Z scale cabooses are needed

Calzephyr Jul 21, 2019

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have a growing fleet of Z scale locomotives and rolling stock... but one seriously lacking rail car are prototypically correct cabooses for western US railroads. I have F7 A/B locomotive sets for several western US railroads... but nary a caboose to put on the end of the consist.

    Micro-trains caboose is okay for certain eastern US railroads... but even then... only for some of them. I know there are some wood craft kits and maybe one other ready to run model as well. I can forget doing a Z scale kit... and the other ready to run model is prohibitivly expensive and sells out quick at that!!

    I feel that a major manufacturer (like Micro-trains) should have done several other versions by now (40+ years of Z scale). Every class of railroad before the 1980s was required to have a caboose... that is something which probably has kept transition to 1980s modelers away from Z scale... and stunted its growth.

    Ohhh.. and don't get me started on the lack of quality proto tank cars in Z scale.



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  2. Rio Grande

    Rio Grande TrainBoard Member

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    Have you heard of AZL? They produced several Cabooses.
    Greetings
    Mattias
     
  3. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

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    The problem with caboose is the economics, how many boxcars fit in train: lots, how many caboose:1
    Märklin has a caboose too, just need to be converted to other trucks and you get a nice caboose
     
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  4. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes... I recently bought $600 worth of locomotives from AZL. They have two caboose styles... a bay window and an extended cupola version.
    Both too modern for transition era... and over $50 each. Z scale needs caboose styles similar to the ones done in N scale by Micro-trains.


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  5. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I will have to take a better look at those. I have not seen them advertised as an individual item for sale... usually seen as part of a train set.

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  6. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Joe,

    I was wondering specifically what type of cabooses you are looking for? By my count, there are 7 styles available in Z (AZL 5, Märklin 1 MTL 1) more than the types of steam locomotives. It seems that all the major styles, center cupola, offset cupola and bay window are all covered. The only style I can think of not represented are the drover cabooses with a small passenger area.

    Since many cabooses were built in house, frequently out of boxcars, it seems that building prototypically accurate units would be difficult to produce beyond 3D printed or brass.

    Mark
     
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  7. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    The MTL version is an eastern US model not usually found in the western states.

    I found 2 AZL models in production, a bay window version and a wide cupola version. These are mostly decorated with modern schemes 1970s and later.

    I found 2 brass AZL versions of UP specific CA1 & CA3, and one brass version of Santa Fe specific CE1.

    Oddly... the Marklin version may be the closest to most western railroad cabooses, but not marketed individually here in the US.

    Other than that... there are wood kits available.

    I have 23 transition era Z scale diesels (mostly MTL F7 A/B), about 100 freight cars... zero cabooses. I also have many heavyweight passenger cars from AZL, as well as MTL passenger cars. All my locomotives and rolling stock are western roads.

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  8. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    I've taken a couple of the Marklin standard caboose's, and used the Zeletory conversion with Micro Trains trucks and couplers. Pretty easy to convert and looks pretty good when done. Usually takes about a half hour to finish.(y)

    I model the Milwaukee Road in the early 70's, which is really hard since they home built alot of they're rolling stock!!

    I use some "modeller's licensing" when it comes to my trains.:D
     
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  9. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree that some modelers 'license' is necessary in both N and Z scales. I just need the models to be close enough to not have to make to many excuses to the 'rivit counter police'.


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  10. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    Just about every Marklin Z scale caboose can be found on ebay as a single with out buying a set, UP, SP, NP, GN, ATSF, Santa FE, BN, NYC, CNJ, CB&Q, B&O, C&O, Chessie, PRR, Alaska, Southern, Rock Island, T&NO, Milwaukee, Burlington Rout, Starlight Express. Plus several have more than one version
     
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  11. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Even in larger scales manufacturers make comprimises, I have often seen a wide vision UP caboose at the end of an UP train at train shows, watching youtube... Never have seen a 1:1 prorotype picture os such wide vision UP caboose...
    The need for a D&RGW caboose to go with my D&RGW 5911 got me into scratchbuilding. I build 3 stypes cabeese until now and I am still using the first one (D&RGW Action road livery). Last one was the wide vision D&RGW wich I finished just before AZL launched theirs. My first caboose was my first scratchbuild piece of rolling stock. I learned my basic skills by building a couple of buildings in styrene for my first layout.

    [​IMG]

    The way of scratchbuiilding is simmilar for all these cabeese. See how was it done in next links:
    https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipP67TWcWtzINQ_JrZ47idRKr9bcP-Tt_nboNEOQ?key=CPTukbfj3qCjRg

    https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOdbaXR1767qjVmfz3quNL2DkMiDnkHrueJYsSS?key=CNfz_IXXmZK0wAE

    /Frank
     
  12. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice work on those DRGW cabeese!!

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  13. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Have a link to them so I can look?

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  14. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    go to ebay and search for Marklin Z scale Caboose
     
  15. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well... I purchased one SP caboose on eBay.
    All of the cabeese have those weird Marklin couplers... obviously not compatible with MTL, AZL knuckle couplers.

    So now I need to spend$$ to convert this caboose (main reason I ignored Marklin) to knuckle couplers.

    So... please explain the 'Zeletory conversion process' of fixing the coupling issue.

    Still need transition era DRGW, WP, Rock Island, GN, NP & CBQ cabeese.

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  16. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Joe,

    I've used the Zelatory kit. It's basically for the Märklin caboose and steam tender. Basically it's a spine that snaps into the Märklin bolster holes and provides prototypically placed bolster holes for the trucks. The caboose kit is meant for body-mount couplers. He also produces an etched brass kit to improve the rear platform and ladder. IMHO easy to use.

    You mentioned tank cars and Zelatory also produces a conversion kit. This kit requires more extensive modifications than the Caboose and tender kits.

    Mark
     
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  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    And where does one find these Zeletory kits?

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  18. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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  19. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry about quoring myself....
    I found a Z scale dealer, which I am not permitted to mention, that has this product.

    Essentially a plastic part 1.5 inches long for $15. It does NOT come with the MT trucks or couplers... that will cost about $5 more. If you want more realistic 'porches'... the brass 'porches' with steps and ladders will set tou back another $22. So an additional $42 plus shipping... assuming you already have the necessary z scale tap/die set. You might also need the bolster pins... couldn't tell if they came with trucks. I purchased the cheapest available used Marklin caboose in eBay... $36 including shipping. Doing the math... $80 and the work has to be done by the modeler. Not very cost effective.

    JOE D'AMATO WHERE ARE YOU AND MICRO-TRAINS?!?!

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  20. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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