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New Release: GATC 10,000 Gallon 1917-Design Radial Course Tank Car

Tangent Scale Models is proud to introduce our next production of General American 10,000 Gallon 1917-Design Radial Course Tank Cars. As a reminder, this is the first plastic radial course tank offered in HO plastic! (Radial course means the tank’s steel panels overlap each other, looking like “stairsteps”).

By the end of World War I, U.S. production of oil and oil-related products was sharply increasing thanks to the combination of war-related demands as well as demands from home. In order to move oil and new consumer products, tank car producers introduced new car designs. In 1917 General American Tank Car introduced a new general service 10,000 gallon non-insulated tank car. Built in East Chicago, IN, these cars were easily identifiable by their circumferential rivets that surrounded the tank body, with notably different heights between the courses. These “radial course” tank cars utilized steel bolster plates that rise up vertically to hold the tank in place, complete with a “web” section behind to minimize steel consumption. At a time of fairly monochromatic box cars plying the rails, most consumable products and oil shippers proudly displayed their company markings on the tanks. This car design was no exception, with Sinclair being a dominant purchaser of tank cars of this type. Additionally, many smaller oil shippers had fleets of these cars during the oil boom years. Finally, as many oil businesses failed, the cars ended up back with GATC and were restenciled with new owner markings and were placed back into service for a new owner. Between Sinclair, Sunburst Refining, and other schemes, think of this as one of the first “crude oil” tank cars of consequence. Forget boring present day tanks. These cars were the most prolific tank cars built during the first tank car building boom, and were found everywhere from 1917 to 1970.

The Tangent Scale Models GATC 1917-Design 10,000 Gallon General Service Tank Car is a highly-detailed tank car model that includes details accurate for each paint scheme, including KC- or AB-brake variations, with or without Cardwell draft sill springs, and different hand brakes. Other visually-distinctive details for our models include the “see through” bolster section, circumferential rivets, and differing course heights. Our RTR models include correct “true-to-life” colors and “hyper-accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement. Finally, 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.

Our new ready to operate replicas are in stock and available for sale NOW. That’s right, no preorders! Check them out by clicking here.

These replicas will certainly be eye-catchers on your layout! Check out the radial courses – they look like nothing else in HO! Our September 2020 release includes the following three RTR paint schemes:

– GATX “Sunburst Great Falls MT” 1920+ is our offering in this production for the early steam-era modelers out there. This car is leased to Sunburst Refining Company for shipping of refined oil products nationwide from Great Falls, Montana. Sunburst Refining likely tapped the Kevin-Sunburst oil field in North-Central Montana, which was developed right after World War I. These cars are stenciled for Sunburst’s headquarters city of Great Falls, Montana, which was served by both Great Northern and Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific (“The Milwaukee”), and feature a black-painted carbody with typical GATX graphics from the post-WWI period. Check out the fine stencilized lettering detail on this car! Our Sunburst Refining Company 1920+ replicas come with era-correct K-brakes and they are available in four different road numbers.

– SRDX “Sinclair” 1947+ with beautiful “SINCLAIR” graphics on the side of the black carbody, with the small “REF’D OIL” stenciling to indicate the commodity hauled in these tank cars. Sinclair tank cars were nationwide roamers for sure, and our model has the accurate silver color stenciling for Sinclair’s GATC fleet of 1917-Design tank cars. Based upon the small brake stencil and tank psi test lettering, this car is accurately stenciled for service in 1947 and onward. The car’s other lettering shows a 1920 car build date. The expansion dome has the typical Sinclair silver “dot” stencil on it. These cars are complete with an era-appropriate AB-brake system, matching the photo on the Tangent site, which displays a well-worn car in 1957. Don’t forget, Sinclair had the largest shipper-owned tank car fleet in North America in 1950, with virtually all of them having large billboard lettering, so don’t miss out! Our Sinclair tank cars were first released in 2018, and they sold out faster than we intended, so today we are offering these cars again but with six all new numbers!

– ACDX “Allied Chemical” 1964+ is a prototype repaint scheme that was applied in 1964 and represents an offering for the 1960s modelers out there. The prototype photo on our website shows this car in service in 1968 on the east coast. This scheme wears the red and white Allied Chemical logo that is nicely applied to the rounded contours of the tank. The car stenciling includes separate stencil instances for “Chemicals” and “Plastics Division.” As always, this scheme comes directly from a prototype car photo that matches our model. Our Allied Chemical 1964+ cars come with era-correct AB-brakes and are available in two road numbers.

– Undecorated RTR Black cars are ready for decaling! This production includes RTR cars with the AB brake system. Our last production included cars with K-brakes.

– Undecorated Unpainted Kits are available as well. When folks claim that “no one” makes kits anymore, well, here they are. These are ready for building or kitbashing, and painting / decaling. Great for those who desire to build their own. This run of kits come with parts for either an AB- or a K-brake configuration.

Features for these awesome replicas include:
– Circumferential riveted tank body and riveted underframe (count ‘em, there are many!)
– Radial course tank body – note the “stairstep” appearance!
– All-new underframe for the GATC 1917-design
– “See-through” cast knee above the bolsters
– Accurate dome appliances
– Dimensionally-correct hazardous placards with accurate hole detail
– Separately applied tank handrail
– Separately applied tank strap detail
– KC- or AB- brake variations depending on the prototype car
– Inclusion of Cardwell draft sill springs depending on the prototype car, otherwise “oval” frame openings where the springs were removed
– Different hand brake appliance options depending on the prototype car
– Highly correct “true to life” colors
– “Hyper-Accurate” lettering including exact fonts and lettering placement, including lettering applied to the underframe and air reservoir
– Durable wire grab irons and coupler lift bars
– Separate air hoses
– “Near-scale” draft gear box with side detail
– Kadee® “scale-head” couplers
– CNC-machined 33” wheels in high-quality Tangent Scale Models ASF cast steel truck with spring plank and with separate brake beams
– Replacement semi-scale wheels available separately from Tangent
– Multiple road numbers for each scheme – these cars often traveled in “groups” of more than one
– Recommended age 14 years and older

Don’t miss out on the Tangent Scale Models General American 10,000 gallon 1917-design radial course tank car! Just like its prototype, this car will stand out on any layout situated from 1917 to approximately 1970, and they went everywhere!

Pricing for RTR models is $44.95. High-resolution images showing these fine replicas are available at www.tangentscalemodels.com and our site also includes prototype images for your reference as well.

That wraps up our update for today, and thank you for supporting the family-owned businesses in our industry!

David Lehlbach