ICC Class 103 10,000 Gallon Tank Car

Let us begin with a model of the ICC Class 103 10,000 gallon tank car in UTLX livery by Tichy Train Group.

Scale: HO


ERA 1918 TO 1955


I failed to capture the build process in photos. It came together alright; some imperfections are evident. I learned a lot about handling styrene-molded grabirons. There are no cut levers yet. I am launching with this project with the aim to relearn airbrushing, and we will see that the paint job looks pretty good even if it is far from perfect.


By chance I happened to have a sandy brown primer, Vallejo 614.

Note the cheapo extruded foam support. It has styrene support stands from a Tichy box car kit that will be the subject of a different post.

I tried to layer the paint with a grayer brown before black (Vallejo 71.131), but the black top layer naturally overtook the layering and the subtlety was lost – a total beginner mistake. A future post will show the much better results from preshading a box car.

The later layers came a little heavy, which left a barely visible non-uniformity on the bottom of the tank that is not visible here.

After painting, Tamiya X-22 sealed it with a clear semigloss for decaling.


The decals were the Tichy UTLX set. I lazily went with the default car number. This was my first decaling in some time, and it went better than expected.

After this, it got another coat of X-22 and awaits weathering, along with finer detail painting. After weathering and a dull coat, let’s hope the decal edges are less visible.

Unfinished Weathering Story

Weathering tank cars and steam locomotives is new to me, so I did some research. For a model representing a used look of a middle-aged car, I found a few reference photos. A trip to the Colorado Railroad Museum gave me a few examples of cars in various states of repair:

An additional period photo gave a look more similar to what I seek (from Modeling the SP):

From http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2020/08/tank-cars-in-service.html; Photo by George Sisk

I set out to use oil paints in a dilute wash on a practice piece (an old/used Proto 2000 tank car that I got cheap at a show). The results were just so/so.

Where I conclude this post is with the need to begin a larger weathering “voyage of discovery” before I ruin good models.

Model Link of the Day

YouTuber Scale-A-Ton has been an inspiration for doing better weathering.

Building the USS Johnston DD-557 Fletcher Class Destroyer 1/700 Scale Model Ship


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