Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Late 40's to mid 50's military rail movements

Daniel A. Mitchell

Great photo. I’ve seen both M-48 and M-60 tanks with large timbers under them similar to this photo, and all overhang the sides of the flat car a bit.

When building my 1/35 model of the M-103 I crawled all over a couple of these beasts, taking photos and measurements. The T-43 was at TACOM in Detroit, and an M-103 at Fort Knox in Kentucky. They’re a real hunk of iron!

Sadly, there’s no decent model of them I know of available commercially in any scale. As I stated earlier, the ROCO HO model is all wrong. Dragon (DML) offers a kit in 1/35 scale, but it’s TERRIBLE too. They tried to modify their M-48 kit parts and the result is a mess. The hull slopes are all wrong, the turret shape is all wrong, and the turret sets way too far forward on the hull. While the M-103 is part of the M-48 “family”, it’s NOT just a bigger M-48. I did use some Monogram M-48 parts in my (mostly) scratchbuilt M-103, so I KNOW how many differences have to made, lots of cutting, repositioning, and TONS of squadron putty. The turret is mostly a big lump of body-putty. Unfortunately Dragon did not do their homework. My model won a Bronze Medal (Advanced Class) at the 2000 AMPS (Armor Modeling and Preservation Society) convention in Maryland.

As for the ROCO 6-axle flatcar, the only ones I’ve ever seen have the (correct) fishbelly side sills. Detai lis minimal, but overall it’s correct. They also have a U.S. Army 6-axle depressed-center car that was also tried for the M-103, but it seems it was only used (or intended for) Europe. This car is also a good model, but seems to have a very unsual prototype.

Dan Mitchell

On Oct 18, 2021, at 7:22 PM, Richard Townsend via <richtownsend@...> wrote:

I wonder if the reason for the the reason for the "tubing" (timbers?) was to raise the load enough to clear obstructions such as station platforms.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: Gatwood, Elden J SAD <elden.j.gatwood@...>
To: <>
Sent: Mon, Oct 18, 2021 4:07 pm
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Late 40's to mid 50's military rail movements

Yep, Ed, more than one!
They may have chosen this flat not only because it was a 70-ton car, but also a sturdy cast flat with integral pockets.  PRR may have had no role in this, but maybe they did.
Puckering would definitely been evident, as the tank’s entire weight is not on the floor, but spread out over floor and stake pocket lips (!).
The “High & Wides” guys must’ve had a blast measuring this guy to make sure it fit within clearances!
Thanks for sharing!
Elden Gatwood
From: <> On Behalf Of spsalso via
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2021 6:39 PM
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Late 40's to mid 50's military rail movements
Here's an interesting picture for at least two of us.  Maybe more.

That's a T43 being delivered to Aberdeen Proving Ground for testing.  Date appears to be March 25, 1952.

The big flats weren't available yet.  So they chose this 70T PRR flat.

Note the sturdy square steel tubing that is supporting the tank and spreading the load evenly.  I imagine there were a few puckers on that one.


Edward Sutorik

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