PART 2b: Lionel Type-21 Tank Car

Progress has been slow over the last couple weeks.  Lots of outside activities have kept me away from finishing the tank car frame.   I decided to post this update to the project even though the frame is not done.

tank nov17

The picture shown above shows the progress made.   Most of my time has been spent building the frame and adding details.   I work on the actual tank body while I am waiting for the solvent cement to set on the frame details.

tank body prep

I removed all of the grab irons and railings from the body.  The holes were plugged with styrene rod.  The cast-on tank bands are being removed by scraping the body with a razor blade or an Xacto blade.   I shaped the Xacto blade to make a cutter slightly wider than the band.   I will finish with filler putty and wet sanding using progressively finer papers.

tank frame overview

The frame is now showing a number of added details.  The major change from the Type-21 drawing was the addition of the AB brake system and the frame modifications done by the prototype.   I examined several photos of the prototype cars and in particular the Shell car.   The car has two new cross members added to support the air reservoir and control valve.   My model is an approximation since the pictures were the greatest.   Not all Type-21 cars have the same style of modifications.   Please consult pictures.      I added a train line using .033″ brass wire.  Plan on spending a few minutes bending the wire to fit.  The pipe clamps were made from strip brass form over the brass wire.

tank frame detail

I started to add running board rivets using Tichy .025″ plastic rivets.   The tank cradle is formed from two triangular pieces with a 12″ channel on top.   A piece of styrene will be added to fit the tank body.   I added a styrene pin to the frame that will fit in a hole on the bottom of the tank body.  The control valve has been added to the platform and the plumbing is partially installed.   Here again, plan on spending some time bending wire.

I have put the project on the shelf for a while.   There are two pressing jobs that I need to do for customers.

union duplex door

In addition, I am expecting the first article castings of the new Southern Car & Foundry 1932 ARA boxcars.  There will be two different versions available.   The photo above is of the door style used on the Missouri Pacific ’32 ARA cars.  It is Union Duplex door assembly with track.   I don’t think that this has been modeled before in 1/4″ scale.



3 thoughts on “PART 2b: Lionel Type-21 Tank Car

  1. Gene,
    I really like this tank car building blog. Have you posted the photo of the prototype Shell tank car you are working from? I have a Shell ACF car photo from off the internet, but it is of the side opposite the AB brake system.

    • Thank you Charlie. I do have a picture that I can post shortly.
      I would be interested in seeing your photo. There are several STC 10,000 gallon Shell cars in museums.

      • As I copied the photo off now unknown source, i’ll email the photo to your proto48 address.

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