Building Sunshine's General American Tank Car Type 30

Bill Welch

I am curious if anyone on the list has started and/or built the GATC type 30 tank car offered by Sunshine. I started it right after it came out last year but put it aside in frustration and thinking maybe I had done something wrong with the initial construction steps.

Having moved and recovered from the stress of that, I decided to look at it again with a clear mind to determine if it is me or the kit. The only thing I have done thus far is to glue the riveted plates to the top and bottom of the center sill and have screwed on the coupler pocket covers, shortened the screws and attached the cover plate over the coupler with the parallel pieces upon which the tank will rest. I have also attached the small end sill under the end board of each running board a per the instructions and the accompanying photographs of the model and prototype. Because of the following problems, I have checked, checked again and rechecked to make sure I have everything oriented correctly and I am now sure everything is in exactly the correct position and orientation.

The problem is that when I lay the running board/end sill assembly on top of the center sill and tack it there with contact cement and then tack the four bolsters in place nested between the flanges of the center sill, none of them line or match up correctly with said running board in either plane. The running board assembly is about a scale four inches too high or about the same thickness of the end sill and does not rest on the ends of the bolsters. As tacked in place, the place where the running board is supposed to rest is in the same plane with the center sill instead of being higher. The other problem is that the one piece running board is approximately two inches too narrow on both sides or a total of four inches. I would be willing to pry the end sill off of this assemble and scratchbuild a new running board assembly but this would not solve the problem of the bolsters not matching up. I could also cut out the center portion of the end sills which would make this part of the model look strange. I could shim the bolsters where the running board is supposed to rest, thus making this area look overly thick. This is unacceptable. I would prefer the end sill not being correct. I am convinced that the bolster patterns are off in some way.

I am obviously curious if anyone has encountered similar problems. I am thinking I will take the parts to Naperville to show to Martin as it is kind of mind numbing I am sure to try to understand it without being able to see it.

Bill Welch

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