7mm Dapol Diag 1/039 & 1/044 Open Wagons

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Overseer, 11 February 2017.

  1. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I haven't noticed any mention on WT of the recent introduction of the Richard Webster designed steel ended open wagons by Dapol so not sure what others think of them. As it is a model of a fairly common wagon for which no kit is available and the photographs looked quite good I ordered one of the unpainted ones. Can't complain about the service from Hattons and the postal services - ordered Friday evening and on the doorstep in Melbourne the following Friday morning at a lower cost than it would have been if I had walked into the shop thanks to the huge UK VAT.

    The unpainted one is numbered as M 424330, portraying one of the predecessors to the Diag 1/039 and 1/044, the LMS diagram D2150. The LMS also had the very similar D2110. It seems from Essery that there was a mix of suspension types and brake systems covered by the two LMS diagrams and a similar thing happened with the BR versions covered by the two BR diagrams. Many of the hand braked wagons were later fitted with vacuum brakes.

    As received -
    D open 5.jpg
    D open 4.jpg
    D open 7.jpg
    D open 2.jpg
    Note the Kadee mounting plates, a feature I have not seen on the Lionheart wagons. It probably mounts Kadees at their standard height, you would need to use a medium shank length coupling if you plan to use Kadees. The long shank version I tried looked too long but might help with tight curves. There are a couple of issues, one is that the fixing screw in the mounting plate is domed and prevents a coupling being mounted on the plate (needs a countersunk screw). The other is the height is way lower than UK standard for knuckle couplings due to the scale difference and different mounting heights of UK and US prototypes.
    D open 3.jpg
    I converted the wheels to S7 in the same way as the Lionheart tank was done. Press the die cast centre to the back face of the wheel then reduce the width of the tyre to scale width. I have left the flanges as supplied, deeper than they should be but not too bad. No alteration required to the brake gear for clearance.
    D open 6.jpg

    I plan to repaint the wagon, but I expected to do that before buying it. The unpainted wood colour supplied is a odd flesh colour which is probably OK as a base for weathering. Overall, the wagon looks very good and I particularly like the end corrugations (ironically they are a bit thinner than they should be so the internal length is a millimetre or so longer than scale). There are a few issues with wagons in this particular paint scheme, mainly because the LMS wagons were not identical with the BR version. The floor edge should be painted black, as should the steel support below the doors, and the steel capping to the door top should also be painted black. The steel door capping is represented on the model is correct for the LMS wagons but was on few of the BR wagons. The diagonal straps are correct for the BR diagram wagons but the LMS wagons had the strap at a slightly shallower angle, finishing level with the floor. The LMS wagons also had an outward facing angle along the top of each end which is not present on the BR wagons modelled by Dapol. A minor point but the capping support clips on the model are correct for wagons in later service but as built the LMS ones only had a clip at each end of the planks - easy to slice off if required. I will probably modify this one to more closely match the LMS diagram 2150 wagons.

    Overall, I think Dapol have produced a good model of a useful early BR period wagon which had long service lives.

    From the photographs, I am not so sure about the BR standard vans also recently introduced by Dapol so haven't purchased any yet. The end corrugations on the vans do not look quite right and the roof looks odd around the door. They have done the plank widths well, with the slightly narrower plank at mid height, something Slaters didn't get right with their kit.
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  2. jjnewitt

    jjnewitt Active Member

    I haven't seen close up pictures of these before. I'm not sure Dapol have got the planking right on these either. The top plank should be the same width as the bottom one and wider than the middle three:
    BR (LMS) open merchandise corrugated end OWV ZGV

    It looks like the top four planks are all the same width. There are good published drawings for the LMS version of these (Wild Swan) so there's no lack of material to work with... The rest does look nice.

  3. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    You are correct, the plank widths are nqr. Haven't decided yet how far to go with this one. By the time it is finished starting with a kit may be easier, there are reasons I like to scratchbuild. At least if I get things wrong it is only one rather than thousands.

    The other thing I forgot to mention is the strange holes in the solebars. I am not sure what they are meant to be but they will be filled.
  4. 2-Bil

    2-Bil Western Thunderer

    Theres a photo in theBartlett/Larkin BR WAGON BOOK (page 45)of the BR version of the open.The model has the same serial number though the wagon photographed has split 8 spoked wheels.Thanks for your assessment of the LM open.
    Its a shame the ABS range isn't around.I wonder how many modellers would choose one of them first- given the chance?
    By the way, the weathering on the oil tank looks Very convincing
  5. hrmspaul

    hrmspaul Western Thunderer

    Unfortunately the photo also shows it has unpainted wood - unlike our caption which says it is painted, and I've only just noticed this mistake.
    What we may never know is what colour the metalwork of those early BR period wagons in LMS Wagon vol 1 was. I suspect it was LMS bauxite, including in some cases the headstock and solebar.

