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NEW PRODUCT: General American 4180 Airslide Covered Hopper

Tangent Scale Models is pleased to announce our next all-new car, the HO Scale General American 4180 “Airslide” covered hopper. General American Transportation Corporation produced more than 5,000 of these 4180 cubic foot Airslide covered hoppers between 1963 and 1980 as a response to customer demand for larger covered hoppers capable of handling bulk commodities. These very common cars continued General American’s “Airslide” family innovations from the 1950s, and proved valuable to bulk shippers who wanted a larger car than the earlier-design 2600 cubic foot cars provided.

The Tangent Scale Models GA 4180 Airslide covered hopper is similar to previous Tangent releases with our consistent focus on phase variations that mirror prototype build changes over time. For this car, we have produced three very different variations of the carbody and associated details to replicate cars built between 1965 and 1980. While all 4180 airslides may look the same at first glance, they are not. See the listing of phase details below for more information, and look at our model photos to see them up close.

Finally, we have included the distinctive “see through” bolster arrangements above the trucks. Our 4180 Airslide hoppers include finely-detailed underframe pipe arrangements and are ready for any of the following services on your layout: flour, sugar, starch, fertilizer, feed, chemicals, plastics, carbon black, etc. Also, check out our correct “true-to-life” colors and “hyper-accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement. Our scale replicas operate as well as they look, equipped with free-rolling all-metal wheels and Kadee® scale couplers, meaning our models are truly ready to run, but look significantly
better than train set alternatives.

