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Dapol FEA Spine Wagon Fracturing Issue


martin_l_jones
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Last night decided to give my spine wagons a service, clean the wheels and oil.

 

To my horror two wagons in different sets portrayed a crack down the middle of the underside of the body, seems to go from hole to hole, this is the worst which has also cracked through the rib.

 

Anyone-else seen this issue.

 

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Edited by martin_l_jones
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16 hours ago, martin_l_jones said:

Last night decided to give my spine wagons a service, clean the wheels and oil.

 

To my horror two wagons in different sets portrayed a crack down the middle of the underside of the body, seems to go from hole to hole, this is the worst which has also cracked through the rib.

 

Anyone-else seen this issue.

 

4A310FCB-E1D9-46AC-B7EA-A177D0601914.jpeg

2F73BC46-D35F-4F90-9917-B4720EA95AE5.jpeg

 

Yep. I sold some on ebay that I had never even opened and the buyer came back with photos like that. He was very fair, understood that I had never opened them and we did a deal. I think 5 out of 12 (6 pairs) were like that.


Roy

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9 hours ago, Roy Langridge said:

 

Yep. I sold some on ebay that I had never even opened and the buyer came back with photos like that. He was very fair, understood that I had never opened them and we did a deal. I think 5 out of 12 (6 pairs) were like that.


Roy

 

I checked all my other wagons tonight.....

 

Disappointingly one of my Fastline wagons has gone the same way, these have remained in the box unused and unrun. 

 

Major cracking on one end but on the other end, around the hole you can see an air line crack starting from the hole running centrally both ways.

 

Presume this is some sort of stress fracture.

 

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35 minutes ago, martin_l_jones said:

Presume this is some sort of stress fracture.

 

I'll have to check the two or three that I have in a box in the attic, but is this some sort of Mazak problem?  I can't recall what parts are diecast and what parts are plastic.

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Holy Crap! That is not good. I have 4 pairs of GBRF and 2 pairs off Freightliner Id better check when I can get to them tomorrow.

 

Cheers for the heads up.

 

Trailrage

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Hello Martin,

Laurence, (Tri-angman) here - yes same issue. I have 7 new and unopened Rail Express Limited Edition ones for sale on my web site and on checking 6 have minor through to major cracking issues on both sides of the spine. I have reported the issue to Dapol with photo`s and am just awaiting a reply - will let you know the outcome. As an aside I have the `Trainlines of Derby` brown versions and all are perfect

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Five packs of freightliner versions checked  (some supplied with containers, some not) and all OK.

 

Four packs of Fastline versions - three Ok, but pack J has a long crack along the top of the spine on one and 'mazak failure' like distortion on the other one. :(

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I've just checked the two Freightliner versions that I have (B724 D and F) and these seem to be okay, so I'm happy. 

 

Obviously there is metal inside these, as you can see shiny bare metal if you look directly into the holes on the underside.  That's obviously necessary to give the model a bit of weight - it's certainly heavier than an all plastic model would be.  However, to me, it feels as though the model is plastic as opposed to being solid metal, yet I can't see any way of getting access to the metal (ie there is no obvious join line between two halves).

 

I don't know how these wagons were produced, but it looks to me as though there is perhaps a metal weight that's fitted into the centre of the spine and then plastic may be injection moulded around the metal core.  If that was the case, then the holes on the underside of the model may be to hold the metal in the correct position within the mould during the injection moulding process.

 

Presumably that would mean that the cracking that some contributors have highlighted must be due to the metal core expanding and cracking the plastic that was moulded around it.  I guess the issue is whether this is an issue with a single batch or whether its a more widespread issue that just hasn't manifested in all models yet.

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59 minutes ago, atom3624 said:

Are you saying it could be MAZAK rot?

I think someone from Dapol should be reviewing this.

 

Yes, I think it looks like it could be some form of Mazak rot.  Impurities in the metal may have caused it to expand and that would cause stress on the plastic around it causing it to crack.

 

However, as @newbryford points out, we're probably not talking about new models.  I think the Fastline Freight versions, which were produced as a limited run for Rail Express, were manufactured in 2009, so are now 12 years old and 'toys' are not intended to last that long (and no manufacturer will give that length of warranty on a 'toy').  When they were produced they were 'current' models, but Fastline Freight have been gone for about a decade.

 

The Freightliner versions that I purchased were from about the same time.  However, I think Dapol have reissued these every so often, so there will be some newer models around.

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8 hours ago, Dungrange said:

 

Yes, I think it looks like it could be some form of Mazak rot.  Impurities in the metal may have caused it to expand and that would cause stress on the plastic around it causing it to crack.

 

However, as @newbryford points out, we're probably not talking about new models.  I think the Fastline Freight versions, which were produced as a limited run for Rail Express, were manufactured in 2009, so are now 12 years old and 'toys' are not intended to last that long (and no manufacturer will give that length of warranty on a 'toy').  When they were produced they were 'current' models, but Fastline Freight have been gone for about a decade.

 

The Freightliner versions that I purchased were from about the same time.  However, I think Dapol have reissued these every so often, so there will be some newer models around.

 

 

Does it not say on the box that these are scale models which by definition are not toys?

 

Hopefully Dapol's response will not be to fob you off. Whilst its unreasonable to expect replacements after this time they should still offer to repair although how they will do that remains to be seen!

