We still have some paint work to do so let's get that out of the way while we are in the mood. The cupola gets sprayed red like the caboose body then the actual roof gets painted black. I just used a brush for such a small area. In addition, the ends/platforms need to be a sort of rust brown color. This was rather common NKP practice.
Once you get this far, the rest of the project is pretty much according to the kit's instructions so I won't spend a lot of time going over that. There is still a lot of work to be done but most all of it is pretty much straight-forward and there's little special things that one needs to do to complete the project.
You need to apply the underside details. This would include the brake cylinder, the queenposts and the truss rods. Next comes the couplers and the trucks. Make sure that your coupler heights are correct; it's a lot easier to change then now than once the entire car is assembled.
When I ordered my models, they came in bulk and the vendor didn't have any of the square end rails left. "No problem..." says I but it was. It is really hard to cut, bend & otherwise shape the wires to fit EXACTLY as you want them. You will notice that a few of mine aren't perfect but that kind of adds to the character of the car (so I say). Paint them yellow and add them to your caboose body as well.
Next, attach the cupola to the roof then check the roof for fit on the caboose body. You will note in some of the interim pictures, I put mine on backwards and had to fix it before the project was done. I should have known to pay closer attention to the prototype photos. For the record, the cupola goes over the window end and NOT over the side door end. Remember that you will need to cut some notches in the roof guides to accommodate the plastic reinforcing strips from an earlier step.
The ladders & roofwalks should pretty much complete the project. Don't forget the smokejack. The prototype didn't have the box on the car's underside but I put it on there just for a little variety. As for decals, I just printed up some from my ALPS printer and applied them onto the glossy surface. After they dried, I applied liberal coats of SolvaSet to get them to conform as much as possible to the car's sides. Finally, an overspray of clear flat finish and the car is ready for road action.
I hope you have enjoyed this little project and will be encouraged to pick up some basic tools and give it a try.