Monday, July 8, 2024

Modeling Monday: Back to the B&M? (Caboose 104610)

You may have noticed that I often try to tell a story with my modeling - but sometimes, my modeling derives from a story - and those stories often lead me down some pretty interesting rabbit holes tangents. First case in point: Why I - a devoted New Haven RR modeler - decided to model a Boston & Maine SW-1 (for that fun story, click here).

Second case in point:

Now, you may just assume that I need a B&M caboose (aka "buggy") to go along with my SW-1. And you'd be right. But, as you might guess, there's more to the story (with apologies to Paul Harvey).

That photo above was one of my earliest railfan shots, taken with my then-new Pentax K1000 35mm camera probably winter of either 1986 or 1987 (shortly after getting my drivers license). I'd trekked north, stopping at East Deerfield Yard and ended up at White River Junction, VT where I saw an ancient B&M 4-4-0 and this caboose displayed outside the station (which you can see in the background).

Similar in design to the New Haven's "NE" class caboose (a model of which was the first resin kit I ever built), these B&M Laconia wood buggies are a real favorite of mine - the epitome of the "little red caboose." Most of them were traded in for new/rebuilt steel cabooses in the 1950s, but during my late-1940s era, there were still a few in service. So, in that sense, it was a no-brainer that one of these would be perfect behind my SW-1.

But it was the car number that really got me - 104610. These buggies were all in the 104000 series, but "610" is special. Not only is it the number of the caboose in the photo I shot so many years ago, but it - coincidentally - would be the same number as my wedding anniversary less than 10 years later: 6/10/1995.

Once I put all that together, the lightbulb popped and I was on the hunt for an HO scale model version. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that such models have become pretty rare - and very pricey. Fortunately, friend Dave Hutchinson (who'd been so helpful during my SW-1 project) had one he was willing to sell at a very generous price.

I couldn't get my money to him fast enough . . . And - as "luck" would have it, it arrived June 5 - just 5 days before our 29th anniversary.

Dave even included the correct decals!

The only difference I can perceive between the B&M "NE" and the NHRR "NE" cabooses is that the B&M doesn't have a window behind the stove where the NH version does.

It's so gorgeous in it's undec/brass state, I'm loathe to even paint it. It's like model railroad jewelry. So pretty. So shiny.

Despite how awesome the gold color looks - and, believe me, I'm sorely tempted to just put it on display and admire it - it has to be painted and (gasp!) weathered in order to be placed in service where it belongs . . .

. . . at the end of a train pulled by the 1109.

I hope you'll follow along as I transform this beautiful Overland Models brass caboose into a late-1940s workaday version of B&M buggy #104610. It'll be the first time I've ever painted a brass model, so I'm looking forward to learning a few new things along the way.

But, for now, I think I'll just sit here and look at it . . .

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