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Dapol A3 photo review

A3




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#1 Andy Y

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 18:16

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Very hot on the heels of Dapol's recently delivered A4 we now see the A3 very close on the horizon!

The first to arrive will be ND129a #60045 ‘Lemburg’ BR Lined Green Late Crest (Double Chimney, Banjo Dome, smoke Deflectors and GNR Tender) and ND129c #60079 ‘Bayardo’ BR Lined Green Early Crest (Single Chimney, round dome and GNR Tender) as shown below. Both locos are priced at £119.95 and will be followed by two LNER liveried models of ND129b #2750 ‘Papyrus’ LNER lined Apple Green (Single chimney , Round Dome, New type tender) and ND129d #4472 ‘Flying Scotsman’ LNER Lined Apple Green (Single Chimney, Banjo dome and corridor Tender).

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The first impression of the model is very good in terms of shape and stance capturing the classic lines well. As with the A4 the big improvement is the blackened wheel centres and excellent matt-silvered rods and valve gear. In 2mm scale there will always be compromises with valve gear and whilst being suitably robust it looks a little bulky under such close scrutiny as these hi-resolution supersized pictures but is substantially ahead of long-in-the-tooth previous offerings. The front bogie wheels suit the front end well with the NEM pocket mounted unobtrusively.

The livery is well applied and I'll be keen to see the LNER versions! The etched nameplates appear crisper under close scrutiny than those on the A4 but there are a couple of the digits in the numbers that are misaligned or a slight inclination on the cabside numbers which it may be worth checking for on your model.

The chassis specification and operation is the same as the A4 - the loco has pick-ups on all driving wheels and pinpoint bearing pick-ups on all eight tender wheels. The power collection wires run from loco to tender where the super-creep motor is housed with the drive back from the motor to the driving wheels via a cardan shaft. The rear drivers have traction tyres although these aren't visually obvious at an operational distance. Both locos perform smoothly and quietly under test and ably pull an equivalent load of over 15 Farish Mark 1 coaches

The loco includes a spares pack with cardan shaft, magnetic couplings, long/short plug-in coupling replacements and screw-link cosmetic couplings.

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#2 Coldgunner

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 18:21

V.nice, but are those deflectors upside down?

edit: correction, they are the right way up, doh!

Edited by Coldgunner, 02 April 2012 - 18:22 .


#3 woodenhead

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:07

V nice, when did the deflectors begin to be fitted?

#4 PaulRhB

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:13

Quite superb levels of detail, scenic modellers can really get the full advantage of N with rtr models like this. With sound fitted in a leading coach it's really making N attractive to model the wider landscape.

#5 S.A.C Martin

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:15

I only have one real criticism - the shape of the front bufferbeam is most odd, but I suspect has been done for the front coupling. Other than that, the A3 looks pretty sharp and very good overall. Slightly surprised they went for two GNR tender tops with the BR green versions - one of the GNR type and the non-corridor type would have covered most of the class in BR green. That said, possibly for a later release to maximise sales.

#6 coachmann

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:31

Truly amazing how 2mm has come on in the last few years. The pictures can look cruel at this size but I bet the model is a work of art to the eye.

The one thing that puzzled me (in 2mm and 4mm) is why manufacturers insist on moulding boiler bands that are to be lined out afterwards. Innevitably they are too thick and often too narrow. The printing process in 2mm should be sufficient so that only those bands that are not to be lined out, as on fireboxes, should be moulded and much finer too.

The lining on the cabsides and tender is superb and I doubt if many professional painters could get it so fine as the leave green showing between the black line and the orange. Bachmann should look at this get get their lining finer on their 4mm scale locos!

Edited by coachmann, 02 April 2012 - 19:34 .

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#7 bmthtrains - David

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:45

Another excellent looking model, thought those coupling rods etc do look rather chunky in the photos, not as fine as the Farish A1 sat in front of me. I look forward to seeing what the Scotsman looks like!

David

#8 Wyvern

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:46

Its just begging to be converted to 2mm FS :locomotive: . British N gauge keeps taking leaps forward in quality. Superb

#9 Les1952

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:52

Deflectors began to be fitted in 1961. Not all got them- not least of all the four at Carlisle didn't because the LMR wouldn't pay for them....

