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Dapol Autocoach


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19 hours ago, D9020 Nimbus said:

There are two likely routes to a newer 14xx — either Accurascale might (have) purchase(d) the tooling from Hattons and can sort it out, or Dapol might do one, given they do it in O and N. Or they both might. Or Rapido will do one to go with the Titfield Thunderbolt range…

While the DJM/Hattons boduy id s pretty god is to des have the shortcomings of the recessed numberplate position anf maybe one or two other oddments that need sorting.  Plus the way it integrates with chassis is strange.  So while as a body it's not too bad from an appearance viewpoint it might not be suitable for anyone with different ideas about how a model should be manufacture t take it over.

 

I think it must be odds on that one will appear from somewhere in the next few years and while Hornby would be an obvious candidate for developing a new ho-fi version they are concentrating heavily on their TT range so might offer no more than a re-run timed to go with someone else's launch of a hi-fi model. (which seems to be part of their m.o. nowadays).

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Ok, my mood has now declined to merely euphoric!  Actual Tondu prototypes right period right livery, and RTR to boot!

 

I will be happy to accept the blame for this model for anyone who disapproves of Dap's choice of prototype, as I've been lobbying for it for years.  It is a natural development from the Lionheart 7mm model.  Few Autotrailer diagrams were produced in anything like large numbers, all are too different from each other to enable cut'n'shut conversions, and choosing a prototype for RTR must be not the simplest of decisions.  The most numerous single prototype built is the 70' A26, a railmotor rebuild, but I can see why RTR manufacturers have avoided it; the concept/percieved wisdom is a complete train suitable for limited space BLTs without runarounds, and a 70' coach negates that to some extent.  70 footers were not used in Cornwall except Saltash, Bristol Area TTBOMK, or in Wales.  Also worth mentioning that some panelled trailers were plated in and the toplights plated over in BR days, more tooling work for manufacturers, and some had a variety of bogie types.

 

It is worth pointing out that the concept/recieved wisdom, 48xx and trailer on a bucolic branch, is only one aspect of auto work on the GW and WR.  Trailers were originally developed to run with steam rail motors, SRMs, and followed these by being largely of two lengths, 70' and 59'6", both lengths appearing in 'suburban' and 'branch' forms, the difference being the provision of a parcels compartment for the latter.  These were the progenitors of what became the 'standard' layout with central passenger access doors, but several earlier types were accessed through the driver's door and one at the other end.  On centre door types, the guard rode in the central vestibule, but had to find his own place on the earlier 'suburban' types.

 

This flags up a point somewhat contradictory to the bucolic BLT scenario.  This existed of course, but was a relative small proportion of auto work overall.  The orignal concept behind the SRMs was to provide competition with growing urban electric tram networks, in conjunction with new 'Haltes'; the bulk of auto work was of a suburban nature in an urban, and largely heavily industrialised, environment.  SRMs were in most cases victims of their own success, and had to have trailers to cope with the traffic, which they were not always good at hauling at speeds sufficient to keep them out of the way of faster traffic.  The solution was to use 'proper' locomotives fitted with auto equipment in a push-pull mode, and convert the SRMs by removing the engine and replacing it with passenger and/or luggage accommodation. 

 

The locos used intitially were redacted 0-6-0s such as 633s, 2021s &c, and while these were found to be suitable for single trailer loads on branches, they struggled a bit on suburban main line jobs.  The next step was to fit 517s and Metros with TRG (through regulator gear, the auto fittings), then to update the 517 into the 48xx, with a 58xx version for general light branch work.  There was still a need for more power on suburban work, however, and the result was an update of the 2021 with larger driving wheels, the 54xx.  This proved to still be a bit out of it's depth where there were gradients, leading to the 4'7" drivers on the 64xx, which were allox South Wales and Plymouth.  When the Cardiff Valleys 1953 timetable introduced more and heavier auto work in that area, 4575s were given TRG in order to be able to manage 3-trailer trains on the gradients.

