Asheville, North Carolina: Tangent Scale Models announces the availability today of our latest all-new HO Scale model system: The General American 4700 Covered Hopper. Never-before available in brass or plastic, we are pleased to bring you this highly-relevant – and needed – prototype model in HO Scale.
No preorders. No waiting. These cars are available right now.
During the 1960s, railcar builders experimented with new covered hopper designs to satisfy the evolving needs of shippers as they moved away from forty-foot box cars to bulk transport railcars. In 1963, General American Transportation Corporation (GATC) produced its first “grain hopper” design with 4500 cubic foot capacity (Tangent released a model for this in March 2023!). Railroads requested more capacity, and GATC then offered a sister car design, of 4700 cubic feet, which was 5 inches taller than the previous 4500, selling more than 1,100 cars. The 4700 model offered the option of either 13 or 15 exterior side posts. When the GATC 4700 was first produced in 1964, it was the largest grain hopper on the market, and lasted in production until 1967. NYC was the first railroad to buy this model from GATC, and Despatch Shops Inc. (a NYC subsidiary) would later go on to build their own clones of these cars.
The Tangent Scale Models GA 4700 covered hopper is a dimensionally-accurate replica of the real car, designed from actual blueprints and field measurements. Our model includes key build variations: body side post designs, running boards, roof hatches, discharge gates, high or low handbrake mounting and appliance options, and body or truck mounted brakes. It also incorporates all Despatch Shops variations. This replica includes our “near-scale” draft gear box including side “key” detail. This GATC hopper rides on Tangent’s precision 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks with prototype-specific rotating bearing caps and separate brake beam part. Our ready-to-operate replica is finished with coupler lift bars accompanying Kadee® scale couplers, sufficient hidden weights, and CNC-machined wheels to ensure the model operates as good as it looks.
Our June 2023 debut of the General American 4700 covered hopper includes four railroad schemes, plus four undecorated kit options.
– Illinois Central (IC) “Delivery Gray 1-1967” replicates one of the largest orders for the GATC 4700. The IC received 500 cars in this order, as part of their expanding fleet of 100-ton covered hoppers. These sharp grain haulers were painted medium gray, and were the first new cars to wear the IC’s Split-Rail logo. The IC GATC 4700s featured a 13-post body and low ladder appliances, but with a twist. If you look carefully at the prototype photos, you will notice that the side ladders feature 4 rungs on the ladder, versus the “normal” 3 rungs for other roads. The end ladders feature 8 rungs, versus 7 rungs for the other roads. Yes, Tangent designed and tooled a IC-specific body to handle this important detail. GATC even “filled in” the unused pre-punched holes on the ladder stiles with rivets, a detail carefully replicated on the Tangent model. The IC cars were equipped with Truck-mounted brake hardware, so this translates to little things on the model like a “missing” brake cylinder on the B-End. The 4 individual brake cylinders are mounted on the truck brake beams on the 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks! Don’t forget to take a look at that beautiful Ellcon-National 1600 power brake with a separately-applied short release lever. Underneath, the model has accurate Keystone “Portloc” gravity outlet gates with intricate ratchet and rod detail. These cars had incredible longevity in delivery paint, with over one-third of the fleet staying in their original gray paint through the IC-ICG era. In fact, IC original gray cars have been documented into at least 2007! These IC models are available in 12 numbers. SKU 28110
– New York Central (NYC) Lot 946H “Delivery Gray 1-1965” shows us the first order of GATC 4700 covered hoppers. This NYC group utilized GATC’s earlier 13-post body style and were delivered in gray with the NYC “cigar-band” graphics. These models feature a high-mounted Miner 6600 power brake with a separate short release lever and modern brake wheel. Take a moment to fully appreciate the unmistakable General American roofline, with the edge rivets, huck bolts, roof ribs and those gorgeous roof hatches with separately applied (metal!) grab irons and detailed lock mechanisms. Underneath, these NYC cars were delivered with Wine Gravity Gates with their distinctive, angled bracing. The cars were painted in a medium gray, not to be confused with the Despatch Shops-built 4700s that were a light gray. NYC modelers deserve accuracy, and we take great care to execute the lettering, from the reporting marks and logo down to the small paint code triangle and trust plate. It’s all there. And more importantly, it’s all accurate. Speaking of the logo, we love that classy NYC cigar band mounted on a stand-off plate spanning three body ribs. It’s time to haul grain. These cars are available in 12 numbers. SKU 28111
– Union Pacific (UP) “Gray Repaint 1989” takes us back to the late 1980s, where the former MoPac Desoto, MO car shops were busy repainting cars in distinctive light gray paint. These UP repaints feature the later GATC 13-post body along with body-mounted brake hardware. Underneath, these replicas feature accurate Enterprise “Gravac” combo gates, allowing the prototype cars to be unloaded by simple gravity or an air-assisted pneumatic system. This UP model is equipped with 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks with rotating Timken caps. On the B-End, take a peek at the accurate Apex-style crossover platforms and Ellcon-National 1600 power brake. If you look closely, there is a hole behind the brake cylinder on the vertical slope sheet. Yes, this is accurately replicated on the model, including the snaking air line. We see you, patient 1980s and 1990s modelers, and we are pleased to release these UP repaints in 6 numbers. SKU 28112
– Conrail (CR) 959H “Repaint 1976” illustrates Despatch Shops Incorporated’s take on the GATC 4700 design. DSI built 400 Lot 959-H clones in 1965 that share the GATC “look” except for one major feature: DSI applied a welded roof vs. the standard GATC ribbed roof. Yes, Tangent duplicated this feature with a specific DSI roof for the Lot 959-H, including the DSI weld and rivet detail. This model replicates ex-NYC cars that have received 1976 Conrail oxide paint. Conrail continued to use these interior-lined cars in grain service and fitted the cars with Keystone “Portloc” gravity gates. This CR model inherits its former-NYC details including the high-mount brake gear and Morton brake step. The cars also kept their high-mount retainer. All those little Conrail paint details are present, like the accurate early “CONRAIL” under the logo, accurate CR ACI label, and accurate ex-NYC number stencils on the top right of the car side. Of course, Tangent applied white road numbers to the black 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks, matching Conrail prototype practice. We are pleased to offer 6 numbers in this scheme. SKU 28113
We also have several undecorated kit options available, continuing our dedication to the modelers. We know that sometimes you just want to build and paint your own car. We are modelers too, and we understand the need to continue to offer undecorated products.