 

Paul R

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14 hours ago, Dungrange said:

a metal weight that's fitted into the centre of the spine and then plastic may be injection moulded around the metal core

From memory that's exactly right. 

At least the 4mm is the right shape, even if it is breaking up! The N ones are, errr, an interesting shape.

 

Jo

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3 hours ago, pwr said:

 

 

Does it not say on the box that these are scale models which by definition are not toys?

 

Hopefully Dapol's response will not be to fob you off. Whilst its unreasonable to expect replacements after this time they should still offer to repair although how they will do that remains to be seen!

 

Paul R

 

Does the law differentiate between scale models and toys - I doubt it! I also doubt that Dapol will feel under any obligation after such a period of time.

 

If the damaged models were mine, I would be dismantling them ASAP - by cutting through the spine with a razor saw if necessary - in order to extract the metal core. If the metal is indeed responsible for the damage - which I strongly suspect it is - it could be replaced by some steel bar and the model components reassembled around it.

 

It does surprise me - no it doesn't - that so many owners are reporting that their models have never been out of the box. Why on earth do they spend their hard-earned cash on such things, and then never even look at them? Are they convinced that they're making a finacial investment? They or their families are in for a shock if that's the case!

 

John Isherwood.

 

 

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Two of my sets have now gone back to Dapol for review. 

 

Looking closely at them they do not appear to be a metal weight encased in plastic, they seem to be a solid casting. 

 

It looks like a single mass, no joins anywhere for the encasement, and the crack shows a metallic surface.

 

But I may be wrong.

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4 hours ago, pwr said:

Does it not say on the box that these are scale models which by definition are not toys?

 

As far as I'm aware, they are imported into the country as 'toy trains'.  The fact that the target market is grown men rather than preschool children doesn't change anything.   A toy is typically a model or miniature replica of something.  Adults expect those replicas to be close to scale, whereas children are less discerning, but I don't think that makes any difference in the eyes of the law.

 

Anyway, if you buy a new car and keep it in the garage for ten years, you can't then go back to the manufacturer and expect them to fix a problem: it's out of warranty - full stop.  

 

26 minutes ago, cctransuk said:

It does surprise me - no it doesn't - that so many owners are reporting that their models have never been out of the box. Why on earth do they spend their hard-earned cash on such things, and then never even look at them? Are they convinced that they're making a financial investment? They or their families are in for a shock if that's the case!

 

I think a lot of us have models that are for a future layout that we have not yet built.  My models all live in their boxes and will continue to do so until I actually have a layout to run them on.  In the meantime, they may have a run on one of the club layouts, but obviously that hasn't happened for more than a year.  However, my layout in the attic has made some progress, so I may be able to run some trains at home this year - but most of my stock will still remain in their boxes.

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2 hours ago, cctransuk said:

 

Are they convinced that they're making a finacial investment? They or their families are in for a shock if that's the case!

 

 

 

I'm not so sure they are. Given second hand values I'd suggest buying a load of stock 10 years ago purely to sell on would be an extremely good investment! 

 

This is interesting to see. As Jo says, the N gauge ones are totally plastic, so they don't run particularly well, have one of the 'arms' in completely the wrong place and have a tendancy to turn into bananas, but don't crack!

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Toy or model, at 11 years old any liability from Dapol has long since passed.

However, from an engineering point of view, I expect they would want to investigate to ensure there are no manufacturing issues that could affect future models, or to enable an improvement in processes and materials.

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2 hours ago, cctransuk said:

 

It does surprise me - no it doesn't - that so many owners are reporting that their models have never been out of the box. Why on earth do they spend their hard-earned cash on such things, and then never even look at them? Are they convinced that they're making a finacial investment? They or their families are in for a shock if that's the case!

 

John Isherwood.

 

 

 

As other have said, I have plenty of stock in boxes that await layouts that I have not yet built. I bought when the opportunity arose as it may not do so again.

 

As for investment, I recently sold off a load of stock that I decided would never see the intended layout and yes financially it was a shock - I made a huge profit on the vast majority of it, even taking inflation into account. Some sold for 2 or 3 times the purchase price.


Roy

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Liability with the manufacturer may have passed, but credibility stands to be damaged.

 

Finely detailed scale models may indeed be toys in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of the purchaser will be somewhat different. ‘The law’ however doesn’t make future purchases.

 

Mistakes, and unforeseen instances like this happen, the way the manufacturer deals with it is key. Hornby reacted quite well to their mazak issues in the past, I’m sure Dapol will do so accordingly.

 

Perhapps in this hobby more than most, reputation matters, and customers largely vote with their wallets and purses, any sidestep of ‘not our problem’ may be financially good business now, but burn bridges that make it less so in the long term.

 

As for stock sitting in boxes, I have literally thousands of pounds worth of wagons that can’t run on my small end to end layout, but like many in the hobby, I make purchases for ‘that one day’ for three main reasons. 1, it’s available now where it might not be going forward. 2, it’s cheaper now than it would be new in X years. And 3, even if it were available, if I bought all the stock I wanted at the moment I had a use for it, my wife would bury me under the patio.

 

Sorry to read about the faults with your stock guys, I sincerely wish for a favourable outcome for you.

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