The NYCSHS is producing
a HO-scale kit of a Big Four caboose in two different versions produced
by American Model Builders, makers of LASERKits®. This kit is exclusive to the NYCSHS and will not be
available through normal hobby distributors. In HO-scale, ready to run,
plastic or wood kits of this caboose have not been offered in the past.
Brass models imported more than 30 years ago are the only models of
these available and they do not show up on the market often.
LASERKit® caboose kits represent a caboose that was used by
the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St Louis Railway, commonly known
as the Big Four. The Big Four had extensive trackage in Ohio, Indiana,
Illinois and even reaching Michigan. Besides the four large cities in
its name Louisville and Indianapolis were also served by the
railroad. The Big Four was merged into the New York Central System in
1930. After that the former Big Four caboose could be seen across the
New York Central System.
cabooses were built between 1904 and 1927 and many earlier cabooses
were rebuilt to this design, eventually numbering more than 300. These
cabooses were ahead of their time as their rooftop look out called a
cupola was wider than the sides of the caboose, a design feature that
was common for cabooses built in the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Originally
these cabooses had tongue and groove siding.
Beginning in the 1950’s
plywood siding was added and a window on each side removed to some of
the cabooses giving them a slightly different look(Available also in this store). These cabooses
continued to serve New York Central through the end of the 1960’s when
they were retired. Today only two examples of this type of caboose are
known to exist. Only one is on public display at the Shirley Historical
Society’s Depot Museum in Shirley, Indiana. The plywood siding version is also available here in the store.
versions of this HO-scale caboose are available, this one with the
standard tongue & groove siding, the other with plywood siding (Available also in this store). The kits feature 100% laser-cut components with laser-scribed
side and end walls, Tab & Slot and Peel & Stick construction,
laser-cut underframe, end platforms, end railing, and brake wheels, cast
resin platform steps and brake gear with fully illustrated instructions
that provide information on painting and decaling the assembled model.
In addition, the HO-scale kit provides for optional details such as
side windows that can be modeled open or closed and a complete set of
screen doors and windows. Decals provided would allow the modeler to
letter their caboose in all the common lettering schemes from 1904
though the 1960’s.
The MSRP is $64.95 and the NYCSHS members' price is $51.96 for this tongue & groove one. The NYCSHS plans to have these available for shipping by late 2023, with delivery in time for the 2023 holiday