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Discussion Starter #161
Athearn Tank Car
This is another pre-plastic Athearn kit. I’d intended to build it earlier but of course it was missing the instructions. Fortunately Hoseeker had the instructions so I printed them out. They are more reminiscent of plastic model instructions, well-illustrated with close ups of the places where life is a bit more complicated.
This is an all metal kit, with the tank made of stamped tin in four pieces with stencils and the rest cast. Apparently they used Zamac because several of the pieces suffered from Zamac cancer. Worst is the bolsters, they are damaged and missing chunks. In this case there was enough metal there to use.
The frame did not have Zamac cancer but it was warped. There are a few pieces missing but nothing I can’t replace.
Otherwise this is a nice kit. Little glue needed and much of it held together with screws and metal tabs. I couldn’t get the straps right (a problem with most old tank cars) because they are supposed to end in holes in the bolsters but the bolsters are damaged. The straps are too far apart and uneven. Also I put a block of wood under the brake wheel because it wouldn’t stay vertical otherwise.
I imagine when it was first produced this would have made a nice car, but because of the Zamac cancer I can’t recommend it. I’ve included a picture of three contemporary tank cars, the center one is Silver Streak and the three dome is Crown.


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