REVIEW: Dapol Bogie Bolster E
Originally constructed as part of BRs regular 'pool' of commercial wagons, these wagons quickly found favour with the Engineers Department, though many found other uses such as for carrying steel coil, where a wooden cradle would be fitted. Fitted with vacuum brakes and instanter links to enable closer coupling, typical use on steel coil traffic saw them on flows from Immingham, Boston or Goole docks in block trains. Some were used to carry lengths of solid welded rail, hence several TOPS codes were used and it’s worth paying close attention to photographs if modelling the 1970s and 1980s period. At least one wagon was fitted with a canvas hood. From 1982, many hundreds were rebuilt as Turbot wagons for carrying ballast or spoil and larger wagons largely replaced their duties on steel traffic.
Arriving swiftly from Dapol is a review sample of its latest item of OO gauge rolling stock depicting these versatile wagons. Carrying the TOPS code BEV, with BR number 924327, the wagon would have had a 32.5T tare and weighed 15.4T, unladen. Other livery variations from Dapol on this wagon cover the YNV, YRV and YNV TOPS codes.
Built to Lot 3343 at Ashford in 1961, even the builder’s plate on this model is raised!
The wagon’s pristine ex-works condition makes it an ideal candidate for weathering. Painted upon construction, subsequent repaints on these wagons were rare and the bulk of the fleet carried a stained rust appearance for most of its life. I’d recommend visiting Paul Bartlett’s wagon website with colour photography as a source of inspiration for your weathering to ensure accuracy.
The BEV TOPS code (as with the other TOPS codes they carried) was a later addition, merely being a red bauxite patch onto which the white letters were stencilled. Its location on the model is correct, but looking closely at photographs, their positioning wasn’t an exact science.
Inside, a packet containing silver-painted injection-moulded instanter couplings with wire links, drawhooks, vacuum pipes with red-painted tips and two close coupling bars ensure that the already impressive detail of the wagon can be taken a step further should you desire. Also included are four bolsters and eight injection-moulded stanchions, each fitted with an eye should you want to add chain to your loads. This impressive feature is useful because these wagons often had their bolsters moved around to suit the load they were carrying. As such, the push-fit bolsters can be moved around any of the eight positions, whilst each bolster offers six semi-circular holes into which stanchions can be placed, ensuring the fixing ‘eyes’ always face outwards. It makes adapting the wagon easier should you wish to equip the deck with a coil cradle and re-number the wagons with a new TOPS code.
Flipping the wagon to inspect the underside highlights where this wagon excels.
Not only is the ‘L’ angle iron framework represented in full, with visible joins – just like the real thing – but the plank detail to the underside of the decked top is also clearly visible, above the wagon’s frame, again, clearly visible. The twin vacuum cylinders which lead to brake rigging in the direction of each bogie are a very good effort. The effort isn’t hidden either, because the detail is quite visible from track level.
Want to read more?
Get your copy of the full review in the July issue of BRM, available to download as a digital edition from pocketmags.com/BRM from June 13 or pick up a printed copy in stores from June 20.