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  1. I've decided to start a thread where I hope that BMR fans can share their experiences with building the various BMR freight cars that are currently available. I have just completed my 9th car which is a 10,000 gallon, two-dome AC&F type 27 tank car. This is from the third set of instructions that the BMR gang has released. Here are some building notes, comments and tips that I thought may be useful to other builders. 1. Overall, the instructions are a superb. The wealth of information that they contain really shows the dedication, skill and knowledge of the BMR team. I love the histories that begin each instruction book. The blueprint pages are very helpful in some situations. This set of instructions will build 6 different variations of the AC&F type 27 tank car. This leads to a parts list that will take some careful reviewing to insure that you are ordering the correct parts for the variation that you choose to build. BMR did a great job of making this as clear as possible but you will need to pay attention! To create a manageable parts list, I re-created the variations I wanted on LDD and then turn that file into a Bricklink parts list. Before anybody asks, no I will not share my LDD files. That would deny BMR their compensation for the effort in producing these fine instructions. As a side note, I was able to get 95% of the parts for three tankers from one USA Bricklink dealer for about $160.00. This did not include parts for 6 sets of trucks which I had already built. I'd estimate I spent about $100.00 on this car including the decals but not the price for the instructions. 2. Ok, on to the actual build. The first part of the build is the black frame which is standard to all variations. Black is a tricky color to print and all is clear until you get to page 11 where you build and install the brake rigging. One thing that was a little confusing was that you build the rigging on page 10 and then for the install, you have to flip it upside down which is not readily clear or easy to do. I think it would be better to build the rigging the same way that it is installed so you're not having to do mental 180's. The bigger problem on page 11 is that it is virtually impossible to actually tell where sub-assembles 12 and 13 actually get installed. Number 12 is not too hard to figure out as there is an obvious spot for it but Number 13 is impossible from the graphic printed. A better picture of the area is on page 14 and page 5 (some what). After consulting these other photos, I determined that there is an error here. It looks to me that both sub-assemblies are installed on the same plane. The problem is that there is no obvious spot of #13 to go like there is for #12. If you attached #13 one plate-width off of #12, it will interfere with the rigging install. I solved the problem by removing the 2x2 corner plate (installed back on the very first step on page 6) to create a spot for the #13. I then filled in the rest of that area with two 1x1 plates. Here is a photo of that area to clear things up. 3 The frame is fragile. It fell apart many times during construction. I have considered making the two middle struts two studs wide so that they would catch the ends of the 1x8 tiles but have not done so yet. It would be an easy mod. You can see in this photo that the lower running boards get miss-aligned very easily. This fragility is not much of an issue once the model is complete but will lead to some choice words during the construction phase! 4. Building the tank. I substituted a 2x14 plate on page 15, step 1 and Page 20, step 5. Tank construction went smooth until I got to installing the side panels an page 45. When I tried to install these, the headlight bricks would "crush" inward and not affix smoothly to the 2x8 plates. I fixed this by re-doing the tanker core. I did not take a photo of the change and I will try to explain as clear as possible. Basically, what I did was install a 2x2 (2x4 for the center) plate on the back of all of the blue headlight bricks. So on page 16, step 6, change the black 2x2 plate to a 2x4 so that is catches the back of all eight blue head-light bricks eventually installed. You will have to re-order your building steps to accomplish this. On page 18, step 9, delete the yellow 1x2 and substitute a 2x2. Four more 2x2 plates will be needed to finish this mode. I hope this makes sense. There is a small goof on page 52, step 6. It shows that four 1x1 tiles are to be installed but it only shows the placement for 2 of them. Pages 53 and 54 show where these are to go under the running boards and behind the rails. 5. Apply the decals before installing the hand-rails, top running boards, or the tank to the frame. First off, I love the BMR decals! They are very easy to install compared to other decal methods. Those that have struggled with the old-fashion "water-slide" ones know what I'm talking about. Installing the decals on a curved surface required a little care to make sure they were straight. I built a simple cradle to hold the tank to prevent it from rolling at a critical moment with installing a decal. The "Esso" decal was the trickiest to get in the right spot. I trimmed the decal as close as possible on the right side so that it would fit a snugly next to the 1x1 clip holding the upper running board. Make sure that the bottom lettering ("Products") is lined up exactly along the bottom of the curved slope pieces. If you do, the spacing will work out nicely. You will be able to see the word "Dependable" between the running board and the hand rail. 6. Hand rails. I departed from BMR plan here and resorted to one of my favorite Lego tricks - copper wire! As you can see, I was able to achieve a nice smooth curve around the ends of the tanker with 3mm rigid hose and without those minifig hands. The first step is to find some 12 gauge copper wire with the insulation removed. This gauge of wire fits perfectly inside 3mm Rigid hose. I used 2 pieces of part number 75c36 (rigid hose, 3mm, Black). It's a little rare but not expensive. You can use what ever lengths you want; just keep threading pieces on to your copper wire. You will need about 21 inches (70 studs) worth of tubing to encircle the tank. I cut the copper wire so that about an inch stuck out both sides. I then clipped one end on to the tank so that the copper wire is centered on the side of the tank. Bend the hose around the end of the tank using gentle pressure The 6x6 radar dish will form the curve. Keep bending the wire until you can clip it in on the opposite side of the tank. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to sharpen the corners. Repeat on the other end but start by sliding the 2nd piece of hose other the exposed copper wire from the first install. Bend this hose into place and sharpen the corners. Mine looked like this at this point. I then trimmed the copper wire so that the ends met and cut a short piece of hose that would fill in the gap over the copper wire ends. The end result looks like a seamless loop. That's about it. This was a very enjoyable car to build and I look forward to the next model which will be a flatcar with a load. Cant wait to see what "load" the guys will come up with. If you have any questions, please ask. I will back-tracking and will give an account of both the boxcar and the hopper. Look for those over the next week along with several boxcar variations that I have built.