 

I would agree that there is a probable market for an RTR 517 or Metro, but these came in different shapes and sizes which might mitigate against the idea from a manufacturers' pov. In the meantime 3D print bodyshells are available for 517s from Stafford Road Works on Shapeways, designed IIRC for the Airfix chassis, which means they are suitable for modern Hornby 48/14xx chassis.  You can't use a 48xx chassis on a Metro, the brakes will be the wrong way around.  I'd say there is arguably a market for the 'cyclops' BR conversion comartment 'cyclops' trailers as well, since they could easily be tooled to represent the unconverted third and brake third.  They were converted in connection with the Valleys 1953 timetabe, but found their way elsewhere in later years after being supplanted by 116s in that area.

 

Dapol's new N probably means that further RTR offerings of panelled trailers are less likely (meaning there is less prospect of my required J and A10 appearing), but there are straight sided matchboard types that lasted into the mid 50s as well to consider, and an upgrade to current standards of the now antediluvian Airfix A30 would, I'm sure, fly off the shelves; I'd be more than happy to replace my pair.  The appearance of a hi-fi N leaves a big gap between itself and the hi-fi Bachmann A38.

 

Congratulations to Dapol for responding to another of my lobbyings (I may be exaggerating my own contribution here) with a removable roof so that interior detail is facilitiated, yes yes yes more of this sort of thing please other companies take note.  I probably won't run mine with the A30s, which will be made to look vastly inferior and toy!like in comparsion despite my attempts at working them up.  Comet A43/4 Cyclops and Roxey Clifton Downs are much more suitable-looking partners!  W 37 W lasted until 1957, and may well have run at Tondu in conjuntion with Cyclops trailers, but  W 36 W or W 38 W are probably more likely running mates.

 

Does the DCC version include a working windscreen wiper? 

Edited by The Johnster
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On 18/03/2023 at 15:42, Dunsignalling said:

Can we perhaps hope that those 'American' bogies will be made available as spares?

 

I have a number of ideas in mind that could use some....

 

Try Stafford Road Works, 3D prints on Shapeways.  Excellent and stable runners with Bachmann wheelsets, detailed enough for 'layout models', available with different mounts for Lima, Hornby etc, and with or without NEM pockets, not cheap but worth it.  Stafford also do Deans, Fishbellies, and Collett 7'.  I've used their Americans on a worked up Siphon and Fishbellies on one of my Keyser A31s.

Edited by The Johnster
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On 18/03/2023 at 11:52, Star-rider said:

Many people have complained about the running qualities of the Hattons model but mine is OK once it is running at speed, I suspect that poor starting and stalling it suffers may be more of an electronic problem…

 

No no no no no.  No.  A loco that is OK once it is running at speed is not OK, smooth starting and stopping with reliable controllable slow running are vital attributes of a model loco, especially a RTR one which is liable to have 'faster' gearing to keep a lid on costs than kit or scratch built models.  A modern RTR mech with worm and idler gearing should be unquestioningly capable of this by default after about half an hour's running in in each direction.  If the problem is electronic, you can easily determine this by removing the chip and test running it with DC, but complaints about this model suggest that getting a decent runner is pot luck, which in turn suggests a poor design and, given the number of complaints, poor build and risible QC.  Even the antediluvian Airfix ran smoothly until it's plunger pickups gave out.

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45 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

 

Try Stafford Road Works, 3D prints on Shapeways.  Excellent and stable runners with Bachmann wheelsets, detailed enough for 'layout models', available with different mounts for Lima, Hornby etc, and with or without NEM pockets, not cheap but worth it.  Stafford also do Deans, Fishbellies, and Collett 7'.  I've used their Americans on a worked up Siphon and Fishbellies on one of my Keyser A31s.

Cheaper to build metal ones. I think the last pair I made came from Dart Castings.