– Undecorated KIT – IC Version is a completely unassembled and unpainted kit. It is based on the GATC 4700 13-post body (IC Version) with truck-mounted brake details and is appropriate for the IC-ICG-New IC-CN family of roads. This kit come with Keystone “Portloc” gravity outlet gates, an Ellcon-National 1600 power brake and optional later ICG-era “L” braces for the top chord of the body side. This kit includes Tangent 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks with rotating Timken caps and CNC-machined 36” wheels. You supply your own favorite couplers. SKU 28100-01
– Undecorated KIT – CGW, UP Version is a completely unassembled and unpainted kit. It is based on the GATC 4700 13-post body with body-mounted brake details and is appropriate for the CGW and UP prototypes. The kit comes with both Enterprise gravity outlet gates and Enterprise “Gravac” combo pneumatic gates. The kit also comes with an Ellcon-National 1600 power brake along with both “Apex” and “Morton” style crossover platforms. This kit includes Tangent 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks with rotating Timken caps and CNC-machined 36” wheels. You supply your own favorite couplers. SKU 28101-01
– Undecorated KIT – GATC NYC Version is a completely unassembled and unpainted kit. It is based on the GATC 4700 15-post body with truck-mounted brake details and is appropriate for NYC Lots 946-H and 952-H. The kit comes with GATC as-delivered details including Wine outlet gates and a Miner 6600 power brake and metal NYC placard board. This kit includes Tangent 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks with rotating Timken caps and CNC-machined 36” wheels. You supply your own favorite couplers. SKU 28102-01
– Undecorated KIT – DSI NYC Version is a completely unassembled and unpainted kit. It is based on the DSI GATC Clone 15-post body with truck-mounted brake details and is appropriate for NYC Lot 959-H prototypes. The kit comes with DSI as-delivered details including correct DSI welded roof, gravity outlet gates and an Ellcon-National 1600 power brake. This kit includes Tangent 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks with rotating Timken caps and CNC-machined 36” wheels. You supply your own favorite couplers. SKU 28103-01
– Pigeons – 24 Unpainted Pieces is without a doubt one of the most important additions to the Tangent “Unique & Useful Parts” line in a generation. Yes, it ranks up there with Freight car retainers (TSM 1201) and Firecracker antennas (TSM 1301). This package contains 24 tiny HO unpainted plastic pigeons in 3 different poses. They are the perfect finishing touch for the roofs of all your Tangent freight car projects. SKU 211
All of these models (with prototype GATC photos) can be seen at www.tangentscalemodels.com !
The Tangent Scale Models GATC 4700 covered hopper system is a state of the art, dimensionally-accurate scale replica with highly accurate “true-to-life” colors and precise letter stencils. Our GATC 4700 system of models offers a multitude of detail variations and phases to replicate the many different GATC 4700 offerings. Example variations include: 13-post, 13-post IC, or 15-post body shells, body-mount or truck-mount brake systems and multiple prototype outlet gates. This replica includes our fine “near-scale” draft gear box with beautifully-rendered side “key” detail. Our ready-to-operate replica is finished scale metal grab irons, coupler lift bars, accompanying Kadee® scale couplers and sufficient hidden weights to ensure the model operates as good as it looks. At more than 150 parts per car, not to mention phase accurate details, genuine Kadee couplers, and all-metal wheels, we provide you with a high-value model that will provide you with years of enjoyment and curb-appeal.
These products are shipping today! A quick synopsis of our GATC 4700 era and railroad-specific details and variations include:
• Dimensional accuracy – designed from General American and Despatch Shops Inc. plans and verified with field measurements
• Highly correct “true to life” colors
• Industry-leading “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
• Signature GATC ribbed roof with both upper and lower flange roof edge fastener detail
• Signature Despatch welded roof with both upper and lower flange roof edge fastener detail
• Six-panel GATC roof hatch with separately applied metal hand grabs and locking knobs.
• “See through” running boards and crossover platforms (in both Apex and Morton Uni-wing combinations)
• Road-specific details for each scheme, including 2 different brake systems, 6 different outlet gates, 2 different running board and brake step platform options, end ladder options, 7 brakewheel housing and clevis options, 2 retainer valve mounting options and 2 different routing board options.
• Beautiful details including separately-applied scale wire grab irons and coupler lift bars – no “molded on” plastic grab irons or “thick” plastic grab iron parts anywhere on this replica!
• Metal corner stirrup steps
• Separate flexible rubber air hoses
• CNC-machined 36” wheels
• Our precision Tangent Scale Models 100-ton Barber S-2 trucks with prototype-specific rotating bearing caps (four possible options!) and separate brake beam part (2 possible options!)
• Recommended age 14 years and older
Don’t miss out on the Tangent Scale Models GATC 4700, a first of its kind in HO scale! It is (was!) one of the most-requested HO freight cars from the 1960s-2010s period! Pricing for RTR models is $56.95, with quantity discounts for direct purchases from Tangent Scale Models.
That wraps up our update for today, and thank you for supporting the family-owned businesses in our industry!