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Has Anyone Built Kits By AMBROID ???

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Has Anyone Built Kits By AMBROID ???
Posted by 8500HPGASTURBINE on Saturday, October 17, 2009 9:50 PM

I won several kits by this builder. It seems like they are mostly wood with a few metal parts. How are they to build? Is there a lot of cutting involved? What type of wheels did you install on them? Below is one of there auctions.




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Posted by twhite on Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:11 PM


Oboy, talk about MEMORIES!!   I built an Ambroid kit many years ago when I was in the Air Force.  It was the 3-in-1 passenger car set (I believe Boston and Maine open-vestibule prototypes), and they were not only difficult, but as I remember, one of the most satisfying wood kits I ever built.  It took me several months to build a baggage, combine and coach, and I don't even want to tell you how many X-acto blades I went through. 

I wish I could remember enough about the kits to tell you what I did, but I remember it involved a lot of very fine grit sandpaper, TONS of blades, extreme patience, the then popular Ambroid Wood Cement (which was like iron--it REALLY held!), and following the directions to the absolute letter.  No short-cuts at all. 

I ended up using Kadee #5 couplers and at that time (new on the market, BTW), Central Valley wood-frame sprung passenger trucks.  As I remember, the worst part of the kit for me was installing the underbody brake mechanisms and the open-vestibule railings onto the metal castings--I still don't know whether they were pot-metal or zinc--and getting the roof contours right with blades and sandpaper.  When I was finished, I was absolutely exhausted, but they looked pretty darned good.  I still have two of them stuck away in a closet, somewhere.  I'll have to get them out and see if they looks as good now as they did when I was in my 'twenties, LOL! 

They are Absolute Craftsman kits, make no bones about it.  But as I remember, the directions were very well done and very specific, and only worked if you followed them to the letter. 

I have no idea if the Ambroid Cement is still available, but if it is, I'd get some.  It was the best wood cement I've ever come across. 

I would assume that whatever Ambroid kit you decide to build, you'll need additional weight inside the car body before you complete the car.  They were, as I remember, very light kits when finished. 

I know this isn't too much help, but you sure brought back some neat memories!  Tongue   Back then, as far as wood kits were concerned Ambroid was to Silver Streak like current Tichy is to Athearn BB as far as difficulty. 

But boy, howdy, was the result ever WORTH it!   Have fun with that car.  Northern Pacific used them when they were building across the plains in the 1880's.  It'll be a real conversation piece no matter WHAT era! 

Tom Big Smile

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Posted by markpierce on Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:35 PM

Tom has it right.  You'll need to take your time and have sharp Xacto knives.  As far as ahesives go, I mightily recommend Canoply glue (works well with wood, plastic, and metal).  After painting the car, be sure to use shake-the-can clear coat to seal the surface for the decals.  If the car is wood sided with grooves, you'll need to be cut the decal film along the board lines once the decal has initially set, and apply several coats of the appropriate Microscale product, and later seal the car/lettering with Dullcoat.  I usually budget two weeks for the painting/decaling process because of the need for things to set/dry between applications.


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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:58 PM



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Posted by twhite on Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:07 PM


I'm surprised about the Ambroid glue.  I used it on a lot of Silver Streak kits that I still run, and it's held up extremely well even after about 40 years.  Of course, I live in an area of generally low humidity, so I wonder if that might be part of it.  But I've never had that problem.  For me, the stuff has held like iron.


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Posted by R. T. POTEET on Sunday, October 18, 2009 5:01 AM

It does take some time. Go slow and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. My first attempt at either an Ambroid or Quality-Craft kit wound up in file 13. At the age of 23 I knew everything. I did complete my second attempt AFTER FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS.

From the far, far reaches of the wild, wild west I am: rtpoteet

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Posted by mobilman44 on Sunday, October 18, 2009 7:56 AM


I'm no stranger to building models (been doing so since the mid '50s), but haven't had the gumption or made it a priority yet to work on my Ambroid H-22 Santa Fe Caboose.  I picked it up at Bobbye Hall's in Dallas back in the late '70s, about the time I was building Silver Streak & Ulrich kits.

Ha, its mint in the box, and if worse comes to worse, maybe someday I'll put it on Ebay.







Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by Meyblc on Sunday, October 18, 2009 8:19 AM

I have built about 14 of the Ambroid Boston & Maine Passenger, Combine and baggage car kits so far. I have also built several of the Ambroid Boston & maine Snow Plow kits. Right now on my work table I am in the process of building another passenger car kit. If you ask me, I love these kits. Yes....they take time. Yes, they are not easy. Take your time and follow the instructions / blue prints. Make sure you have sharp blades and sand paper or files available.

