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Dapol A3 photo review


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Some improvements.

 

post-7627-0-32666400-1348343576.jpg

 

Loco has had the following done:

 

- tender weighted

- extra pickups fitted to rear bogie wheels

- eccentric rod cranks set forward to correct position

- wheels painted black

- black parts of valve gear painted gunmetal to match the rest

- valve gear toned down and harmonised with black wash

- front cutout in bufferbeam filled in (as can be seen there is still plenty clearance for the NEM mount, showing the cutout really isn't needed)

- front coupling hook and base removed and replaced with a Farish one in correct position (lower)

- chimney drilled out, and base lip thinned down

- cylinder draincocks added

- smokebox door numberplate removed and a new one fitted on the upper hinge strap

- front smokebox door handrail replaced with separates and low lamp iron

- smokebox hinges painted as prototype (still need a little touching up!)

 

post-7627-0-86537700-1348344038.jpg

 

- speedo drive added to rear wheel on left side, left over from an A4 that pre-dated the introduction of these, so had it removed.

 

post-7627-0-59526300-1348344028.jpg

 

- electrification flashes added to boiler (anyone with pointers on the correct locations for them on the tender would be useful - my reference books have let me down on that!)

- detail bits in the bag fitted (vac pipes, cab doors, front steps)

- coal added

 

A big to-do still on this one is to replace the deflectors - they are the wrong shape, and set at the wrong angle so loose the look of the prototype IMHO. See for comparison:

http://www.flickr.co...N02/3163375755/

 

This is the first of 4 BR A3s to do - this one ran the best of the 4 but still noisy and not perfect pickup. Next (60079 Bayardo) is already being worked on and was the worst - short circuited (overlong screw on one side of the chassis, shorting it out), very poor pickup, and worst of all the motor disintegrated after 10 mins running (commutator fell apart). The motor is now replaced, pickups fitted, tender weighted and it's running well. 60070 is also fairly erratic, 60106 is noisy but better. They are in the queue for reworking :scratchhead: !

 

Cheers,

Alan

 

I could almost model N guage after seeing that

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I'm glad you've left the wonky 45 on the cab numbers- that is actually correct for Lemberg (the Chinese factory did have a photo). However they managed to print them on the opposite cab sides to spec, so the RA number should be to the right....

 

Electrification flashes- by the time Lemberg gained the silvered smokebox bits- and buffer heads- she only had three left.

 

One on the driver's side where you have placed the forward one- the one on the firebox had long gone, as had the one on the frame end. This was the side normally facing away from the shed office at Green Street. On the fireman's side the one on the boiler front end was hard up against the boiler band and the one on the firebox missing (or painted over, I can't remember which). The one on the frame end was present on this side, but not quite vertical as a result of someone trying to prise it off. The top of it was cut slightly to an angle but was proud at the rear end.

 

I can tell you where a fourth electrification flash was- on the prefect's room wall at Darlington Grammar School, suuronded by beermats and other "trophies". I discovered it in 1969 when I was made a senior prefect there.

 

One other thing- you have a dome that fits more snugly than on the prototype. Lemberg's had a gap under the right-hand side. At some late stage she also had "CLASS A-3" painted low on the bufferbeam to the left of the hook and "DTON" painted to the right. This might have been in Summer 1964, not that long before "Kenilworth" arrived as a replacement.

 

I don't remember the wheels as black- they were generally an oily brown........ if modelled ex-works with clean wheels the smokebox would have not been embellished.

 

All the very best

Les

(who misspent too much of his youth - eleventh to thirteenth years- hanging his nose through Green Street railings drooling at this particular loco.....)

Edited by Les1952
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Electrification flashes- by the time Lemberg gained the silvered smokebox bits- and buffer heads- she only had three left.

 

One on the driver's side where you have placed the forward one- the one on the firebox had long gone, as had the one on the frame end. This was the side normally facing away from the shed office at Green Street. On the fireman's side the one on the boiler front end was hard up against the boiler band and the one on the firebox missing (or painted over, I can't remember which). The one on the frame end was present on this side, but not quite vertical as a result of someone trying to prise it off. The top of it was cut slightly to an angle but was proud at the rear end.

 

Photo evidence disproves this as inaccurate - all 4 boiler flashes in place, with front end embellishments. I have correctly not included those on the front frames, as the photos.

 

Darlington 51A.

 

60045 Lemberg

 

 

One other thing- you have a dome that fits more snugly than on the prototype. Lemberg's had a gap under the right-hand side. At some late stage she also had "CLASS A-3" painted low on the bufferbeam to the left of the hook and "DTON" painted to the right. This might have been in Summer 1964, not that long before "Kenilworth" arrived as a replacement.

 

I have not touched the dome... - the lip is still fairly large though and could probably be thinned down. If there was a gap, it doesn't show on the second photo above so I'm not overly concerned. 'Class A3' on bufferbeam doesn't show on either photo either so I was happy to overpaint it.

