Below is a pic of a real wide vision caboose. This
is the standard Chessie yellow painted cabin. Note that some of the
windows are missing. Most likely this caboose is sitting on the "dead"
line and being stripped for parts to keep the other cabooses running.
It is a Dean Heacock photo.
Dean Heacock photo
How to make an Athearn W/V Caboose:
1. Disassemble the caboose into the main body and the cupola. The cupola is the part that sticks out of the top with the "C&O" lettering on it.
2. If you want, you can shave off all of the grab irons (those little yellow things on the top and the sides, where you would hold on to) Drill holes for wire ones, and put on wire replacements. (This isn't neccessary, and this has not been done to the two cabooses below.)
3. The biggest change you need to make is the addition of an end piece to make the roof look thicker. This can easily be seen in the blue caboose below. It is the piece that is yellow with diagonal red stripes on it at the end of the roof. Simply glue on a thin piece of plastic and sand it down to the shape shown.
4. Assemble the bottom frame with the brake whell stand and brake wheel. Also glue the weight down. Don't put on the cheap looking wire handrail given.
5. Next paint the whole caboose light grey to prime it. Painting yellow over black plastic doesn't look good. The primer will make the yellow look alot better.
6. Paint the roof silver.
7. Paint the cupola and sides the appropriate color. Yellow for standard, blue for the predecessor blue(like below), or the appropriate color if you are doing a safety caboose. See my 6 Wide Vision caboose project for more on how to do Athearn cabeese.
8. Paint the window frames silver.
9. Add decals. Herald King makes good ones for the standard yellow, blue caboose below, and the careful car handling ones. Microscale makes a sheet for all the C&O safety cabins.
10. Paint the inside a nice tan or grey color. It doesn't matter what color, it just needs to be uniform.
11. Add the new grab irons if you have them. Paint them yellow. The Careful Car Handling cars are white.
12. Weather lightly. Cabooses got dirty, but since the conductor lives in it, they are taken care of a little better than a freight car.
13. Seal with clear flat.
14. Put clear plastic behind the window holes. Secure it there with white glue.
15. Assemble the cupola to the body. It just snaps in there. Snap the body to the frame.
16. Add the ladders at the end. Painted yellow with grey sides.
17. You are done, enjoy your Athearn caboose.