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Dapol FEA Spine Wagon Fracturing Issue


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2 hours ago, Night Train said:

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.

Don't think they can be 11 years old!?  I purchased two new models from Hattons last year, Just had a look at them ( they are on my layout) and seem to be ok.  

Maybe Dapol produced a later batch?   Is there any way the age of the model or production date can be found from the catalogue No.?

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Yes, they’ve done several batches (with different catalogue numbers). But the Fastline ones discussed on the last page were a special edition 11 years ago. 

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4 hours ago, njee20 said:

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!

The whole wagon is pretty much a work of fiction in N, the headstocks are way out as well! I thought the N ones had the metal core too, but it's ages since I've had them out and promptly returned them to the boxes.

The bogies don't look bad though! Every cloud etc.

 

Jo

 

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2 hours ago, irishmail said:

Don't think they can be 11 years old!?  I purchased two new models from Hattons last year, Just had a look at them ( they are on my layout) and seem to be ok.  

Maybe Dapol produced a later batch?   Is there any way the age of the model or production date can be found from the catalogue No.?

 

The original batches of Freightliner and GBRf came out late 2008 & early 2009, I ordered my first lot in Aug 2008.

 

The original batches of Freightliner FEA's all had a B724 number with a suffix A to F, subsequent batches over the years followed up to M or N.

The GBRf all had a B740 number suffix A to F, subsequent batches followed.

 

The Fastline Limited Editions came slightly later I believe.

 

The newer models all start with 4F-044....

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10 hours ago, martin_l_jones said:

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.

 

Definitely plastic around a metal core. [*]

 

Some of the core extends into the box mounting/spigot areas - I know this because I converted a couple of twins to single FEA-S a few years go and plastic turned to metal as I cut back one of the platforms

 

[*] double confirmed with a quick test drill under the base as plastic turned to metal swarf.

 

 

 

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Legally they may not be inclined to do anything as they are so old, but morally and not discounting the absolute value of goodwill and further sales of their products they should.

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On 29/04/2021 at 12:25, cctransuk said:

 

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.

 

 

Come on John, 

 

You know as well as I do, with batch production, if you want something for a future layout you need to buy it when it’s available, if you have the funds.

 

 

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1 hour ago, rob D2 said:

Come on John, 

 

You know as well as I do, with batch production, if you want something for a future layout you need to buy it when it’s available, if you have the funds.

 

 

And its only getting worse with smaller batch production and made to order products coming to market.

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Posted (edited)

Just checked my rake of Fastline liveried FEA wagons. 8 of the 9 pairs effected some not too bad but one shows bad splits in the underside. Eased off the containers and top of central spine is OK but the container on wagon with bad underside splits does not fit on very well. This wagon must have a twist too as the bogies rock a little. Going to dig out my other FEA’s and check them out, not holding up much hope though.

Edited by Martin_R
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I checked mine the other day too. All bar the Fastline ones are all OK. Of the five I've got two are actually OK. But the other three have problems. One pair are strange. The one wagon is OK but the other has a massive split down the whole length. Let's hope Dapol will be doing something for us, but as they are now well over any guarantee I doubt it. Tony.

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Posted (edited)

I've got 3 boxes of GBRf ones.  They've never been out of the boxes, and the plastic inserts are still sellotaped together.  I've checked them and they are all OK at the moment.  They are kept in the original boxes inside a clip top type plastic storage box with some other rolling stock. 

 

Anyone any thoughts on the wisdom of putting some sort of glue or sealant in the holes underneath to stop moisture getting in (if it is moisture that is causing it), and if so, what?  I'm not too worried about voiding the warranty as they must be at least 10 years old.

Edited by Dixie Dean
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1 hour ago, Dixie Dean said:

I've got 3 boxes of GBRf ones.  They've never been out of the boxes, and the plastic inserts are still sellotaped together.  I've checked them and they are all OK at the moment.  They are kept in the original boxes inside a clip top type plastic storage box with some other rolling stock. 

 

Anyone any thoughts on the wisdom of putting some sort of glue or sealant in the holes underneath to stop moisture getting in (if it is moisture that is causing it), and if so, what?  I'm not too worried about voiding the warranty as they must be at least 10 years old.

 

If it is mazak rot (and nobody is sure yet), then there's not a lot you can do....

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, newbryford said:

 

If it is mazak rot (and nobody is sure yet), then there's not a lot you can do....

 

I have read a report that says:   "Moisture is essential to the occurrence of [Mazak] corrosion, which is also accelerated by higher temperatures."  My garage (where I store my rolling stock) is quite dry and cool.

Edited by Dixie Dean
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Dixie Dean said:

 

 

I have read a report that says:   "Moisture is essential to the occurrence of [Mazak] corrosion, which is also accelerated by higher temperatures."  My garage (where I store my rolling stock) is quite dry and cool.

 

The key word is "accelerated".

Moisture is inevitable in the UK.

Can you be sure that sealing the holes makes them completely moisture proof?

And if you seal them now, how can you be sure that there space around the cast weight is 100% dry?

It cannot be stopped, only slowed down.

Edited by newbryford
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8 hours ago, newbryford said:

 

The key word is "accelerated".