 

Slaters did the 8' wheelbase one, but I don't know if they've yet been "liberated" from Coopercraft.

Edited by Dunsignalling
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But I'm lazy*, and metal ones don't mount as easily to my RTR bodyshells, and I use NEM tension locks, and...

 

 

*I refer to this as energy conservation.  I've conserved enough energy in the last week or so to have a decent chance at the next Ironman competition, but somehow it doesn't work quite like that...

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On 18/03/2023 at 12:59, jamieb said:

It says that one of these coaches is 'preserved' at the Telford Steam Railway.Unfortunately it's decaying at a rate of knots and has become an eyesore .Maybe Dapol could use a percentage of the profits to pay for it to go on a low loader to somewhere who can actually restore it!

I believe it's number 38 that is at the Telford Steam Railway, I photographed  it back in April 2021 during a visit there, it is in a worse state than it looks in the photo!

The bodies wooden frame has been exposed to the elements for years and the roof has several sections missing destroying what little of the interior remained, if my memory serves me right the guy who let me get up close to look at it said that the underframe was badly twisted as well.

As much as I appreciate the work of preservation groups, and the Telford team are brilliant, I can't really see this being restored where it is, sadly.

Onto the actual model itself, I am going to presume that the 4mm version will be a simple scale down from the 7mm version, if so it should be an excellent model, my only concern is the speaker housing is very visible in the luggage compartment of the 7mm version so might be even more so in 4mm scale, hopefully for those of us not needing sound it might be removable.

 

Chris.

 

IMG-20220617-WA0002.jpg.be83d4f22951b3533c53298276ee4ed5.jpg

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I learnt about this when I got an email from Hatton's yesterday.  I have wanted a 4mm version of the Diagram N autrotrailer for a long time, and it seemed a logical step for Dapol to produce this model, when they have had the 'Lionheart' 7mm version in their range for quite a few years.  Whilst there were only six of them, this model will be the first 4mm model of a purpose-built timber-panelled trailer (as distinct from SRM conversions).

 

The only query I have is the distinction between the 002 ("lined chocolate and cream") and 003 ("Twin cities crest - Chocolate and Cream") livery variants.  003 is self-explanatory (the 1927-1934 livery).  But is 002 intended to be the fully lined 1922-1927 livery, with the beading picked out in black?  I would be happy with either, but if both are going to be offered I would like to be clear as to the livery differences between these two models before choosing which to order.

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Oh dear!  I've just noticed that the digital mock-up shows a BLANK luggage end (correct for BR versions, but NOT for this vehicle in pre-2WW condition).  This means that 13 of the advertised variants will be wrong if supplied as shown, and only the 3 BR variants would be correct.

 

I don't want to have to cut out the luggage end windows myself.  (It's bad enough having to do it on the  A30 trailer), so I hope that Dapol will correct this detail before they go into production. 

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1 hour ago, Crichel Down said:

Oh dear!  I've just noticed that the digital mock-up shows a BLANK luggage end (correct for BR versions, but NOT for this vehicle in pre-2WW condition).  This means that 13 of the advertised variants will be wrong if supplied as shown, and only the 3 BR variants would be correct.

 

I don't want to have to cut out the luggage end windows myself.  (It's bad enough having to do it on the  A30 trailer), so I hope that Dapol will correct this detail before they go into production. 

 

 

Yes, not obvious given the angles of the CAD renders, but, it looks as if the version we have shows the post-War blank ends.

 

I think all these 59' diagrams, excepting the 2 Cs, had windows at both ends. These are evident on the luggage ends of Dia. N trailers in both the pre-Grouping and plain chocolate and cream 1930s pictures. I think the earliest picture I have seen with the blank end is dated 1953 with the coach in BR maroon. I have already written to Dapol to ask for clarification.

 

So, it's pretty important that all the GW versions, the majority of the versions announced, as you say, have luggage end windows. It would also be great if the pre-Grouping versions didn't have a gong at the driver's end, though less surgery would be required in removing that(!) and no white lines on the windows for the eartlier liveries.

