How To Series ... Building A Brass Caboose (Page #1)
Building The Body Shell
I have over 40 emails asking me to produce a Step-by-Step photo "essay" on how difficult [NOT!] it is to build a brass caboose. The kits are etched meaning sheet brass is exposed to an acid and dissolved away (partially or fully) in places and not in others. What controls where this happens is the artwork. For what I am doing, it can be quite complicated but produces details that are usually seen with castings. The detail is a combination of layering of metal sheets together and a multi-pass etch process on each sheet.

All of my Brass kits have tabs & slots to align the pieces together for securing. You can use either CA Glue (as I am using on this caboose) or you can solder. Resistance soldering is best and anyone interested in getting one at a reasonable price can email me from my site and I can direct them to a great price ($300 instead of $500).

Here is the SP C-40-3 Caboose sheet right out of the etcher. There is details on both sides of the pieces. The easiest way to remove the brass parts from the sheet they are produced on, is to use an Xacto knife. The brass is soft and won't affect their future cutting ability. This will reduce or eliminate the amount of filing to smooth the edge. The next best way is with small sharp diagonal cutters that will fit into the small areas between the part and the sheet holding them. You should always use a file to remove the balance of the tie. This will ensure a perfect fit.

Remove the basic shell sections; Sides, Ends And Inner Floor. The Sides & Ends fold with a solid back and a half-etched detail outer layer. Begin by folding the Sides and Ends.

Important Note:
Ensure that the is NO gap between the two halves of the Sides and Ends. Specially at the sides. A gap at the sides would cause a bulky corner joint and the covering Corner Fascia will not look correct in later steps.

When the Side and End halves are folded together, you can begin to see the layers of details.

The Inner Floor has tabs that go into slots on the back of the Sides. Begin attaching the first Side to the Floor. Be sure the wood plank detail on the Landings is facing up.

Slide the Landing through the slot on the End and secure the End to both the Inner Floor and the First Side.

Important Note:
Ensure that the Sides and Ends meet cleanly and do not cause a bulky corner joint where the covering Corner Fascia will not look correct in later steps.


Note: This document is preliminary. Items contained within may change without notice.
Copyright 2001-2010 by TrainCat Model Sales, Inc.