Moisture is inevitable in the UK.

Can you be sure that sealing the holes makes them completely moisture proof?

And if you seal them now, how can you be sure that there space around the cast weight is 100% dry?

It cannot be stopped, only slowed down.

 

I think it's worth a punt.  I'm just having a conversation with a scientist friend about this and will decide for sure when that is concluded.  The other option might be car body/wood filler.

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If moisture is essential for the rot to occur, it follows that moisture in getting in somehow.  I thought the mazak in these was completely sealed into the plastic, unlike the many locos that have suffered with mazak chassis.  Is that not the case - is the mazak exposed in an ex-factory condition?

 

If damage is just the odd crack in the plastic that can be filled and presumably the sooner the better.  However if the metal deforms and warps, I don't see that any repairs are going to work.

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3 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

If moisture is essential for the rot to occur, it follows that moisture in getting in somehow.  I thought the mazak in these was completely sealed into the plastic, unlike the many locos that have suffered with mazak chassis.  Is that not the case - is the mazak exposed in an ex-factory condition?

 

The metal is visible in the ex-factory condition: you can see it through the three small holes in the underside of the body.  I can only assume that the deck is cast in metal, held on short spigots in the mould and then the plastic is injected around it.  It wouldn't be possible to completely seal the metal in plastic as the metal needs to be supported in the mould during the injection moulding process.  However, I don't see a reason why the holes could not be filled once the model was released from the moulds.  Presumably it was assumed that wasn't necessary.

 

On 29/04/2021 at 12:25, cctransuk said:

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.

 

The problem is that there is nothing to dismantle.  It's a bit like having a choc ice with a crack in the chocolate and saying that the solution is to remove the ice cream!  It's quite likely that the metal makes up 90% of the deck and the plastic that has been injected around it is just 1mm thick.  Any attempt at removing the metal is likely to result in a something that would look like a broken plastic kit.

 

On 29/04/2021 at 08:34, pwr said:

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!

 

I agree that it would be unreasonable to expect Dapol to produce replacements for an 11 or 12 year old model.  The problem is how do you repair the wagon?  Any attempt to replace the metal is effectively producing a new wagon.  That therefore only leaves filling the cracks and re-spraying the top and bottom surfaces, but that wouldn't be a long term repair if the metal is expanding.

 

I'd have thought the best that Dapol could do would be to provide some form of goodwill payment to those who would want to replace their affected model with a new version (ie a discount off the new price).  The problem is of course that the models we're talking about here were a limited edition, which may preclude that being an option.

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6 hours ago, Dixie Dean said:

 

I think it's worth a punt.  I'm just having a conversation with a scientist friend about this and will decide for sure when that is concluded.  The other option might be car body/wood filler.

Assuming this solution of excluding the moisture does work, the requirement will be that the chosen sealant is impervious.  I don't know about wood filler, I don't think I would trust it 100% not to permit water vapour to permeate.  Silicone sealant as used on bathtubs etc?  Milliput? 

 

By the same token, if it is a good answer, would it it make senses to pre-emptively try and seal those locos with chassis that are known to be susceptible to Mazak rot?  Might a thick coat of spray paint/varnish be good enough?

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I fear that sealing the chassis is rather ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’ to my mind it would probably better to remove the offending metal and replace with something that won’t expand!

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3 minutes ago, Mark Saunders said:

I fear that sealing the chassis is rather ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’ to my mind it would probably better to remove the offending metal and replace with something that won’t expand!

 

My first reaction too!

 

Apparently, it can't be done - being moulded within the outer plastic injection moulding.

 

John Isherwood.

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2 minutes ago, cctransuk said:

 

My first reaction too!

 

Apparently, it can't be done - being moulded within the outer plastic injection moulding.

 

John Isherwood.


I think that there must be a way but is probably beyond many as  open heart surgery followed by major rebuilding!

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4 minutes ago, Mark Saunders said:


I think that there must be a way but is probably beyond many as  open heart surgery followed by major rebuilding!

 

If it is a simple mazak bar with no projections or recesses, it should be possible to cut the plastic of the spine laterally, and withdraw the bar.

 

It is likely that the bogie pivot screws are tapped into the mazak- this may be a complicating factor.

 

If I had an affected model, it would certainly be worth a discreet cut with a razor saw.

 

John Isherwood.

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14 minutes ago, cctransuk said:

If it is a simple mazak bar with no projections or recesses, it should be possible to cut the plastic of the spine laterally, and withdraw the bar.

 

It is likely that the bogie pivot screws are tapped into the mazak- this may be a complicating factor.

 

As has already been highlighted in the response below - 'some of the core extends into the box mounting / spigot areas'.  That therefore means that it isn't a 'simple' mazak bar, which could be removed.  It's effectively an all metal wagon, which has been coated in a thin layer of plastic.

 

On 29/04/2021 at 23:48, newbryford said:

Definitely plastic around a metal core. [*]

 

Some of the core extends into the box mounting/spigot areas - I know this because I converted a couple of twins to single FEA-S a few years go and plastic turned to metal as I cut back one of the platforms

 

[*] double confirmed with a quick test drill under the base as plastic turned to metal swarf.

 

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