Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Tank car kitbash

2661 views
19 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Tank car kitbash
Posted by tstage on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 6:12 PM

I'm interested in kitbashing a 12K tank car.  Can anyone with an HO 8K or 10K IM or Proto 2000 tank car measure the OD of the tank for me with calipers?

I'm looking for a tank with an OD of 1.028".  I'd do it myself but I don't have access to my tank car roster at the moment.

Thanks,

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 16,326 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 10:20 PM

Hello, Tom

I grabbed an uncompleted Proto 10K Type 21 tank car kit and measured the OD of the shell and come up with a median diameter of 1.0655. The shell isn't perfectly round so there is a little variation, ± .020.

I have other tank cars around and I'll check them shortly. Not sure if I have any I-M cars, though. The Kadee 11,000 gal insulated tank measures 1.155 inches.

Good Luck, Ed

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Posted by tstage on Thursday, September 7, 2023 12:48 AM

Thanks for checking that for me, Ed.

The Proto 2000 10K tank is only scale 4" larger in OD than the prototype so that should be close enough to be believable.  It would require two kits to build.  The center sill, center platform, brake piping, and horizontal railing would all require extending, which could be challenging.

Here's the tank car that I'm interested in kitbashing:

Micro-Trains produced a version of this in N-scale.  I'm not aware that one was ever produced in HO.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 16,326 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, September 7, 2023 2:35 AM

tstage
The center sill, center platform, brake piping, and horizontal railing would all require extending, which could be challenging.

I'd suggest using parts from the Tichy USRA 10K tank car. The parts are all styrene and bronze wire whereas many of the L-L parts are 'slippery engineering plastic' plus the tank sections are top, bottom, left and right which makes them much easier to cut and fit to length than trying to work with a more or less one piece molding from the Proto kit. Probably easier to sand your seams without marring too much rivet detail.

I temporarily fit the Tichy shell together and the measurements are just a hair over 1" at 1.0105. 

Just a thought...

Good Luck, Ed

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Posted by tstage on Thursday, September 7, 2023 11:35 AM

Excellent suggestion, Ed, for the very reasons given.  And a scale 1" difference is better than 4". YesBig Smile

I may need to verify with Tichy about the tank though.  I was perusing eBay a little bit ago.  The older Gould/Tichy "USRA/ARA III" kits come with the tank in pieces.  One of the newer Tichy kits for sale (pictured below) appears to come with a 1-piece tank - i.e. unless the seller or previous owner partially built the kit up.

Tom

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 7, 2023 12:25 PM

tstage
One of the newer Tichy kits for sale (pictured below) appears to come with a 1-piece tank - i.e. unless the seller or previous owner partially built the kit up.

Tichy does not seem to have pictures of the tank car sprues on their website.

I would assume that one was partially assembled. The tank ends should be on a sprue with the truck bolsters and other parts needed in identical pairs.

I could not find images of the sprues on eBay that were not like that.

tstage
I'm not aware that one was ever produced in HO.

Pecos River imported a brass model of a similar Santa Fe tank car, and Prescision Scale imported a generic brass 12,000 gallon tank car that might be close, but I know of none in plastic.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 16,326 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, September 7, 2023 12:37 PM

tstage
One of the newer Tichy kits for sale (pictured below) appears to come with a 1-piece tank - i.e. unless the seller or previous owner partially built the kit up.

My Tichy 4020 kit is certainly 'vintage' as his address is on the box as  being in East Farmingdale, NY. ©1986 Tichy Train Group.

There's plenty of photos of uncompleted cars in a Google Search. They all seem to show the four-part tank shell.

I'd be glad to donate it to your project if you can use it, Tom. (looks like I paid all of $10. for it who knows when!). See you in Berea?

Apparently 50 of these lot 831 cars were in NYC diesel fuel service. Interesting side note that NYC had designed several shop-made fueling cars. I recall that in Collinwood there were two or possibly three tenders from Mowhawks, painted Century Green, that were used at 'Station A' as fuel tanks before the large Penn-Central ground storage tank was built in the very early '70s.

This photo shows the 'new' tank (now gone) that I refer to at the far left. Passenger trains and 'hot-shot' freights used to stop here for fuel. Today there's a fuel pad farther east near E. 222nd St.

 Conrail - Cleveland, OH by d.w.davidson, on Flickr

Looking west near the P-1a shed:

 Collinwood_7-4-66 by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Posted by tstage on Thursday, September 7, 2023 12:50 PM

Thanks, Kevin.  I just PM'd Tichy using their online contact form and should hear from them in the next day or two.  I PM'd them recently about another query and they emailed me back within 24 hrs.  Good folks.

I was aware of the brass Precision Scale 12K gal tank car.  Unfortunately, the tank dome is the newer type.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Posted by tstage on Thursday, September 7, 2023 1:15 PM

gmpullman
There's plenty of photos of uncompleted cars in a Google Search. They all seem to show the four-part tank shell.

Thanks, Ed.  That's most likely the case.  I'm sure Tichy will confirm that in their email reply.

I'd be glad to donate it to your project if you can use it, Tom. (looks like I paid all of $10. for it who knows when!). See you in Berea?

Thank you for the kind offer.  I don't think I've been to either the Kirtland or the Berea shows since 2018.  I was planning to attend Berea this year.  Maybe we could meet up outside one of the buildings around lunch time.

Apparently 50 of these lot 831 cars were in NYC diesel fuel service.

Yea, that's what intriques me about those cars.  Would they have been used "as is" for refueling?  Or, would they have refueled a fueling facility - e.g. Walthers?

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 7, 2023 7:54 PM

tstage
I was aware of the brass Precision Scale 12K gal tank car.  Unfortunately, the tank dome is the newer type.

