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Discussion Starter #1
I have two USA D&RGW painted cabeese. They look like this:






The bright red paint has always bugged me. So the plan was to repaint them into Scalecoat II boxcar red. The paint is all ready to go and we have some dry transfer lettering too. However the more I looked at them, the more I thought that since these will be repainted why not try and make them look more D&RGW like.

The main goal was to alter the platform steps into the D&RGW style with one step. Take a look at this fantastic scratch built 1:22.5 scale model by talented modeler Barry Bogs (paying close attention to the end steps):



And here's a link to Barry's website

What I thought about doing was cutting off the platform steps on the USA model and fabricating the flat ends with styrene, and then using Ozark Miniatures caboose steps. Sounds like a workable plan.

But now I've just found out that the Delton G scale caboose, and later Aristo-Craft's "Classics" long caboose has the exact look I'm trying to replicate. Including the right end steps, square end railings, window frames, correct door, and proper smoke stack location.

So I guess I goofed by getting the USA cabeese. Wish I knew about the Delton version back then. However looking closer it appears the Delton/Aristo caboose sits way too high when compared to the USA caboose. Also I'm wondering about the scale issues. I run 1:22.5 (LGB, Bachman, USA, Aristo) sized equipment. Never seeing one in person, how does the Delton/Aristo caboose compare scale wise with other 1:22.5 sized equipment? It's probably perfect.

Now here's the big question. Should I stick with my 2 USA cabeese, and proceed with the repaint and possible step bash? Or should I sell them off and go with 2 Delton versions? What would you do if you were me? Could the trucks be lowered somehow since (at least in this picture) the Delton/Aristo caboose height over the trucks looks odd.

Boy don't you just hate it when you find out the model you wanted is made and you get the wrong one...x 2 in my case
 

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In terms of size, I believe they're virtually identical. It's been a while since I've seen them side by side, but I seem to recall them being close. The USA caboose was introduced before USA began to focus on 1:29 equipment, so what they came out with was designed to be visually compatible with everything else on the market.

So, the choice comes down to whether you want to add styrene and steps on the USA cars, or modify the bolsters on the Aristo ones. Both are probably equal in terms of effort, but given that you've got the two USA cars, and you'd have to sell them to buy the Aristo ones, I'd stick with what you have and go from there.

Later,

K
 

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Sell !!! or put your own blood sweet and tears in it and make them yours.
 

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The Delton/Aristo is 1:24. Compared to the USAT version, its slightly narrower, slightly less "robust" The pictures below show the 2 of them together. The WSL cab is the USAT. The roof length is the same in each.  I have the windo shades off the Aristo. Sizewise, the USAT is a better fit for 1:22.5 than the Aristo, all else being equal...  The steps on the USAT are plain wrong for Rio Grande, but the body fit to trucks is better.



 

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Discussion Starter #5
Skip thanks so much for the photos. 

The Delton is definitely 1:24.  Glad I have the USA which are perfect for my sized trains.  That picture sealed the deal.  I'll just add the steps to the USA cabeese.  They might look a bit weird since it will probably be too tall (thick), but that's ok.
 

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The only thing about the Aristo, is the platforms are very much closer to the real deal, like Barry has in his above. The Aristo is reasonably correct in that regard, and the entire platform on the USAT is plain wrong.
 

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Skip, thanks for the side-by-sides. Didn't think there was that much difference. I'd actually be tempted to leave the steps as they are. I agree that the platform may look too thick, which might throw the aesthetics off more than the different steps would. There were narrow gauge cabooses with that style of steps, so while not prototypic for that caboose, they'd certainly be plausible.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I leave the steps as is, what color should I go with for them?  The body is obviously brown, and the railings and other details aluminum, but the steps are a bit tricky on what color to paint them.  Maybe just leave them black like what I plan to do with the trucks.



Using Skip's photo, I superimposed the end platforms as I'd envisioned.  They do look a bit chunky, but might be worth testing...of course before I cut any steps.
 

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Or you could chop up a Bachman one which would be closer sizewise (although its poss a bit short) and they are cheap. Sorry K , I know how you dissaprove of the butchery. I should have blanked out that single end window tho....



 
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