If you take your time and are detailed in nature, when you are finished you'll have one very sharp looking car that will last longer than you will be around to enjoy it.

BTW...I use CA to build these kits. Works great and sets up fast.

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Posted by Railphotog on Sunday, October 18, 2009 8:43 AM

I think Northeastern Scale Lumber may have actually made these kits for Ambroid, and later released them under their own name.  Can someone confirm?

I built two of their Russell snow plow kits a long time ago, and one of their three storey bunk cars, got this one at a swap meet just for fun.  I think I used white glue at the time, would probably use yellow Carpenters glue these days as it is a bit more sticky.  You need to hold or clamp the parts being glued for a short while.  They will not come apart!

I see Northeastern has rereleased the Russell plow kit, only $79.95 and you need to supply the trucks and couplers just like in the old days of $20.00 kits.




Bob Boudreau


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Posted by reklein on Sunday, October 18, 2009 9:21 AM

Here's an Ambroid caboose I built last fall, I used modern trucks and couplers. Good idea to prime the wood and light sand before painting. Once painted finish in normal methods.   BILL

In Lewiston Idaho,where they filmed Breakheart pass.
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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Sunday, October 18, 2009 9:32 AM

 Here's a web site on Ambroid

According to the site Northeastern was their main manufacturer.  While I have both an Ambroid kit and a Northeastern kit in S, they aren't the same model so I can't compare.  Both are what were called craftsman kits - lots of wood and some metal parts, strip wood to be cut to length by builder, etc.

Personally, I love these types of kits, but they do take time to build. 



If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by 8500HPGASTURBINE on Sunday, October 18, 2009 11:39 AM

Thanks for the info. I also thought they seemed like a true craftsman kit. Below is the kits I have comming. I'll post pics of the process.


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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 18, 2009 2:50 PM
I would recommend using yellow glue over Ambroid--one of my "Ambroid" (actually Olympic Cascadian, or the like--a GN wood box) kits disassembled itself and I re-built it with the yellow glue.

I also recommend getting anal about sanding sealer. I didn't use it, and it shows. The natural wood grain of the model doesn't stand in very well for the natural wood grain of the prototype--steel even less. I'm not sure if you can yellow glue two pieces together that have been sealed. I think the glue has to go into the wood. For sealed-to-sealed joints, maybe ACC or epoxy. I would think you'd want to glue things up into un-sealed assemblies, seal them as appropriate, and assemble with the fancy glues.

I bailed on wood kits a long time ago, going over to plastic. The last wood kit I "built" (an early TrailerTrain bulkhead flat), I actually copied in plastic and had the original kit leftover.

Your mileage may vary, Ed
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Posted by dstarr on Monday, October 19, 2009 4:22 PM

 I have build a few Ambroid kits, and have a few more in my unbuilt kit collection.  They are lots of fun and the resulting model can be very cool indeed.  Yellow carpenters glue is best for the structural joints like endblocks to floor and roof.  I had a couple of such joints with cellulose cement (Ambroid or Duco) fail in service. The yellow glue is much stronger.  The cellulose cement is strong enough for attaching stripwood and trim. Ambroid Goo or Pliobond is the right stuff for attaching metal detail parts to wooden carbodies. 

  The cars come out squarer if some kind of jig and clamps are used to glue up the major parts of the car body.  I prepare the wood for paint with a coat of shellac.  The shellac seals the wood and prevents the wood grain from showing thru the paint.  

Have fun. 

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Posted by Flashwave on Monday, October 19, 2009 6:04 PM



That's... not going to end well. Neat car though. I do like the payroll on the above trainwebs site

PR, CEO of the Madison Railroad in HO. no, not that one, the one based off the City of Madison Port Authority.
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Posted by 8500HPGASTURBINE on Monday, October 19, 2009 7:24 PM

What type of trucks did you put on those models? Mike
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Posted by desertdog on Monday, October 19, 2009 10:33 PM
Just a few months ago, I gave a friend an Ambroid kit that had been sitting unfinished for about thirty-five years. In their time, Ambroid kits were something that separated the serious from the casual modeler. My brother built several, but he possessed much more patience than I. As others have mentioned and the photos show, the resulting models were quite exceptional, even to this day. John Timm

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