As a modeler of Turn of the Century railroading I love to include cabeese with my consists as much as possible. However one of my favorite types of cabeese are the humble Bobber caboose. Bachmann's model of this small, unique, and versatile piece of railroad rolling stock is a good caboose to have for hobbyists modeling railroading between the mid 1870s to the 19-'Teens'.
The model itself is quite small, only measuring 3 inches long by 1 and 7/8 inches in height. And that excludes the couplers. The model has a reasonable amount of detail, though most of it is cast on. This fact may be a turn off to modelers who like having distinct hand rails and fine details. However, if you are such a modeler, it wouldn't be hard to modify the caboose and add your own had rails and details. You could, using a sharp hobby knife, carefully shave off the cast on hand rails and replace them with wire ones.
The chassis is cast as one solid piece of plastic and has some vague molded on brake details on the underside. Again, one could ad their own fine scale brake rigging, but in this case you would not need to shave off any of the pre existing details. One reason for that is the caboose's side frames would cover/conceal partially said cast on details. The installation of scale brake rigging would be partially obscured from the caboose's frame, but it would still look better and more realistic that what is on the car presently. The cabooses frame has cast in detail which looks pretty good to my eye, for being plastic. One side of the frame has a box which would have been used to carry tools and other items that the conductor and brakeman may need on their journey. The journal boxes, bolts, and other details can be seen and if painted and weathered properly would look quite convincing.
The wheels on my model are plastic, but I changed mine to metal. Plastic wheels have a tendency to collect dirt and grime on track than metal wheels. Also I find metal wheels look and perform better than plastic. It is my understanding that the newer Bachmann Bobber Cabooses are being equipped with all metal wheels now.
Moving back to the body of the caboose the wood siding looks good. Aside from the already mentioned handrails the marker lamps are somewhat lacking. They are simple cast on, box shaped objects on the rear end of the caboose. I would personally recommend removing these boxes and invest into detailed brass marker lamps, or getting a working marker lamp kit. Though speaking of that I must forewarn you. Although I have seen it done it can be difficult to equip this kind of caboose with working marker lamps.
I prefer using a kit that uses a battery with a switch hidden on the underside of the caboose instead of using track power. This enables me to determine weather the lights can be on or off. However the electronics are difficult to fit inside of the caboose body, which simply lifts off of the frame. Though you could use track power, that would give you more room in the interior. Either way, the choice is yours. Or you don't have to light it at all. It's all a matter of personal preference.
I have written this review based on the model that I have which is an older production. Newer models of this caboose may have separately added details and other features that mine may not have. Overall, I am quite fond of this model and I would greatly recommend it to others. I am still trying to amass a small fleet of them myself.
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