 

I am hoping 002 is in the as-built, pre-1908, lined chocolate and cream. I'd consider the crimson, too, but would want to see it (not having been convinced by the shade in the Kernow railmotor sample).

 

Not the next toplight design we were expecting, but if Dapol doesn't skimp on the tooling slides and gets this one right, it will be a happy day!

 

Now, where did I leave that 517?

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I would be very surprised if Dap do not do the luggage end windows where needed.  As mine will al be in post-1953 condition, it doesn’t bother me, but they would be missing a trick if they don’t do this.  I believe the Lionheart 7mm models have luggage end windows where appropriate. 
 

 

4 hours ago, Edwardian said:

. I think the earliest picture I have seen with the blank end is dated 1953 with the coach in BR maroon. I have already written to Dapol to ask for clarification.


An autotrailer photographed in 1953 should not be in maroon livery, which was not introduced until 1956. If the photo in question is the H C Casserley shot at Bridgend in heavy rain reproduced in John Lewis’ ‘Great Western Auto Trailers vol.1’, ot should be noted that a quirk of Lewis is that he does not differentiate between BR crimson and BR maroon liveries.  The livery in the Casserley photo looks dark, but is crimson nonetheless if the date is correct; the weather was clearly particularly typical of South Wales that day!

 

Dap are producing W 36 W in crimson and W 38 W in maroon.  Hope this clarifies.  

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2 hours ago, The Johnster said:

I would be very surprised if Dap do not do the luggage end windows where needed.  As mine will al be in post-1953 condition, it doesn’t bother me, but they would be missing a trick if they don’t do this.  I believe the Lionheart 7mm models have luggage end windows where appropriate. 
 

 


An autotrailer photographed in 1953 should not be in maroon livery, which was not introduced until 1956. If the photo in question is the H C Casserley shot at Bridgend in heavy rain reproduced in John Lewis’ ‘Great Western Auto Trailers vol.1’, ot should be noted that a quirk of Lewis is that he does not differentiate between BR crimson and BR maroon liveries.  The livery in the Casserley photo looks dark, but is crimson nonetheless if the date is correct; the weather was clearly particularly typical of South Wales that day!

 

Dap are producing W 36 W in crimson and W 38 W in maroon.  Hope this clarifies.  

 

This is because I also, don't know the difference between BR maroon and BR crimson, or that, indeed, there was one, that being so very far from any period of interest for me, so I stand corrected! Judging from his captions, Lewis is equally indifferent. The way I see it, everyone else models the BR period so I don't have to! So please respect my need not to know these things; ignorance is a delicate bloom, touch it and it witheres! 

 

I hope, of course, you are right, but extra tooling costs without a commissioner/partner in the mix insisting on them? I wouldn't assume we'll get them and I certainly think it's worth lobbying on the point to make sure. As you say, it wouldn't affect you, but I'd like to think we've evolved beyond making models tooled purely for the BR/late Grouping modeller which can be made to bear an ill-fitting earlier livery for extra sales on the assumption that the resultant inaccuracies will be got away with.  

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46 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

 

This is because I also, don't know the difference between BR maroon and BR crimson, or that, indeed, there was one, that being so very far from any period of interest for me, so I stand corrected! Judging from his captions, Lewis is equally indifferent. The way I see it, everyone else models the BR period so I don't have to! So please respect my need not to know these things; ignorance is a delicate bloom, touch it and it witheres! 

 

I hope, of course, you are right, but extra tooling costs without a commissioner/partner in the mix insisting on them? I wouldn't assume we'll get them and I certainly think it's worth lobbying on the point to make sure. As you say, it wouldn't affect you, but I'd like to think we've evolved beyond making models tooled purely for the BR/late Grouping modeller which can be made to bear an ill-fitting earlier livery for extra sales on the assumption that the resultant inaccuracies will be got away with.  

