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Train and Trooper tank cars

From Bob Hayden
Mon, 22 Sep 1997

>Anyone built one of those Train and Trooper B&SR tank cars?  If so, just
>wondering how you found it to build, any tips, etc.?
>
>cheers,
>
>Roberto Lombardi

Well, Better late than never, I always say. This is a slightly slower-than-molasses reply to Roberto’s post of August 20.

I built both of the T&T tanks cars, and you’ll find a photo of the finished products on page 64 of the March 1997 Model Railroader.

I liked the kits. One of the tank castings was egg-shaped, but a note to Martha Sharp brought a replacement. I built the kits as intended, with only a few exceptions:

  1. The most important change was to replace the resin-cast timber framing (which held the tanks to the flatcar decks) with stripwood. This adds a LOT of rigidity to the flatcar, which is needed to keep the truss rods from warping the car.
  2. I discarded the kits’ resin ladders and made replacements from old-style stamped ladder stock (remember that stuff?).
  3. I spent an inordinate amount of time fussing with the handrail stanchions, which should not be made of resin (too delicate, too hard to clean up the flash). If I built these models again I would substitute either turned brass handrail posts, or try to find a Kemtron or Precision Scale replacement. In the end I got them to work, but it wasn’t worth the swearing.
  4. The kit has no way to get the oil (or kerosene, or gasoline, or whatever they hauled in these old tubs) out of the tank. The prototypes had a pipe sticking out of the tank at the middle of the car. I made one from a couple of different diameters of plastic tubing, painted it black, and glued it to the bottom of the car between the queenpost beams.
  5. Except for the habndrails, the fussiest part of the kits was cleaning flash out of the stake pockets. Take your time and bring a lunch.
  6. I added tack boards made from 14″ squares of styrene, and painted them yellow. The prototypes had them, though I have no idea what color they were.

The finished models have made several hundred trips around the C&DR. The layout now has a total of six tank cars, which is three times the number the B&SR owned! Maybe we just do more oil-hauling business.

Hope this isn’t too late to do any good!

Sincerely yours, Bob Hayden

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