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Life-Like Northeast Cabin Life-Like Northeast Caboose...
Life-Like makes two types of Northeast style caboose.  The expensive one is the Proto 2000 version that now has been released in 1991 and 2000.  It comes in a nearly perfect paint job and in at least 3 road numbers.  It runs for about $20 each.  Well, if that is too much $$ for you, try the old Life-Like Northeast style caboose.

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.