I've done a short review on these tank cars two years ago but this time I have to show off and review the "head end shield" version of this tank car.
Lionel did an excellent job on these cars with the head end shields attached.
The good and bad.
1. Corner end steps/stirrups are too thick.
2. The weight is a little too light for the size of this car. I'm unsure of the NMRA standards on this.
1. All railings and ladders are metal which helps durability and prevents breakage.
2. The end platforms are etched metal see through.
3. All details are separately applied.
4. Manway top opens.
5. Lettering is crisp and easy to read including the small writings in the DOT diagram.
I compared this tank car to the only other model train manufacturer I could find that produces this tank car with the half height head end shields and that is Scale Trains rivet counter line in HO scale. If Lionel had the coupler lift bar and prototypical end/corner steps they could give Scale Trains a run for their money. With that said, I'm very happy with this tank car and want two more.