Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Caboose question

1872 views
18 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 12 posts
Caboose question
Posted by TheMinnesotan on Friday, March 17, 2017 1:02 PM

Hello all. I aquired an older Athearn Milwaukee Road caboose in a silver with black lettering paint scheme. Is this prototypical or were these released based on modeler's license only? Thanks and Happy St Patrick's Day!

  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 1,756 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, March 17, 2017 1:49 PM

That's a new one on me.  Orange and yellow are all I've seen.  I don't think I've seen a model of MILW caboose in silver, this is an Athearn?  I'm not a MILW expert, only going by what I've seen.

Mike.

  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • 176 posts
Posted by j. c. on Friday, March 17, 2017 2:22 PM

all the photos i've seen are orange or orange and yellow. the athearn book lists the silver ones as OP3  or OP4  making them as early units.

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 4,912 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, March 17, 2017 2:59 PM

Probably modelers license and here is why.

Athearn's blue box based cabooses are both based on specific prototypes AFAIK:

- Athearn off-set cupola caboose is based on an Santa Fe steel caboose; most other paint jobs are fantasy schemes unless they are of a RR that happened to copy the Santa Fe caboose type; I am not aware of any but I'm not a walking caboose encyclopedia.

- Athearn wide vision caboose is based on International Car Company caboose built onto box car frames on the Rock Island RR.  Technically they are only accurate for those home-built wide-vision cabooses AFAIK.

- Athearn bay window caboose is based on the Southern Pacific CA-40-x class; AFAIK, they only represent those.

I did a quick search of MILW caboose at RailCarPhoto's and all of those shown were bay window types - most have horizontal ribs - I'm not sure what the best source of MILW cabooses are in plastic.

http://www.railcarphotos.com/Search.php

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Contrarian's contrarian
  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 1,756 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, March 17, 2017 3:13 PM

Looks like you have to sign up for RailCarPhotos in order to view anything.  I know it's free, but you can't see anything until you sign up/register.  Same way with their site on locomotive pictures.

Mike.

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,330 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Friday, March 17, 2017 3:49 PM

I went through rrpicturearchives, and got the same result.

 

If ya want a Milwaukee caboose, you probably ought to suck it up and get brass.  I see 4 on Brasstrains for about $200.

I wanted a WP bay window woody, and I bought a brass one.  I assure you, I'm happy with my purchase.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: California
  • 3,977 posts
Posted by DSchmitt on Friday, March 17, 2017 3:56 PM

The only silver Milwaukee caboose I found is a Minitrix N scale model.  The shell appears to be a redused copy of the Athearn cupola caboose.  I am sure it is not based on a Milwaukee prototype.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 9,098 posts
Posted by dknelson on Friday, March 17, 2017 4:04 PM

The closest the Milwaukee Road came to a classic "Athearn style" caboose (an AT&SF prototype) was its steel drover's cabooses.  Those were in fact the first steel cabooses on the Milwaukee Road.  They had the offset cupola of the Athearn type caboose, so the general outline is not all that far off, but the window arrangement on the sides differed, and the windows were large, almost like a passenger car (because in a sense that is what they were).  Originally painted boxcar red, in the late 1930s they were painted silver/aluminum with black lettering, numbers and grab irons.  There was a large C. M. St. P.& P. herald on both sides below the cupola.

Alas the silvery aluminum faded to gray so at some point they were repainted orange.  And once stock movements ceased on the Milwaukee Road the cars were released to general service -- I photographed one (painted orange) on the back end of a train heading west out of Milwaukee in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

When they were painted silvery aluminum they were virtually exclusively seen on the west coast which is perhaps where Irv Athearn saw them.

So to answer your question, the paint scheme is kind of authentic -- perhaps more than the plastic car shell itself -- but only for a fairly brief period of time.

My source for this information is Milwaukee Road's Steel Cabooses by Jeff Kehoe, a soft cover book published by the Milwaukee Road Historical Society.  If information of this kind is important to you, I strongly recommend joining the Society.

Walthers has offered authentic HO Milwaukee Road bay window cabooses in a variety of paint schemes.  They have also been released in brass.  Fox  Valley Models has authentic Milwaukee Road bay window cabooses in N scale.  At one time they also had authentic transfer cabooses that some hobby shops might still have.  

Dave Nelson

 

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,330 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Friday, March 17, 2017 4:57 PM

dknelson

 

Walthers has offered authentic HO Milwaukee Road bay window cabooses in a variety of paint schemes.  

 

 

 

 

Ed

  • Member since
    January, 2001
  • From: SE Minnesota
  • 6,692 posts
Posted by jrbernier on Friday, March 17, 2017 5:30 PM

  The Milwaukee rebuilt some older wood cupola caboose to a bay window configuration for transfer service.  They were painted in an aluminum scheme with the idea that they would be 'reflective' at night.  All that resulted as a paint job that attracted coal smoke soot and got very dirty looking. They were repainted into the standard orange scheme.

