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Inspired by Malcolm's Missouri Pacific short bay cabooses from last January, I finally got around to making my own.  Instead of scratchbuilding the underbody, I started with an Atlas 2 rail wide-vision caboose.  In addition to couplers, trucks and a detailed underbody, the Atlas caboose has the correct truck centers and included lighting circuits for the interior and the red flashing beacon on one end.  The new cabin is styrene, but I reused the doors and roof end light housings from the WV body.  I couldn't find any Atlas roofwalk material for the platforms such as from their cylindrical hoppers like Malcolm used, so I used Evergreen square tile styrene turned 45 degrees to give the appearance of diamond plate.  The platforms should be painted white, so I may tackle that in the future.  The end railings needed a few details added to make them close to the MP ones.  Screens for the windows were sourced from N-scale chain link fencing.  The Atlas chassis required a lot of Dremel work to remove tabs and posts that supported the original internal details.  It's not perfect, but it looks good from a few feet away on the office layout with the GP15s, especially with its beacon flashing.  Once I got going I couldn't wait to get it finished, so there are some things I would do differently with more patience.  If I do another, I'll take my time and make it more prototypical, mainly shooting for see-through platforms like Malcolm's.  I'll try to post a few more pics if anyone is interested.






O scale MP Caboose 2 sm





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  • O scale MP Caboose 2 sm
  • MP_13057_A_End_01
  • MP_13057_Side_01
  • MP_13057_B_End_01
Last edited by Tim Mc
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Thanks everyone!  


Rick, there's one set of Microscale 48-704 decals listed in-stock at Des Plaines Hobbies.  These are the older '62-'74 sawblade scheme with the large "turbo" eagle on the long hoods.  If you need the later eagle+sawblade cab logo, I had to make my own for some GP15-1s before Atlas released them in Mopac.  They turned out just as good as the Atlas Master MP15DC logos, and even better than the Atlas GP15 ones, so I kept my custom-painted GP15s and sold the Atlas factory painted ones.  


Unfortunately I lost the cab logo artwork when my PC crashed a few years ago.  But, it's not too hard to make them.  I don't have an Alps printer that prints white, so I had to get crafty with a two-layer decal.  (Edit:  I didn't have any luck printing directly to white decal paper, but found that this 2-layer decal provided sharper results.)  After getting the size and aspect right, print the attached logo or similar on clear inkjet decal paper.  Seal with spray gloss clear.  The white parts of the logo will wind up as clear.  Then cut white decal film slightly smaller than the logo decal so that the white eagle and sawblade teeth would show through.  Position the white base decal first, then carefully overlay the clear decal with the blue and red printing.  I also wound up making the EMD builders plates on clear decal paper too since they go over the white sill stripe:




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  • O-Scale_MoPac_GP15-1
Last edited by Tim Mc

Here's the artwork with the reverse image for the other side of the cab.  I also increased the font and made the white sawblade a bit larger so that they show up better in print.  Printing 1.8" x 0.5625" should be close in size compared to my factory Atlas Mopac MP15DC and my previous custom decal sizes.  

Mopac Cab Logos Modified



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  • Mopac Cab Logos Modified
  • Missouri_Pacific_Screaming_Eagle_Herald
Last edited by Tim Mc

Gregg, Congrats on getting that brass caboose!  I had my eye on it too, which is probably another reason I decided to complete the kitbash project.  For the curved grabs I used a cap from a Floquil paint bottle to bend the wire to the right radius.  You might be able to use a cap from a paint bottle or similar to massage the wire back to the correct curvature.  

Thanks, and thanks for a great tip!  It took me a while to finally pull the trigger, but after trying to find it elsewhere at a "reasonable" price, I came up empty handed <g>.
Originally Posted by Tim Mc:

Gregg, Congrats on getting that brass caboose!  I had my eye on it too, which is probably another reason I decided to complete the kitbash project.  For the curved grabs I used a cap from a Floquil paint bottle to bend the wire to the right radius.  You might be able to use a cap from a paint bottle or similar to massage the wire back to the correct curvature.  


I think someone once said "cabooses are like potato chips - you can't have just one".  With that I decided to make another Mopac short bay window caboose.  This started as an undec Atlas standard cupola model so that I could get the frame, trucks and lighting components.  The platforms and steps are made from 24ga. perforated stainless steel with 1/32" holes shimmed with styrene strip.  I still need to modify the end rails to be more prototypical and add the roof details.  I'm hoping to paint it in a week or so.  This one is definitely better than the first one.

New SBW Caboose 1

New SBW Caboose 2


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  • New SBW Caboose 1
  • New SBW Caboose 2
Last edited by Tim Mc

Hi Tim,

Great job on the caboose!  This has always been one of my favorite cabooses.  I used to hoard the Overland models in HO before my switch to O scale.


Did you have drawings to work for to build the model.  Years ago I remember seeing a book on Mopac caboose that had thorough information on the cabooses but I didn't spring for the book at that time.  I regret that decision still.  I figured possibly the Mopac historical society might have information I could use when and if I ever got around to building one.



Thanks Jim, Matt & Malcolm!  I grew up a few miles from the Mopac DeSoto shop where the SBW caboose bodies were made and then shipped to Sedalia, MO for final finishing and paint.


The tool box and fuel tank on the B end platform needed to be a scale 6" taller, so those were redone last night.  I'll swing by the LHS soon to get more .080 angle for the legs.  


Jim, I do have Cabooses of the Missouri Pacific Lines.  It has one schematic that shows the general SBW dimensions that's really helpful (roof length, truck centers, etc.).  I also printed out a side view photo at 1/4" scale for other dimensions.


Malcolm,  I was going to use some Atlas 6-bay cylindrical roofwalks like your models, but started looking for round perforated roofwalks like those on the Atlas Trainman PS-4750 covered hopper (BTW, those aren't available according to Atlas).  I looked everywhere for a suitable perforated plastic with no luck.  I thought about using Protocraft roofwalks, but wanted a larger sheet that I could trim to fit in as few sections as possible.  I found the 1/32" perforated stainless sheet on eBay and the seller cut it into manageable pieces (2.5" x 2.5").  It still gave my new Dremel a workout though.  I might opt for the Protocraft Morton roofwalks next time as their hole pattern is a bit more dense and they might be easier to cut and shape.  AND...thanks again for showing me how this cool caboose can be done.  Your work really inspired me to give it a try.

Better late than never.  I finally completed the rebuild of MP13057 after sitting undecorated for 4+ years.  The original cabin was about a scale 12" too short.  The new cabin is taller and improves the profile.  The solid platforms didn't look right and were replaced with perforated plastic sheet with staggered holes to better match the prototype flooring.  I'm happy with the finish, although the Modelflex Signal Red sprayed a bit darker over primer gray than I wanted.  Some weathering with pink and orange chalk powder may lighten them up and give them a slightly faded look.  Like MP13095, MP13057 also has the Atlas flashing rear end light and interior lighting.  It's now pulling duty on my 2R office ceiling loop.  While I'm still mostly an N-scaler, I'll probably dive into an O scale layout over the next few years.  I hope this helps anyone looking to build or kit-bash their own short bay caboose.  I'm convinced that Bluford Shops released the N-scale cabooses only after I made my own.  Hmmm...maybe Bluford will release them in O now that I've built a few!

Have a good weekend everyone,


IMG_1077IMG_1084IMG_1078IMG_1079Mopac Short Bay Caboose Diagram


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  • IMG_1084
  • IMG_1078
  • IMG_1079
  • Mopac Short Bay Caboose Diagram

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