 

I don't remember the wheels as black- they were generally an oily brown........ if modelled ex-works with clean wheels the smokebox would have not been embellished.

 

Black brings them more accurately together - the rims stand out too much otherwise. But loco still to be weathered!

 

Regards,

Alan

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Further discoveries - stripping 60070 tonight I think I've found the reason for the nose-down slanted attitude of some of these A3s - it looks to be a to be a tolerance build up at the rear end securing bolt plastic mounts, that means the bolt doesn't fully tighten down the footplate as the designer would have intended, causing a slight slant. It's a fractional whisker of an amount, but with the large lever of the full loco length it has a significant effect.

 

Seems to be fairly simple to fix, I've just done it. It also raises the front bufferbeam a touch (now matches the tender buffer height) which again means the cutout can be filled in. Details to follow - I'll need to go back and look at my 4472 and see if this is common to it also.

 

Regards,

Alan

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I think on mine, instead of blackening the wheels I will give it a good airbrshing of grey and dark brown. Photos I have seen of its last days in service seem to indicate that it was somewhat dirty.

 

Good job though Al.

 

Look up PH designs. The owner posts on this forum. He had originally approached me about the smoke deflectors and offered to make some for me. The price was a bit above what I could afford, but who knows if the demand is there for more....

 

If youw ant his contact info, feel free to shoot me a message.

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Photo evidence disproves this as inaccurate - all 4 boiler flashes in place, with front end embellishments. I have correctly not included those on the front frames, as the photos.

 

http://www.flickr.co...N02/3163375755/

 

http://www.flickr.co...eave/339504113/

 

Regards,

Alan

 

First photo is a Jan 64- photo dated May 1964 in the Townend book shows left firebox flash appears to be missing- now we seem to have a 4 month window for when it was stolen. The second pic is much later but the frame end flash is obscured by the lamp. I did know the guy who tried to crowbar it off- now dead, He wasn't a schoolboy but one of the "thirty-somethings" that used to hang around at the time. Quite happy to accept the firebox one on the fireman's side not missing- it was most likely covered by dirt rather than paint- the offside pic you have is unusually clean. The May 64 photo also shows the silver bufferbeams clearlty.

 

On the dome gap- it was on the drivers side- shows a little in the first photo and is clearer in the later photo in the Townend book. same book shows ladas with a dome that didn't fit at the front edge and Neil Gow with a pronounced gap on the left, though most dome covers seem quite tight fitting. Fig 78 in the RCTS Green Guide shows Night Hawk with a gap, and the one of Spearmint below it also looks like a gap, so there was variation in fitting.

 

All the very best

Les

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I think on mine, instead of blackening the wheels I will give it a good airbrshing of grey and dark brown. Photos I have seen of its last days in service seem to indicate that it was somewhat dirty.

 

Yes, I think most steam was! I've blackened them for now until Im happy I can do weathering to a level that will match the prototype.

 

Look up PH designs. The owner posts on this forum. He had originally approached me about the smoke deflectors and offered to make some for me. The price was a bit above what I could afford, but who knows if the demand is there for more....

 

If youw ant his contact info, feel free to shoot me a message.

 

Will do thanks. I've got 2 sets of Farish plastic deflectors which are more accurate in front end slope shape, but I'm not sure if they are accurate in height - they are taller than the Dapol ones. I've yet to determine which is right in this respect, hence the Dapol ones stay for now.

 

The Farish ones are much thinner too - though they'd need wire handrails fitted. If etched ones prove possible then I may go that route, then handrails can be soldered to them.

 

Cheers,

Alan

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  • 3 months later...

Rails of Sheffield had Dapol A3s on sale for just under 80 quid so I finally got one.  Wonderful looker and runner, except for a strange click that happens at every rotation of the drivers.  Were it an old Farish loco I'd say it was a split gear but there is no discernible affect on running.  Might be a small object stuck in the gearing - if I could figure out how to get at the gears, I'd have a look!  It's just an annoying quibble on an otherwise wonderful model.

 

I took a picture of it next to my old Farish Flying Scotsman.  I hadn't really realized how truly bad the old Farish model was until I put them side by side.  The only way the Farish model is better than the Dapol is the ease of taking it apart!

 

Matt

 

post-4367-0-83941700-1358650325_thumb.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

The "click" seems to have abated almost completely after running in.  I studied the loco carefully but could never sort the cause.

 

This is an absolutely beautiful loco and a very fine runner (albeit still a little noisy).  Someone previously commented on how leggy the A3s look as they run and now having seen it myself I can say I "get it."  Watching this loco run is really is a joy to behold.  Even in "N" there is a grace about it - it's truly more like a living thing than a machine.  The only other N gauge model I can think of which captures this essence is the Lifelike 2-8-4 U.S. outline Van Sweringen Berkshire that came out about 10 years ago.

 

Definitely my favorite model steam loco by quite some margin and I'd highly recommend it.  I wish I'd bought two when RoS had them on sale last month!

