Passengers who cannot afford a regular ticket can ride in the combine at the lowest rate offered by the railroad. It is normally used by migrant workers, Native Americans and drifters. The most notable is the folk singer Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter. He can be seen leaning against the dividing wall playing his guitar.

The combine is built from a AMS RTR Jackson Sharp unlettered car. Aside from a repaint it received a new interior configuration with bench seats along the walls.

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Following disassembly I removed the window glaze and cleaned the parts for painting. I used Krylon spray paints starting with a titanium white to brighten the lighter colors as the car came painted in D&RGW Green. Bright red went next then I taped off the stripe area with 1/8″ chart tape. I then sprayed the gray. The first tape was left in place and 1/4″ tape fully overlapping was done next. I sprayed the dark olive green and then taped off the entire lower and REA section before applying the apple green. The process is rather lengthy as I had to wait for each color to dry completely before applying the next set of striping tape.  Once the paint was dry I carefully removed all tape. A high gloss clear coat was applied and allowed to dry. This gave the decals a smooth surface to attach to. Since Solvaset is to strong for homemade decals I use Micro Sol. I have found it does a great job but at times needs two to three applications. I left the decals to set for several days then sealed them with high gloss clear.

The entire car was assembled with no windows or interior and weathering was applied. For the passenger train I am going very light with just a slight road haze of light gray. Once this dries I finish the clear coat with matte finish from Tree House Paints (available at Hobby Lobby). It is absolute dead on match for Dullcote but costs 2/3 less.

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The floor and roof were prepared in the same manner as the coach.

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I made the benches from bass strip wood and attached the passengers with upholstery tacks in the same manner as those in the coach. Both stoves were replaced with my “barrel” stoves and the toilet window given the stained glass treatment.


The interior walls were painted black then dry brushed in three tone brown hobby paint. Board lines were applied using an ultra-fine point felt tip marker. To hold the windows in place I applied this technique to a sheet of adhesive printable vinyl (the stuff you make bumper stickers from). Once the windows were glued into place I hid the joints under strips of the painted vinyl, placed to look like window frames.

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The final interior view. The REA office is fully painted but there is no detail inside other than the stove.


The completed combine.

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