i've no doubt it would be easy to compile in the c 1.52 IDE but that doesn't help in this case.
Why not? If you're building a 16-bit executable, DLL, static library, etc. VC 1.52c IDE won't work?
The way to solve problems is to break them down into their simplest forms. OK, so you can't get Visual Studio 2008 to build a 16-bit component -- so the next step is to make sure that the component can even be built. To do that, you need to set up, compile, and link, under a pure 16-bit build environment (IDE, compiler, linker).
Once you have convinced yourself that this component can be built, then you have, at the very least, the idea that 1.52c is set up properly to build such a component.