This is mostly a photo essay as it is a fairly simple model. The complication was in the detective work and assumptions that had to be made. Here's the finished item awaiting some weathering:
The East Broad Top built a pair of modern cabooses, #27 and #28, around 1920 (and both still exist.) However, I have a freight consist with a C-19 EBT #7 in the point, and it dates to around 1910. So while I am waiting for Geoff Ringlé to finish my #28 for RY Models, I was faced with a shortage for the end of the old train. There is/was a caboose #26 which ended up in a worktrain without its cupola. It was built on a flatcar with 20" wheels, and it ran so roughly that it was upgraded to passenger car trucks.
Then there is this caboose - unnumbered, but thought to be an earlier picture of #26.
Kevin made a model of #26 in the condition seen in the photo above using an Accucraft flatcar as a base and Ozark castings for the doors and windows. (Both photos above are from his thread. The one below is from his Tuscarora RR Blog.)
Geoff made one for his 'work train' which won 1st prize at the NNGC this year, but his is the later rebuilt version of the caboose. He also used Ozark castings, but his roof is special - it consists of strips of styrene running lengthwise, just like the original wood roof.
After chatting with Geoff, he mentioned that Alan at G.A.L. had cut the body parts from styrene and the caboose was very simple to make. Of course, I believed him, so I ordered the kit of parts from G.A.L. When they turned up, not surprisingly I found the roof profile was rounded. However, I needed a 1910 caboose, so I was faced with converting it to a peaked roof or making a round roof cupola. Hmm.... There is this photo around (also from Kevin's Tuscarora RR Blog) which he used to justify his short caboose #4.
I figured if he could do it, so could I. No reason that it couldn't be a photo of #26 before it was rebuilt - and it made more sense that #26 always had a rounded roof. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! So here's the beginning of my caboose #26. An Accucraft flatcar and a mockup body using the G.A.L. kit parts to see if there as enough left over to make a cupola. You can see where I started marking it out for the new windows, etc.
I decided it would work, so I ordered more Ozark windows (cupola and end) plus doors. Geoff had a set of side windows that he let me buy from him. I cut the tops off the windows, as he seemed to have done , and inserted a plastic strip along the top.
The main windows are a pair of Ozark castings side by side. I cut the sides of the windows down and soldered them together with a 1/16" wire between them. (Soldering white metal is tricky - don't try it until you have practiced on some scrap.)
The cupola windows were all too tall so I cut them off and soldered the top back on to make a squashed window. Doing all 7 was a chore. The flatcar turned out to be a little narrow. Geoff had used a Bachmann flat, and it's deck had to be trimmed so the body fitted between the ends of the planks. (You can see on the later prototype photo that the end platform planks fit all the way to the side of the body.) Mine was just wide enough for the body, but I didn't have to remove any planks so my platforms are skinny. I ran it past the circular saw to remove the stake pockets.
I cleaned off the coupler lift bars and brake staff bits, and filled any holes with an nbw casting. One coupler was switched to a 1/32nd size, as some of my equipment is finally getting converted to the 3/4 size couplers used by the EBT. The end railings are from an Accucraft coach but I had to move the middle upright as they aren't symmetrical on the coaches. I switched the brake wheel just to make it look different and drilled through the flat car end to reach the chain from the brakes. (In fact, I should have removed the air brakes entirely, as in 1910 the EBT hadn't converted, but what the heck - only Kevin is likely to complain!) I then decided it needed an interior, so I bashed one out of scrap and sheet styrene. Here it is after the first coat of primer - the body has been sprayed Rustoleum 'Heritage Red'.
And this is the interior view with body on prepped for the roof. (You can see a black strip under the cupola - see below.)
I cut some 40 thou styrene for the roof and made a former of aluminum bent across some scrap wood. The styrene was put on the former and both were placed briefly in the toaster oven to soften the styrene and let it curve. I then added alum tape strips to the roof to simulate the canvas covering.
A quick spray of black primer and it was ready to have the side pieces blended in. Actually, it wasn't that quick. I tried Krylon 'paint and primer' black but it came out with a satiny finish. I brush painted that with acrylic 'lamp black' and that came out streaky, so I sanded it down with wet 400 grit and sprayed it again with plain primer. The cupola sits on top of the sides so there is a strip of roof along the cupola bottom. Geoff used strips, so his is very coherent and straight. I had to make up "L" shaped strips to fit under the cupola sides to mesh with the new roof pieces. They did, sorta, and I finished them with putty and more aluminum tape.
The final job was to add a couple of cut levers, EBT style, on the ends, and finish the paint. Here it is ready for some weathering.
And a final side view.