Having the gentleman responsible for the O Gauge model "in house" these days, Dapol should be fully aware of the detail differences between GWR and BR condition.

 

FWIW, BR Maroon is darker than BR Crimson, visually exacerbated by the latter's tendency to fade pretty drastically in service. AIUI, that was one of the factors that led to the livery change.

 

The six coaches of this diagram were all withdrawn within a year or two of BR maroon being introduced, and the majority would have gone before coming due for overhaul.

 

On the "economically minded" Southern Region, many coaches of similar vintage lasted to withdrawal in 1957-8 with just BR transfers added over pre-1948 paint, and never even got the crimson....

 

John

 

 

Edited by Dunsignalling
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23 minutes ago, Dunsignalling said:

Having the gentleman responsible for the O Gauge model "in house" these days, Dapol should be fully aware of the detail differences between GWR and BR condition.

 

The six coaches of this diagram were all withdrawn within a year or two of BR maroon being introduced, and the majority would have gone before coming due for overhaul.

Almost word for word what I've just laboriously typed out! 

 

I'm sure this got discussed on the 7mm thread and the RMWeb consensus (oxymoron?) was they probably didn't actually get maroon.

 

On the plus side, the photos around suggest the Ns were less affected by plating over and beading removal than many of the other older types. Plain fronts and no toplights sort of defeats the object of having a panelled coach! 

 

Ian

Edited by Hal Nail
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3 minutes ago, Hal Nail said:

Almost word for word what I've just laboriously typed out! 

 

I'm sure this got discussed on the 7mm thread and the RMWeb consensus (oxymoron?) was they probably didn't actually get maroon.

 

I know that feeling, so well....🙃

 

Tend to agree on the maroon unless photographic evidence exists to the contrary.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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Hi, Regarding the end wall at the luggage end, there will be two versions, one as built with windows and one later converted with the windows filled in. Exactly the same as the Lionheart 0 scale model.

I believe the maroon livery was applied to at least one of the coaches, I will check my files when back home in a couple of days

Thanks

Richard

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7 hours ago, coeurdelyon said:

Hi, Regarding the end wall at the luggage end, there will be two versions, one as built with windows and one later converted with the windows filled in. Exactly the same as the Lionheart 0 scale model.

I believe the maroon livery was applied to at least one of the coaches, I will check my files when back home in a couple of days

Thanks

Richard

 

That is good news indeed. Ever the hope, but was not to be taken for granted, so it really is terrifically welcome to have that confirmed.

 

I hope the lined chocolate and cream, version 002, is the original, pre-1908 livery. If so, you've made me a very happy man.

 

Like the Mainline & City toplights, this is an announcement greatly to be welcomed. I hope we see 57' corridor toplights in due course. 

 

EDIT: Not being a 7mm modeller, I had to look up the reference to the Lionheart model. Assuming the same liveries will be applied to the OO models in due course, seeing these does answer some questions for me. 

 

image.png.02d993199df58819c696d4dc79a33280.png

 

Good news on the luggage end windows, although neither pre-1908 chocolate and cream nor 1912 crimson liveries would sport the gong. Neither would have the white line on the windows (yes, there is an example of this practice as early as 1919, though not this diagram, and generally the white lines are a feature congruent with the later plain chocolate and cream liveries). However, I suspect we are here looking at a representation of 1923, not 1906, fully lined chocolate and cream, on that basis you could probably fudge the issues. Not a deal breaker for me, as back-dating these features seems reasonably possible, though ideally I'd rather not have to.  

 

I'm not sure there is much practical difference at scale between the 1906 (post prize monogram) and 1923 iterations of lined chocolate and cream. To be frank, if one disregards the dates given by Lewis in his captions, it's the condition of the 517s that is telling me the coaches I am seeing are in 1900s, not 1920s condition.

