Mark the parts with a pencil 1, 2 and 3. Parts 1 and 2 have different window arrangements so you don't want to glue them on the wrong side. I also mark which end the cupola goes just for reference when applying the roof later. I use ACC gap filling glue and hit it with ACC accelerator to speed up the drying time.
- After the acc sets up lightly sand the carbody on a flat surface using 320 Emery paper. This ensures the walls and ends are perfectly flat for applying the exterior walls.
- Since ACC glue isn't very forgiving if it gets bumped, I also add a small bead of Emler's wood glue in the inside four corners for insurance.
- After the Elmer's drys, brush paint the interior with a neutral color enamel (I use a light gray) or a snading sealer to keep the humidity out of the wood.
After the sub-carbody is dry you can now add the exterior ends and walls.
- I add the ends first ensuring the doorways line up. After removing the paper backing don't press too hard as the adhesive is very sticky. Lightly line up the door openings and ensure the overhang on the sides is equal. Once you feel everything lines up press the end down on the end of the carbody. Do teh same with the opposite end.
- To ensure the sides lay flat against the ends of the carbody, lay the side of the carbody down on the 320 wet/dry paper and lightly sand the sides until the scribbed ends are completely flush with the side sub-walls.
- Now remove the paper backing from the one of the sides and line up the windows (if doing the Drovers version) or the baggage door opening and windows (if doing the LCL version). Do not press down on the side too hard but lightly move the side around until you see that you have an equal amount of space around all the window openings when viewing the windows from the inside. Once you feel everything lines up press the sides down on the carbody. If you feel the windows aren't equal and the sides are too bonded to the carbody all is not lost just 'borrow' your wife's hairdryer and use it to loosen the glue to where you can get the windows to line up.
- take your Emery board you stole from your wife's bathroom drawer and lightly sand off the small 'nibs' on the ends of the scribbed sides.
After I got the basic carbody built, I primed it with Dupli-color Sandable Primer (DAP 1694 Red Primer) as I don't want to take any chances with seeing wood grain on my finished model. Talked to Bill Herbert, how's built several of these and he doesn't use primer - so it's your choice. Next step is to add a scale HO 6" radius on each of the corners and on the sides of the LCL door. Page 6 of the AMB instructions shows a great illustration. Getting back to the primer being used it helps you to see how much sanding you are doing having the red primer on the surface.
I want to paint and decal the carbody before adding the windows and doors as they have glazing. So I jumped to page 11 and added the wire hand grabs. Bill Herbert, in his article used .010 wire in lieu of the .015 supplied in the kit. I used .012 as that's what was in my supply. I am thinking of adding NWS small bolt/nuts details to the ends of the wire where they go into the carbody haven't got there yet. I also noticed a piece of the siding that has a strange impression in the wood. Am going to see if another coat of sanding primer will hide it or I may use a light coat of Tamiya putty as filler or may just ignore it - not sure yet.
I'm not exactly following the instructions in the drovers caboose kit. Before you can go to far you need to paint and decal the carbody so the doors and windows can be added. Per Ed Hawkins recommendation I used Tru-Color 188 for the exterior. While others have written they can decal directly on the base color I add a gloss coat for added insurance - there's nothing that detracts more on a model that having the decals 'silvering'.
After spraying the color and gloss I set these pieces aside and started on the underframe (step 23 in the instructions). Everything went well but I might add that using a piece of brass .015 wire will help in lining up the holes in parts 41 and 51a.
Am decaling the drovers as caboose 1113. When comparing the decals to the prototype shot you'll need to spread out the M.P. lettering and make the 1113 numbers closer together to match the photo. The end numbers center on the right side near the top of the handhold. Before starting on step 26 I numbered parts 31 and 33 on the sheet before I cut them out as they look very similar after you have them out. I used Microset Red and Walthers Solvaset to get the decals to lay flat into the scribed siding.
