The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Two modern cabooses

Not long ago I posted an article on a TYCO modern caboose that is overscale for HO and suited to use in American OO.

The first photo shows the Santa Fe caboose on a train. Especially at normal viewing distances this car came out really well.

The two examples in the second photo are ones I converted to operation. In the back in the photos is one that is nearly stock. The trucks are “Morlok Method” trucks, but using a shorter wheelbase roller bearing truck I found on some train set cars and mounted so that it centers a bit further in from the ends (mounted "offset" using the original frame locations for trucks). In both cases there are no major modifications to the body or frame.

For the front model my goal was to more closely imitate a modern Santa Fe caboose, and one key item for the “look” was blanking some windows out. Which I had never done before but it was not that hard. I patched behind the opening with styrene sheet and fit pieces into the openings to be nearly level. After that had set I used green Squadron putty and sanded it down. With the decals there too the old opening is nearly invisible.

On the Orient car you might notice it only has one set of end handrails and both cars still lack smokestacks. I will fix the smokestack issue soon. The cars I purchased to do these conversions were junkers and I ended up with only three usable end handrails. I also converted one more car, lettered for the fictional Chattanooga choo-choo. That one I will get out whenever little kids are by to see trains run. Relatively quick projects making a car never actually produced in American OO.

UPDATE: This model was later sold by IHC in a paint scheme similar to the one I applied for the ATSF. I think mine looks more authentic though, the blanked out windows do help the look.

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