First Look Review
O scale
8000 Gallon Tank Car
O 8,000 Gallon Tank Car [2 Rail] Hooker Chemicals & Plastics
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

8,000 Gallon Tank Car from Atlas Model Railroad is an O scale (1/48) model offered for 2-rail and 3-rail 027 modelers. Item# 3004829 bears the colorful livery of Hooker Chemicals & Plastics No. 6188. This particular model is the 2-rail version, the 3-rail model item number is 3003829.

Quarterscale military modelers -- note the diorama potential of this model! I display it with 1/48 figures, a 1/48 Fordson tractor, and a 1/50 M3 half-track.

This model is part of Atlas O Steam Era Classics range, which is under the Atlas Master Line banner. Atlas' history of the model reads
    The ACFฎ 8,000 Gallon Type 27 Tank Car was one of the most popular standard design riveted tank cars of the first half of the twentieth century. ACFฎ built more than 1,800 of these cars for a wide variety of customers in the petroleum, chemical, and food industries. Virtually every bulk liquid or gas of the era was shipped in these cars (and its similar 10,000 gallon brother). Typical products included petroleum, acids, alcohol, propane, ammonia, molasses and vegetable oil.†

Technical data:
AAR Class: T: Tank Car. Tank car means any car which is used only for the transportation of liquids, liquefied gases, compressed gases, or solids that are liquefied prior to unloading. Car may be without underframe if container serving as superstructure is designed to serve as underframe. If car has underframe, it must be designed only for the carriage of one or more enclosed containers (with or without compartments) that form the superstructure and are integral parts of the car.
AAR Type: T102
Detail Info: Tank Cars, General Service Cars, Carbon Steel Tank (Welded or Riveted), Includes Rubber Lined.
AAR 203,203W,211A60W1,211A100W1,211J100W1.
ICC or DOT 103,103W,104W,111A60W1,111A100W1,111A100W3,111A100W4, Capacity: 8,000-9,000 gal.

Atlas O has released this model at least 11 times since August, 2004. You can view the road names and release dates via Click here for additional images for this review, below.

I was hooked on this model the moment I opened the box: exceptional molding; high detail; separately applied grabs; air brake gear; excellent paint with crisp printing.

The Model
Atlas O secures this model in a form-fitted vacuform cradle held inside an end-opening carton with a cellophane window. The cradle has a clear form-fitted top. The top and bottom are held together with four tight-fitting peg-holes, and finger grips to help pull it out of the box. Soft plastic sheeting is used to prevent scuffing of the model.

Atlas produces this model with an injection body, die-cast chassis, and metal wheels. Molding is Atlas' typical high-quality with crisp detail and fine scaling. As usual I found no flash, sink marks, glue smudges, or visible ejector circles. And I look for those! However, I did find noticeable seam lines on several parts, the tank straps and brake gear components. I also found noticeable burrs from where the parts were removed from their molding runners.

Atlas O offers this tank car for both 2- and 3-rail 'Hi-Rail' operation. Atlas O scale couplers are used on both 2-rail and 3-rail versions.

Atlas lists these features:
    Die-cast chassis
    Metal grab irons, handrails and stirrups
    Detailed body
    Accurate painting and lettering
    Minimum diameter curve: O-31 (3-Rail)
    Minimum radius curve: 24" (2-Rail)

This model is RTR (Ready-To-Run). Major components of this model are the metal center sill, an underframe with running boards cast in metal for weight, tank bottom sheet, the upper tank body, sprung trucks with metal wheels sets, and the couplers. The cast metal parts give weight to the model.

Plenty, including many separately applied detail parts:

    • AB brake triple valve, reservoir, cylinder, actuator arm and levers, and wire brake rod
    • Stirrups
    • Grab irons
    • Dome platform
    • Tank cradle (saddle)
    • Handrail mounting brackets
    • Expansion dome safety valves
    • Expansion dome manway cover
    • Metal handrails
    • Ladders
    • Brake wheel and stand
    • Angle cocks and air hoses
    • Four placard holders.

Detail that is molded /cast on is:

    • Tank retaining bands
    • Tank band anchors
    • Running board wood grain
    • Air line

A glaring omission are cut bars on each end.

Underneath is a good air brake system, even though the train line is cast on the frame and the push rods to the brake hangers do not go all the way to the trucks. Atlas O's tank car rides upon metal ASF Ride Control solid-bearing trucks mounting metal wheels. These good looking sideframes do not seem as thick as previous ones I've examined although those springs are still far too sprung. Real springs were usually so compressed that you can’t see much through them. Unfortunately, the cylinder and reservoir have seam lines that are noticeable even to my old eyes. And the tank retaining bands have noticeable gaps between the top and bottom half, and burrs where they were cut from their molding sprue.

Happily, knuckle couplers are factory installed.

I measured the wheels as in gauge. The couplers do not sag. The tank car weighs 15 ounces, slightly heavy compared to NMRA RP-20.1 Car Weight recommended weight of 14 oz. It is 36 scale feet from sill to sill and 41 feet from coupler to coupler. Atlas lists the minimum turning performance as O-31 for 3-rail, and a 2-rail minimum radius of 24".

Paint and Markings
This is an excellent feature of this model. The paint and printing is excellent — see the photos. Plenty to see: build and rebuild dates; appliance test dates; repack dates for the journals; capacity data; type and model of draft gear; couplers; triple valve, and more. Atlas O offers these tank cars with 5 new road names, and an undecorated model:

    Hooker Chemicals & Plastics (Orange/Black)
    Peerless Oil & Refining (Silver/Black/Red)
    Rohm & Haas (Green/Yellow)
    St. Louis Independent Packing (Black/White)
    Tidal Refining (Veedol Motor Oil) (Gray/Black/Orange)

Two numbers are available per road name.

Hooker did not have 8,000 gallon Type 27 tankers and Atlas' paint job is an "alternative" scheme. I am very happy they produced it!

My research reveals this as an accurate and authentic model of an ACF 8,000 gallon tank car. It boasts high detail, excellent paint and sharply printed data and markings. It rolls nicely on metal wheels and sports knuckle couplers. The missing cut levers, the seam lines, and the gaps in the tank retaining bands detract slightly from the exciting overall appearance. All the same, this is an excellent tank car.

I include photos of the car with 1/48 figures so you can better visualize this tank car on your layout scene or diorama. Whether you plan to use your 8,000 gallon tank car on an O scale layout or in a 1/48 diorama, this is an impressive model.

The Hooker scheme is a real eye-catcher! Highly recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here – on RailRoad Modeling.

† Atlas O, LLC

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Exceptional molding, high detail, separately applied grabs, air brake gear, excellent paint with crisp printing.
Lows: Seam lines, no cut levers, gap in the tank retaining bands.
Verdict: My research reveals this as an accurate and authentic model of an ACF 8,000 gallon tank car. The Hooker scheme is a real eye-catcher!
  Scale: O Scale (N
  Mfg. ID: 3004829
  PUBLISHED: Jul 21, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ฉ2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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