model railroads of michigan
ann arbor wood-sided caboose
Prior to the advent of steel-sided cabooses, wood-sided cabooses were the standard waycar bringing up the rear of most freight trains across America for decades. The Ann Arbor was no exception and one of their wood road cabooses (#2823) survived well into the 1970s, parked just south of Hoover Street and serving as a bunk house for train crews in Ferry Yard. When I spotted it for the first time it was severely faded and peeling, and likely had not been used as crew quarters for some time - but in my 1:160 universe it has a fresh coat of paint and will proudly offer respite to my Ann Arbor-based operators!
My version of #2823 began its life as an undecorated Micro-Trains caboose with 4 windows on each side. I removed the body from the frame and used a Dremel tool to cut a small chunk out of the frame, and then I sliced the body in three pieces to remove the second window away from the front end. I used epoxy and styrene strips to re-size the frame, and I grafted the two remaining body shell end pieces back together with interior styrene splices.
The photos below provide a brief overview of the steps involved for this project, along with prototype photos I used as a modeling guide. You'll also spot a couple of steel-sided cabooses I was working on simultaneously, so I hope it all proves informative for you!