- Cut up the leftover card stock and added walls for the toilet areas in both cabooses. Will paint gray when it dries.
- Painted the hand hold, steps and platforms black.
Caboose step 6
- (AMB instructions step 3) finished adding the windows, rather than using a full sheet (7c), I cut the clear sheet with a single edged razor blade and place one part on the upper sash and the other part on the lower sash. This takes a little time but the end result is worth the trouble as th ewindows are more realistic. This process also lets you show the windows opened, if you want.
- in looking at the prototype windows I don't see parts 9b, 11c being used so I elected to leave them off. I also don't see the framing around the ends doors (12) being on the prototype either so it was left off as well.
- I used a dark brown pencil and added some soiling to the window shades before I glued them in place.
- after the windows were inserted I used a small detail brush and went around the inside walls and windows with Elmer's white glue. I don't want to take the chance of the windows coming out after the car is finished.
- (instructions step 4), no additional comments, just followed the steps.
- (instructions 10 and 11). Added the roof (14) and flipped the car over and added acc to the area between the inside of the roof and inside walls. To ensure the roof fit snug hold down the edge of the roof with a steel ruler until the glue sets up.
- I use Tamiya putty in the areas were the tabs come through the roof, after it drys sand so that its flush. This step is to ensure there's no small dips in the paper roof (part 18) when it's applied.
After finishing the carbody roof, the cupola assembly was next. I have to admit that I've never had any luck with using the cupola kit cardstock roof on any of my prior builds and figured this one would be no different. I will leave out the gory details but ended up tossing part 27 and made a new one from .015 Evergreen sheet styrene. I like using the plastic better as you can cut it a little over size and the sand the edges until it matches the photos. The .015 plastic is also great for drilling the .078 holes for the eyelets as you have a little more surface to hold the wire in place. You only get one shot with the cardstock so if you use it your a better modeler than I. 8^)
After I got the cupola roof glued and sanded I used part 28 as a pattern to mark the location for the 10 holes and drilled them out. Then Details Associates (2206) eyelets were added and the wire was installed around the roof. Everything was then ACCd in place.
I substituted a piece of HO 2" x 2" for part 25 as it was a little smaller. Interesting, part 62 it wasn't cut out on my cardstock on one kit but was in the other. It really didn't matter as it's too short anyway and I ended up cutting replacements from the extra cardstock and gluing them in place. AMB probably noticed the part was too short and deleted it but forgot to add a corrected part. Anyway it's a easy fix to make two new ones.
Kadee #58's were added to the underframe. I did cut back the end of the wood underframe about a scale 12" so the coupler pocket could be set back more to match the prototype photos.
Step 8 is basically just following the instructions. Make use you don't get parts 51 and 52 confused or the ladder will be wrong. I looked for the ladder jig in the box thinking it was made out of the card stock but then realized you need to cut it out of the instruction sheet. Actually, the ladders went pretty quickly.
After the ladder was built I soaked it with thin acc glue to add some strength. Then brush painted everything with acrylic black. Next will add the brake parts and the railing on top the cupola and add some light weathering and call this one finished.
.012 wire was used for the ladder rungs. The card stock was soaked with thin acc to make it stronger.
Caboose it getting close to being finished...need to add the horizonal bar where the baggage door is and a piece of .005 plastic under the door for the kick plate (and) add some rust to the wheels.
Replaced the railing around the top of the cupola with .010 wire and Yarmouth Model Works eyelets. The eyelets made for .010 wire are tiny and really help the model look more scale-like. The underframe was built next using Bill Herbert's photo of the AB brake system he made for this LCL caboose. I used Cal-scale's AB plastic brake set and them made the various levers from Evergreen 1" x 6" pieces. The brake cylinder brackets were made from 1"x 10"'s. Underframe wire is .010. The metal rail in the baggage door area was made from .032 brass (see photo at the bottom of this page). Will use military dry pigments to weather the bottom of the carbody and underframe.