Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PE Tank Car construction

The box from Tichy Train Group was still warm from it's ride over in the Mailman's truck and I had it opened and cutting parts from the sprue before it got cold last night.  Wonderful little model, and with some modifications you can make a number of different 40' flats thanks to the stake pockets being separate.   If you do the standard car you end up with about 8 extra pockets for other projects which is nice.

This is the general idea for this kit bash.  After reading and re-reading the ORER's of the day, PE had only 40' flats of all different manufacturers and these cars were converted using reclaimed tank cars for the load.  While this car doesn't have straight sides like the kit, I have some grainy photo's showing tanks installed on models like the Tichy kit we are working with.  It would be easy enough to add new sides to look like the photo, scratched out of .040" styrene sheet if you wanted to.  Since I am up against a show deadline and want to run this unique style of car with the rest of my tank train, a few liberties will be taken.  As a matter of discussion I am still on the hunt for more photo's and builder's drawings of these tank cars so that some day I can do more prototypical cars.  Until then, stand ins will work just fine for m.

First thing was to build up the center under frame and make sure it's square while drying.  I used a small metal weight to hold things down on the work surface to make sure everything set properly.  Glue I am using is Tenax-7R which sets lightning fast and really joins your plastic together.  You can't wet the mating surfaces like you do with a Testors liquid glue, this must be flowed into the joint between parts and left to set.
At this point I put the under frames aside and then cut the center out of the deck and then glued the Bolsters in place per the instructions.  Since most of these Tank Cars had their center decks removed to better attach the tank to the frame I did this before continuing with the assembly.  Deck sides will be used as is, but since they don't have stake pockets, I filled the holes with Tamiya putty and set aside. 
Next I glued the frame to the underside as shown and used a steel bar to plumb the sides to keep the model straight as it dried.  Deck endcaps were also installed and later the Draft Gear Box.
Once set I attached the kit side frames and this helped line things up as well.  I made up some small sand bags using a pair of kids socks with sand in zip lock sandwich bags inside for soft weight to keep things level on the table as it dried.  Small bags filled with bird shot will work too.
Now right side up and dry, the next step will be to build the tank from a older Life Like Proto 2000 8,000 gallon tank car kit.  The metal weight that is included with the Flat Car will be cut up and parts inserted into the spine a bit later.  I need to figure out how much weight the tank will add to the overall car before sealing things up.

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