  Several models of various manufacture have be produced in the aluminum scheme - All wrong...

Jim

 

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,330 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Friday, March 17, 2017 5:37 PM

And yet, the Burlington managed to field a whole bunch of "silver" cabeese for quite a long time.

 

 

Ed

  • Member since
    January, 2001
  • From: SE Minnesota
  • 6,692 posts
Posted by jrbernier on Friday, March 17, 2017 5:47 PM

  And they were in the diesel era.  The Burlington wood cabooses in the steam era were painted 'oxide'...

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Duluth, MN
  • 174 posts
Posted by OT Dean on Saturday, March 18, 2017 1:38 AM

Pure fantasy.  As mentioned above, model manufacturers often bring out paint schemes that must've come to them in a dream, and back in the Blue Box Era, they plastered various road names on Santa Fe steel cabooses at random.  I was born and raised so close to the MILW that during the steam days, cinders rained down from passing trains.  How my mother ever got our laundry clean is just short of a miracle!

The MILW used 8-wheel wood cabeese with offset cupolas and bobbers, built in the West Milwaukee Shops, augmented by hacks from roads they'd absorbed, right up until they started bulding the familiar ribbed-side bay window jobs.  As someone said, they frequently added bay windows to old wood cabooses--and I faintly recall seeing one with both bay windows and cupola, but that might be my imagination at work.  My brother worked in the yard as a switchman at "Five Rings," where Jim Scribbins put in his time, and he was a model railroader, so he hauled me into the Muskego Yard's margins quite a lot.  The earlier 8-wheelers with cupolas were mostly boxcar red in the '50s--and I remember seeing some of the long ones with either swaybacks or humpbacks.

If you're going to model the MILW, I highly recommend joining the Milwaukee Road Historical Association, as I did back in the '90s when I started modeling equipment for the (fantasy) Mineral Point RR/MP&N in O scale.  The MRHA publishes great slick paper quarterly magazines and books.  Joining these historical organizations is a good way to get a good feel for railroading through the decades.  (I also belonged to the C&NW and Burlington groups and was never sorry for it.)

Happy Railroading!

Deano

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 15,905 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:02 AM

OT Dean
As mentioned above, model manufacturers often bring out paint schemes that must've come to them in a dream and back in the Blue Box Era, the plastered various road names on Santa Fe steel cabooses at random.

Deano,I think that was because they needed a caboose to go with their locomotive road names and presto  a SF or SP caboose style became good enough  for filling that need.DeadBlack Eye

I still chuckle over a PRR sidebay or a Santa Fe type caboose lettered for C&O.Bang Head

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 920 posts
Posted by ATSFGuy on Friday, March 24, 2017 4:23 PM

We need to see som L&N and Erie Cabooses in HO Scale.

I'll take a couple.

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 51 posts
Posted by olson185 on Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:59 PM

 

I came across this:

Milwaukee Road -Silver
No. 1256 -Kit
No. 2256 -Ready To Run
 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 4,912 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:44 AM

olson185

 

I came across this:

Milwaukee Road -Silver
No. 1256 -Kit
No. 2256 -Ready To Run
 

 

That looks like an early version of the Athearn ATSF caboose, which has been painted for umpteen other paint schemes.  They've probably gotten nearly as much mileage out of those molds as they have the Globe F7!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Contrarian's contrarian
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Boise, Idaho
  • 868 posts
Posted by E-L man tom on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:35 PM

BRAKIE
 
OT Dean
As mentioned above, model manufacturers often bring out paint schemes that must've come to them in a dream and back in the Blue Box Era, the plastered various road names on Santa Fe steel cabooses at random.

 

Deano,I think that was because they needed a caboose to go with their locomotive road names and presto  a SF or SP caboose style became good enough  for filling that need.DeadBlack Eye

I still chuckle over a PRR sidebay or a Santa Fe type caboose lettered for C&O.Bang Head

 

Hey, I still have one of those Blue Box Santa Fe type cabooses lettered for C & O! I believe it is one day either going to be used as a de-throned maintenance shed on my layout or it is headed for the silent auction at the fall meet that my round-robin group puts on in September.

Tom Modeling the free-lanced Toledo Erie Central switching layout.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Boise, Idaho
  • 868 posts
Posted by E-L man tom on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:40 PM

We need to see som L&N and Erie Cabooses in HO Scale.

I'll take a couple.

 

I agree with you wholeheartedly on that; especially Erie. I have tried for years to find a plastic version of the Erie class N3A caboose. About 20 years ago, Overland Models had a brass one available - - for $160 to $180! Needless to say, I didn't take them up on that.

Tom Modeling the free-lanced Toledo Erie Central switching layout.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!
Popular on ModelRailroader.com
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Search the Community

Users Online

ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook