After upgrading Athearn Tank Car, kit 1574, lettered for the Atchison, Topeka And Santa Fe (ATSF) with number 100801 and publishing the write up and photos of the upgrade on this blog I received an email from John Barry telling me he had bad news and good news. The bad news, Santa Fe series 100800-100899 tank cars, Class Tk-L, had an integral cast tank bottom/underframe which the Athearn tank car does not. He also made me aware I had forgot to remove two tank outlets on the bottom/underframe. However; John said, “The good news is that you can make an accurate model of the 12,000 gallon Tk-K with a change of a single digit in the car number and substituting "K" for "L" in the class designation. Santa Fe acquired 500 of the 12,000 gallon Ks in 1918 and they lasted to 1989. Car numbers were 100300-100799 and a very reasonable match to your upgrade.” And, I was aware that the Athearn tank size was not correct for the 16,200 gallon Tx-L as I had calculated it to be 12,228 gallons. Upon looking up ATSF tank car 100701 in a reproduction of the Tank Car Corporation Tariff Freight Tariff 300-H effective September 30, 1955 the capacity in gallons of the shell was 12,070 and dome 292. Therefore, based on the data I had now I decided to make the lettering changes and make additional changes to improve the tank car.
However, I wanted additional data and photos on the Santa Fe class Tk-K before making the changes to tank car 100801. I was able to obtain that information from Santa Fe Tank Cars by Richard H. Hendrickson and Richard W. Pelouze (The Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society Inc., 2004). The excellent reference book contains diagrams and photos of the class. In addition to the data already provided by John Barry, here I learned the cars built by Pressed Steel Car Co. had a less massive underframe of skeleton design with straight center sills and five lightweight cross members between the bolsters. The dome platform was only on the left side of each car. And, the cars rode on 50 ton capacity Class 549 Andrews U-section cast steel trucks.
After taking the tank car from my Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company back to the modeling bench I began by removing the plastic ladders , flora wire handrails and brass hand rail stanchions with a needle nose pliers since I was not happy with the initial install. Since, I now had in stock a Tichy Train Group (Tichy) Tank Car Detail Set #3007 with a correct size dome manhole cover I also removed the the over sized cast one on the resin cast dome. I installed the dome manhole cover from the Tichy Tank Car Detail Set #3007.
Now knowing the car should have only the dome platform on the left side, I removed both molded on platforms. I used a scalpel to make a cut on top of the platform along the tank. A Xacto handle with a #18 blade was used for the final removal making the cut from the underside of the platform making sure not to damage the platforms to allow reinstall. One cut off platform was shortened to 6 feet per tank car drawings. To make platform brackets I cut an A-Line #29000, sill step cut in half and bent the upper part to form the support angle portion of the bracket. The two brackets were installed on the tank in holes drilled with a #76 drill. The shorten platform was installed on the brackets with the other edge 4’ 3” from the tank center per tank car diagram.
At this time for those wanting a match to the prototype, the molded on tank bands could be removed and replaced with Yarmouth Model Works etched tank bands. Since I was after a reasonable looking stand in I chose not to do this.
Next, the Tichy plastic handrail stanchions from the Tichy Tank Car Detail Set were installed. New handrails were made using Detail Associates #2506, .019” diameter brass wire. The bending of the handrails for the ends was done with a BeadSmith wire bending pliers and jig saved from a Resin Car Works or Sunshine Models kit. I made one handrail for each side of the tank joining the ends of the two handrails in the handrail stanchions on the tank car ends. I made the handrails by bending half of the end portion in the jig, sliding the straight portion thru the opening in the side handrail stanchions until the curved portion bent in the jig reached the end of the tank car and then bending the other end by sight with the BeadSmith wire bending pliers.
I added a ladder cut from brass ladder stock with rungs filed to smaller diameter to the left side. I had to put a slight bend at the top rather than leaving it straight as on the prototype due to the distance the Tichy handrail stanchions put the handrail from the side of the tank car.
Since I had corrected items above to match the prototype I wanted to remove the brake mast (stand) and brake wheel correct for Class Tk-L; however, not Class Tk-K. So the brake mast was removed with a single edge razor blade. A ratchet, plate, pawl and wheel, molded as one part, in the Tichy Tank Car Detail Set were added. A brake shaft cut from Tichy #2505, .015” phosphor bronze wire (PBW) with a brake wheel again from the Tichy Tank Car Detail Set was installed.
I went back to the underframe and added brake lever hangers and an air release lever using plastic grab irons from the Tichy Detail Tank Car Set. The air release lever is half of one of the large grabs irons. The air release bracket was formed with Tichy #1101, .010” diameter wire from the wire bits box. I removed the Accurail ARA cast steel trucks with spring plank and replaced them with Accurail #166, Andrews trucks using the InterMountain 33” metal wheels from the removed trucks. With this tank car being a reasonable stand in, I was chose not to rebuild the underframe, specifically the cross bears and their number, to match the prototype.
The tank car was now ready for the relettering from number 100801 to 100701. I had already removed the lettering to be removed with a Euro micro nylon scratch brush. Decals for side lettering changes, the “7” and “K” were made using Woodland Scenics R.R. Roman Numbers-White, dry transfer lettering, set DT510. Decals for the side, a “0”, and the ends, the “7”, were made with Clover House Railroad Roman Alphabet Condensed Bold White #9600-11 dry transfers. I had to make a zero to change the car capacity from 140,000 on the Class Tk-L tank to 100,000 capacity on the Class Tk-K tank. The dry transfer lettering was applied to decal paper and coated with MicroScale Liquid Decal Film. The decals were applied with MicroScale Micro Sol and Walthers Solvaset decal setting solution. When decals were dry, the decal were hand painted with Vallejo Matt Varnish 70.580 to protect dry transfers and decals during handling and for weathering.
I touched up weathering on the tank car with Pan Pastels and makeup brushes using the previously used colors: Payne’s Grey Extra Dark 840.1 and Burnt Sienna 740.5.
Once I had the tank car weathered I printed a new car card and placed ATSF 100701 in service. I took a photo of it sitting at Meyer Oil in Northfield, Minn. served by Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company, “Serving Today, Shaping Tomorrow.”
I wish to say, “Thank You”, to John Barry for the information he provided and John Hotvet for letting me use his copy of the Santa Fe Tank Car book to see the information and photos of the Tk-K Class tank cars.
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