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Blog- Atso's Blog - What to do with a Dapol B1

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Hi all, I hope that everyone had a good Christmas!


Just before Christmas UPS delivered my latest consignment from Shapeways, five locomotive bodies. Only one of these was a Christmas present and from me not to me!


For the moment, I'll be concentrating on two of these as two of the others need suitable donor chassis to be identified and my new N2 is identical to the one covered previously.


I've collected several Dapol B1 locos and while these are out of period from my own layout, they were cheap and I've been looking into what I could convert them into.


My initial thoughts were to find a suitable 4-6-0 but this would limit me to the B1 and B17 both of which have been covered rtr.


What about an 2-6-0? Well Dapol doesn't seem to have any locos with 5'8 (or smaller) driving wheels. Also I'm not keen on trying to assemble my own valve gear yet - one day I'll have to bit the bullet on that one!


An 0-6-0? Again, I can't find a suitable loco with the correct wheelbase and 6'2 driving wheels!


So what then...


Well the B1's wheelbase is 7'3, 9' so what about if I lose the front set of driving wheels and move the bogie back? This would leave me with a 4-4-0 wheel arrangement with the drivers spaced at 9' - perfect for some many small pre grouping LNER 4-4-0 types. The Dapol tender will need to be ditched but this shouldn't present too many problems as the motor could be mounted into any other type of tender (or replaced with a smaller motor if required).


So what have I come up with?




On the left is a D16/3 'Claud Hamilton' and on the right is a GNR D2. The Claud is part way through it's smoothing process to remove the traces of the printing process while the D2 is untouched other than a quick blast of primer. The Claud has been rewheeled with some spare Dapol A3 driving wheels while the D2 is still sitting on the B2 drivers - the difference between the 6'8 and 6'2 drivers is incredible and just as noticeable when viewed at actual size. The D2 may get a set of large drivers in the future but clearances are quite tight on the rearmost wheelset. I'm not keen on the bogie wheels so these will most likely be replaced on both locos.


My only gaff is that I wanted a green D16/3 and I've just found out the Claud Hamilton was the only one painted green in the period I'm modelling! It may become 8783 which did retain it's green livery but as it wasn't rebuilt until December 1939 it really is pushing it to the limit of the period I'm modelling - rule one would have to apply here. All than being said, lined black is much easier to do than fully lined apple green!


Both need new tenders designing but I'm quite happy with how these are turning out at the moment!


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