MODELING: Caboose Cupolas on SP and NP builds

I hope that you all had a peaceful Christmas this past weekend.  The holidays are about family with little or no time for the hobby.  At least that was my experience this year.  A house full of family with lots of food and laughter.


Prior the holiday I did get a bit of work done on the two caboose projects.   My efforts centered around completing the cupola on both the SP and NP cabeese.    Construction of the cupolas are very similar so I won’t repeat too much as I show the NP steps.


My last posting showed the construction of the SP cupola.   I start this posting with cutting a hole in the roof.   A scary process at a minimum.   It did go fairly quickly with no drama.  I used a single-edged razor blade and a very fine tooth saw.


The next step is to work a fascia to hold the roof in-place.

The NP cupola is built up differently.  The end and side windows require a frame be built up in the opening.  The end windows of the SP cupola included the window frame.  I will cut strips of .015″ styrene to create a 2″ wide frame inside the opening.



The ends have two different radius with a slightly larger on the top.   The 1200 series were rebuilt with a cupola nearly identical to the 1700 series.  Caboose 1254 had straight sides to the cupola.   Some cars had a slight slope.  You have to look carefully at photos to be sure about the cupola.   I have been fortunate to be able to draw upon Rick Leach’s incredible knowledge of NP cabooses.

The ends and sides are reinforced with .040″ strips of styrene.  They for structure for the window openings.


The window openings have a vertical frame on all four sides.  It is created from .015″ x .060″ capped with a piece of .020″ styrene rod.  I sand the sides of the rod lightly once it is attached to the .060″ strip.


One detail that I added to the NP caboose roof was scribed lines to represent the diagonal tongue and groove roofing material used the prototype construction.   I used a scriber intended for styrene.


We will continue the caboose projects after the first of the year.   I am getting a little burned out on these builds so I will drop in a 50′ boxcar construction build the add some variety.


The car is a double sheathed 50′ boxcar with Murphy radial roof, Inverse Dreadnaught ends and a fishbelly centersill.   Protocraft has the decals for the car. The trucks look like the RY Models 50-ton Vulcan (with rounded ears).   I have figured out how to use the San Juan Car Company ends for the WP/SN boxcar.   Last but not least,  Jim Hawk was able to secure the drawings from the SMU Collection in Texas.

Happy New Year,



14 thoughts on “MODELING: Caboose Cupolas on SP and NP builds

  1. Gene — great modeling to close out the year. Thank you for all that you have shared.

    Best wishes to you for 2017.


  2. Happy New Year Gene! You have started my year out fantastic. I’ll be with you the best I can with the D&RG. That will be a great build. Thanks….JD

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