Ancient Tank Cars


Shawn Beckert
 

List,

I have questions to ask about a certain MDC
tank car kit, though I've a good idea what the
answer will be.

I just received several M.D. McCarter prints of
UTLX tank cars that appear to have been built in
the 'teens. The shots were taken in Pensacola, FL
about 1945. Short, with tanks riding high on very
sturdy underframes, with the brake wheel mounted
facing to the side at one corner. There are ladders
going up the sideframe, about four rungs each.

1) Is this what you'd call a "Van Dyke" design?

2) Does the MDC "Old Timer" tank car have potential
for modeling these cars, or is it the usual MDC
fantasy, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever?

3) Failing that, has this type of car ever been
produced in brass, and by who?

Shawn Beckert


John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

Shawn - The Van Dyke cars had no underframe.
The biggest problem with the MDC kit is that in order to get in enough
weight in the underframe, they made it about twice as tall, so the tank sits
way too high. The metal is hard to work with, so replacing the underframe
is about the only way to go.
There is also the Precision Scale model of a Van Dyke, which has
slightly different dimensions, and I would think could be mounted on a new
underframe. - John

----- Original Message -----
From: "Beckert, Shawn" <shawn.beckert@disney.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 1:47 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Ancient Tank Cars


List,

I have questions to ask about a certain MDC
tank car kit, though I've a good idea what the
answer will be.

I just received several M.D. McCarter prints of
UTLX tank cars that appear to have been built in
the 'teens. The shots were taken in Pensacola, FL
about 1945. Short, with tanks riding high on very
sturdy underframes, with the brake wheel mounted
facing to the side at one corner. There are ladders
going up the sideframe, about four rungs each.

1) Is this what you'd call a "Van Dyke" design?

2) Does the MDC "Old Timer" tank car have potential
for modeling these cars, or is it the usual MDC
fantasy, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever?

3) Failing that, has this type of car ever been
produced in brass, and by who?

Shawn Beckert



To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
STMFC-unsubscribe@egroups.com



Richard Hendrickson
 

List,

I have questions to ask about a certain MDC
tank car kit, though I've a good idea what the
answer will be.

I just received several M.D. McCarter prints of
UTLX tank cars that appear to have been built in
the 'teens. The shots were taken in Pensacola, FL
about 1945. Short, with tanks riding high on very
sturdy underframes, with the brake wheel mounted
facing to the side at one corner. There are ladders
going up the sideframe, about four rungs each.

1) Is this what you'd call a "Van Dyke" design?
No, it's the UTLX class X design which followed the VanDyke cars (class V)
after the Master Car Builders' Assn. ruled that tank cars had to have
center sills, rather than transmitting pulling and buffing forces through
the tank itself. The tanks on the class X cars were essentially the same
as on the Van Dykes (and BTW both class X and class V cars wre built in 6K,
8K, and 10K versions) but they had substantial center sills instead of the
bolsters and draft gear boxes being riveted directly to the tank via an
unusually heavy bottom sheet.

2) Does the MDC "Old Timer" tank car have potential
for modeling these cars, or is it the usual MDC
fantasy, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever?
The MDC tank isn't bad as a representation of the UTL 6K gal. tanks. The
problem is the underframe, which is a grossly oversize atrocity.

3) Failing that, has this type of car ever been
produced in brass, and by who?
No, only the VanDyke tanks have been done in brass (and mostly because the
narrow gauge guys wanted them, as some were converted to NG in the 1930s).
The same is true of PSC's very nice plastic kit for the VanDyke cars,
originally offered only in NG but now available as a standard gauge model
as well. There's been talk of making patterns for resin underframes to go
under the PSC or MDC tanks, but so far nothing has come of it. There's
also been talk of doing the class X cars in brass, but talk, as we know, is
cheap. There would certainly be a good market for such models, as the cars
went everywhere in the US and Canada and lasted, in some cases, through the
1960s (I have a photo of one coupled to a high-cube auto parts car!).

Shawn Beckert



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Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Shawn Beckert
 

Richard and Gang,

Ok, so I looked up Precision Scale's Van Dyke tank at
the Walthers website. It's in stock for $18 or so.
Odd looking little monster. How long did these last
in interchange, the 1940's?

Shawn Beckert


Bill Kelly
 

Tim,
Look again, 57801 is not a Van Dyke car.
I don't think that they lasted past 1953.
There are only five standard gauge cars listed in the 7-53 ORER.
Bill Kelly

Tim wrote:
snippage<
There's a 1969 photo of UTLX #57801, a Van Dyke tank car, in the
Classic Freight Cars Volume 2.
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Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

There is also the Precision Scale model of a Van Dyke, which has
slightly different dimensions, and I would think could be mounted on
a new underframe. - John
Shawn, the Precision Scale model is accurate for prototypes that
lasted into the 1960's. Richard Hendrickson wrote an article on
modeling them, including modifications to Bowser (?) caboose trucks
that have the correct wheel base. Precision Scale makes, I think,
two different models -- regular and "deluxe". The more expensive
one is better/sturdier because it has metal parts where needed.
There's a 1969 photo of UTLX #57801, a Van Dyke tank car, in the
Classic Freight Cars Volume 2. It appears to be riding on normal
ASF A-3 Ride Control trucks.

