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First Look Review
N scale
N Standard Cupola Caboose
Standard Cupola Caboose, Northern Pacific No. 1102
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Standard Cupola Caboose
Roadname & number: Northern Pacific No.1102
Item: 50 000 982

Atlas' N Standard Cupola and Extended Vision Cabooses are released with new road numbers, AccuMate® couplers, and thin railings. This is Northern Pacific No. 1102.
    Based on prototypes that were built during the 1960s, these cabooses were popular on railroads from coast-coast. - Atlas
This post-steam era welded steel caboose lasted into the era of FRED (Flashing Rear-End Device; also called an end-of-train device.) and can even be found in "dark territory" today.

NP 1100-series caboose
1100-series cabooses were blueprinted in 1962, built by Morrison-International, and numbered 1100-1149. They were 36-feet 7 1/4-inches long over platform sill ends, 39' 1-1/4" from striker to striker, and 41' 7 3/4" over pulling face of couplers. Width was 10' 2 1/2" over cupola awnings.* It is classed and typed as
    AAR Class: NE: Caboose
    AAR Type: M930 **

N Standard Cupola Caboose
This model is securely packed in a plastic cradle held in a clear hard plastic case. A thin plastic sheet protects the caboose from scuffing against the cradle and case lid. The model is factory assembled and ready-to-run. Two different body styles are produced, Standard Cupola and Extended Vision.

 My first impression was Look at the sharp small detail and that crisp printing! From the underframe hangs basic air brake components that adds interest to the underside when the caboose is viewed in profile from track level. Very fine rivet detail is molded onto the car body where appropriate.

The model is molded without any noticeable flaws. For N scale the end ladders are very thin, too. The chain guard across the end railing and on the brake posts is impressively fine, too. However, the side grabs are molded on. The one scale drawback of N is the couplers. Though they are way too big that is par for the scale; I have only found one aftermarket brand that is more to scale.

This caboose type had relatively large windows. You really cannot see inside which is no doubt why no interior is provided. The window plastic is clear. The windows are the a departure from NP prototype, which had three same-sized windows, while this model has two big and a small window.

The trucks and wheels are plastic. I’ve got to admit, the plastic wheels look better because they don’t have that shine of metal wheels found on larger scales. The trucks are held to the underside by plastic pins.

I measured the caboose at 37 scale-feet long from sill to sill, and 42 1/2-feet from coupler to coupler - very close to prototype! It weighs 1 ounce while NMRA RP-20.1 Car Weight suggests the weight should be 0.92 ounces.

Atlas' little jewel features:
    - Thin endrails
    - Window glazing
    - Separate brake cylinder
    - Open smoke stack
    - Triple valve and air reservoir
    - Roller-bearing caboose trucks
    - Roofwalk where appropriate
    - Accurate painting and lettering
    - AccuMate® couplers

One detail not listed is the NP logo shield on each end of the platform.

Atlas’ finish on this model is top notch. The paint is smooth and does not obscure detail. The markings and data are sharp for the scale. NP photos I've found show the truck sideframes painted the brown car body color, while this model's trucks are black. Four roadnames and an undecorated model are available for the Standard Cupola Caboose:

Great Northern (Blue/White)
Norfolk & Western (Red/White)
Norfolk Southern (Red/White)
Northern Pacific (Brown/White/Red/Black)

For the Extended Vision Cabooses there are two undecorated versions and four roadnames:

Burlington Route (Silver/Red/Black)
Reading (Green/Yellow)
Santa Fe (Red/Yellow)
Soo Line (White/Red)
Undecorated without roofwalk
Undecorated with roofwalk

Most roadnames have two road numbers.

Ready track
Compared to a couple of N scale cabeese I have c. 1990, am impressed with this model. This model has "1996" molded on the underframe yet it has the detail only found in larger scales a 20 years ago. The molding of the body is crisp. The fidelity of the detail parts is impressive. Painting is smooth and markings are sharp.

Overall this is a good model for N-scalers who want a post-steam era welded steel caboose lasting through the era of FRED. I happily recommend this model.

Please tell vendors and retailers that you saw this model here - on RailRoadModeling.

* Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association; Diagrams from the Northern Pacific Railway Mechanical Department. NP Caboose Diagrams: Caboose Steel Cupola 1100-49 . http://research.nprha.org/NP Cabooses/Caboose Steel Cupola 1100-49.jpg. 12/27/2003

** Railroad Picture Archives.net.

AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Thin endrails, knuckle couplers. The fidelity of the detail parts is impressive. Painting is smooth and markings are sharp.
Lows: Overscale couplers.
Verdict: Overall this is a good model for N-scalers who want a modern steel caboose lasting through the era of FRED.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 000 982
  Suggested Retail: $28.95
  Related Link: N Standard Cupola and Extended Vision Cabooses
  PUBLISHED: Mar 04, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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