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10014-1: Caboose
Published 9 months ago
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The inventory is 99.9% complete, just had to substitute window glasses, since https://rebrickable.com/parts/4862/glass-for-window-1-x-2-x-2-plane/ is missing.

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The set no. 10014 'Caboose' came out in 2001 as a part of the "My Own Train" series. Lego must've been very focused on trains back then, so they introduced this whole new sub-theme, basically mirroring the "My Own Creation" brand (forerunner of "Lego Ideas" from the late nineties). Unfortunately, Lego discontinued "My Own Train" in 2004, after releasing only around 15-18 models (while standard 9V "Trains" never went away).

If I'd have to guess, perhaps the biggest hurdle to break onto the model trains market was that Lego, by definition, has a certain level of abstraction to it. Their creations are not about realism—even in the largest and most sophisticated Technics 1:8 sets, you aren't making a "model" per se (as in a life-like replica). Instead, it's creating a "Lego version" of the object, according to specific and strict laws of the Lego Universe (and those are not conventional concepts of beauty and elegance). Even the minifigure is not an anthropomorphic figurine (despite the name), more of a tiny doll or a sculpture.

Everything is too different, from a changeable and non-fixed scale, floating somewhere between 1:24 and 1:48 (and not matching any existing model trains) to the building process itself: snapping bricks together is fun enough for AFOLs, but most adult modelers prefer a bit more DIY style, with glue, paint, tiny scalpels, brushes, magnifying glass, etc.

Even if enough non-Lego train collectors were willing to buy into brand new incompatible hardware (talking a lot of rail tracks and 9V Electric components too), Lego couldn't possibly keep up with demand and provide enough choices and variety.

I like "My Own Train" design a lot, every model so far. Just something so appealing about them: elegant, clean look, well-thought builds with only standard parts. They still fundamentally match any other Lego train, but yet so different and original! While Lego City and related series were arguably becoming more and more about "design" and less about the "build" in the 2000s, with a decal or one-off mold for any unusual shape (instead of an assembly of simple bricks).

The caboose is a small car coupled at the end of freight trains to accommodate a crew responsible for switching tracks and other mechanical stuff along the route (before it all automated everywhere across the USA in the 1980s).

I wasn't even aware of such a thing as "caboose" before I completed this model; in the Eastern European part of the world, this isn't a common type of railroad vehicle. Instead, it was typically a regular freight car (with large sliding doors on each side), with a few bunks and minimal amenities for train workers installed.

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=MORE "My Own Train" MODELS=
(Built by @Stephan3321 and myself)

3741-1: Large Locomotive

10016-1: Tanker

10017-1: Hopper Wagon

10020-1: Santa Fe Super Chief (released as part of "My Own Creation" series)

10022-1: Santa Fe Cars, Set II

10025-1: Santa Fe Cars, Set I
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