First wood kit

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Greetings all, and Happy Holidays! After the dust settles some I will go into the LaBelle wood caboose kit Santa brought me; the first wood kit I have tried to build and the first model RR project in about.....35 years.

I'm writing to ask 1) what kind of glue is recommended for this type of wood/wood gluing (that will cooperate with the subsequent weathering washes, etc.), and 2) any other hints or comments you have (sanding, dry times, clamping, painting, mounting couplers, whatever...). The kit is their HO-44 CM&StP caboose.

Thanks and happy modeling!



Armchair Engineer
I use any good yellow carpenters glue. I like the yellow better than the white because it is tackier and sets faster and stronger. For small parts i usually use CA so that I get an instant bond. I stain all parts before glueing and use alcohol based stains made from leather dye. Using alcohol based instead of water based paints and stains helps reduce warping.
Greetings, My suggestion would be the white glue ,I think the carpenters glue may dry with a yellow tint to it.
While I purchased this caboose already built and decal'd for the SOO LINE I think you'll find this kit a real beauty once finished and painted.
You say its been some years so take your time and be patience.

I understand GN's comment about the yellow glue. Ideally I want a glue I can stain over, right? Elmer's Stainable seems perfect. Have you tried that? How does Aileen's rate? The way I see it, anything that is weathered got that way long after it was built, not in pieces beforehand.
If you have any staining to do, do it before you glue. Glue acts as a sealate on wood and will ruin any attaempt to stain over top of it. Painting on the other hand is different since it covers the wood instead of peneterating like the stain would.
My kit is all but finished now, and thanks to all the advise--it helped.

The kit I put together is Labelle's HO-44 caboose on the C, M & St.P line, same as the one in the pic, 'cept different decals and mine is painted boxcar red. I am pleased with the results of this kit.

One question, though, to anyone who has this model: Mounting the trucks. :confused: What type of spacer device will get the wheels off the underbody? Whatever it is, the truck mounting screw will have to go through it, not to mention a drill bit. The instructions don't address mounting the trucks at all, so I'm at a loss on how to do so right. I realize that whatever I make has to ultimately put the couplers at the correct height. Sorry my wording is vague. Advise is appreciated.


Armchair Engineer
I have gotten into the habit of mounting the bolsters to the body after the body is built. This way I can mount my trucks to the bolsters and set them loose under the body. If the trucks are to close to the body I can put a shim under the bolster instead of trying to build it up under the truck with washers or something similar. At the same time I line up my couplers. If they need to be lowered I will put the shims between the body and the coupler boxes. If I want them higher I put it under the bolster. For a spacer for the truck I just use a small washer. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.