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


Bill Kelly
 

The bottom sheet on a Van Dyke tank extends beyond the ends and is
probably thicker to act as the underframe. The dome on 57801 is larger
than that on the Precision Scale tank.

Bill Kelly

Tim wrote:

I see what you mean -- but isn't it just a Van Dyke tank mounted
onto a later frame (really, just a center sill)?
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Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

I see what you mean -- but isn't it just a Van Dyke tank mounted
onto a later frame (really, just a center sill)?

At 12:52 AM 2/2/01 -0500, you wrote:
Tim,
Look again, 57801 is not a Van Dyke car.
I don't think that they lasted past 1953.
There are only five standard gauge cars listed in the 7-53 ORER.
Bill Kelly

Tim wrote:
snippage<
There's a 1969 photo of UTLX #57801, a Van Dyke tank car, in the
Classic Freight Cars Volume 2.
Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

At 10:40 AM 2/2/01 -0500, you wrote:

The bottom sheet on a Van Dyke tank extends beyond the ends and is
probably thicker to act as the underframe. The dome on 57801 is larger
than that on the Precision Scale tank.
Now that I look it over, I wonder if UTLX #57801 isn't actually one
of those AC&F "high walkway" tank cars from pre-1920 with its walkway
handrails removed?

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


Richard Hendrickson
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:

Now that I look it over, I wonder if UTLX #57801 isn't actually one
of those AC&F "high walkway" tank cars from pre-1920 with its walkway
handrails removed?
Tim, please stop trying to make this more complicated than it is. UTLX
57801 in the photo in the Classic Freight Cars tank car book is a UTL Class
X built in 1916 (essentially, an "improved" Van Dyke car with separate
center sill) that had been upgraded with AB air brakes, ARA cast steel
trucks, and a larger diameter dome (the original dome was smaller and had
the single safety valve on an elbox attached to the side of the dome, as
shown in numerous photos of these cars as built).

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Well, the only way to get an answer sometimes is to make speculative
statements! Some experts don't like to speak up unless they get the
bonus of being able to ridicule someone... I have noticed this in
my own profession (computer engineering), so why not here too? I've
gotten an awful lot of good information over the years by playing
the naif. Straightforward questions (like Shawn's which prompted
this discussion) often go unanswered.

Would you recommend a source for information on the 1916 "X" ? I
can't recall ever hearing of it before.

At 09:08 PM 2/2/01 -0800, you wrote:
Tim O'Connor wrote:

Now that I look it over, I wonder if UTLX #57801 isn't actually one
of those AC&F "high walkway" tank cars from pre-1920 with its walkway
handrails removed?
Tim, please stop trying to make this more complicated than it is. UTLX
57801 in the photo in the Classic Freight Cars tank car book is a UTL Class
X built in 1916 (essentially, an "improved" Van Dyke car with separate
center sill) that had been upgraded with AB air brakes, ARA cast steel
trucks, and a larger diameter dome (the original dome was smaller and had
the single safety valve on an elbox attached to the side of the dome, as
shown in numerous photos of these cars as built).

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520
Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


Richard Hendrickson
 

Well, the only way to get an answer sometimes is to make speculative
statements! Some experts don't like to speak up unless they get the
bonus of being able to ridicule someone... I have noticed this in
my own profession (computer engineering), so why not here too? I've
gotten an awful lot of good information over the years by playing
the naif.
Ah, I get it, Tim. A ploy! I've wondered for a long time how someone who
is obviously very astute and well informed about freightcarology could
occasionally post inquiries and speculations that seemed to come from way
out in left field. Now you're telling me that this inconsistency is a
tactical device.

...Straightforward questions (like Shawn's which prompted
this discussion) often go unanswered.
Ah, but Shawn's inquiry didn't go unanswered. I answered it, with
essentially the same information I sent to you.

Would you recommend a source for information on the 1916 "X" ? I
can't recall ever hearing of it before.
My UTLX folder is buried in a box of material to re-file, but IIRC there
was a drawing in one of the Cycs (1912 or 1916). A large number of these
cars are listed in several number series in the UTLX 1952 roster, and I
have numerous in-service photos. I've often thought of doing an article on
these cars, but most editors don't want articles on prototypes that can't
be modeled, and we don't have any decent models (the MDC model is hopeless,
as it's virtually impossible to rework the underframe into anything
remotely resembling the prototype).

