Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Interurban Caboose: Body and Details ~ Monday, April 23, 2007

Interurban lines' cabooses, when they used them at all, were a varied bunch. Some were standard railroad cabooses with cupolas or bay windows, some were recycled passenger or freight cars. Sacramento Northern Online has a very nice gallery of that line's cabooses.

For my future model interurban, the Susanville Electric, I am building a caboose out of and MDC/Roundhouse shortie combine kit. Here's my progress so far:

First: if you see one of these in a hobby shop, buy it! MDC has been bought out by Horizon Hobbies, and they don't seem to be continuing this line.

This is what you get if you follow the instructions. Cute!

To make a caboose that might double as an overhead maintenance car, I'm adding grab irons (brass wire, bent with jigs and pliers) and a side ladder, a neat feature of some of the SN boxcar cabeese.

I built a new arch roof. I tried bending a single piece of plastic to the right curve, but it wouldn't hold, so I built it up prototype-style with individual (styrene) boards, covered with paper, which ought to look like canvas when it's painted.

There are also new grabs on the end. This picture also shows how I extended the letterboards over the end platforms (a lot of these details would be nice modifications to the kit even if you're not doing anything as radical as making it into a caboose).

I'm working on fabricating a smokejack from brass rods and tubes. It's taking several tries to get it right!

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