American Z Line 1917 General American Tank Cars

rray Jan 13, 2022

  1. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Today I received some of the new AZL 1917 General American Tank Cars and these babies are really nice looking jewels. I don't have a test track at this time, so this is just a first glance at them. As you can see from the #11 blade next to this sample, these cars are small. Really small! The paint is crisp and thin. I suspect the dome is a separate part because how good the paint lines separate.
    Image1.jpg

    As small as they are they seem to have good heft to them. I weighed mine at 13 grams, which is fairly heavy for a Z Scale car. The wheels are very free spinning, so the should roll very nice. One thing I did notice, and it's on all 4 cars I have, is that the journal box on the trucks seems to hit the drop step. I might have to trim a bit of plastic if it causes any problems.
    Image4.jpg

    The printing is fantastic. All the lettering on the car is crisp and readable, and the printing is not thick. I took a super macro picture of the printing on the bottom right of the tank, and it is surprisingly legible. This considering you are looking at an area of text that is 2.7mm x 2.7mm of this car.
    Image3.jpg

    Overall the car measures L 50mm x W 12mm x H 21mm not including the couplers. There are 4 placard plates, one on each side. The dome looks finescale, with good detail, and zooming in to the rivets, they look great, just like the big rivets they used to use back in those days. The only thing that looks odd to my eye is the brakewheel, which seems kind of thick and small, but I have to look over prototype photos to confirm.
    Image2.jpg

    I really like these cars for steam and early diesel era modeling, and I hope to see more such offerings in the future. Now to trim the journal box rub, and weather these cars. These cars come with K type brakes, but many were retrofit in the mid 40's to AB brakes in order to continue interchange service.
     
  2. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    Nice review. I always thought they looked good, but up close, they still look really good!

    Scott
     
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  3. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Oh yeah, they do look good. These can only be classified as Jewels! I would rather own these than a Emerald or Ruby any day!
     
  4. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    They track well too.
    122A61EC-6618-43DD-A69C-BA35BAB52288.jpeg A little dusty but they are sharp and nice looking. They really are little gems
     
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  5. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Nice review Robert, still gotta' get me a couple!(y)
     
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  6. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Robert! I grabbed a couple of the Roma Wine ones when they first came out. I was really impressed with them out of the box, but then I had a few derails and set them aside for further inspection. Thanks for pointing out the conflict, easy fix.
     
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  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Today I was sitting an looking at these tank cars. I tried to find prototype photos, but only found one from 1924, and the car looked old then. I found out that in 1917 at some point just after these tank cars were made, the laws changed and all new tank cars needed to be built with double rows of rivets, and these are single row of rivet cars. Yesterday I had found out that these cars had K type brakes and in the mid 1940's, K brakes had to be removed in favor of AB brakes with the large air reservoir separate of the triple valve.

    So as always I took my first attempt at weathering to the extreme. I am not sure I am happy with it, but here are the mods. First I had to put placards for gasoline service on: Image5.jpg

    I made them peel and stick:
    Image6.jpg

    Thin I killed the car with what I think is a bit too much weathering. But it looks old now:
    Image7.jpg

    Image8.jpg
     
  8. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Did you use weathering powders or airbrush? I might mess around and try some weathering this weekend. I’ve just been lazy lately with it.
     
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  9. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I sprayed it with Dullcote, then misted with Alcohol, then applied Rustall, then Bragdons Powders, then water and downwards brushing, then air dry. The problem is the reaction between Dullcote and Alcohol is so much stronger of whitewash when the spraycan of Dullcote is almost empty.

    I had heard from an old timer in the hobby decades ago, that before Dullcote came out, people would mix talcum powder in model airplane "Dope" to get a flat finish. And that Dullcote was only clear coat with talc, so you have to shake the can real good before use.
     
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  10. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting….I’ve done straight alcohol wash then powders with good effect to get a washed out look on the brown box cars.
    I wonder if a heavier brush of alcohol on black tank car might lighten it up with out making it too washed out?
     
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  11. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Actually, another shot of Dullcote will make the whitewash disappear, but will seal in the chalk and rust.
     
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  12. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Rob,
    Nice job!
    Did you make the placards and decals?

    Scott
     
  13. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Rob, just some various black-ish around the cap, cover, side and body A little on the sill/frame too.

    just like the märklin reframing, excellent work once again.
     
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  14. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Just put a couple of pigeons on top and that will explain everything.
     
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  15. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Ok I got motivated so I used a heavy alcohol wash. Then dry brushed after the haze. Then light rust powder.
    0541BA7F-7697-4EE7-94A5-AEA02195E205.jpeg
     
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  16. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    What is a heavy alcohol wash?
    That looks nice in the way I would like to weather my cars. I mean I love heavy weathering and it looks more realistic but then your cars are confined to the diorama or layout they belong in. The light amount of weathering you did makes the details more visible without making the cars look like something you might not want to pick up ;)
     
  17. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    What I do is take a thick paint brush dip entirely in 90% alcohol. With out dispersing it or dabbing on towel I take the brush and stroke the entire car. As it dries it leaves a white haze. Don’t worry let it dry completely about 30 minutes. Then take a stiff brush and wipe. The haze will come off and the surface will take the wearing chalks better. I apply with a light brush then use a firm brush to get excess off and put most of chalk in rivets or other raised components hatches etc.
     
  18. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Nice, thank you! I'm going to try that right away.
     
  19. CNE1899

    CNE1899 TrainBoard Member

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    Joe,
    I too like that level of weathering. Thanks for sharing your technique!
    What type/brand of chalk do you use?

    Scott
     
  20. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    I got Bragdons weathering powders. I got the whole set years ago. A little goes a long way. Definitely worth it.
     

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