Last summer, I picked up three undecorated Bowser N5B caboose kits when I visited English’s Hobby Supply in Montoursville Pennsylvania. I finished the last of the three and added it to the caboose fleet on the layout.
The three cabooses depict three different variations on the ‘standard’ paint scheme for Penn Central. I used Microscale decals, as well as some decals from the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society. Modifications to the kits were minor. I had to change the openings of the coupler pockets and the pockets themselves in order for Kadee whisker couplers to work. I also shaved off all of the grab irons and used plastic grabs from Bowser’s N8 caboose kit. Two kits had their roof walks removed. I also used the smoke stack from the Bowser N8 kit on all three. I added enough weight to bring them up to the NMRA standard, and added basic brake details like air lines, mechanical rigging, to Cal-Scale triple valve, cylinder, and reservoir parts. All three received Kadee scale couplers and metal wheel sets as well.
The two on the left will be used for the two local switch crews that operate out of North Tonawanda. The caboose on the right depicts a Canada Southern caboose, complete with unusual lettering provided by a Microscale freight car set. This one will ride on the back of a train passing through North Tonawanda between Buffalo and St. Thomas Ontario.
With the caboose fleet now up to seven, I think it’s time to turn my attention elsewhere.