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Dapol Class 22 - Photo Review





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#1 Andy Y

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:03

Side_Valances.jpg

All images open up as high-resolution when clicked

As an indication of the length of time that is actually involved with producing a model from the word "Go!" is the fact that Dapol's announcement that they were to produce the Class 22 was first made on RMweb on 04 March 2008. So, was it worth the wait?

The Class 22 is Dapol's first OO new (as opposed to acquired or inherited mouldings) locomotive that is marketed under their own name and follows closely after the Model Rail Sentinel and Kernow Well tank which were Dapol's first newly produced OO locos. There have been high expectations for the model and we've been party to updates and discussions over the prototype on the site which makes it feel a little closer to our interests.

Specification


Twin Brass flywheels
5 pole skew wound motor
See through spoked driving wheels
NEM coupler pockets
Custom fitted removable valances
Directional lighting
21 pin decoder socket
Provision for large sound speaker
Internal cab lighting
Accessory bag
Etched roof fan grille
Sprung buffers
Self adhesive headcode markings
Factory fitted etched depot plaque (where applicable)
Separately fitted wire handrails, windscreen wipers and lamp brackets

What to look for on the shop shelf.

The model is packaged in Dapol's new style blue and silver colourway and is a sturdy box with lid lined with foam. The loco is protected by an acetate fold-around within the foam, there is a space at each end of the box and each should contain an acetate packaged detailing pack, one with buffer beam detail and lifting eyes, the other with the side valances and headcodes.

Open_Box.jpg

Appearance

The model undoubtedly captures the look and presence of the Class 22 and scales accurately to all major dimensions - reference.

No_valances.jpg

The image above shows the model as unpackaged without the side valances fitted which enables the chassis detail to be seen. The valances are provided within the detailing pack for the customer to fit or omit dependent on preferences or to model the state of a particular class member at a given time as the individual valances were known to be lost or not re-fitted on occasion. The image at the top of the page shows the model with the valances fitted and the buffer beam detail attached.

The model is that of D6331, a later boxed-headcode loco, which was delivered in July 1960 and was in service until March 1971.

Fronta.jpg

The proportions and placement of the key features on the distinctive face of these locos is very well captured. Reference images of D6331 and some other locos shows a horizontal panel line about 60% of the way down between each headcode box and the bottom of the front panels. The model does not appear to record this small variation in detail and could be easily created by the modeller if so desired. To have included that detail would have further limited the numbering possibilities for the models, and is understandable. For a relatively small class of 58 locos there was a significant number of small detail variations between class members.

Side.jpg

The placement and size of each of the side grilles is accurate from reference to photographs and are moulded as part of the body. There is no significant visibility through the grilles on prototype images so it would have been relatively wasteful to have produced the model with etched grilles although there could be potential for an aftermarket product to give finer detail.

Side_cab.jpg

The bogie side detail is very well defined and the appearance of the speedo-cable and other cable runs on the bogie and chassis side is well represented whilst being sufficiently robust not to be damaged in handling. Comparing the model there appears to be more clearance between the top of the bogie and the body sides which makes it appear a little too top-heavy but this is no worse or noticeable than most other models of other types or manufacturer.

The front face of the bogie as shown in the image above of the front face is very well reproduced and is the best that I have seen on any mass-market RTR loco to date. The distinctive spoked wheels are well modelled and are darkened, the images may show them to be lighter than they actually are as it was necessary to use side-lighting to make the detail visible in the images.

The cab interior is modelled and painted and should be possible to unclip this from inside the loco to fit driver detail if required.

Top.jpg

Roof detail on the Class 22 is relatively minimal but all detail and panel lines shown on prototype images has been accurately reproduced with a fine but robust etched fan grille.

Underneath and inside

Turning the loco over it may be advisable to keep the acetate wrap-around that the loco is packaged in to act as a cradle as the rounded roof profile of this loco makes it difficult to balance upside-down.

Under.jpg

There are two screws holding the central fuel tank cover in place. Removing this reveals a block which is part of the casting with a screw into the chassis block that may be required to completely dismantle the loco. It should not be necessary for the user to remove this screw for access at any time.

