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Fox Valley Models N scale Milwaukee Road ribbed-side bay-window caboose

Read this review from Model Railroader
Fox Valley Models N scale Milwaukee Road ribbed-side bay-window caboose
Fox Valley Models N scale Milwaukee Road ribbed-side bay-window caboose
Price: $32.95

Manufacturer
Fox Valley Models
P.O. Box 1970
Des Plaines, IL 60017
www.foxvalleymodels.com

Era: late 1960s to early 1970s (as painted)

Comments: A Milwaukee Road ribbed-side bay-window caboose is the latest N scale offering from Fox Valley Models. The firm offers the caboose based on the 1939-41, 1946, and 1951 prototypes. Our sample is based on the ’46 prototype.
 
All of the models feature a one-piece molded plastic body, a separate plastic underbody with molded brake detail, and wire grab irons. The cabooses don’t have detailed interiors.

With 65 cabooses, the 1946 series was the second largest batch after the 75 built in 1939. These cabooses, numbered 01950 through 02014, had features from the earlier production runs, such as straight-frame trucks, small grab irons on the upper ends, and staff-mounted brake wheels.
 
The big difference between the ’46 prototype and its predecessors was the position of the sliding windows in the bay. Until 1946, the bottom edge of these windows was even with the other windows. In 1946, the sliding windows were lowered, providing an arm rest for crew members.

Our sample is decorated in the Milwaukee Road’s late 1960s repaint scheme. The paint is smooth and evenly applied, and the color separation line is crisp. The tri-color Milwaukee Road herald is properly registered, which is no small task in N scale.

Overall, Fox Valley did a good job on the model, though, there were a few small detail issues. The splash boards, a feature added to ribbed-side cabooses starting in 1941, were left off. The horizontal railing on the end platform was flat, but should have been modeled as a piece of angle iron.

The model’s dimensions closely match drawings in Jeff Kehoe’s Milwaukee Road Rib-Side Cabooses (Milwaukee Road Historical Association, 1996). The body-mounted Magne-Matic knuckle couplers are
at the correct height, and the metal wheelsets (mounted on metal axles) are correctly gauged. At .5 ounce, the caboose is .375 ounce too light based on National Model Railroad Association recommended practice 20.1.

Kudos to Fox Valley Models for releasing a ready-to-run Milwaukee Road ribbed-side bay-window caboose in N scale. This is a signature caboose that had been overlooked by manufacturers for far too long.

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