 

Matt

Edited by oreamnos
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  • 4 weeks later...

Having got my Hawthorn Dene project to another "waiting for paint to dry completely" phase it has been time to turn my attention to locos- in particular the last A3 on the list.

 

For some reason this one missed out on coaling and cab roof painting.   Putting on the layout to run round for a while I noticed the Cortazzi truck derailing randomly at rail joints.   Checking -  the wheels were  correctly in, screw properly tightened and no oddments of flash stopping movement.   None of the other five A3s and neither of my A4s exhibit this problem.

 

Solution-  to put a small amount of lead in the only place I could fit it without touching anything vital- inside the truck behind the cab steps aft of the wheels.   One piece of self-adhesive lead (Eileen's Emporium- usual disclaimers) each side largely cured the derailment- so I added a second to make sure.  Sorry about the quality of the pics- old camera- but they hopefully show where the lead has gone.  A small dab of matt black paint stops the lead being noticeable on the track unless you look hard for it.  On Hawthorn Dene Washery it is very unlikely ever to be stationary in front of an audience.

 

post-13358-0-09124200-1362312153.jpgpost-13358-0-18229200-1362312157_thumb.jpg

 

Loco dow runs perfectly- seen below on test on a ten-coach train.

 

post-13358-0-79959000-1362311619_thumb.jpg

 

Hope this solution is useful to someone......

 

All the very best

Les

Edited by Les1952
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I happened to have 60106 out last night for the first time in ages and it was completely dead out of the box!

 

Fault was traced to a dry joint on one of the motor terminals, meaning no power was getting to the motor. Easy fix - worth checking if your loco suddenly dies! (I think the solder tags on the motor don't actually take solder that easily which is why this happened - more flux helped.)


Cheers,
Alan

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I happened to have 60106 out last night for the first time in ages and it was completely dead out of the box!

 

Fault was traced to a dry joint on one of the motor terminals, meaning no power was getting to the motor. Easy fix - worth checking if your loco suddenly dies! (I think the solder tags on the motor don't actually take solder that easily which is why this happened - more flux helped.)

 

Cheers,

Alan

 

Not the first dry joint I've come across, and not just Dapol suffer from them in my experience.  I've had similar problems on a Dapol Voyager (lead to motor AND at one pickup), one of my V2s and a Minitrix V36 which for some reason has a soldered joint on one side of the chassis where there is a continuous piece of brass on the other.......

 

All the very best

les

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 one of my V2s

 

In the tender? The V2 has no solder joints in the loco (other than within the can motor itself, and I presume you've not had that apart...) as far as I'm aware from all my conversions...

 

Cheers,

Alan

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It was actually the A2/2 conversion (from a V2) that had the dry joint-  I had assumed that since this had soldered joints inside it the V2s had also- but then again I hadn't spotted the shortened wheelbase on it.  Sorry about that.

 

Les

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  • 7 months later...

Picked up a BR l/c green Flying Scotsman from Cheltenham Model Centre at the Peterborough show for £100. They had been split from sets. Unfortunately the bag of bits was missing when I checked it at home, so I've e-mailed CMC who have sent them by post. Now to lubricate it--that looks another story!

Edited by Crepello
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  • 3 years later...

 

For some reason this one missed out on coaling and cab roof painting.   Putting on the layout to run round for a while I noticed the Cortazzi truck derailing randomly at rail joints.   Checking -  the wheels were  correctly in, screw properly tightened and no oddments of flash stopping movement.   None of the other five A3s and neither of my A4s exhibit this problem.

 

Solution-  to put a small amount of lead in the only place I could fit it without touching anything vital- inside the truck behind the cab steps aft of the wheels.   One piece of self-adhesive lead (Eileen's Emporium- usual disclaimers) each side largely cured the derailment- so I added a second to make sure.  Sorry about the quality of the pics- old camera- but they hopefully show where the lead has gone.  A small dab of matt black paint stops the lead being noticeable on the track unless you look hard for it.  On Hawthorn Dene Washery it is very unlikely ever to be stationary in front of an audience.

 

attachicon.gifleadweights2.jpgattachicon.gifleadweights3.jpg

 

Loco dow runs perfectly- seen below on test on a ten-coach train.

 

attachicon.gif60094hdc.jpg

 

Hope this solution is useful to someone......

 

All the very best

Les

My Cortazzi truck doesn't derail but it is very much 'on the wonk'. The front is much higher than the back. I've tried tightening and loosening the screw underneath but doesn't seem to make a difference. Does anyone have any ideas? Mallard's is perfectly level so I'm guessing it's Scotsman that's wrong.

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Sorry for the double post, thought I'd add a photo to help people understand my problem. The photo doesn't really do it justice, it looks very odd in the 'flesh'. As you can see, the rear of the bogie is leaning back and I can't seem to correct it but photos of others' models look perfect so must be possible. Any ideas?  :scratchhead: 

 

WP_20170604_22_18_37_Pro%202.jpg

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