Tinkering with the Dapol Class 73

April 5, 2018

My enthusiasm for my Folkestone East layout has not been at a low ebb, but work being done to the layout is routine – little worthy of reporting. Refinement in some of the wiring together with a look at block occupancy detection for the main ‘Ashford’ staging yard has been the main activity together with working through piles of new equipment accumulated over the last few years.

One of those pieces of equipment is the Dapol Class 73 of which I finally bought in five to replace five old Lima models and a couple of Hornby ones. As soon as you buy new locos, there’s new projects to start and in this case, some reliability upgrades and repainting too. I must confess to not liking the Dapol model on sight – it was its poor livery colours, particularly the yeellow that did it for me initially. The roof colour on the model of No. 73138 is sort of okay when you see how Executive Dark grey faded over time, but not as uniformly as  applied to the model.

However, underneath the otherwise very neatly applied but less than accurate paint colours is a pretty nice model with oodles of detail. I have bitten the bullet and started some repaints of the model as well as upgrading the not so reliable current collection system. When a painting ‘mojo’ strikes, and they rarely do, masking tape and painting supplies takes quite a hammering! Thankfully, the Dapol Class 73 is reasonably easy to dismantle and work on.


First up is discovering how the bogies and electrical pick-up are arranged – parts may fall off the cosmetic bogie frame when being removed – note the middle retaining clip! As you will see, it is possible to add simple wiper pick-ups with either nickel-silver wire or its phosphor-bronze equivalent.

Pick up arrange on the Dapol Class 73 after the bogie frame has been unclipped.

Drill two holes clear of the bogie frame clip and on both sides of the frame to accept 0.4 to 0.45mm diameter pick-up wire.

Cutting a length of pick-up wire to the length of the bogie which after bending to shape, will be the ideal length.

The wire is bent like this and fed through the holes drilled through the inner bogie frame. Repeat for the opposite side and the second bogie.

Bend the wires so they will act on the back of the wheels as pick-ups.

Solder (very carefully) the wires to the existing connecting strips to complete the circuit. Adjust the pick-ups once the wheels have been refitted.

Painting of two of the models in Intercity Executive livery is underway and has reached the touching in stage to tidy up lining and prepare for transfers. Whilst doing this, my trust old Bob Moore lining pen finally packed in after 30 years of reliable service, so I resorted to a bow pen for the thin orange lining – less than successful. A new lining pen is on its way which will see the lining tidied up a little.


Other reliability work on the Dapol model included going over the finely assembled bogies and under frame detail with Plastic Weld to secure the individually moulded detail parts before the fell off and became lost. Thankfully, they seem to be moulded from a plastic which can be glued together with sparing amounts of a powerful solvent adhesive!

A decoder with ‘Keep Alive’ circuits is also being installed in each model and indeed, to as much of my collection as possible. I value reliable running and flicker-free lighting more than digital sound. The space left for a speaker in this model will accommodate a pretty big Keep Alive unit!


One of the really great things about the Dapol Class 73 as far as EM gauge modellers are concerned is the wheels. They are fitted to split axles inserted in insulating drive gears with large bosses on either side. With the current collection via axle bush rings, the wheels can be easily regauged for EM track. Fortunately, the wheel profile runs through my track work allowing me to place out the box models into traffic as soon as there is a decoder fitted to the model.
Also worthy of note is the nicely arranged interior and simple electronics which allows for the hard wiring of decoders for simplicity together with space for Keep Alive units. I remove the circuit boars and hard wire decoders allowing me to arrange lighting to suit my needs – the cab light is isolated as a result. Access to the interior of the body for this work is also very simple – undo four screws and the body slides straight off – no clips or anything like that to catch you out. So there it is – the Dapol 73 is being introduced to my Folkestone East layout at last.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Remodelling and upgrading of the Folkestone East layout continues.

April 10, 2017

Thumpers take a spin over the layout. It is run as the real location would be run in both the BR Sectorisation and post-privatisation eras. It is also home to my EMU and DEMU fleet, whether they are suitable for the location being modelled or not!

Remodelling of my EM gauge Folkestone East is making progress, having reached that ‘nothing looks finished’ chaotic stage. To recap, the work commenced with rebuilding the key cross-over from the down line to the yard and branch turn-back sidings. This required the removal of the Up staff halt platform and signalling to allow room to work on the new track and to allow for the slight remodelling of the track at that location. No.6 curved turnouts were replaced with longer No. 8 turnouts making the track run in a smoother arc in the curves and through the turnouts. The new track can be seen in the image below.


The flats which can be seen at the Ashford end of the real location have been built and in the process of detailing – fitting windows etc. The buildings are loose fitted to the layout and will be removable once the scenery is complete to suit particular date and time stamps, so to speak. Furthermore, they will be partially screened by weed trees growing on the embankment. The actual structures are slightly smaller than scale  – the real ones being set a little further back from the lineside.


Two of the most challenging structures to build include Folkestone East signal box (above) and the electricity sub station (which will be located more or less opposite this scene). The box might appear to be of a simple design. However, there are elements of it that are quite challenging to work out, including the sun shields. The interior has been left clear to allow me to model the panel.

The box is situated on the old demolished Down platform of Folkestone East station. A short length of platform survives as a staff halt as it does on the Up side as mentioned above. Note how the box is set into the demolished platform with a low retaining wall.

 

The back drop has been pushed back about three inches to make room for some more low relief buildings including the end of the terrace houses on the street leading to the signal box. The end of an small industrial building is to be added too. Yes, the layout is seeing quite some remodelling, but I hope the extra effort will be worth it. The new cross-over track has already brought much benefit in improved running over what is already a pretty reliable layout. The signal box is reaching the painting and detailing stage. Already, I am eyeing up the construction of baseboards for the harbour branch.

 


Mk.2d BFK…

August 15, 2012


One of a handful of work bench projects to be completed is a cut & shut project involving the merging of two former Airfix Mk.2d coaches into one. A BSO and an FO were carved up, window sections discarded and the remainder glued together to make a reasonable representation of a BFK. A full repaint, fitting of ‘Laserglaze’ and weathering of the completed body shell was a must. A Mk.1 RMB is next – the challenge is finding some window frames to upgrade the Bachmann model…

…before it can be painted in Intercity livery. Air brake details and a change to the roof vents will be needed too. A handful of Mk.2f using Lima models as a basis, enhanced with Shawplan ‘Laserglaze’ and fitted with Bachmann B4 bogies will follow.


A new addition to the fleet…

October 3, 2009

New-Out991_990
I could not resist the limited edition Class 57, 57 601 offered by Model Rail magazine! This special issue Bachmann OO gauge loco has since been equipped to work on my EM gauge ‘Top Deck’ layout, allocated to charter traffic.

New-Out989_988A very fine looking machine it is too. 57 601 is one of my favourite locos and it has spent time up here in the Highlands working the Royal Scotsman. It has been to Kyle of Lochalsh during its recent career, a far cry from its beginnings on the Great Western.

Image 102 copy
Here’s the finished article, ready for traffic – a simple piece of work, really. Internally, a 21-pin decoder is fitted for use on the Top Deck layout which currently runs on Lenz equipment. However, with the imminent arrival of Duplex radio from Digitrax, that may change (my N scale layout on the lower and middle decks already works with Digitrax equipment, so another power district could be established very easily). Hornby air pipes decorate the bufferbeam and a Kadee is fitted at the opposite end. EM gauge wheels and a coat of light weathering to the underframes and exhaust ports on the roof completes the picture. This model replaces the FGW Class 57 which I once used on ‘Platform 4a & 4b’. A worthy successor!