Quick Review: Athearn Wide Vision Caboose

HO Scale RTR caboose painted and lettered for BNSF.

This BNSF caboose is still operated to this day on the prototype. It has been repainted green, with BN
reporting marks and a BNSF logo.

I pre-ordered this caboose when it was announced, through Maders Trains. It arrived last week, so I
took to looking it over. [Ed. this article was originally published in 2010]

The caboose is an RTR run of an old Athearn kit. The wheels are metal, insulated on a metal axle,
with McHenry couplers.

The paint is even and lettering crisp. It weighed in at 3.1oz, which is .4oz shy of NMRA's RP-20.1
recommended weight (the caboose measures in at 4 & 7/8th inch, rounded up to 5 inches).

Now for the fun part, critique. The caboose has a number of incorrect details, not to mention the
caboose's overall dimensions are off. First off is the running board and ladders. They no longer exist.
The side windows, and one end window have been plated over, Athearn got this semi-correct. On the
model the windows are visible on the sides, the prototype they are not. On the ends, Athearn lined the
plated over window in silver, where as the prototype is not.

The smoke jack is on the wrong side, the brake wheel housing is incorrect, and the coupler pockets do
not stick out from the sill. The under frame details are missing a few items as well.

View the prototype here:

Besides the inaccuracies, the caboose is a great model. I'm glad I bought it. The caboose will be the
feature of a future article series, about detailing a modern caboose.

I give this model 3 out of 5 for the noted inaccuracies.

© 2010, 2019, Josh Baakko, https://www.modelrailroadtips.com