The first N gauge Class 56 models to emerge from Dapol and kindly sent over by Dave Jones for me to feature here represents those built by Electroputere in Romania.56 018 in EWS colours and 56 013 in Railfreight Coal are the first two models scheduled for release.
The models are neatly presented and represent the class well. Note the cut in detail of the bogie side frames. LED lights are fitted, working directionally on analogue power and independently with a decoder with no sign of light leakage into the cab or from underneath the loco.Face looks good too. NEM coupling pockets are fitted and the models are supplied with alternative coupling types. The buffer beam has a small notch in it to clear the coupling.
Side views showing the etched metal side grilles and moulded detail behind them. The fan grilles are moulded with a representation of a fan behind them. Note the later adaptation to the shoulder grilles at the No.2 end which is a 1990s modification.
Another look at the grille work. The bogie, sand box and buffer beam detail is also shown to advantage in this image. The cowl is modelled partially complete as if representing the locos after modification of this area and the early Doncaster-built machines which did not feature the side sections of the buffer beam cowl. This version of the detail will not be correct for a Romanian Class 56 in 1970s condition, say in BR blue livery or in Sector livery. Records show that 56 013 was no modified in this way and did not have the modified No.2 end shoulder grilles.And finally: the internals which include 6-axle drive with stub axle current collection and a centrally fitted 5-pole motor. Performance is smooth and the model is geared to have a reasonably low top speed in keeping with its status as a freight locomotive in the same manner as the Dapol Class 58 models. A 6-pin DCC interface socket is included in the electronics; the loco being shown with a Digitrax DZ125 installed.
As I was preparing this overview (not a review, that’s for the magazines) of the Dapol Class 56; Dapol had just released its latest NEM pocket fitting buck-eye couplings including a short shank and a long shank version. More on those next time round!