I looked at the shape of the deflectors to answer a question above and dived into one of the Keith Pirt albums- making an interesting discovery. On the real thing the deflectors weren't all the same shape! (I had assumed they were all the same.) I have the book open at a facing pair of locos and there are differences between the two in the shape and size of the cutout in the top as well as the shape of the brackets fixing them to the loco. I suppose it is what you get when they were fitted at sheds as well as at works.

Slot in lower buffer beam will allow a Rapido to lift- A3s were piloted at times and did work short-distance ecs tender first on occasions.

Nice model- I remember Lemberg at Darlington as standing pilot, a job which caused it to spend Christmas 1962 on Edge Hill shed, amongst other places it got to.

New-type tender is on 2750 when it comes, and corridoor on Scotsman, I gather.......

All the very best
Les

#10 Dr Al

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 20:47

I think that the majority of A3s didn't have deflectors this shape unfortunately. Suits 4472 now, but no other pictures I've found (online or flicking through "The Power of the A1s, A2s, A3s"). They also are very thick and crude (as are several of the details). I've already stashed some Farish ones for replacing them.

The cutout in the bufferbeam is ugly and unnecessary - Dapol already have couplers with sloped backs to clear such things - they were used on the Class 67. Even without these in the snaps it looks unnecessary. The cylinders again sit too low as do the slide bars, although the exact origin of this is more difficult to trace than the A4. The splashers also look overscale compared to prototype photos.

The tender looks odd, and I think this is because the lining and crest positioning is wrong (certainly for the majority of A3s) and the coal rails should be black (easy fix):

http://www.flickr.co...lan/5242709004/
http://www.railbrit....e2.php?id=28138

Again I can find no pictures of A3s like this - again frustrating as Dapol have got the raised upper area on the tender right and the lining will not be easy to fix. Seems a potentially careless error to me.

However, this model is worth working on for the better proportioned boiler and wheels as compared the Farish model, so is a much better starting point. Shame again that some careless mistakes have been made.

Cheers,
Alan

#11 justin1985

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 21:21

Those domes, and chimneys, don't look like they are fitting that well - especially the banjo dome. Looks like a disappointing gap underneath :(

#12 Andy Y

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 21:27

Those domes, and chimneys, don't look like they are fitting that well - especially the banjo dome. Looks like a disappointing gap underneath :(


Please bear in mind the level of enlargement at which you're looking at the model. Those are interchangeable parts and by necessity form a join (which you would struggle to see with the naked eye).

I thought doctors were supposed to make you feel better?
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#13 justin1985

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 21:41

Those are interchangeable parts and by necessity form a join (which you would struggle to see with the naked eye).


Looking again, I think the visual impression of a gap is accentuated by the matt finish. I'm not suggesting for a minute that it isn't a vast improvement on the Farish model though!

#14 Atso

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 22:21

When I had a look at the LNER green ones at Ally Pally I can't say I noticed the joins at all. To be honest I thought these really do look the business in real life but yes they do look rather crude when placed under the microscope. Agree with Dr Al, the cut out in the front buffer beam is annoying but again I can't say I noticed it in reality...

Full marks to Dapol here, now get my LNER green one to me quick!!!! :sungum:

#15 CF MRC

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 23:49

An amazing commercial model. Would be nice to have an apple green one to run on Copenhagen Fields at York this week end!

The photos are very cruel enlargements, and it will be interesting to see how easy it is to convert to 2mm fine scale. Replacing the boiler handrail knobs with split pin stanchions and the slightly large ejector pipe with a few other tweaks to the engine could transform it. The valve gear would certainly benefit from being thinned down a bit, although normal weathering would probably help a lot. Would be good to see the GN tender in LNER livery.

It will be interesting to compare its size against Denys Brownlee's 2mm Scotsman (see latest RM) and also one of this part-work 1:160 models that were knocking about a few years ago.

Tim

#16 Les1952

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:46

Looking at the tender lining- it appears to be the lining for a New-type tender applied to a GN. How noticeable at normal distances I don't know.

Splashers won't get any thinner on a plastic body with scale-sized wheels.

Having now got my first A4 when the coupler is fitted the cutout at the bottom of the bufferbeam can't be seen unless you specifically look for it.

