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Dapol Mark 1 coaches?


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I think you are always going to find compromises in RTR and kit models.  The manufacturer has to balance detail (either included or added) against his cost and subsequently the price he has to charge.  The price has to be palatable to customers.

 

Whether you buy RTR or kit, it is up to the buyer to do the research and to decide if he/she wants to go to the trouble of adding missing or badly done detail.

 

I did try a MMP 16T mineral but got defeated by the breathtaking detail of the underframe.  I used a Peco underframe as a stand in to finish the model.  So, I would imagine that the MMP Mk1 kit would be superb but whether I would have enough years left to finish it is open to debate.

 

I have the Hattons/Heljan Gresley coaches which are at the same price point as the Lionheart Mk1s.  One thing that stands out is the lack of lighting on the Heljans.  I can buy a lighting kit but that is not cheap.  I haven't tried to get the roofs off yet.

 

John

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On 02/04/2021 at 15:19, brossard said:

I think you are always going to find compromises in RTR and kit models.  The manufacturer has to balance detail (either included or added) against his cost and subsequently the price he has to charge.  The price has to be palatable to customers.

 

Whether you buy RTR or kit, it is up to the buyer to do the research and to decide if he/she wants to go to the trouble of adding missing or badly done detail.

 

I did try a MMP 16T mineral but got defeated by the breathtaking detail of the underframe.  I used a Peco underframe as a stand in to finish the model.  So, I would imagine that the MMP Mk1 kit would be superb but whether I would have enough years left to finish it is open to debate.

 

I have the Hattons/Heljan Gresley coaches which are at the same price point as the Lionheart Mk1s.  One thing that stands out is the lack of lighting on the Heljans.  I can buy a lighting kit but that is not cheap.  I haven't tried to get the roofs off yet.

 

John

I agree, spot on.

 

Dapol, all other things set aside, have an aggressive marketing and pricing strategy. There is an issue with Danish taxes too though, TBF.

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2 minutes ago, CME and Bottlewasher said:

I agree, spot on.

 

Dapol, all other things set aside, have an aggressive marketing and pricing strategy. There is an issue with Danish taxes too though, TBF.

 

Dapol also seem to have an aggressive design/detail strategy that sets their models a couple of rungs above the competition.  Aside from lights, interiors feature seats with moquette and luggage racks.  Interior compartment walls have painted handles.  There are also faux reading lamps in the compartments.

 

That said, I find the underframe detail to be a bit, ummmm, naff.  Do I improve that or leave it be?

 

John

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1 hour ago, brossard said:

 

Dapol also seem to have an aggressive design/detail strategy that sets their models a couple of rungs above the competition.  Aside from lights, interiors feature seats with moquette and luggage racks.  Interior compartment walls have painted handles.  There are also faux reading lamps in the compartments.

 

That said, I find the underframe detail to be a bit, ummmm, naff.  Do I improve that or leave it be?

 

John

Hi John,

 

Richard Webster has, with his family, a long, illustrious heritage with IMP models - luckily for Dapol, he took the opproach of 'if you can't beat them join them'. He is one of the very few people (imhho) who can make a decent job of designing a 7mm BR MK1 coach in IMP, RTR.

 

I would say that Dapol's MK1's are not "a couple of rungs above the competition", merely that they've ploughed their own furrow. In some regards the competition are better, in some not. As I say the definitive MK1 has to be MMPs, they're an involved build, the original MK1 kits from RJH could be made into nice models. EZ Build coaches and those from JLTRT are very good too. Peter Cowling's work is excellent and graces many good, known, layouts. As I stated one pays their money and makes their choice. From my POV there isn't a perfect 7mm MK1 all have their 'considerations'. Can anything human made be perfect? Arguably not, but one can get close, all depends on time, cost, methods of construction and the materials used being used appropriately.

 

I blow hot and cold about coach interior details and figures within - summing up, if a coach is to be lit, then the detail pretty much has to be there. Figures also have to of a decent quality if next to windows and/or lit. BUT, iirc, the late, great David Jenkinson never had interiors or people in his superb coaches! Theres a half way house imho, if the coach is unlit, one can blacken/false shade the interior and the figures within - stage craft if you will.

 

As we've touched upon in other posts, RTR, mass production means sacrificing certain aspects on a cost, versus time versus price ratio (in simplistic terms). I suspect that undersides/frames - although I've not seen the underside of the Dapol MK1s - might be an area whereby that equation comes into play more noticeably (or less noticeably if you catch my drift). On the prototype, areas covered in road/traffic dirt are highlighted, Eg Battery Boxes etc, the rest is often left in the gloom and almost blacked out and unseen. Thus TBF to Dapol, that maybe an area they chose to 'rationalize', from my POV, they made a decision to light coaches, thus detail the interiors accordingly. I don't know that for sure, I'm surmising such - they would have had a build budget and a price from the factory (plus all the other costs to get to market) to consider too.