I own a couple of examples of the Precision Scale 10,000 gallon tank car.

Everything about this model is just a little off. The tank is too large in diameter, it is a few feet too long, and it sits a little high on the rails.

-Photographs by Kevin Parson

Since I model a fantasy world, the odd features of the model do not effect me.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 16,326 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, September 7, 2023 9:16 PM

tstage
I don't think I've been to either the Kirtland or the Berea shows since 2018.

I still like Berea and the one in Mount Hope is good. I've given up on Kirtland. It was always a zoo.

tstage
Yea, that's what intriques me about those cars.  Would they have been used "as is" for refueling?  Or, would they have refueled a fueling facility - e.g. Walthers?

I'm fascinated by the pre-EPA diesel fueling efforts by various railroads. A classic view is the Santa Fe Es being serviced in Albuquerque. Study the tank cars on the left and the run of the hoses. The tank is being pressurized by an air line:

 Santa-Fe_Albuquerque-3-1943 by Edmund, on Flickr

I can make out a locomotive oil stand pipe over one of the tank domes yet the car in the foreground has shiny wheels so these car(s) must be moved to be refilled. Lots to see and study in this photo. Note the young man strolling through all the activity.

I believe the NYC tank cars were used for transport from a refinery to the various fueling points along the railroad and the diesel transloaded into semi-permanent tanks. Some, as I mentioned the Mohawk tenders, were rather makeshift. Look on page 104 of the NYC Color Guide One for some examples. One car looks like it has a cantilevered boom that can be swung out toward the servicing track.

It wasn't long before NYC gave up on the idea of using company service cars and began buying fuel from bulk suppliers and using private-owner cars to deliver fuel. By the mid-1960s I witnessed these tanks being refilled by a steady stream of semi-tank trucks.

This photo is incorrectly captioned as a 'weed sprayer'. It is not. It is in fuel service (with the boom I previously mentioned).

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 1,109 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, September 7, 2023 10:42 PM

Ed, thank you so much for posting that photo of the Santa Fe F-unit fueling. I love photos like that and it made my day. So much human interest. My brother and I often text each other photos of trains every few days just to keep in touch. I copied the photo, put a yellow box around the little boy walking through the middle with his hands in his jacket pockets, and sent it to my brother with the caption "Uh... Magpie, this is Raven. We've triangulated the location of the item and we've got a visual on the carrier. You're not going to believe this..."

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 8,762 posts
Posted by maxman on Friday, September 8, 2023 12:51 AM

Kevin, a friend of mine just asked me about one of those PSC cars a couple days ago.  He has an undec that came with decals and was wondering about placement.

My question is did you decal that car yourself, or was it factory decorated?

Also I don't see any of the normal dimensional data.  Do you happen to know why this was omitted?

Thanks

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, September 8, 2023 9:48 AM

maxman
Kevin, a friend of mine just asked me about one of those PSC cars a couple days ago.  He has an undec that came with decals and was wondering about placement.

I made a mistake in my previous post. The Precision Scale cars were listed as 8,000 gallon tank cars, but they are larger than 10,000 gallon tanks.

I think they must be either Japanese HO scale or European OO scale. The domes are HUGE.

The black car was painted when I bought it. I do not know if it was factory applied or not, but the price was right.

The Mobilgas car was factory painted. I bought it to go with my Sunset Ethyl Chemical 8,000 gallon tank car.

-Photograph by Kevin Parson

Unfortunately, the out-of-scale proportions of the Precision Scale car are very obvious next to the little three-domed TM-8 car.

Add to that the lack of dimensional data, capacities, and end lettering, and I am not very happy with that model at all.

For placement of decals, someone with actual knowledge will need to help with that. I always just wing it.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 8,762 posts
Posted by maxman on Friday, September 8, 2023 10:04 AM

Kevin, thanks.

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Posted by tstage on Friday, September 8, 2023 10:56 AM

gmpullman
I'm fascinated by the pre-EPA diesel fueling efforts by various railroads. A classic view is the Santa Fe Es being serviced in Albuquerque. Study the tank cars on the left and the run of the hoses. The tank is being pressurized by an air line:

I can make out a locomotive oil stand pipe over one of the tank domes yet the car in the foreground has shiny wheels so these car(s) must be moved to be refilled. Lots to see and study in this photo. Note the young man strolling through all the activity.

That's a great photo, Ed.  So much to see and take away from it.  Thanks for posting it, along with the background info on the NYC tank cars. Big Smile

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Posted by tstage on Friday, September 8, 2023 11:52 AM

Just an observation: Given the vintage of the automobiles in the above photo and the cone-shaped "cover" over the front headlamp of the lead Santa Fe F-unit, this must have been taken during the WWII years.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 16,326 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Friday, September 8, 2023 4:41 PM

tstage
Given the vintage of the automobiles in the above photo and the cone-shaped "cover" over the front headlamp of the lead Santa Fe F-unit, this must have been taken during the WWII years.

During the War the western roads were instructed to try to shield the headlights and markers. An invasion from the west coast was feared for a while. My file name at the bottom of the photo indicates March of 1943. If you click the Flickr photo link I have more info about the origins of this Jack Delano photo there.


Some tank cars had rather large domes. Related to the need for expansion room for the commodity?

 Lot 120-1 by John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, on Flickr

 

Cheers, Ed

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
  • 9,094 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, September 8, 2023 5:35 PM

I want to build a whale oil car.  I have not found any prototype pictures, if indeed such a creature existed.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, September 8, 2023 8:13 PM

gmpullman
Some tank cars had rather large domes. Related to the need for expansion room for the commodity?

Ed, That Pan-American Petroleum tank car has very similar proportions to the Precision Scale tank car.

I guess when I paint it, it can be an asphault carrier.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!