I bought the Trainman, "Eastern 4 Window Center Cupola Caboose", used
by the C&O, PM, C&EI etc., Item #945 (undec.)
It appears that the main model body is a pretty accurate rendition of
the prototype, as per Fritz Milhaupt of the Pere Marquette H.S., and
Bob Lehnen of the C&EI H.S., as versus the upcoming Athearn version of
the same caboose.
Two faults of the Athearn car, as I see them, are:
1-) The cupola roof-radius/contour is too high.
2-) The car, side-windows are postioned too high, right under the roof-
line rather than about 12" below the foor-line.
The Trainman caboose has, to me, for detail purposes, the following
1-) The car-end and cupola-roof, grab-irons, are molded onto the car.
These can be removed and replaced with 3-D grabs, but it's a touchy
demo-job because of the fine rivet-detail on the car-ends.
2-) The underbody brake components could/should be replaced and brake-
3-) The trucks could be replaced, or reworked, by cutting out for the
void above the leaf-springs and changing the wheels, (the axles are too
large a dia.)
4-) The end-doors have no window openings. It is yet for me to
determine whether these doors were full, closed-panel doors without
windows or not, as per each prototype.
5-) The roof-walk is a molded-on saftey-tread type which would have to
be removed and replaced with a 3-D type.
I intend to model this caboose as a C&EI type. The brake-wheel was
vertical on the C&EI #5, and this would have to be reworked from what's
on the Trainman Car. Also, yet to be determined is whether the C&EI
caboose had a wood or steel/safety-tread roof-walk.
Over-all the car proportions seem to be a good starting-point, as
apparently no other caboose is available which is closer than the
Trainman's. The rivet detail and steel details are very fine and nicely
done. The car-side, curved grabs are applied separately. Would have
been great if they had done this with all of the grabs.