The Western Maryland rostered about 100 of these C-13A Class
cabooses. Most were painted out of this Speed Lettered scheme for
the Black, White and Red Circus Scheme. Finding a Chessie Era
example of a speed lettered caboose is rare. However, I found a
Life-Like Proto 2000 speed lettered model of 1816 and couldn't pass it
up. The model is 99% accurate for the WM cabooses. Luckily,
I found a photo of 1897 with a COTS stencil (a 1970s requirement), an
ACI card, and even a "R" restricted service stencil.
To improve the caboose, I painted the grabs TTX yellow, so the
translucent yellow plastic didn't show. I also pained the end
rails yellow, where appropriate. I also scratched off the
"1816" number and added the "1897" from the Microscale WM caboose
sheet. I weathered it with pastel chalks and sealed it with dull
coat. Interestingly enough the cupola grab irons are not yellow..
Also, as luck would have it, Life-Like did make a model of 1897 in a
subsequent run, but the end rail and trucks are much too red and would
need to be painted. 1816 is a better color match.