I am back to working on models in my shop. My first project is the upgrading of the Lionel Type-21 tank car. After looking at the basic model, decided to toss the underframe and strip the tank as well. So lets get started with the project.
The focus of this installment is shown above. The frame is basically complete less details. The tank was stripped of most plastic grab irons. I popped off the end with some effort. All of the weight needs to go inside the tank. The tank was stripped using 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA). I am removing the tank bands using a scraper tool. My intention is to redo the handrails with scale wire and to replace the railing brackets with brass castings from Wiseman Model Services.
The above drawing is from a Car Builders Cyclopedia. The basic drawing was scaled to 1/4″ and turns out that the 8,000 gallon version is shown. Below is the end view showing important details of the tank saddle, end sill and bolster details.
The basic frame is composed of two 1/4″ Evergreen channels that run full length to the striker plates. If you use Kadee couplers, you will have to chop the frame to fit their oversized draft gear. The frame is assembled using 1/4″ square styrene which forms the mounting point for the trucks. I made mine too long and as a result it extends beyond the top cover plate of the frame. The cover plate is .010″ styrene cut to fit. My plan is to use Archer 7/8″ rivet decals to detail all of the surfaces. I suspect this will be quicker than drilling and inserting Tichy rivets.
The next step is to form the bolsters using a baseplate of .020″. Remember to notch the ends as shown.
This photo shows how the bolster diaphragms are formed using .020″ x .250″ strip stock that has been shaped and notched to fit into the channel. I reinforced the diaphragm with some square stock.
The photo below is the frame cover plate that is mounted on top and centered. The circles define an opening needed to allow the tank drain to go through. The opening is not centered but offset to one end.
The next step is to fabricate the end frames. The end beam is made from 3/16″ Evergreen channel. Make sure cut out the coupler notch and drill for the grab irons. It is much easier to do this while the parts are flat. The side channels need to be drilled for grab irons. I used .156″ channel for the side frames. Assemble to parts using a simple jig to keep the parts at 90 degrees. I reinforced the joint with a piece of .060″ angle stock.
At this point, you should have the basic parts for the frame.
The running boards come next. I used .040″ thick styrene for the boards. The end running board is 9″ wide and the side are 12″. Mount the end running boards to the end frames first. The picture below shows the assembly process used to add the running boards. The side board length is critical so make sure you have the right length before doing this assembly work.
When you are done with this step you will have the basic frame components ready for assembly.
Part 3 will continue the build with detailing of the frame and more work on the tank. The photo below was provided by the late Richard Hendrickson and shows a typical Type 21 car. This happens to be a 10,000 gallon but the frame is identical.