The NEM pockets for the tension lock couplings are easily removed by a single screw into the chassis block for those not requiring this coupling method.

The measurement inside the bogie frame is 21.5mm which is a consideration for any modeller wishing to replace the wheelsets in conversion to EM/P4 and it looks perfectly possible to shave another 1.5mm from this on each side if required.

Unclip.jpg

The bogie frames and base unclip by pressing inwards and down on the clips marked with red circles on Dapol's maintenance illustration below to reveal the wheelsets and gears, the lubrication points have been marked by the red circles.

Lubricate.jpg

The model is supplied ready lubricated with a sealed gearbox and a recommendation of 30 minutes running in each direction on a DC supply before fitting a DCC decoder so no initial maintenance before use is required.

The body is easily removed by placing the loco on a firm surface, placing fingernails inside each side of the body toward the centre and simply lifting off.

Open.jpg

Inside the PCB can be seen sitting on top of the chassis block, the image above shows the blanking plate removed from the 21-pin socket. There is sufficient space and clearance for a wide range of decoders and a mounting position for a speaker on the opposite half of the body is provided.

Open2.jpg

The body is wired and connected to the PCB via a 4-pin socket for interior lighting which is a DCC function. The above image shows the fixing method for the side valances discussed in the following Detail Pack section of the review.

Performance

The loco was tested on a 2nd radius set-track oval controlled by a HM2000 DC controller. The first loco supplied displayed an electrical connection issue where the PCB became hot after 10 minutes of running, the lights were then flickering before ceasing to respond. The replacement unit has shown no similar issues and has been running continuously for over 90 minutes without problem.

The slow-speed control through the super-creep motor after running in is superb with the loco taking 15 seconds to cover 1cm and should be adequate for accurate shunting moves. The performance through the speed range is silk smooth although the loco is possibly a little noisier than other production locos but is certainly nothing untoward.

The loco has comfortably handled eight Mark 1 coaches around the test oval and should be capable of all appropriate usage required by the modeller. The loco has all wheel current collection via wipers onto the brass bushes where the wheelsets sit in the bogie and drives through all wheels.

Whilst in DC control the model has directional lighting with an LED lit headcode and appropriately dim marker lamps in the forward direction and a similarly dim red tail lamp at the rear.

Any stuttering in the video below is due to camera/youtube rather than the model.



Detail packs

The model is supplied with full buffer-beam detailing for both ends of the loco. The standard of fit for these parts into the buffer-beam is excellent but a small dab of adhesive is recommended to keep them in place. The holes for the parts are aligned to ensure the detail parts are correctly fitted. Although the tension lock couplings have lateral movement it may be possible to fit some of the detail whilst retaining the supplied couplings. A cosmetic screw-link coupling is supplied.

The model is also supplied with a sprue of bogie lifting-eyes, 4 for each bogie and four spares. They're rather small and I chose not to fit these to the bogies at this stage but the fitting points are shown in the illustration below.

Eyes.jpg

The side valances for the loco are labelled L1-5 and R1-5 and are a push fit upwards in between the side of the body and chassis. I would recommend that the modeller fixes these in place with a small dab of super-glue or similar once you have decided the configuration you wish to model to ensure that these do not come lose during operation or future maintenance. This is a commendable approach to giving the modeller some input into variations between class members.

Valences.jpg

The model is supplied with self-adhesive headcode numbers and letters and gives the potential to model different train reporting numbers in classes 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,0. The transfers have the numbers and letters as a see-through section within the black surround. Although this may appeal to those who like to see the lit headcode in darkened conditions I would prefer to make my own reporting numbers with white lettering which would look better in daylight conditions. The headcode lighting is a blueish-white and I would prefer to the headcode to have a warmer light.

Cab.jpg

Summary

Dapol's first major OO release under its brand is excellent and does show that a lot of time and care has been given to producing a high quality RTR model of a distinctive prototype. This signifies an accomplished entrance into a very competitive marketplace based upon a quality proposition rather than being designed and engineered down to a price point.

*I can see that I did not fully seat the body back on the chassis in the above shots; apologies for this but I can assure readers that the gap is less than that shown in the images.