 

I'll be interested to see the later variants of the Dapol MK1 with the later windows (more my era), it'll be interesting to see if they follow certain aspects of the Heljan MK1s in that respect. The tooling for the later windows is evident on the current batch, which to my mind, is a little disappointing. Each to their own however.

 

I'll say no more, because even as a good customer of Dapol's products, I have been targeted and heavily criticised in the past for providing a critique.

 

Atvb,

 

CME

 

Edited by CME and Bottlewasher
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I'm sure that kit built coach models can be made to be superb models.  That is down to the quality of the kit and the skill of the modeller.  The Kemilway coach kits are pretty amazing too.  The problem with kits is the amount of time they take.  I did a quite good rendition of  Gresley BG from a Kirk "kit" (if I do say so myself), but it took ages.  Buying in a lot of better quality parts and scratchbuilding others.  This is now a rod for my own back because I'm feeling pressure on myself to make these RTR coaches as good.

 

I am thinking of RTR when I make my comments.  Nothing is going to be perfect but we strive to get things as good as we can.  RTR gets you about 90% of the way to the model you want.

 

As for underframes, I'm not criticizing that much.   It is understandable for Dapol (and Heljan for that matter) to do a basic level of detail.  From what I have read, many people tend to ignore what cannot be seen, even in 7mm, the detail scale.

 

John

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Hi all

 

Two BSK have made it to NZ and they look very nice. 
Does anyone have any recommendations for DCC decoders to power the lights ?

 

thanks

 

Roger

 

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2 hours ago, 21C123 said:

Hi all

 

Two BSK have made it to NZ and they look very nice. 
Does anyone have any recommendations for DCC decoders to power the lights ?

 

thanks

 

Roger

 

 

I have run mine without decoder on my DCC layout.  The lights look good to my eye.

 

John

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On 04/04/2021 at 16:16, brossard said:

I'm sure that kit built coach models can be made to be superb models.  That is down to the quality of the kit and the skill of the modeller.  The Kemilway coach kits are pretty amazing too.  The problem with kits is the amount of time they take.  I did a quite good rendition of  Gresley BG from a Kirk "kit" (if I do say so myself), but it took ages.  Buying in a lot of better quality parts and scratchbuilding others.  This is now a rod for my own back because I'm feeling pressure on myself to make these RTR coaches as good.

 

I am thinking of RTR when I make my comments.  Nothing is going to be perfect but we strive to get things as good as we can.  RTR gets you about 90% of the way to the model you want.

 

As for underframes, I'm not criticizing that much.   It is understandable for Dapol (and Heljan for that matter) to do a basic level of detail.  From what I have read, many people tend to ignore what cannot be seen, even in 7mm, the detail scale.

 

John

Understood John, I'm inclined to agree.

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A bit more progress:

 

P1010038.JPG.b089118d278dfae422b16d387a80bec4.JPG

 

Passengers inside, lights on.

 

P1010039.JPG.9b79de71b6077d19fca0530a0d67dde2.JPG

 

Unsightly hole at the end plugged with a door made from plastic card.  I looked at a number of pics, some were black and others were cream.  Lamp brackets are white and there's a warning flash.

 

John

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I enclose a picture of my two Dapol Mk1 coaches on my friend Terry Jenkins diorama of Shillingstone. The car is my Oxford Diecast model of Ivo Peters' Bentley which still exists.

 

Unfortunately one buffer assembly is missing from the Mk1 composite. Hattons have not got any spare buffer assemblies so they have asked me to send it back for a replacement. This is the second faulty Mk1 composite they have sent me and they have agreed to check the second replacement before sending it to me. 

 

Aside from these faulty examples I think that they are the best model coaches that have ever been made.

P1000869.JPG

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Sorry to hear about your troubles.  I agree that these are probably the best RTR coaches made.  My obsession about underframe detail is nagging me about the sparseness of the bogies.  I'm mulling doing some bashing using info from Rumney models Mk1 bogie kits.

 

Love the coach, I'm hoping Oxford will release a model in a more Northern livery.

 

John

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Any comments on the Dapol gangways?

 

I am looking into something similar for my somewhat modified Westdale Blue Pullman but using the gangways as magnetic coach couplings. Could the Dapol arrangement function in this manner?

 

Les

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The gangway connections work very well at keeping the gangways together between coaches.  The faux Kadees fitted also work nicely, changing these would be a major hack up I think.  I can't see the gangway magnets working as couplings.  I have posted my coupling and gangway ideas above.

 

John

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Thanks John, 'though  not referring to the Dapol coaches, I can't really see why appropriate gangway geometry cannot function as coupling. Getting at a normal drawbar coupling between Blue (Midland) Pullman coaches gets rather awkward with their buffing plates to contend with.