  6. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I have been looking at various works photos of early BR unpainted standard wagons for some time and seem to see differing things in the various photos. In some the underframe steelwork looks different to the steel body components, in others more similar. I think it is likely that the body steelwork was painted with Japan black or bitumen paint (basically the same thing) based on the appearance of the finish and the pattern of rusting after a fairly short period of time. The headstocks and solebars could well be bauxite.

    I only have access to published photos and some not great quality ones online, it would be good to see some quality prints or negatives if anyone has them. It would help with deciding which way to go with finishing this wagon and one or two other wagons. Any recollections of the actual colours could really help but that is probably asking too much.
  7. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Help needed.

    I couldn't stand the flesh coloured paint any longer so have sprayed the wagon grey. Now I need a number, and preferably a photo of one of the unfitted diagram 1/044 wagons in grey during the mid 1950s. My searches have failed to come up with anything so any ideas gratefully received.
  8. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    Does that help? From Don Rowland's "British Railways Wagons". The v shows lots vacuum braked.
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  9. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Thanks Heather, that is useful to at least get the number in the right range. It does emphasise how few unfitted BR corrugated end wagons there were. It seems they had vacuum brakes fitted quite quickly, but how quickly? There must be some appearing in the background of a photo to confirm grey paint and no vacuum.
  10. djparkins

    djparkins Western Thunderer

    I fully agree with you - but not many would take up the option, I suspect. White metal has fallen from grace in recent years for some reason. Not with me though!

    This has just prompted me to look again at the ABS BR 'Courrugated' kit that I own. It captures the chracter of the prototype absoloutely, in my view.

    No doubt the Dapol wagon will look the part after some TLC at Overseer's expert hand. But as it is supplied? I'd just have loved to read an Adrian Swain critique of it. That would have been entertaining!

  11. hrmspaul

    hrmspaul Western Thunderer

    Ah the joys of modelling early 1950s BR. Heather hasn't provided the copyrighted diag 1/039 table which also includes unfitted wagons but with high bar. It is unlikely that any unfits were painted in the mid 1950s. They shouldn't have been.

    As to vans, well my photos suggest that planking is far from consistent in the breadth of planking, but I'll accept my photos are after some years of usage.

  12. markjj

    markjj Western Thunderer

    Why do we all complain about RTR wagons ? I know I know of one finescale kit supplier who would bite your arm off to sell you kits which are almost perfect. You won't build them in 5 mins but they will be right. FFs support the kit manufacturers who will give you the kits you strive for...
    Last edited: 26 August 2017
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  13. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    After sitting on the shelf in undercoat for months the Diag 1/044 open has had some attention. I almost wrote tlc but that is not what it has had. I haven't bothered to correct the annoying bits which I might regret in future but this wagon is not intended to be anything special. I still haven't seen a photo of one of the unfitted wagons in original livery so have made some assumptions. Plate 1 in Don Rowland's British Railway Wagons shows one of the unfitted wagons with grey painted ends and body steelwork and Plate 18 shows a Diag 1/042 13T high goods in as built condition with grey painted steelwork and unpainted planks so this is what I have aimed for. The problem with representing this livery on a model is that it is easy to end up with it looking like it is painted grey all over.


    Not sure whether more will be done to the body, it will sit for a while. At least it looks more plausible than it did in Barbie flesh pink and black. I need to pick a number between B 494920 and B 495269, hopefully one which ran unfitted for a few years at least. The underframe will get a waft of rust/dust when the airbrush is out for other wagons.
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  14. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    A small update on the corrugated end open wagon. I have been keeping an eye out for evidence of the colour scheme of the unfitted wagons in service and eventually found one in a pre 1960 photo which I think confirms the grey painted steelwork. A bit rusty but definitely not black.

    I thought I had found another one but looking at it more closely it is one of the LMS built versions (the diagonal straps do not go below the body side as the BR ones do). The second wagon in this image. Both images are crops of small parts of photographs shown here for research purposes only.

    The other thing of note in this image is the 16T steel wagon - note it has bottom door markings so is pre British Railways, probably LMS built. Note the good condition of the paint and the minor distortion of the steel side plates. This matches what I was trying to reproduce when building the MMP kit on here some years ago. The distortion of the side plates is not obvious but does catch the light and gives the model more character, something plastic versions lack. From looking at photos I think the BR diag 1/108 wagons were not well painted when built so rusted rapidly while the earlier wagons had higher quality initial paint and were repainted by BR so looked to be in better condition during the late 1950s than newer Diag 1/108 wagons.

    I think I need another black wash on the timbers to get closer to the prototype. The unpainted timber with grey steelwork is a difficult 'livery' to match as it can easily look like grey paint all over. Still haven't lettered it. The model photos were taken on the small Canon camera and the phone as a test.
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  15. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Well done on finding some plausible photos, Fraser!

    The woodwork on the open high looks pretty good but I wonder if a dark grey wash rather than the harshness of black might be better? I like the subtle effect on the LMS steel mineral, too. Tricky to replicate in 4mm though I've occasionally thought about it.