Part 2e -Lionel Tank Car

I was able to spend some time this past week on the tank.  I was able to interlace a set of patterns with the tank car project.  It allowed me to fill in the dead time while waiting for things to dry.

partial shell

The tank is now attached to the frame and I applied the tank bands using styrene strips.   Prior to this I added sheet lead to the inside to get the tank weight up to approximately 9 oz.   This will boost the complete car weight to 12 on. for a short frame freight car.   I used epoxy to attach the sheet lead.   Once cured, I had to do some rivet replacement on the bottom of the tank.  I had some “issues” scraping off the tank bands and made a mess of rivets.   I decided to use Archer 7/8″ staggered row rivets to replace the cast on details.   The two rectangular pieces on the bottom line up with the tabs that extend up from the center of the frame.   I shot some Star Brand black on to seal the decals.

tank bottom

I think that the next Lionel rebuild will not try to remove the tank bands.   There is a fair amount of Tamiya filler used to smooth out some of the dings.   Next time, I will try to avoid all the body and fender work.

tank band anchors

The center tank bands tie into the frame via two brackets.  I used some styrene that was bent to shape and fixed with some Tamiya solvent glue.

tank square

I devised a simple visual alignment tool to set the tank on the frame correctly.  The dome has a slight taper to facilitate mold release from the plastic press.  Two small squares serve as the guides.  The car is setting on its trucks.

tank band end

The styrene tank band was terminated in a .030″ styrene rod.  I drilled the mounting holes in the car bolsters.  The tape is holding the strip in alignment.   Affix the bands using liquid styrene cement.    I like the Tamiya super thin solvent cement.

tank bands

The bands are installed awaiting for the solvent to bond them in-place.  Yeah, I know it looks like they aren’t straight.   I think it is an optical thing that is creating the apparent convergence.

We are now down to the handrail and ladders.   That will be in the next installment.

2 thoughts on “Part 2e -Lionel Tank Car

  1. Gene,
    I am enjoying watching your progress on the tank car, (although I’d rather see the railroad). I was thinking about the process you are going through and the kinds of things I go through in similar fashion. I think in most situations I would conclude that it is easier to completely scratch build a project as opposed to kit bashing. I feel I have less control in trying to modify or substitute a previously molded product to get what I want.
    I liked the tank band effect in the last photo. It reminds me of the difficulty in trying to photograph for others what we see first hand.

    • Ben
      In retrospect, I should have rolled my own tank and dome. The 83.5″ diameter tank could have been cut from some Plastruct tubing. The frame was fun to build.


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