 

Les

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Assume you are talking 0 gauge?  Given a strong enough magnet, yes a gangway could be used as a coupling, but I would want to control the gap between coaches.  The Mk1 gangway magnets are pretty weak.

 

I fitted Kadees to my Heljan Gresleys and these work great:

 

P1010033.JPG.b867a5c938c5fd0b7fb26065fc575d56.JPG

 

I also used a folded paper gangway to banish daylight between coaches (I hate that :ireful:)

 

P1010031.JPG.3acec2f40b698931fec67a6e3956f766.JPG

 

Another option might be Hunt couplings.  These are magnets, I've seen them used in 00 coaches and they are very impressive.  Not sure if Hunt do 0 gauge, or how easy they would be to fit to 0 gauge (in 00 they use the NEM pocket so a doddle).

 

Edit: looks like these are on the way for 0 gauge.

 

John

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Hi John- yes  O gauge  (don't think Westdale made one in OO) and kadees are on the table as an option as are a set of O Gauge Hunt type magnets.

 

Unlike your good looking bellowed examples however, the BP inter-coach gangways were effectively a pair of tightly coupled boxes with an inflatable air seal to each vestibule which gave pivoting in a similar arc to the chassis mounted tension couplers below- hence 'why not use the gangways as couplers?'.

 

It appears applying Dapol's elegant geometry could work and certainly worth a mock up trial- but I think I may be onto something even simpler, although perhaps not as elegant.

 

Les

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/04/2021 at 11:06, natterjack said:

Any comments on the Dapol gangways?

 

I am looking into something similar for my somewhat modified Westdale Blue Pullman but using the gangways as magnetic coach couplings. Could the Dapol arrangement function in this manner?

 

Les


Hello @natterjack, have you ever seen or considered these Magickic coupling ? I have no connection with the supplier in the link 

 

https://www.magclics.co.uk/

 

Best regards

Craig

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On 24/03/2021 at 18:25, Happy Hippo said:

Use a screw coupling attached to the coach and not the one on the loco?

BR corridor coaches were not fitted with screw couplings, only buckeyes. The loco coupling is always used to couple to rolling stock except in a few special cases. 

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1 hour ago, roythebus1 said:

BR corridor coaches were not fitted with screw couplings, only buckeyes. The loco coupling is always used to couple to rolling stock except in a few special cases. 

You are quite right, but I was suggesting a solution to a coupling issue on a model.

 

It is easier to pick up a coupling from under a coach and hook to a loco than it is to try and get a coupling which is attached to the loco, under the vestibule and onto the hook of the coach.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

You are quite right, but I was suggesting a solution to a coupling issue on a model.

 

It is easier to pick up a coupling from under a coach and hook to a loco than it is to try and get a coupling which is attached to the loco, under the vestibule and onto the hook of the coach.

 

 

 

Indeed, the modeller needs to adopt the method that suits him/her best.  The prototype method (buckeye dropped at the loco end) requires some surgery to the gangway.  A regular screw link installed in the coach is probably easier but not prototypical.  Always a struggle to minimize compromises.

 

John

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On 22/04/2021 at 05:13, muddys-blues said:

Hello @natterjack, have you ever seen or considered these Magickic coupling ?

Thanks Craig- I've found the O Gauge MagClics to be a good product but for the BP I now have a 'magnetic gangway coupling' solution which owes part of its thinking to Dapol. As it happens my first designs were cast polyurethane rubber but i was finding long term issues with castings shrinkage- the new ones are articulated rigid components.

 

I should add that the full sizel BP coach chassis couplers were an all but hidden from view screw together affair (and from what I've read, rather difficult to access).

 

Cheers

 

Les

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for the recent posts about the Dapol Mk 1 coaches.  I have now been able to display them on the Purbeck Model Railway Group's Swanage Railway layout and the picture shows one crossing Sandy Hill Lane bridge at Corfe Castle. 

 

While I was there another member compared the length of my coach with a Lima Mk1 and a Heljan coach which was 5mm longer than the others. The Dapol Mk1 is about 460mm including the buffers which is 65' and this is the correct length. In the Hornby Magazine's review it says the length is 564mm which comes out at a scale length of 80'.

P1010099.JPG

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I think there is not a lot wrong with the Dapol Mk1s.  They are RTR so someone will always find something to whinge about, myself included.  To me the answer is to sort out the things you don't like yourself.  90% of the work has been done already and it is quicker and easier than building a kit.

 

I did read somewhere that the Lima Mk1's were woefully undersized.

 

My thought was that the Hornby person doing the measuring must have taken the length over buffers instead of headstock.  Even so, I don't think the buffers are 7.5' long.  :huh:

 

John

 

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Further to Robin's post above, we compared four different BSKs. The others were from Heljan , Lima, and one built from an etched brass kit. Comparing just the sides the Heljan and the kit-built were the same length, 5mm longer than the Dapol. The Lima was the the same length as the Dapol. Apart from the Lima they were the same height.

Rob

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