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  1. Although the situation is improving there is still little variety in available Z gauge freight stock. I've amassed a decent collection of Tenshodo, Rokuhan and PRM Loco wagons but some obvious ones are still not available. The distinctive Taki 5450 tank cars in their yellow colour scheme are one such. So the thought was to try and scratchbuild some. However I recently picked up a load of MTL Z including a starter set. In amongst the box was a very sad looking MTL tank wagon with an end missing and damaged couplers which looked like it could be a suitable donor vehicle. First thing to do was to eliminate the moulded seam along the length of the barrel and make new recessed ends for the tank. . Then add hand rails at either end, these came off some Marklin 4 wheel tank wagons that had donated their chassis to British 20 Ton brake vans Painted in Ford Signal yellow with the chassis painted black it was now time for the homemade decals to finish it off. This was going to involve some work with Adobe Photoshop. I had found a good broadside photo of one on Wiki Commons which I cropped around the lettering. The image size was then shrunk to the length of the tank It need rotating about 1 degree clockwise to line it up I then converted it to grey scale and tuned the contrast right up
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