I'm not sure if the deflectors were laser scanned or not, but with Scotsman having the only extant set of A3 trough deflectors if the prototype is wrong (which it is) what chance has the model got?

All the very best
les
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#17 Dave777

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:04

That does it more for me than the A4 does for some reason - superb work. Can't think of a reason why I'd want one unfortunately, but it's another cracking addition to the N gauge RTR fleet. And outstanding photos too Andy, great job.

#18 Captain Electra

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:44

Looks like an A3 to me :) I'm sure the aftermarket suppliers will be able to oblige the super-detailers with etched deflectors and front buffer-beams. For a mass-produced model in N, this is pretty damn good.

Dave had the LNER versions on show at Ally Pally which really attracted a lot of good feedback.

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#19 Dr Al

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:05

I thought doctors were supposed to make you feel better?


That's a very cheeky comment - I would have thought moderators should set a better example.......

Looking at the tender lining- it appears to be the lining for a New-type tender applied to a GN. How noticeable at normal distances I don't know.


The tender immediately stood out as wrong to me - and it's really the lining. Fortunately this does mean they'll be able to fix it in future. But why they couldn't get it right (as with so many of these things) to start with disappoints me.

I'm not sure if the deflectors were laser scanned or not, but with Scotsman having the only extant set of A3 trough deflectors if the prototype is wrong (which it is) what chance has the model got?


There is a vast amount easily available photographic evidence of the A3s. 30 seconds with "The Power of..." or "Lure of Steam" soon shows this. Should be easy to get right. Farish got these right 25 years ago.....

At least Farish ones are still able to be got as spares, so with some new handrails on them and filling the bufferbeam gap, replacement of the coupling hook and lamp irons the front end of the Dapol model should look even better.

I'm not suggesting for a minute that it isn't a vast improvement on the Farish model though!


Ditto. But still much improvement that can be made by the modeller. But once again I find it frustrating that Dapol have made some seemingly easily avoided errors - most notably the tender lining.

I hope they have the ability to check and change this (if necessary) on the blue version and future. The LNER green ones look really rather nice though.

Cheers,
Alan
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#20 Dr Al

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:11

P.s. 'Lemberg' in reality, showing the smoke deflector shape, crest positioning (difficult to see lining here), front numberplate position.

http://www.southern-...pId=102&id=3236
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#21 Removed a/c_Max Stafford

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:36

Dave, just a minor point about 60079. I notice she's got a 36a shedcode, but she was a Carlisle canal loco from 1948 so in her present configuration with diagram 94hp boiler, she is good for Jan '52 to Oct '53 and should have a '68E' code. Swapping the tender crest for the later emblem and giving here a double chimney makes the same engine good for June '58 - Jan '60 when she again carried a 94hp, as in my model below.
Hope the info is of use.

Dave.

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#22 Andy Y

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:36

That's a very cheeky comment - I would have thought moderators should set a better example.......


And leave you be to launch into your speedy and habitual criticisms without comment? There's just something about the tone and phraseology of the posts you make about new (Dapol) products that I find somewhat wearing.
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#23 orcadian

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:46

And leave you be to launch into your speedy and habitual criticisms without comment? There's just something about the tone and phraseology of the posts you make about new (Dapol) products that I find somewhat wearing.

Well said, Andy! You are not alone!

I really do hope the good Doctor does find a perfect model from Dapol soon! :no:

I feel that the majority of Dapol customers are very pleased with the general appearance and performance of current models.
Richard

#24 Dr Al

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:49

And leave you be to launch into your speedy and habitual criticisms without comment? There's just something about the tone and phraseology of the posts you make about new (Dapol) products that I find somewhat wearing.


I thought this be the point of a message board - for realtively free and open discussion.

Sadly, as usual you take out of context - I've said clearly that it's an infinitely better model than the Farish alternative. But equally I am not blind to its errors, and pushing for higher standards is something most of us agree on I'd have thought....

Cheers,
Alan

#25 S.A.C Martin

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:58

Whereas I disagreed with Alan in the A4 thread, he has made some excellent points here; which I ashamed to say I missed when I first looked at the model, particularly the tender lining.

But that does not detract from the fact that the A3 is a superb model overall, at least from this view of it. The enlargements in the photographs are perhaps rather harsh in some respects, given it is an N gauge model.








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