Availability

Production models of this Green/Small Yellow Panel version and hopefully a BR Blue version should be available by the weekend of the Warley Show and available from Gold Stockists and Dapol's website at the same time. The balance of the production models should be available from mid-December.
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#2 'CHARD

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:10

Many thanks Andy for that thorough appraisal. These Waverley Route regulars (ahem) are sure to find a home at Teviotbank, what a beauty that is.*

Praiseworthy efforts from Dapol Dave's team, this should be handsomely rewarded with healthy sales and layouts to boot - my mental Forest of Dean shunting puzzle is fast becoming irresistible.

Hopefully these will be available at Warley, it's straight after payday!
:sungum:

EDIT: just clicked on the HD images second time through and the model really does look staggeringly excellent. This bodes WELL for other intended releases. Gobsmacked.

* well if the Lord Nelsons were delievered via Hawick I'm sure one of these will have been!

Edited by 'CHARD, 08 November 2011 - 12:17 .


#3 S.A.C Martin

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:12

Fantastic review Andy - and it seems, a fantastic model to match. I can't wait for the Class 29s (hint, hint) ;)

Good job chaps, I hope it sells very well for you.

Edited by S.A.C Martin, 08 November 2011 - 12:13 .


#4 Allegheny1600

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:13

Staggering!
Thanks for posting, Andy.
Cheers,
John E.

#5 Tim

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:26

Roll on the plain green version! ;)

Wonder who will be the first to put wider gauge wheels in, seeing as you've mentioned the narrrow-ish gap between sideframes.... (hint hint chrisf - fun times for us!)

#6 DapolDave

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:31

Hi chaps,

Just to elaborate slightly on Andy's review.
The sample that blew was one of 7 sent to me specifically for Magazines etc, and at no time did China tell me that the models contained PCB boards that were not production ones :banghead:
It was only reporting this fault yesterday to China that this came to light or else i expect they would have remained silent of the subject. (Where's an emoticon for punching someone in the head, when you need it?)

Rest assured i will find out why, and get some damn good answers to my rather probing questions whilst i'm holding a plank of wood with a rust nail banged through it in a threatening manner!!!
cheers
Dave
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#7 roundhouse

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:33

Puts my Hornby conversion with spoke wheels new bogies and new mechanism to shame!

Looks like I will be getting a few of these!

#8 Andy Y

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:35

Dave read the email from China out to me a little earlier and I can vouch for the frustration over a minor issue.

Hopefully these may be of use to Dave - Posted Image Posted Image
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#9 10800

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:36


The model is supplied with self-adhesive headcode numbers and letters and gives the potential to model different train reporting numbers in classes 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,0. The transfers have the numbers and letters as a see-through section within the black surround. Although this may appeal to those who like to see the lit headcode in darkened conditions I would prefer to make my own reporting numbers with white lettering which would look better in daylight conditions. The headcode lighting is a blueish-white and I would prefer to the headcode to have a warmer light.
.


Not being unduly concerned about lights, I would probably look at fixing the headcode transfers to very thin white plasticard to highlight the characters - I presume there is clearance to do this Andy?

#10 Andy Y

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:41

Yes; I would say there would be Rod. Failing that, maybe some thin white vinyl.

#11 edcayton

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 13:00

Hi Andy, thanks for a full and objective review. Bearing in mind what Dapol Dave said to me at the RMWeb members' day, are there any notes in the instructions about what type of controller to use, or more importantly NOT to use with the loco?

Ed

#12 Dogmatix

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 13:14

Andy, thanks for the in-depth review and the excellent pictures. I am not sure whether to get a new one asap or wait for Kernow's weathered version...

I see that the NEM pocket is mounted on a simple pivot, with no attempt at a close-coupling mount. Well, at least it's not moulded into the bogie frame Bachmann-style. However, the bogies are not so close to the ends on this locomotive, and it looks like removing the provided coupling leaves a nice flat surface and there might just be enough room for a close-coupling mount there.

#13 DapolDave

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 13:18

Hi Ed,

The controller issue is a tricky one and one i have to be careful about naming names.

