Steven D Johnson
I was in the local Dollar Tree store recently and happened to see some “Military Playset” toys. One of the sets included an Army tank and some sort of short cylindrical apparatus mounted on a pedestal, all molded in plastic in “olive drab,” with black-painted “conduits” and silver “control boxes.” I don’t know what these are supposed to represent, if anything, but they look similar to some industrial vessels I found on the internet. The metal and plastic Army tank can be tossed or given to a kid.
With a minimum of work, mainly on the seams on the vessel itself, and repainting, these look to make pretty good HO gondola or flat car loads. I haven’t tried it, but it appears the vessel section could be removed from the pedestal. There is enough space on the underside the pedestal to add weight if desired.
Three of them fit nicely into a Proto 2000 gondola, as you can see here, with room for wood bracing around each unit. These would look great as flat car loads too.
For $6.00 total, I bought enough for two car loads, and may go back for some more. I happened to be near a Dollar Tree store on the other side of Nashville, so went in to see if they had any different sets with other potential loads, but that store didn’t have any of those military sets at all. So all stores apparently don’t carry the same items.
Anyway, I thought some in the group would find this of interest.