Sunday, January 2, 2011

Product Review - Doctor Ben's Rectangular Steel Tanks #9002 - Part 1

Today we take a look at a new product from Doctor Ben's Scale Consortium.  This is part #9002 Rectangular Steel Tanks, priced at $10.85 for two.  These tanks are a separate release from their recent acquisition of Thomas A. Yorke's line of quality structures.  I love Tom's stuff so I look forward to installing these tanks on my new diorama.

 The tanks come packed in plastic.   These are riveted metal tanks and can be used in scales HO, S and O.  An HO tank is 300 gallons, S is 225 gals and O is 161 gals.  While I could not find a prototype for these (or anything that Tom has designed) they look similar to other oil and water tanks that I've seen mounted on logging skidders and narrow gauge flat cars.
 I removed the first tank from the plastic.  These are heavy cast lab stone.  The detail is very good but a bit spartan.  You may want to dress up the tank's opening a bit.  The model is 1 inch wide, 2 inches long and about an inch high.  The weight is nice for mounting on a flat car, which is what I'm thinking about doing.

 This photo is a bit blurry, but the rivet detail is clean and well spaced.

 If you click on this photo you can expand it to see more of the detail.  As we work on this we'll demonstrate the detail.

 The bottom of the casting (one piece mold) is very rough.  We'll have to take care of that.

 Using a sanding sponge I milled off the bottom leaving a flat surface.

 Be sure to brush off all the lab stone dust that will accumulate between the rivets on the tank.

Grabbing a new can of Testor's Flat Black, I thoroughly coated the tank with gentle/thin passes.  Normally I would not spray in the workshop like this, but my air brush cabinet is still not installed.  Anyway, nothing beats some good fumes!

 I've recently discovered Chuck Doan's Garage Project and want to experiment with his weathering technique vs my own that I've used for years.  The photos in The Modeller's Annual really jumped out at me, so I have to try it.  In this photo I'm making some scratches in the model to show where the tank was grazed by another car or tree.  I'll dig into the model with the back of a hobby knife.

 My sweet wife brought me a big cup of hot orange tea.  There was no gin in it.  You'd think she could read my mind.

 After making the scratches in the lab stone part, I brushed the scratches with a brass brush to make them less pronounced.

 This time I'll use my technique which is spraying the tank with a fine coat of Floquil Aerosol Rail Brown. 

 Using multiple passes and very thin coats I painted the tank, including the bottom. 

We'll set both tanks aside to dry thoroughly overnight.  This is a critical step as we are going to scratch off later coats of paint, so the base coat MUST be very very dry.  Once the paint was on the surface the detail really came to life.

Overall:  I like the tanks and think they are a great fit on a logging or narrow gauge railroad.  They could replace a wood burning loco's source of fuel for an oil source, or for water storage on a flat car.  You can even build a water tank for a short line out of them.  There are lots of uses for such a tank, and two for $10.95 is not bad.  My only complaint is that the opening is a little plain and needs some dressing up.  I'd buy them.

Stay tuned for part 2!

1 comment:

  1. How 'bout another piece of equipment? A small vacuum cleaner to help with sanding dust? At one point I was checking out the 'dustbuster' size vacuums and had almost decided on a corded model (it even had a hose and brush attachment) that looked like it could be used to vacuum up loose scenery materials into the bag/container and dump the contents back into the supply bin for reuse, but I found another way to clean up that didn't cost as much!
    --Paul E Musselman


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