HO Scale Model Railroad Freight Car Construction Tips:

My constantly sputtering efforts at model railroading


Life-Like Proto 2000 4427 PS2-CD High-Side Covered Hopper

IMHO, probably the best line of freight car kits on the market.  This tip sheet is intended to be used along with the Proto 2000 instruction sheet.

These tips refer to the earlier versions of the kits. The current version, I have been told, has many of the parts already installed.

Drill  #64 in the "B" end of the car body, both holes for the air tank mounting pins.

Drill  #71 in the front end of the brake cylinder (15).

Drill #72 in the following:

The three small end holes on the roof--these are for the roofwalk.

The back end of the brake cylinder (15) (where the airline goes)

The hole in the diagonal brace Part (9) where the retainer valve mounts.

On the bottom of the hopper bays--the six holes where the brake levers will go. There is one hole on each end of each bay.

On the bottoms of both end bolsters (9) and (10)--there are 3 holes on each, one is on a tab to the side.

On the bolster bases (11)--these are also for the brake levers.

On the "B" end cage (32) where the bell crank (42) attaches, just beneath the mounting hole for the brake wheel.

On both end cage end pieces--the 3 holes on each for the brake step.

Drill  #73 The holes for the latches on the roof.

Drill #74 in the following:

On both end cages and all 4 side ladders--all holes for grabirons.

On the upper ends of the carbody--3 holes on the "A" end and 4 on the "B" end. These are for the end cages.

On the roofwalk--the grabiron holes.

Scrape off paint on the outside 1/16" vertical edge of both sides of all 4 sill gusset plates (27). They will go into the slots on the carbody much more easily.

While the part is still attached to the gates/parts-tree, on the brake lever (17) with the clevis arm, widen the inside of that clevis just a fraction, so that the brake lever fits easily.

Scrap off some of the paint from about 1/16" to 1/8"of the end of the brake lever bar that goes into the body.

Facing the "A" end (the end without the brake mechanism) of the body, left side, upper section, lower corner--there is a very small piece of flash that needs to be removed. It will keep the end cage vertical strut from sitting snuggly against the body if it is not removed.


Construction of this car is as in the instruction manual.


In STEP 1, on the small brake pipe (41), snip off about 1/32" from the end that does not go into the triple valve. This will help with clearance problems when you install the long train line in STEP 3.

In STEP 6, make sure that the brake lever goes down between the coupler box and the bar next to it. I missed this the first time and it was not a pretty sight.

In STEPS 6 & 7, make sure that every bit of the gates (the plastic that holds the parts to the parts tree or sprue) on the end cages and side ladders is removed so that these parts fit snuggly together.