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Discussion Starter #1
As the title says, I would like to model a DODX caboose. I would like to do number 903 which is a nice green wide vision caboose and I'm wondering what base model I should start with.
Will any Athearn wide vision caboose work as a start or is there one better as none of the Athearns have the wide windows.

Thanks in advance for any tips and suggestions on how to start this.
So far the only thing I've done is make the decision that I want to start this and collect pictures from on line.

- Will
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well, it's been a couple years since I first decided to do this project but I'm now done with school and am recovering from a surgery so now is probably the best time to start.

I picked up my donor caboose and ordered some new tools. I have a general idea of what I'm going to do and how detailed I'm going to get with this project. Now it's time for researching how to detail certain parts and where to get parts from.

I'll cover the windows in the donor caboose that are not needed and drill out windows where they should be.
I've read that I should use .005" brass wire (36ga) for handrails so I'll give this a try.
BLMA Window-Mounted Air Conditioner kit will be used for the A/C units. Walthers Part # 176-4109
Going to use Details West "Lollipop" Type GPS antenna. Walthers Part # 235-280
Busch Gmbh & Co Kg Emergency Vehicle Accessory Set includes two pairs of spot lights. Walthers Part # 189-49963
Looking for a loud speaker I like.
Not sure what size, but I'm going to use styrene rod for the filler tubes on each side just under the cupola.
Switching to metal wheels.
Kay-dee couplers.
No idea how I'm going to paint it or decal it at the moment.

But that's the plan. I'll post pictures as I progress but I know things will be slow.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the link to the pictures. I've spent lots of time trying to save every picture I could find and study those pictures to see what I need for this project. Sometime between 2007 and 2011 DODX903 got new paint and some upgrades to the A/C unit. I've decided to model the newer version.

I choose a DODX caboose for a few reasons.

1. I'm prior military.
2. I like modeling things that you normally don't see modeled.
3. It's odd, different, but still in use today with nuke waste trains which also fascinate me for some reason.

The caboose is at my dad's place at the moment since he has the chemicals to strip the decals and paint. Should pick it up tomorrow and I'll be able to start filling in windows.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Finally filled in all the windows with sheet styrene. Everything feels pretty smooth at the moment.
Next I'm going to work on the A/C units.

Can't find any scale loud speakers so I'm going to use some 1/8" square rod and attempt to make my own.

I'd post pictures but it's really not much to look at yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So here is a little dilemma I find myself in. I just mounted a spot light on the roof and I think it looks awesome. The problem I'm seeing is that I was going to have someone paint the car for me since I don't have the knowledge nor tools to do so. But I'm thinking if they paint the car, that means all the details will also be the same color and I'd like to keep these spotlights silver. So should I wait until after the car is painted to mount the spot lights and such, or will a good painter be able to paint around them? Or repaint them silver?
 

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Bryan a quick answer to the question why the DOD had cabooses, here at Ft Hood when they still used them it was during equipment shipments and they always sent escort guards with the trains. They rode in the caboose and during each stop would walk the train checking for theft or vandals. We had one shipment train derail just a mile or so from the base in the middle of Killeen and the guards were injured, not bad. Now they no longer use the cabooses or escort guards the shipments travel just like any other train but I think they might go express, no stops.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I guess I was stressing about this paint for no reason. I didn't pay close enough attention to notice that the newer painted caboose has a silver roof.
So I added the spotlights and two antennas on top of the copula.
Currently working on that rooftop contraption made out of angle iron. (angle styrene)
Still haven't drilled the hole for the middle window or the fill pipe but that's coming up soon.
I'll post an updated pic sometime today.
Progress is coming slowly, but it is moving along.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Filling in the holes for the roof ladder that is no longer being used. Can't see the details very well but there are 4 spot lights and two antennas on the roof.
IMG-20130731-00005.jpg


Here you can see the roof contraption that is still a work in progress. I made all the vertical posts longer than needed so I could trim them after everything was glued together.
IMG-20130731-00006.jpg


Based on prototype pictures, there is a wire that goes around the edge of the vertical posts so I'm guessing this is some kind of NVIS HF antenna.
DODX 903 roof zoom.jpg



For those who are not ham radio operators, here is a link to the Wikipedia article about NVIS communications.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_Vertical_Incidence_Skywave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Finished the roof contraption (possible antenna) but have not glued it to the roof yet.
Added the fill spots on each side and cut the holes for the windows.
Also added another wire antenna on the short end roof and the second, shorter smoke stake on the longer end roof.
Letting glue dry over night.
Next step is the hand rails on the actual body. Then I have to pick up paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey everyone. Wanted to let you know this project is not dead, just temp on hold. I had to go back to the hospital for a week and now I'm moving in with my parents.

The next step I have to do is finish the handrails, file the filler caps, fill around the base of the filler, then I think I'm ready to paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Took me a while, but I was finally able to finish all the hand rails. Feel like I built a little cage. I'm going to let everything dry up over night as tomorrow I'm going to try to make a trip to the local hobby shop to pick up some filler for the small holes in the roof, and just to make everything smooth prior to painting.
After that it's time for paint, then the AC units. I'm getting excited as I'm almost done and then I can start my next project.

Sorry for the dark picture as I don't have access to any extra lighting at the moment and the flash just washed out all the details.
PICT0310.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So I test painted a cheap boxcar I have with the colors I planned on using for the caboose. I'm glad I did. Found that the OD Green I have is way too light of a shade to really work. So, sometime this week it's back to the local hobby shop to see what military OD Green paints they have.
I'm hopeful that I can find a premixed model spray paint and that I don't have to invest in an airbrush and learn how to mix paints just so I can custom paint 2 or 3 cars.
 
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