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New Release: GATC 8,000 Gallon 1917-Design Radial Course Tank Car

Tangent Scale Models is proud to introduce our next production of General American 8,000 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 8,000 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. Additionally, tank car lessor firm Union Tank Line purchased a very large fleet of these cars as well, decorated in the distinctive UTLX “gold on black” scheme. Between UTLX, Deep Rock, and other schemes to come in future releases, think of this as the first “crude oil” tank car of consequence. The GATC 1917-design prototypes were the most prolific tank cars built during this period and were found everywhere from 1917 to roughly 1970.

The Tangent Scale Models GATC 1917-Design 8,000 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!

Whether wearing “plain” UTLX black lease colors or the colors of a lessee, these replicas will certainly be eye-catchers on your layout! Check out the radial courses – they look like nothing else in HO! Our May 2020 release includes the following four paint schemes:

– DMSX “Dunbar Molasses New Orleans 1919+” is our offering for the early steam-era modelers out there. This model is offered in the attractive “Dunbar Molasses and Syrup Company” scheme with classy white stenciling on the side of the car. Also, NEW ORLEANS, LA. is proudly stenciled on the car. As always, this scheme comes directly off of a prototype car that matches our model. Molasses was a common 8000 gallon tank car commodity even if it “sounds” unusual! It was a core ingredient in foodstuffs, animal feed, vinegar, citric acid, etc. Our Dunbar Molasses 1919+ cars come with era-correct K-brakes and are available in two road numbers.

– GATX ” Union Starch and Refining Company 1950+” in the attractive “Union Starch and Refining Company – Quality Products From Corn” bright red scheme with accompanying white stenciling with black border. These cars also feature “GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS” spelled out. This transition-era tank car is another great nationwide roamer, seen on all corners of the North American rail network hauling corn products. These models come with an AB brake system, and are available in four road numbers.

– UTLX “1926+ Lease” is one of two UTLX offerings in this production run: an “early” and a “later” car. Union Tank Car Company’s UTLX lease fleet was comprised of tank cars from a variety of builders, including several large orders for GATC tank cars. Numbering in the thousands, this fleet was part of the backbone of the large Standard Oil-owned fleet and are very relevant cars for those that need UTLX tanks – and more statistically relevant than the ACF prototypes you probably already have on your layout now (sorry, but it is true). These nationwide service cars include a 1926 safety valve date, repack date, and paint date on the side of the car and underframe. The car has appropriate and era-correct UTLX stenciling, and an era-correct K brake system. This UTLX lease scheme is available in twelve road numbers.

– UTLX “Black Repaint 1958+” is the second of two UTLX offerings in this production run. This scheme is the prototype repaint that was applied to UTLX cars in 1958. The car also includes an era-appropriate AB brake system. This UTLX lease scheme is available in six new road numbers for 2020.

– Undecorated RTR Black cars are ready for decaling!

– 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.

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 8,000 gallon 1917-design radial course tank car! Just like its prototype, this car will stand out on any layout situated from 1917 to 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, Founder