Dapol second batch Electro-Diesels are now available
After a long wait patience is now rewarded by eight (including limited editions) new 4mm scale Class 73 models from Dapol. The first batch in December 2015 proved to be a mixed blessing, with very good body and bogie mouldings well detailed with separately applied parts, and a reasonable all-wheel drive mechanism, let down by arguably inaccurate colours and fonts. I am pleased to report that in terms of colours and fonts these new models are significantly more credible that the first batch. Available now are:
Regular production (DCC version are suffixed D, DCC Sound versions are suffixed S)
- 4D-006-010 JA E6004 in BR(S) coach green with grey solebar
- 4D-006-011 JB 73109 “Battle of Britain 50th Anniversary” in Network SouthEast livery
- 4D-006-012 JB 73235 in South West Trains (outer suburban blue+swoosh) livery
- 4D-006-013 JB 73202 in Southern livery with Gatwick Express branding
- 4D-006-014 JA E6002 in BR(S) coach green with oval buffers
Special editions from Olivia’s Trains of Sheffield
- OLIV004 JB 73107 “Spitfire” in Fragonset black livery
- OLIV005 JB 73212 in Network Rail yellow livery (with a “GB” sticker in each headcode window)
- OLIV006 JB 73128 in EW&S maroon livery
Our review of the first batch can be found by clicking here. These have only become available within the past few days, more details and pictures will be published soon, but meanwhile a first impression specifically pertaining to these new versions.
This second batch Class 73 models contain a new circuit board which allow the lighting on the headcode boxes, cabs and high intensity headights, if fitted, at each end to be switched on DC separately. Please note, the lighting on one headcode box is white, the other red. This is unfortunately not changed with direction, thus this loco is technically unidirectional. Which brings me to my big criticism – the supplied instructions (or “Owners guide” as Dapol term it) are confined to control of the lighting on both DC and DCC. Nothing else. Whilst the guide refers to the circuit board it does not inform where said board is located nor how one gets to it. Nor does the guide provide any information about where the separately supplied parts (rubbing plate, engine control air pipe, main reservoir pipe, vacuum pipe, air brake pipe, dummy dropped buckeye and screw couplings, working slimline tension link couplings) are to be fitted. In the case of the separate parts a proficient modeller ought to be able to work out such things, however advice of how to take the body off is necessary rather than risk damage by doing it the wrong way. Even a proficient modeller could well fall foul of this. On a positive note, the separate parts are colour matched to the specific loco they are supplied with, not generic (so do not mix them up between locos!). A list of separately supplied parts would also be helpful if only to check everything is supplied. Over my seven locos the number of headcodes supplied – note there is also no information about how to fit them- with each loco varies and until I had inspected all seven of them I was worried I might be missing some – for all I know I might well be and maybe I ought to query it with my retailers?
4D-006-014 E6002 green, two clear slides
4D-006-010 E6004 green, two clear slides plus headcodes 31 and AA
4D-006-011 73109 NSE, two clear slides plus headcodes 11 50 57 and JB
4D-006-012 73235 SWT, two clear slides
4D-006-013 73202 SN, two clear slides
Oliv006 73128 EW&S, two clear slides plus headcodes plus 92 99 and BE (query – should a freight company loco have passenger headcodes even if only for railtour use?)
Oliv005 73212 NWR, two clear slides
Compared to, say Rapido Trains’ comprehensive booklets (in French and English), the lack of information supplied with these models is poor and adrift of current best practice. However, overall, on my first impression I am happy with this second batch, whereas the first batch left me feeling uncomfortable that I had spent a lot of money on things which are not quite right. I just need to find the time to check they run well now. For the future, there are still a small number of liveries and livery variations that Dapol have not produced!
14th July 2019.