Sunday, September 28, 2014

Loaded Tank Cars

I recently acquired 5 Atlas kaolin tank cars to serve Donuhue plant. Most of them are old runs from the early 2000s equipped with x2f couplers, others have AccuMate couplers.. All are brand new and were acquired at there original MSRP from the time (about 15$). Nowadays, those cars can fetch prices in the 30$ for second hand item. Even the unprototypical Walthers kaolin car knock off is pricey! It's crazy to think 30$ is now the floor price to get a decent model.
A smashed Atlas kaolin tank car.
The last one I got is a J.M. Huber car. Those were regular visitors on Murray Bay Subdivision back in the days. Unfortunately, this very car was partially smashed during shipping. A few parts were broken, the car's A end was dismantled and the pin securing the car's steel weights was broken. Fortunately, the paint wasn't badly damaged and after half an hour, the car was ready to roll. The seller was kind enough to offer full refund on the item which surprised me. Looks like there's still people keeping their words out there.

The black stains on the car end was easily removed with a brush and a little bit of Solvaset. I decided to fill few tank cars with sand to give them more weight. This can be easily done by removing the tank cover. The hole isn't that large but you can easily fill the car in about 45 minutes! Yes, you read 45 minutes! That's a lot of time, but it helped me take them from 3.6 oz. to 7.1 oz.

I also decided to finally update my Intermountain CGTX tank cars a little bit. They are more suited to the layout era because they have modern AB brake on them and not the old K brake system found on Tichy cars. However, the lettering is typical of a pre-50s car. From the 50s onward, CGTX dropped the full name on their car. These cars had a very long revenue life, from the late 20s/early 30s to the mid-80s.

Here's the final result. Intermountain lettering can be easily removed without damaging paint by soaking the lettering with Solvaset for about 5 minutes or more and scrubbing with a wet Q-tips. I've been recently using this trick on a few cars and him always pleased with the result. Really makes life easier.

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