Caboose color questions

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Oct 3 10:29:07 EDT 2021

I have been building/painting an HO  model of a CF caboose, and am following the color information in the book "Cabooses of the Norfolk and Western" by Robert Bowers and James Brewer. I've also looked at numerous color pictures as well. One thing I am not clear about however, is the color of the underside of the roof above the end platforms. 
I know the top of the roof is brown (or what ended up looking like a faded gray), and I know the end platforms are black, and the caboose body red. But what is the color of the underside of the roof above the end platforms? I've looked at numerous pictures, but of course this area is always in shadow so I really can't tell what the color is.
Another observation/question. While the text of the book indicates paint scheme 1F has black grab irons, and most pictures of cabooses in the 1F paint scheme (the one adopted on December 2, 1947 per the N&W Caboose book) show the grab irons as black, there are some pictures (picture of 518361 taken in 1953 on page 189 in the Caboose book and caboose 518114 in the archives) that show the grab irons as red. The pictures where the grab irons appear as red seem to show cabooses in fresh paint. Were the grab irons sometimes painted red, with the red paint gradually coming off? I had never noticed this difference until I really started closely examining various pictures.
The Caboose book notes "that on March 26, 1953 the railroad specified that caboose roofs were to receive a coating of Dednox or Mortex No. 4". Is it possible when this was applied to the roofs, that the cabooses also received a fresh coat of red paint and at that time the grab irons were painted red?  
Thanks for any help with these questions.
Shawn Harley
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list