 

In terms of how the liveries are applied to SRMs and trailers, there are some differences from ordinary coaching stock. I  think the obvious points are that, for the iteration of the livery in which the Dia. Ns were out-shopped in 1907, the number would have a 'No.' prefix on the sides as well as the ends, and no G W R intials on the waist panel above the Garter at this period, as opposed to in the 1923 iteration. I do note that the position of the number, garter and supports appears to be different in the 1907 livery, based on the picture in Lewis. HMRS transfers should cover the sutuation. In general carriage livery terms, the main difference, the positioning of the running number, doesn't apply in the case of trailers. Other differences are very minor from the point of view of a scale model. The distance line in the cream panels will be missing from my kit-built stock, which will count itself very lucky if it even gets gold edging to the beading, so I'm not going to fret over that. I cannot be sure from the photographs that the intervening vertical beading beneath the waist was always lined in the 1900s, but I can try to add it if it seems necessary.   

 

I do prefer the appearance here of the crimson lake to that of Kernow's sample for the railmotor. The lack of a 'No.' prefix on the sides, the inclusion of G W R and the lack of lining to the intervening vertical beading beneath the waist seems correct to me for this livery (and probably also for the preceding brown). I am intrgued, however, as to why the driver's door is labelled "luggage". 

 

image.png.e6df87b6ef228986832d36941be2f528.png

 

Based on what I have seen of these O gauge versions, the best option for pre-WW1use therefore seems to be the lake version (1912). Interesting as the most accurate version of the Kernow SRM for the same period is the prize monogram lined chocolate and cream version (1906). That's probably the best combination  for running a pre-Great War GWR branch line OOB. I am tempted, though, to order the lined chocolate and cream version of the trailer as well, as I think it can be tweaked back to something resembling 1907 condition fairly easily. 

 

So, based on these O gauge production pictures, I am looking forward to a brace of these on OO in due course. 

 

Again, well done to Dapol for announcing these.

Edited by Edwardian
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1 hour ago, coeurdelyon said:

Hi Edwardian,

The 57 foot toplights are in design and will be signed off soon, initially we shall be making the later steel panelled bodies built from 1914.

Thanks Richard

 

Superb.

 

I retain an interest in GW 1930s mainline. The steel sided toplights are especially under-represented and are perfect for my needs. This will be extremely welcome by me and, I suspect, many, many modellers.  

 

In due course, the older wooden bodied diagrams will be equally welcome. 

 

😀😀😁😀

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Autocoach? Oooh, nice! There is an (Eric Mountford) book on the Aberdare Railway. with 3 autocoaches being propelled by a 64xx. A bit of a no-brainer there. 

 

It's nice to see all of this Great Western coming out of the woodwork; just what's needed. Didn't someone sell a Cordon gas wagon?

 

Now, if one (or some) of the manufacturers would like some examples, I'd like.......

 

 

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8 minutes ago, tomparryharry said:

Autocoach? Oooh, nice! There is an (Eric Mountford) book on the Aberdare Railway. with 3 autocoaches being propelled by a 64xx. A bit of a no-brainer there. 

 

It's nice to see all of this Great Western coming out of the woodwork; just what's needed. Didn't someone sell a Cordon gas wagon?

 

Now, if one (or some) of the manufacturers would like some examples, I'd like.......

 

 

 

Right. I declare an interest as an Old Aberdarian who used the Low Level ( ex-TV ) line frequently in the years 1953-58 when the Auto Train was king with its 86J  64XX Pannier. Often as an alternative to the bus between Aberdare an Aberaman on my way home from school.  Before 1953, the branch to Abercynon was the preserve of the B Set of which my first recollection is chocolate & cream. When the auto coaches arrived they were BR crimson/maroon….except for the appearance on occasion of the Hawksworth variant which was crimson & cream.

 

However,The High Level ex-GW Vale of Neath also occasionally used an auto train formation..So a reference to the work quoted would be appreciated 
 

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