Our first production includes the following 10 RTR paint schemes – plus undec RTR and kits.
– B&O “Original Gray 1968” is the classic B&O “Capitol Dome” scheme with the beautiful logo and black underframe. The B&O version of our car includes the correct 1968 details, including low brakewheel and 4 grab irons on the right and left side of the car. This is the first of three prototype B&O orders for airslides, and is available in 4 road numbers.
– BNSF “Buffer Car” #1 is BNSF road number #808032. It represents a BNSF GATC 4180 that has been changed from revenue service to buffer car service, restenciled by MEI (Metro East Industries in East St.Louis IL) in 2002. This car includes conspicuity stripes. It includes tons of fine stencil lettering, just like the lettering found on the real car. Did you notice the BNSF green patch out for the road number on the prototype car? Yup, we did that too. We also included the faded BNSF logo on the side of the car. But you know what the best part is? Look at the roof. We have included the gray anti-skid paint on the roof that helps a customer avoid slipping on the sloped roof pitch when stepping off of the roofwalk to open the hatches. This is the first of two road numbers available for BNSF, correctly detailed for the 1970s-built prototype this car represents. And don’t forget, crude oil and ethanol trains requiring buffer cars typically have one car on each end of the train! We offer two completely different buffer car models since no two are the same!
– BNSF “Buffer Car” #2 is BNSF road number #808128. It represents a BNSF GATC 4180 that has been changed from revenue service to buffer car service, restenciled by MEI (Metro East Industries in East St.Louis IL) in the year 2000. This car includes conspicuity stripes. It includes tons of fine stencil lettering, just like the lettering found on the real car, such as “BUFFER SVC ONLY DO NOT LOAD.” Like the other road number we offer, this car also includes the gray anti-skid paint on the roof that helps a customer avoid slipping on the sloped roof pitch when stepping off of the roofwalk to open the hatches. However, this gray paint pattern on the roof is different from the car above. This is the second of two BNSF buffer car service road numbers available for BNSF, correctly detailed for the 1970s-built prototype this car represents. And don’t forget, crude oil and ethanol trains requiring buffer cars typically have one car on each end of the train! We offer two completely different buffer car models since no two are the same!
– CNW “Original Gray 1976” is the classic original gray scheme from 1976, with the classic black and white “ball and bar” logo with excellent execution. We are proud to introduce this new car and the Chicago & North Western theme at Trainfest in Milwaukee, because Trainfest has CNW as the featured railroad for this year. Our model includes the correct darker gray color, with black underframe and distinctive “open and close” lettering in white on the underbody bays. Our model also includes correct variations for a 1970s production GATC 4180 airslide, including a low brakewheel, wide side posts, wide roof apex running board, etc. These beautiful cars are available in 4 road numbers. Don’t miss out!
– GM&O “Original Gray 1966” is offered in the original gray scheme from 1966 with the classic “Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio” spelled out on the carbody. Like many of the 4180 airslides, GM&O’s cars were in pooled service and were loaded at offline origin stations, one of which was stenciled on the sides of the car. Our first run includes prototypically-accurate return route stencils in highly visible red lettering for one of several loading points: GM&O New Orleans LA, UPRR Milliken CO, and MPRR Atchison KS. These are pooled cars, so collect all four! Our GM&O models are available in 4 road numbers and feature details appropriate for a 1966-built car.
– Milwaukee “Original Gray 1965” in the classic original gray paint with large “MILWAUKEE ROAD” spelled in black across the sides of the car, with beautifully-rendered detail lettering. We are proud to include Milwaukee Road, another favorite local to the Trainfest show in Milwaukee WI, in our first production of our new cars. Our Milwaukee replicas are offered in 4 road numbers and feature details appropriate for a 1965-built car.
– GACX “Clinton Corn Processing 1969” is the first of our four private operator schemes offered in this production, and it is one of the most common private operator scheme found on these cars. This car includes bold red lettering across the side of the car, and includes all of the typical General American details such as black underframes. This car includes appropriate details, including low mounted brake appliances. These cars featured ACI labels that were not painted on the car, but were raised. We have incorporated the raised placard detail on our models. This car is available with 3 road numbers.
– GACX “GATX 1993 Blue Repaint” is the second of our four private operator schemes offered in this production, and it is the most common private lessor scheme found on these cars starting in the 1990s. This car includes the GATX lease scheme of the flashy light blue carbody with dark blue band and carbody lettering. Yellow and mustard-toned lettering offsets the blue color, making this scheme a stunner for 1990s to present modelers. The prototype was originally built by GATC in 1973 and our model includes appropriate production details including low mounted brake appliances, wide side posts, and wide running boards. This car is available with 2 road numbers.
– NAHX “IGP Canada Original Gray 1973” is the third of our four private operator schemes offered at this time, and this scheme continues our series of highly-accurate Canadian private operator hopper models. These gray cars include a long and narrow yellow placard band declaring “Another Load of Wheat Protein from… Industrial Grain Products,” including the distinctive red logo with wheat stalk. Saying these are flashy is an understatement. Check out the beautiful, prominent lettering on this car! This stunner is available in 1 road number.
– SIRX Restencil “IGP Canada 1990” is the same lettering as the car above, but is meant to represent the repaint version of the car for post-1990 modelers, and includes faded gray body color to replicate the car after 20+ years of service. This car has paint-out restenciled SIRX reporting marks on the side and ends. It is available in 1 road number.
– Undecorated RTR Primer Gray in three versions: 1965-1966, 1967-1969, 1970-1980
– Unpainted Kit in three versions: 1965-1966, 1967-1969, 1970-1980

These products will be available for direct purchase at Trainfest in limited supply, and the remainder will begin shipping on December 15, 2015. Features for these replicas include:
– Dimensional accuracy – designed from General American plans and verified with field measurements
– Highly correct “true to life” colors
– “Hyper-Accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement
– Genuine Kadee® scale couplers
– “Near-scale” draft gear box with beautifully-rendered side “key” detail
– Multiple road numbers for each scheme
– “See through” etched metal running boards
– 3 specific production variations that highlight production from 1965-1980, including different roofs, running boards (Apex or Morton), body side post (“rib”) profiles, high and low brake arrangements on the B end, different ladder and grab iron arrangements, with or without crossover platforms and handrails, etc. Sell off the toy trains – we do freight cars right.
– Lacy details – wire grab irons and coupler lift bars
– Separate air hoses
– CNC-machined 36” wheels in high quality Tangent Scale Models trucks, with semi-scale wheels available separately
– Recommended age 14 years and older

Don’t miss out on the Tangent Scale Models General American 4180 Airslide covered hopper, one of the most sought-after freight cars from the turbulent 1960s period, done right with phase variations! Pricing for RTR models is $44.95. That wraps up our update for today, and thank you for supporting the family-owned businesses in our industry!

David Lehlbach