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


T. C. Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Richard H. wrote:
Ah, I get it, Tim. A ploy! I've wondered for a long time how someone who
is obviously very astute and well informed about freightcarology could
occasionally post inquiries and speculations that seemed to come from way
out in left field. Now you're telling me that this inconsistency is a
tactical device.

Perhaps "freightcardiology" might be a more apt term for this device.

Tom M.


thompson@...
 

Richard H. says:
I've often thought of doing an article on
these cars, but most editors don't want articles on prototypes that can't
be modeled, and we don't have any decent models (the MDC model is hopeless,
as it's virtually impossible to rework the underframe into anything
remotely resembling the prototype).
Surely it would not be too hard to scratch an underframe? I have built
both styrene and wood (with riveted cardstock overlays) underframes and
they are not that tough. How about, Richard, if I write up an underframe
and you do the rest?

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


Richard Hendrickson
 

Surely it would not be too hard to scratch an underframe? I have built
both styrene and wood (with riveted cardstock overlays) underframes and
they are not that tough. How about, Richard, if I write up an underframe
and you do the rest?
Let me get this straight. Are you volunteering to build a real HO scale
underframe for this model, or are we talking about a conceptual underframe,
as in conceptual packing (inside joke)? If, in fact, a real underframe is
being contemplated, then it should take the form of molding patterns for
resin parts which could be combined with the PSC tank. I would be
delighted to collaborate on such a project, and will see that appropriate
artwork is created for decal lettering.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


thompson@...
 

Richard H. asks:
Let me get this straight. Are you volunteering to build a real HO scale
underframe for this model, or are we talking about a conceptual underframe,
as in conceptual packing (inside joke)? If, in fact, a real underframe is
being contemplated, then it should take the form of molding patterns for
resin parts which could be combined with the PSC tank. I would be
delighted to collaborate on such a project, and will see that appropriate
artwork is created for decal lettering.
I fully appreciate the concept that we make something moldable, though I
have no expertise in doing so. I will make a styrene version (on the
assumption that the tank interior is a more convenient and effective, since
larger, place to put weight). Any ideas on how best to make said underframe
so as to be more readily moldable would be gratefully received.
Are drawings readily available?

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


T. C. Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Tony T., threating to become a patternmaker, writes:
I fully appreciate the concept that we make something moldable, though I
have no expertise in doing so. I will make a styrene version (on the
assumption that the tank interior is a more convenient and effective, since
larger, place to put weight). Any ideas on how best to make said underframe
so as to be more readily moldable would be gratefully received.

I take it I'm supposed to jump in at this point. Tony, if this project
progresses from a jovial exchange into something more concrete, we can talk
about specifics at Monrovia or Pleasanton next month.

Tom M.


Richard Hendrickson
 

Tony T., threating to become a patternmaker, writes:
I fully appreciate the concept that we make something moldable, though I
have no expertise in doing so. I will make a styrene version (on the
assumption that the tank interior is a more convenient and effective, since
larger, place to put weight). Any ideas on how best to make said underframe
so as to be more readily moldable would be gratefully received.

I take it I'm supposed to jump in at this point. Tony, if this project
progresses from a jovial exchange into something more concrete, we can talk
about specifics at Monrovia or Pleasanton next month.
Gee, Tom, that wasn't my intention. Furthest thing from my mind, actually.
However, now that you've volunteered....

I won't be in Monrovia, but let's all talk at Pleasanton.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


thompson@...
 

Tom Madden wrote:
I take it I'm supposed to jump in at this point. Tony, if this project
progresses from a jovial exchange into something more concrete, we can talk
about specifics at Monrovia or Pleasanton next month.
Better make it Pleasanton, as I will be in London the weekend of the meet
in Monrovia.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


ajferguson@...
 

--- In STMFC@y..., Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@o...> wrote:
Are you volunteering to build a real HO scale
underframe for this model. If, in fact, a real underframe is
being contemplated, then it should take the form of molding patterns
for
resin parts which could be combined with the PSC tank. I would be
delighted to collaborate on such a project, and will see that
appropriate
artwork is created for decal lettering.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520
Richard:
I would be delighted to help make the decals happen. I have modified a
Intermountain 8000 gal type 27 and created the artwork and printed
decals for a NSOX 352(North Star Oil) tank car.(written up in CRM) For
larger runs I've worked with Railgraphics ( CNR 1956 piggyback
trailer) and Microscale (CNR cab unit supplement).
I am no expert on tank cars. Canadian tank cars were different than
American but there was a good deal of cross fertilization. I have a
vested interest in seeing some progress towards models of tank cars of
the era that this list is about.
A project like this is about breaking down barriers. If we all do a
little we end up with a whole.
Allen Ferguson
Black Cat Publishing