Friday, 7 November 2014

Walthers - Union 76 Tank car

Although this car looks modern it actually was painted and lettered prior to the end of 1952.
During our joint modeling day on Monday's ( I get together with Peter Mumby on Monday's) I was digging through my kit drawer looking for some under-body's for our current modeling project. On the top of the pile is a Walther 36' tank car I purchased at a train show last winter. I had been looking for one of these cars for years (at least 10 if one was counting). It is a 1989 Walthers release that had never been opened (still had the plastic wrapper on). Hard to believe one would have a kit unopened on hand for 25 years...ha ha! I pulled it out as a quick one day project for this week (for once I actually did what I planned on, what motivation). One thing I don't have in my fleet are many fuel tank cars. This actually puts the fuel tank fleet at two (I do have a group of propane cars also on the roster plus a compartmental tank car). Anyhow after years looking I see in the new Walthers catalog they have released this same Union 76 tank car once again.

This particular Union tank car was one of the models John Nehrich covered in an article published in Mainline Modeler, Aug. 1996, an article covering four freight cars the NEB&W experimented with while beefing up the NEB&W fleet. This was an era that saw an explosion in more sophisticated steam-era shake-the-box and cast-resin kits emerging. What caught my attention in the article was the colour scheme of this Union 76 tank car. I thought it was kind of neat for that era. John mentioned the car looked modern for a 1950's fleet but actually a B&W prototype photo describing the colours was found in an Athearn ad published in a 1952 MR. It mentioned blue and orange but not the actual one does not know for sure if Walthers got it correct. With a good amount of weathering it deflects what the true blue and orange are.

This is what I got in the box.
My car came as a kit that is easy to assemble. I put together the frame, trucks and couplers, airbrushing them Floquil grimy black. Since the dome is blue and needs to be orange I used some Floquil CNR orange (a close match but not was the jar I currently have open). I just dabbed it on with a Testors brush. I could have taped it and airbrushed it, but this was to be a quick one day project. The dome got a lot of weathering so it actually looks good as is. The hand railings around the tank was painted grimy black. With all the weathering it blends in well on the car sides.

The dome is painted orange. I like using my Testor brushes for this type of work. They are cheap and easy to use.
 Details Added
There is a lot I could have added and removed, but a few simple changes made notable improvements. I removed the stirrups as they looked very thick. These are replaced with some I had on hand in my parts supply. I used Kadee true scale couplers instead of the hook style supplied. I changed out the over scale brake wheel with a Tichy brake wheel and a thin brass stem. The center pin hole on the trucks needed to be reamed out a bit since they did not swivel well as is. I used a good amount of Bragdon powders on this car to tone the colour down a bit. That's it, after working on the tank car on and off (or should I say between layout clean up chores) by supper I had another tank car for the White River Division....mission accomplished....George Dutka

I gave my car a good dose of weathering.
There is a lot more that could have been added and changed to better detail the car but I think it fits in well with minimal work.

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