The old Life-Like caboose can be picked up at train shows for $1 or $2 each. I got 3 for $5. Please don't buy the ones you see on eBay for $10. They aren't worth $10 each. You can easily find some of these at any train show or in a discount used car box at your local hobby shop.
The Chessie paint job that comes on this caboose is absolutely horrible, so repainting is a must. The good news is that the Life-Like paint comes off very easily with Polly S Easy Lift-Off (ELO). I try to buy kits with as little paint on them as possible, if I am going to strip them. The Union Pacific ones come mostly unpainted with just red painted lettering. I recommend buying the UP ones if you find them.
These kits are about 80% accurate right out of the box. The best thing they have going for them is not their accuracy but the fact that they are so inexpensive. I bought two in Union Pacific paint and one in Chessie paint. Each got repainted like you see below.
The handrails are a bit too bulky, and they have a really
thick ladder, but other than that they area right on. The rivet detail
is amazing for a $2 kit. I would suggest buying some of these as
good kits to get your feet wet with. Practice painting and decaling
on these $2 kits and you won't feel bad if you mess them up. I would
consider this kit a hidden gem since most established modelers won't buy
the cheaper Life-Like kit with the Proto 2000 version available.
You can fix some up with a good paint job and they are pretty darn respectable.