Transfer cabooses are pretty cool, you have to admit. Often build on the frames of retired boxcars, these "box on a flat" crummies are & were most often used on locals and short runs where the crew wasn't going to be sleeping in the cabin. The designs of the cabooses were often proprietary to the home road and built in their own shops. Because of this, virtually no models exist outside of brass or resin kits.
My good friend, Dave Lederhouse, built the basic shell of this caboose for me recently. While not 100% prototype, it is a "close enough" model of a N11-E that would have been built by Penn Central in the Despatch Shops in East Rochester, NY. These cabooses soldiered on into Conrail and there's a few still earning their keep on shortlines these days. Dave started with an Athearn bay window caboose kit for the cabin, and put the underframe together from the stock parts in the kit along with sheet styrene. I added in a couple of underframe details for good looks, and built the extensive handrail system using white metal stanchions from Tiger Valley along with phosphor bronze wire. There's numerous other details that were added including the roofs over the doors, cast metal gas tanks, and the whistles on each end. 18467 rides on Atlas caboose trucks with Branchline semi-scale wheels.
The model was painted using Modelflex Conrail Blue, and lettered with Herald King and Microscale decals, using Future floor wax as the coating agent. The decaling was almost as hard as the build, having to piece together individual letters and numbers for the end road numbers, and especially the numbers on the upper right hand corner of each side. These tiny numbers indicate the former road name and previous road number the caboose would have worn. Since this is a former Penn Central caboose, it held the same number throughout it's life.
The weathering was done with a drybrushed white acrylic over the dullcoted surface, followed by AIM powders and the usual oil paints for rust. I was surprised to see how quickly these cabooses got dirty, with some showing significant wear after only 5 or 6 years following Conrail's formation. However, this only proves that the paint shops were cranking out work as fast as they could, and likely not using the best quality paint given the financial situation at the time. This one is now frozen in time on my layout working the local and keeping the crews warm during the cold winter months here in upstate NY.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at The Weathering Shop!