MODELING: Caboose End Sill and Railings.

Caboose modeling provides the modeler with lots of challenges along the path to completion.  One of those tasks is building the end beam and railing for a Southern Pacific C-30-3 wood caboose.

The end sill is a steel channel on the prototype with a combination of flat steel railing and round posts.  My approach is to use an 3/16″ styrene channel with brass wire.  There are a number of rivets on the end beam as well.  This prototype car has a steel frame even though it was sheathed with wood.    The drawing shown on the right gives the details for this car.

I have made caboose railings in the past using brass strips and wire.  I elected to go with .080″ x .010″ strip brass.  The four intermediate are made of 0.7 mm nickel silver tubing and .015″ phosphor bronze wire. This type wire has better rigidity than brass for the same gauge.

Albion Hobbies makes a large range of tubes, bars and shapes in England.  I purchased my tube pack from Amazon.  There are several dealers who sell the products in the US as well.

I made a simple fixture to hold the end beam and railing during assembly.  I used a small piece of a hardwood that I found in a bin at Home Depot.  It drills nicely and will hold the .080″ brass wire I used for bending the end of the railing.

I used .022″ brass wire for the end part of railing.  I wanted to get a repeatable bend for both ends of the railing.  The picture below shows the bending fixture I made.

I formed the flattened end with a small bench vise from an old Unimat.  The formed part was soldered to the flat metal on the top.

The four posts appear to tie together the railing assembly.  The prototype used a 1 1/2″ square nut with washer to do the job.  I recreated the appearance of the prototype by drilling out several Tichy #8037 square nut and washer.

Here is a shot of the completed metalwork on the railing.

I placed the end assembly on the car to see how it fits.  It is crooked in the picture but will be installed correctly when I am get to that step.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy New Year!




6 thoughts on “MODELING: Caboose End Sill and Railings.

  1. Gene, this is a great post and a nice addition to your blog which has become the defacto “how to scratchbuild” manual in our P48 hobby. Thanks also for mentioning and vetting the source of your materials which gives one confidence to order online.

    Keep up the good work in the New Year
    Bill Bear

  2. I also appreciate your sourcing the materials in these blogs. The Albion web site showed a method of easily cutting that small tubing that I don’t think I would have ever thought of.


  3. Hi Gene, The C-30-3 is looking fantastic thanks for sharing the forming and assemble fixtures also thanks for the heads up for Albion looks like a grate sores for modelers vary useful.
    Go build something.

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