Re: Building Sunshine's General American Tank Car Type 30

Bill Welch

Dear Bill:

Thanks for responding. Yes Martin does include your suggestions about building the car and I like your technique of leaving the running boards off in order to detail other areas of the model. Additionally I like using long screws for the trucks that also screw into the tank so that I can treat it as a subassembly and can paint underframe and tank separately. This also makes working on the underframe easier as I don't have that weighted cylinder on it. Additionally while I will glue the tank and underframe together, the two long screws are an added advantage in securing the two major components together.

Regarding those pesky ill fitting bolsters, it appears to me the fit problems are that not only are they not "cast clean and square" but dimensionally off. I know like you I can wrestle them into place but this looks like some shims will be necessary. To me this is not just an issue brought on by the vagaries of using a rubber mold: The patterns are off

I am thinking too that Martin should know about this difficulty.

Bill Welch

--- In, "william darnaby" <WDarnaby@...> wrote:

Hi Bill,

I assembled 3 of the cars last year for Martin for display and another for
him just recently. None had instructions as Martin just sends me parts.
I'm curious...did Martin include my recommendations in the instructions?

I had similar issues on the first couple of cars before I figured it out.
The pads at the ends of the running board set on top of the draft gear as
you observed. The problem is that the solid bolster castings are not cast
clean or square enough at their ends that are supposed to engage the center

Do what you are doing. Tack the running board on top of the draft gear
(center sill) with contact cement. Flip it upside down so the running board
is supported on a flat surface. File/sand/carve or whater you gotta do to
the bolster end so it engages the center sill and rests on the underside of
the running board. Tack everthing with contact cement. When satisfied fix
with CA.

Actually, I secured the bolsters to the sill with CA and then removed the
running board for later application. I prefered to add details like the
tank, the tank supports and bands with the running board out of the way.

Hope this helps. See you in Naperville.

Bill Darnaby

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Welch" <fgexbill@...>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 5:59 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Building Sunshine's General American Tank Car Type 30

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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