Conowingo Models produces a line of kits in On30/O scale. These kits are designed to encourage creativity while also keeping costs down, so you won’t find a ton of castings, etc. in the kits. These kits tend to be inspired by prototypes but then are also open to the imagination and whimsy of the modeler. As such, the kit for Caboose No. 1 has no specific prototype for its design. It does incorporate the Conowingo Models 24’ flatcar kit as its base and builds up from there. This caboose was envisioned for use on a short line, most likely in a backwoods setting.
The kit is comprised of laser-cut wood and some resin-impregnated parts and includes Tichy details (windows and glazing, brake wheel), some wire, and also some Conowingo Railroad decals. Optional (not included in the kit) are Tichy arch bar trucks and Kadee 148 couplers. Instructions are included and while I recommend that you read them over, and while doing so identify and locate all of the parts, I found them a bit confusing and generally disregarded them. There are a limited number of ways to assemble the parts and the critical aspect of that activity really resides in the order of assembly of the sub-units. I basically built up the flatcar and caboose superstructure and then married them together to build this kit.
Building up the flatcar is straightforward once you figure out what goes where, or so I’ve been told by Captain Obvious. However, here’s where I could have used a photo of the assembled car-body from underneath just for clarification. Nonetheless, everything went together smoothly once the light bulb turned on over the old bear’s head. I recommend a No. 15 scalpel for freeing up the laser-cut parts. A medium sanding sponge clears the rough bits away. An NWSL Chopper is helpful for cutting the decking, but a razor saw suffices.
After gluing on the board-by-board decking, to make a solid body blank with the bolsters, I added the needle beams which incorporate slots for holding the truss rods. There are no actual queen posts, so don’t look for them. I substituted my usual silk suture for the truss rods and then ran those through the end sills and bolsters, up over the needle beams and into the slots anchoring this thread in place, with the supplied Tichy nut-bolt-washer (NBW) castings and CA everywhere…
Caboose No. 1