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Will a 1/76 Tank Fit a 1/87 Flat Car?

Miles sent in this question:

“I spotted a Sherman tank I really like for an HO scale flat car load. My dilemma is; the tank is not HO or 1/87 but is more like 1/76 scale. Will this still work on my HO scale flat car?

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6 Responses to Will a 1/76 Tank Fit a 1/87 Flat Car?

  • Davesays:

    It may fit, but it’s way too big.

    Artitic sells finished and unfinished Sherman’s and Alsacast sells unfinished kits (extremely easy to put together) at really low prices

  • Ian McIntoshsays:

    The Sherman tank dimensions were 5.84 x 2.62 x 2.74 m, or 19’2” long x 8’7” wide x 9′ high.
    The length is not a problem.

    The 8’7″ width is 8×12+7 =103 prototype inches. Dividing by 76 (or multiplying by 1/76) gives a model tank about 1.36″ wide.
    An HO scale flatcar 10′ wide = 120 prototype inches. Dividing by 87 (for HO scale) gives a model flatcar about 1.38″ wide.
    So the width would just fit a 10′ wide flatcar. The problem is that a North American AAR Plate J flatcar is 8′-9 1/2″ = 105.5 prototype inches wide. In HO scale that’s only 1.21″ wide, and the tank is wider than that. You might or might not get away with that.

    The height of 9′ is 108 prototype inches. Dividing by 76 gives a model tank about 1.42″ above the deck of the flatcar. An AAR Plate J flat is 3′-3 5/8″, or about 0.45″ in HO scale. The sum of those is 0.45″ + 1.42″ = 1.87″, which is safe.

    Check your bridges and tunnels to see if that’s too high.

    3′-3 5/8″ Clearance AAR PLATE J, J-1

  • James Vinskisays:

    Putting a 1/76 scale tank on an HO 1/87 flatcar may fit, but against other vehicles or figures it will look oversized. As it is closer in size to a 1/72 scale tank it would fit better there, but of course we don’t have 1/72 train cars in standard sizes. Ian has done some homework showing what HO cars to use. I haven’t checked to see if the wider flatcars were standard during WW2. Depending on how badly you want to “ship” it there’s probably not a problem, as long as clearances along the way are sufficient. ROCO makes HO 1/87 scale tanks, of course, and you might want to check their availability. That’s the fun about this hobby – if you want to use something, USE IT!! I’ve used 1/43 metal 1940s era cars for my layout because I like their looks and because it fitted my needs. Enjoy!

  • Don Schmittsays:

    Artitec offers HO scale tanks including several Shermans.

    They are available in the US from Reynaulds Euro Imports

  • geoffsays:

    If it’s the only tank you are going to have then it may not look too much out of place even though it’s bigger than it should be for HO. My concern would be that it might not fit under your bridges, tunnels, signal gantries, etc etc, and may hit the edge of your platform as it goes by.

  • Robert Johnstonsays:

    In this hobby, if it pleases you… you win. I think your tank idea will probably work out just fine. It’s only rivet counters that need perfection.

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