Amtrak Projects

Phase IV Transition Sleeper Project




This was a relatively simple project. To started you'll need a with a Kato Phase IV Coach and a set of Microscale 60-867 decals. The existing numbers and "Coach" lettering had to be removed, I used my personal favorite tried and true method: hobsco SOLVASET on a Q-tip. I use a Q-tip with most of the cotton removed - and you must use the white cardboard stick Q-tips®, plastic or wood won't work (I have used only the stick, no cotton at all for tight spots.) Keep changing the Q-tip so it's fresh. I also removed the translucent white paint from the letterboards this way. You must be very careful not to remove the red stripes or hash marks. Do this before you remove the body and cut the end (next step) to maintain unit-body strength. Patience is important here, you will go over the same spot (gently) at least 5 times before the printing disappears. The letterboard should be cleaned up very carefully to avoid removing the stripes and SuperLiner lettering. This layer of translucent paint will come off easily.

Next, remove the shell from the chassis by carefully spreading the sides a bit, the chassis should begin to drop out. Pull the chassis out and make sure the interior came with it. Next remove the windows from the shell with a very small blade screw driver or knife slipped between the glazing and the body. The end door window, marker lights and diaphram should come out too. Remove them from the right end if you are looking at the side with the lower windows on the right (see photo above). Gently pry off the diaphram, it is held in place by a pair of lugs at the bottom and a single tab at the top, free the top first and lift.

You are ready to cut the end door now. With a sharpe hobby knife, score on the outside of the door frame on both sides. I work about halfway through on one side then start the other and alternate until both are almost through. After both sides are cut through, score the top of the door frame until it is through. Remove the door and then cut it in 2 with a razor saw. Make the cut just below the frame below the door. Now you'll need to file the piece without the door smooth between the frame (see photo above), be sure to test fit the parts and file them flush as needed. Then cement the 2 parts back together with the door at the bottom. Test fit the door in the opening and file as needded. I used CA (SuperGlue) to glue all parts. You'll need to cut the red lights and window to fit the new end. Fill any gaps with putty and sand smooth. I painted the patched area with Testor's Model Master Aluminum, it's a very close match to the factory paint. Last, test fit the diaphram and glue it on.

This same project can be done starting with a Sleeping Car too. That project is already on my "to do" list.


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