Before everybody sends me emails titled "You're Velcome" please read on.
The recent conversation about tank car underframes and kits got
something moving in the old grey matter and I decided to dig up some of
my old data to see if some people weren't trying to reinvent the wheel -
or tank as it were.

I will be speaking mainly in terms of modeling. The subject is using a
tank made for one manufacturers cars on a model of another manufacturers
product. Oh hell, let's get down to specifics. Using ACF tanks on
models of UTLX cars. Heres a little chart I made of the ACF types 21and
27 and the UTLX X-3 tanks. (I hope it retains it's form.)

gals dia len oh wb

ACF 8k 83" 28'-0" 2'-7.5" 22"-9"

21 10k 92.5" 28'-0" 2'-7.5" 22'-9"

ACF 8k 78" 31'-9" 3'-0.38" 25'-8.25"
27 10k 87.25" 31'-9" 3'-0.38" 25'-8.25"

UTLX 10k 87" 32'-0" 2'-0' 28'-0"

Okay, that's the easy part. Now the explanations:

1 That's not all the data I have, just all that's applicable to this
discussion. I do not have data on the UTLX 8000 gallon tank. I hope
Richard can supply it. The data is similar for 4000, 6000, and 12,000
gallon tanks, but of no importance here because no models of those sizes
are available.

2 The terms "dia" and "len" refer to the published INSIDE diameter and
length of the straight sides of riveted tanks. Another inch added to
"dia" should give you something fairly close to the outside and
measurable diameter of a model tank.

3 The term "wb" is the wheelbase of the platform the tank is placed upon
in service. It is also the center to center distance between the
outboard tank straps which hold the tank to the platform.

4 The term "oh" is my computed overhang of the tank beyond the tank end
band which is on the truck centerline, and incidentally, the crux of the

5 And not least, I am assuming that both LifeLike and InterMountain
tooled thir tanks fairly close to scale sizes.

The conclusion I come to is obvious. Although the ACF type 27 10k gallon
tank is close enough in size to pass for the X-3 10k tank, because
Intermountain chose to put the tank bands on the tank, it cannot be used
as such because it has those bands in the wrong place to represent a UTLX
tank. The bands are too far away from the end of the tank. That's what
gives the various tanks their different look, perhaps not as obviously,
but certainly as surely as the underframe details. That's precisely why
the Gould/Tichy tank and underframe are of so little value to modelers.

Before we can get the kind of accurate underframes and tank car models
everybody is screaming for, we will have to have more tank sizes
available to us. See my previous comments as to why a home-made pattern
is almost impossible. I'm not saying it's completely impossible, just
almost with the techniques available to us at the present time. I can
only hope that someone comes around to accept this challenge and prove me
wrong. But first and foremost, please, please, please get accurate data
from a knowledgeable source so as to not repeat the errors of the past.

Byron Rose
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