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Discussion Starter #1
Really nice RTR ones are rare
An empty niche.


Other than some expensive Rapido's and Genesis, and the recently introduced Tangents, there hasn't been any mid-priced finescale cabooses available since the extinction of the 1990's Walthers Proto C30's.

And IMO, there has never been a finescale 40-foot RTR flatcar, other than the 42-footer from Red Caboose & InterMountain.

Kadee won't make a gondola, caboose, or flatcar. Accurail, won't make a caboose or flatcar. Neither has ExactRail.
Tangent only offers contemporary flats.

I treasure my Red Caboose & InterMountain 42' flats, and Proto C30's. They're prime pieces of highly detailed cars that aren't around any more. They were affordable models in their day, and prices of the flats have escalated on eBay... the C30's are now extinct in the U.S.

Athearn RTR cabooses are 'okay', and affordable. Atlas Trainman are too. I've fastidiously bashed and 'super-detailed' a few, and I like the results. I've also built a few cheap Roundhouse cabooses, and they're of surprisingly good quality.
Genesis, Rapido, and Tangents are very nice but theyre very expensive. They beat brass prices, but hey.

AMB caboose kits make gorgeous models, but are complicated to assemble, and very time consuming. I have three, and I'm done... too difficult for me now.

The 40' flats of the '40's & '50's were workhorses, and literally everywhere. I never saw a freight train without several, and I rarely saw an industrial siding or spur without one. The steel mill coiling shop where I grew up always had several dozen in line at the outbound weigh scales.

I guess I'll stick to Athearn RTR, Roundhouse, and Trainman cabooses for awhile.
As far as 40' flats are concerned, the nine Red Caboose & InterMountain 42's I have will have to suffice for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
BTW, the ExactRail 42-footer is very nice, but it's not RTR...
You have to un-sprue and glue on the decking. Not a fan, especially at that price.
 

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Trueline Trains and Rapido made some very nice Canadian prototype “vans”......I don’t suffer from not enough cabooses..... :LOL:

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And Ertl made some very nicely detailed 40 ft flat cars, and a lot of various loads to go with them......
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
And Ertl made some very nicely detailed 40 ft flat cars, and a lot of various loads to go with them......
Oops...
You're right, I forgot about Ertl.
My grandson has both of mine on his layout (one is a Cotton Belt).
They're very nice... and their truckframes are very cool. Best-looking truckframes on any RTR production car ever.

s-l400 (36).jpg
s-l400 (45)~2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Trueline Trains and Rapido made some very nice Canadian prototype “vans”......
I guess I missed the Truelines... they must've slipped by me.
That CP Santa Fe type looks very nice (top photo). I like that profile.
 

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Oops...
You're right, I forgot about Ertl.
My grandson has both of mine on his layout (one is a Cotton Belt).
They're very nice... and their truckframes are very cool. Best-looking truckframes on any RTR production car ever.

View attachment 547638 View attachment 547639
If there is any issue with the Ertl flatcars, it’s the over size diameter of that huge brake wheel... :LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's not a "Santa Fe type", it's an accurate representation of a CP-specific wood caboose.
Alrighty then, please pardon my grossly inaccurate terminology.
Eeesh.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As are the CNR versions, which are different than CP’s....
I've always been a fan of the long-body offset cupola profile.
Although it presents a dilemma on small layouts with return runs... being unable to turn them around for cupola-aft running.
I don't remember if I ever saw them run cupola forward. I'm sure I did, but I don't remember.
 

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I've always been a fan of the long-body offset cupola profile.
Although it presents a dilemma on small layouts with return runs... being unable to turn them around for cupola-aft running.
I don't remember if I ever saw them run cupola forward. I'm sure I did, but I don't remember.
No particular dilemma since they could be and were run either way, and no great effort was necessarily made to turn them.
 
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