Dapol B4 Class 0-4-0T

21 June 2023
Applauded for its LSWR locomotive in 4mm:1ft scale, can its 7mm:1ft scale 'cousin' match expectations?

Let there be no doubt – £251.51 (RRP) for a ready-to-run model in 7mm:1ft scale, with all the inflationary pressures in recent times represents value for money.

Dapol has inspired many to 'dip their toe' into O gauge for the first time. And, here's why we believe that trend is to continue with the arrival of its new Adams LSWR B4 0-4-0T:

Dapol B4 0-4-0 locomotive O gauge

This is an ideal small locomotive for a compact harbour or yard layout for those who like the Southern Region. With six models to choose from ranging from the early London & South Western livery of our review sample through the grouping years into British Railways years, modellers have options.

Dapol B4 0-4-0 locomotive O gauge

The immediate impression is the weight, a substantial 740g thanks to its die-cast chassis. For a model which is less than 7in in length, it certainly makes an impression, and undoubtedly helps with its haulage capabilities.

Dapol B4 0-4-0 locomotive O gauge

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Buffers are sprung, as are the coupling hooks, if a little stiff. Everything, down to the fine details, is robust and feels like well-made quality.

Dapol B4 0-4-0 locomotive O gauge

For those wanting to fit a decoder, this is remarkably simple with the smokebox door opening on its hinge, and pulling out the circuit board to fit a 21-pin decoder with space for two ‘sugar cube’ speakers. These sit in the right place for sound, at the base of the chimney.Dapol B4 0-4-0 locomotive O gauge

The cab roof is attached by small magnets for easy removal to see the excellent level of interior detail which includes the flickering firebox effect, and to allow fitment of a crew, too. 

Five years ago, Dapol brought us the well-regarded OO gauge model of the B4. This is bigger and better, with superb running qualities and performance – highly-recommended.

Read Andy York's full review in the August 2023 issue of BRM, on-sale July 13 in print, or get your copy a week early with World of Railways Plus.