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phantom (n) 1 phantom (n) 1. something elusive or visionary. 2. a representation of something abstract, ideal or incorporeal. (adj.) fictitious

Why did Gilbert never make a double dome tank car? They had single and triple versions, and even a single dome chemical version. The Other Guys had one that didnít look bad. Just as my RDC represents "what might have been", so does this. A "phantom", if you will.

I started with a junk tank car body (actually two) and started cutting. I removed the center section of the top of the tank along with the dome. To replace it, I heated a styrene sheet over a section of metal pipe in the oven until it sagged to the right curvature. The piece was fitted into place so as not to leave any gaps then cemented. Then the domes were filed to their "collars" and fitted into a hole cut in the top sections of the tank with drills and files, then cemented. Again, I took great care to match up the dome with its hole so as not to have any gaps. A new catwalk was made of styrene, and the car was painted with a custom mixed color to approximate the old Shell orange tank cars. It was assigned a plausible Gilbert number and assembled . It was then placed on an early junk metal frame, which had also been restored, and fitted with cast journal trucks and couplers with thin shanks.

Could this model ever be confused with an actual Gilbert model makerís prototype from the 40ís? One look at the dry transfer lettering and the date in the data lines will say otherwise.

Jerry Poniatowski
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