Garden Railroading / Caboose No.557


My friend Michael Bickford showed me his 16mm scale caboose 556 while I was just finishing off my 2.5" scale version. I couldn't resist the temptation to add one of these delights to my 16mm scale roster. The caboose was constructed from a kit purchased from Northeast Narrow Gauge of Wiscasset, Maine. The timber was milled to the cross sections required but still needed to be cut to lengths required for the part. The only problem I have encountered with the kit so far was the omission of the scribed siding. I used my boxcar technique and applied 1.6mm 3-ply over the 3mm sub-structure and scribed the panels myself through the outer ply layer.

The body shell completed and painted with a light coating of Shellac to seal the surface and "raise the grain" of the timber surfaces.

When the Shellac had dried, the surfaces were rubbed back with 400 grit wet or dry abrasive paper and finished off with 000 steel wool to provide a very smooth surface.

The interior was treated the same as the exterior with the exception of the side walls. These had a very rough texture and required a wood grain filler to even out the surface.

I opted to purchase the interior kit with this model because I left it out of the 2.5" scale 556 caboose because of the ride-in feature. There is another longitudinal seat to go with the one on the left end. It is being fitted with batteries and wiring to power interior lights and tail lights.
The floor is covered with 1/16" thick timber strips, each cut to fit, and finished with a water-based gloss floor varnish. The stove was sprayed with pot belly black paint.

The underside is not as neat as the boxcar but the brake detail has yet to made. The 32mm gauge trucks are also a kit supplied by Northeast Narrow Gauge. Couplers are Kadee 820s.

The body was completely sprayed with a grey primer auto finish and rubbed back with 000 steel wool. The inside was sprayed with a deep yellow (South Australian Railways Traffic Yellow) and the outer walls received a coat of "red" in time for a trial run. The roof has since been painted with red oxide "metal primer". Work has begun on the handrails and roof walks etc.
The doors have yet to be painted. Special tracks were made to allow the side doors to slide but remain attached to the car body to allow easy lifting of the body off the chassis.The end doors will be attached with miniature brass hinges.


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