MODELING: Building a GATC Type-22 Tank Car 3.0


I have been continuing to fine tune the build process as I go. My original plan to use laminated plastic running boards.  After playing around with the plastic version I decided to go with brass strips.  I used .016″ x .250″ brass strips made by K&S.  I used coarse sanding sticks and wire brush to add some texture to the brass.  Two strips were laminated with lapped joints at the ends.  I build a simple wood jig to hold the strips in-place while sweat soldering the lamination. A 100 watt iron works just fine for this job.


You can see the overlapping joints at the end.  The bottom layer extends the full width to create the bond.  I was trying to avoid a butt solder joint which has no strength.

The next area of revision was the dome as i discussed in the 2.0.  I made a new flange base for the dome using .010″ styrene.  I taped a piece to the tank and held the dome in place while I traced the shape of the dome base.  It creates an elipitical pattern as you would expect.  I marked multipe points for a 5″ flange width.  Using a compass I roughed in the radius.

It turns out the Plastruct makes a dome with the proper radius and diameter which would save some time in fabrication.

The new dome is 54″ in diameter and 26″ high as measured from the top of the tank.  The first step was to create a dome top.  Again, Plastruct came to the rescue with a cap that had an outside diameter close to the desired size.  I predrilled to location of the two vent fixtures and marked the flat spot diameter for the hatch.  The piece was shaped on my lathe.  I salvaged the hatch and vents from the original Red Caboose kit.

I added a styrene strip to simulate the lapped joint on the side of the dome.  The dome was bonded to the flange which had been added to the tank body.  Next, I did a little body and fender work.  I filled the joint of the dome base to the saddle and one side of the overlapped joint.

It looks a little messy but the excess can be removed with some 600 grit paper and water.  Oh yeah, the sill steps are shown alongside the tank.

The basic tank body is just about done.  I will add a grab iron on the dome side and add the tank bands which will provide the base for the hand rail brackets and dome step.  Once that is done, the car will be primed and rivets added using Archer decal rivets.

That is all for this visit.



3 thoughts on “MODELING: Building a GATC Type-22 Tank Car 3.0

  1. Looking good Gene.

    I recall attempting an HO tank from an aluminum cigar tube in the mid-1950s per an article in a library book – things have come a long way!

  2. Gene, would you please elaborate a tad about the Plastruct dome items? I searched their online catalog and wasn’t able to relate any of their catalog drawings to the part you show on the left side of that (two domes side by side) photo. I sent Plastruct a copy of that photo and they got back to me and said they don’t recognize thst dome as being theirs.

    Here’s a copy-paste of that correspondence.
    Dear Mr. Fickensher:

    Thank you for inquiry, but the item you’re referring to is not one of ours.

    Sorry we could not be of further assistance to you.

    Thank you,

    On Aug 29, 2018, at 1:49 PM, Mediacombb wrote:

    Please look at my enclosed photo and see if you recognize the left hand darker “tank car dome” there as being one of your products.

    I have pored thru your catalog and so far have been unable to find such an item shown or listed.

    My project is building a 1:48 scale railroad wine tankcar with six tank top domes. I will be buying a 1-1/2” diameter OD tube for the tank and I will be needing to either cut and shape the six domes from lengths of 1-1/8 OD tube or better yet, buy six of these pictured things already made up (if you actually have them).

    Thank you for looking,
    Alfred Fickensher
    Bettendorf, Iowa

    I sure like the Protocraft california Dispatch decal set and would like to attempt a wine tank based on the Jurassic MR article.

    Alfred Fickensher
    Bettendorf, Iowa
    Sent from my iPad

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