Building Frisco Caboose #777

Discussion in 'Cabooses' started by Jim James, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I just couldn't resist this cool looking early side door caboose so I've decided to make one. I'm trying to get the dimensions fairly close and I'm sure there will be a discrepancy here and there but I'm going to try to make a passable model. I'm using some leftover paper backing from an AMB caboose kit as a basic template for the body and window placement. Last night I made some progress on the walls, windows and door openings. This may be a slow go project but I'll share any notable progress as I go along. Here we go!
  2. cthart

    cthart Member

    That's a very good start! I'll be following this with interest -- I love cabooses, and think more people should model them.
  3. DanHyde

    DanHyde Member

    Great start, Jim. I love it when any of the members here build an obscure, not every day model. Makes things come a bit more "alive". Can't wait to see how you do the turnbuckles on the cupola!
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

  5. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Dan, I've got some plastic turnbuckles left over from some past project that I'll try to use. Karl, thanks for posting that picture.
  6. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I've added the grab irons, temporary side doors and glued the four walls together and added interior bracing. Tomorrow I'll be replacing the doors if I can scratchbuild a more prototypical version. I've also started the roof tonight. Thanks for checking in.
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Looking good Jim! You are well on your way to a great very unique. I am happy you are doing this era of modeling. You represent that time very well. Looking at all them windows you had to cut out, you did a great job of getting them square and in line.
  8. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks, Tom. Does anyone know if there was a door on the front end of this caboose? I figure just one in the rear to allow access to the brake wheel but there appears to be another handrail on the front as well. I finished the cupola and did some painting last night.
  9. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Hey Jim,
    I see that handrail on the end you are referring to. I dont know why, it maybe be I am not seeing this right. But, doesnt it look like the handrail on the end we can see, goes all the way across? Like if you open the door you run into the handrail, perhaps why no platform is there, and like you said before, is simply access to the handbrake on that end. The assumption could be, that given there is usually a handbrake on both ends of a caboose, then it stands to reason their could be a door on the end we cant see to access that brake. I dont know, but it could be. Also, Am I seeing a small multi pane window between the end windows on the cupola? Wonder why that was there? This is a great little project. The pipe going up beside the door is maybe to a retaining valve.
  10. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    I am wondering if there isn't a small deck out that door. That couple placement looks like it sticks out from the body a bit further than "normal." It also looks like the brake wheel is centered with the end handrails meeting there.

  11. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I see what your seeing now too Bob, the angle of the photo is deceiving. Like its not a grab iron but handrail that sticks out of the end of the car to the brake staff, but I dont see it sticking out on the other huh? So maybe no door or brake on the other (A) end of the car? Interesting detective work :)

  12. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I had planned on a very short platform between the door and brake staff. At least that how it appears to me as well. It just looks a bit different on the front end. I didn't think there would be a door there. I didn't know cabooses had two brake wheels. I will add the small window in the middle of the cupola.
  13. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I still have my suspicions that this was made from a boxcar (1 handbrake). I just dont know when or even if the AAR mandated a handbrake on each end for cabooses, but every purpose built caboose I have seen has a brake on each end. Although there clearly is a appliance mounted on the other (A) end of the car it does not appear to stick out like the one we see (B) end, that I can see anyway. Great discussion and read. I just dont know, but it is quite a tease to try and figure out. One thing about it till someone produces drawings or a picture of the other end you wont be wrong huh?
    Please carry on.
  14. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Nice work Jim, that will be a neat project.
    I have seen a couple of cars with the railing across like that. I had the same reaction.
    It was explained to me: The railing is so when you open the door and are looking out, the slack action don't run out and throw you between cars or out the doorway. I am thinking, the spray train had similar railings at one time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2015
  15. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks William. Great info as well. Tom, we seem to be on parallel tracks on this but I went ahead and added the other door. What the heck. These old photos can answer questions but they can also muddy the waters. The location of the end rail being exactly the same on both ends is what led me to add the door. I'm fairly pleased with how this is turning out so far as this is my very first scratchbuild rolling stock. I've posed it with the roof and cupola placed on it but not glued on yet.
  16. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    A command decision Jim,
    I applaud you for your efforts and greatly enjoy this thread. After all it is your railroad and rule number one consistently applies.
    As always I enjoy you posting your efforts.
    Please carry on.
  17. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Should the grab irons and door railings be painted black or left box car red? I'm thinking black but I just wanted to throw this question out there. It's a pain in the butt to paint them and I need reassurance as to the correct color.
  18. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Looked on line because your question made me curious. I saw Frisco cabooses with grab irons painted yellow, white and boxcar red, but none painted black, which is what I would have guessed. I suppose paint them whatever color looks best to you (although in the 1920s I doubt whether they would have been yellow).

  19. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Jim, I've seen definitive data that says that handrails and grabs went from black to yellow paint sometime in 1948. Combined with pre-1948 b/w photos where the rails and grab irons seem to be a different color than the car body, I'd tend to say that black is the way to go.

    On the other hand, I've seen photos here of one of Don Wirth's c. 1928 slant-cupola cabooses where the end rails and grabs are the same red color as the caboose itself. I think that either way would be fine. If I had to choose one, I do like the color contrast that the black details provides and how it seems to make the details pop a little bit more.

    Did you bend the ladder grabs on the end? If so, what technique did you use?

    It's hard to believe that this is your first try at scratchbuilding rolling stock! It's coming along very nicely; it makes me think that I need to finally put my car siding to good use and make an appropriate steam-era caboose.

    Best Regards,
  20. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Chris, thanks a lot for taking the time to find that out. I'm just getting ready to go downstairs to paint those grabs black. The corner grabs are Tichy 24" grab irons. My attempts at bending them myself are not quite up to snuff.

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