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MDC HO to HOn3 Tank Cars on the Cheap
 Moderated by: W C Greene
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 Posted: Thu Jul 31st, 2014 06:31 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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My train club has two Train Shows a year. One in January and one in July. The July Show was this past weekend. The Show usually has a number of what I call "Small Vendors" or those that sell mainly estate sale items. This is nice as it usually gives me a chance to get some older models, built, as kits or junk/parts from things long out of production.

While walking around to see what was being offered I found one vendor that had 6 of the old MDC 26' Tank Cars - Built - and another vendor that had one, also built. I bought 6 of the 7 MDC Tank Cars for an average price of $7.00 each.

The 26' MDC Tank Car looks very much like one of the narrow gauge UTLX Van Dyke Tank Cars as featured in the "Slim Gauge Cars" book.

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I keep a few sets of Blackstone HOn3 trucks on-hand but the only ones I had were the 3'7" version. I need 4'8" ones and have them on order from Caboose Hobbies. It is necessary to modify the way the Blackstone Trucks attach so I used the 3'7" trucks to get the frames ready for the longer wheelbase trucks when they arrive.

The Silver Tank Car was used to test my attachment method and has the HOn3 trucks installed. This was an quick and easy swap and I end up with a nice HOn3 Tank Car for less then $20 each.

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The Tank Cars will look much better when I get he 4'8" trucks installed. The Tank part also now sits a bit lower on the frame.
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While I am waiting for the 4'8" trucks to arrive I will be replacing some of the small detail parts that have been lost over time.

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 Posted: Fri Aug 1st, 2014 08:20 am
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Bernd
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Hi Bill,

I've often wondered if that was a possibility of using MDC tanks cars for narrow gauge. You just proved it.

Bernd



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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 05:41 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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I received the Blackstone 4'8" Bettendorf HOn3 trucks I had on order from Caboose Hobbies in todays mail. I ordered these on Friday and got them today, Monday, fast service.

It only took a couple of minutes to swap these trucks for the shorter Blackstone trucks I had used for a test fit.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 07:15 pm
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W C Greene
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Bill, the GRAMPS lettering on the D&RG cars was only on one side if you model any of those.

Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 07:43 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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Woodie,

Thanks for that bit of information. The only Tank Car I have that came with a GRAMPS decal is one of two Precision Scale Co. HOn3 kits I have.

So, I have to ask, which side got the GRAMPS logo?

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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 10:49 pm
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W C Greene
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It doesn't matter. The cars had GRAMPS on one side because they were never turned and ran past property where "Grampsw" lived and his grandkids could say "there go Gramp's cars". That's the story. BTW-Gramps was an oil company owner.

Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 11:38 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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W C Greene wrote:
It doesn't matter. The cars had GRAMPS on one side because they were never turned and ran past property where "Grampsw" lived and his grandkids could say "there go Gramp's cars". That's the story. BTW-Gramps was an oil company owner.

Woodie


That is good enough for me.

By the way, I just bought an HOn30 SUGIYAMA 14-Ton Heisler brass semi-kit. That means the chassis / running gear was put together for the buyer and runs good. Detail is said to be "phenomenal. It is coming from Washington State so I might get by Sat.



I will take some better pictures and start a thread for it when it arrives.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 02:18 am
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Bill Fornshell
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I didn't like the way the old frame looked so I made new ones.

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I like the new frame a lot better then the frame MDC used. MDC used a frame from a logging car for their tank car frame and I thought it looked to big for my narrow gauge version.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 9th, 2014 04:19 pm
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acousticco
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Yeah, those new frame look better, nice and low.

-Cody

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 Posted: Sun Aug 10th, 2014 03:23 am
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Bill Fornshell
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I have mounted the first five tanks on the frames I have finished. I have one more "built" Tank Car and four more to build. I also have to order five more sets of HOn3 Blackstone trucks for the new frames.

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Left over are the MDC frames / logging cars. I don't know if I want to try and convert them to HOn3 or if really need some, just go ahead and scratch build them. The left-overs look to big for HOn3.
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