I'd rather just give outlines on what i consider to be appropriate to the model if thats ok.
DCC, pretty much any, but please check online as some controllers have been noted to give a spike of 50+ V through the track.
Decoders for DCC? well i truly believe you get what you pay for, but i understand budgets are an issue in these austere times.

DC controllers, well much as i love them, the older controllers are not the place to be, and you would be amazed at how many N gaugers change controllers from their old H&M to a Gaugemaster and notice a big difference.
I'm not a fan of feedback controllers myself, having been bitten in N gauge with them, but there are some good ones out there.
Ones that are re-packaged to look modern when in fact some of the internals are stone age i'd steer clear of.

I think it's quite subjective, and i'm sure (without looking) there are plenty of pro's and cons for most, and some of our more learn'ed members here will be able to comment accordingly.
cheers
Dave
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#14 Captain Kernow

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 13:33

What a staggering model, and a superb review, Andy - the best I think I've ever seen anywhere!

Hopefully Ultrascale will get their hands on one of these soon - having done a conversion pack for EM & P4 for the Model Rail Sentinel, I would hope that this one won't be too far behind!

Just spent a little while with my local model shop owner sorting out my order and a couple of others, at one point he rang Dapol to check, and I think we have it straight now :D

#15 DapolDave

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 13:53

If unltrascale want to contact me i can supply them with a pre-production model to play with?
If that helps?
cheers
Dave
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#16 The Stationmaster

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:33

At last - a better mousetrap. well done Dapol and it bodes well for the hydraulics (various) to come.

#17 brushman47544

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:48

Wow. And the wife's agreed to give me a Kernow weathered one for Christmas. :sungum:

Certainly bodes well for the Westerns, although they will hopefully not be 3½ years in the making - I can't believe its that long, but well worth the wait. Well done Dapol.

#18 Removed a/c_Max Stafford

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:50

This model looks incredibly good and will be very hard to resist. It has definitely been worth waiting for NBLs to appear in model form.
Putting my saddo hat on for a minute, I observe that the OHL flash is of the 1980s rather than original design, but if that's all the fault a man can find...!

Good things come to those who wait!

Dave.

#19 Andy Y

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:53

Off-forum discussions have raised a couple of issues worthy of clarification.

Speedo cable

The image below shows the speedo cable on the left hand bogie. This is correct but therefore should not be fitted to the other bogie on the opposite site. This would be an easy removal for the modeller.

Posted Image

Horn apertures

The two round apertures above the headcode boxes next to the warning flashes should not be glazed. A dab of black will fix that or drill/push the glazing back.

#20 Removed a/c_oldlugger

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:59

A very nice looking model but the body seems to be sitting too high off the bogies with a larger gap than is found on the prototype. Maybe this is just on the sample and the production run will be different?

#21 Andy Y

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 15:01

You can certainly drop it 1mm more than the initial photos show (I did mention I'd not re-seated it absolutely correctly) but I did mention the bogie/body gap in the review.

I've just taken a further shot to show the body correctly seated.

cab_sit.jpg
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#22 coachmann

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 15:06

As I said on another thread, the new instant-Youtube- RMweb/Andy Y reviews cannot be beaten. Now I have to admit I detested the look of these spoked wheeled chopped nose diesels when they appeared in the late 1950s railway press, but this is a very fine model of the real thing and that makes a big difference. Am I tempted. Of course.....I wouldnt be an enthusiast if I wasn't. :D
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#23 bennyboy

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 15:11

A very nice looking model but the body seems to be sitting too high off the bogies with a larger gap than is found on the prototype. Maybe this is just on the sample and the production run will be different?




"I can see that I did not fully seat the body back on the chassis in the above shots; apologies for this but I can assure readers that the gap is less than that shown in the images."

#24 coachmann

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 15:17

:D Warblers Invisible Ink is a growth market...

#25 bluex5

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 15:19

I like it alot. Especially the spoked wheels and the fine detail on the bogies. Andy's reports on the chassis performance sounds very encouraging too. I have been hoping Dapol would get this one right and I have to say it's nice to see a model that looks "right" from the off without making you question or check any aspect of it's appearance.