27 February 2019
Find out why we think Dapol have done a great job with this HAA wagon….
7F-048-001 HAA 350274 Railfreight red cradle
7F-048-002 HAA 355203 Railfreight red cradle
7F-048-003 HAA 353823 Railfreight red cradle
7F-048-004 HAA 351351 EWS Scottish blue cradle
7F-048-005 HAA 354317 BR freight brown cradle
7F-048-006 HAA 359180 BR freight brown cradle
7F-048-007 HAA 359447 BR freight brown cradle
7F-048-008 HAA 354469 Railfreight Coal yellow cradle
Gauge/scale: 32mm gauge, 1:43.5 scale O
Era: BR 1973 – EWS 2008
Company/Operator: BR, Transrail, Loadhaul, Mainline Freight, EWS
Body and chassis: Plastic chassis and body
Couplings: Working Instanters
Accessories: Lamp brackets, dummy battery tail lights
Up to now, Dapol’s O gauge private owner wagon releases have been geared towards the ‘traditional’ British Railways era. This new addition to the manufacturer’s large-scale range is therefore a radical departure from what has gone before in depicting the HAA merry-go-round coal hoppers, which were for so long an integral and iconic part of British Rail operations.
Here are 3 reasons why we think Dapol have done a great job with the HAA wagon….
Choice of Liveries
There are a huge variety of liveries being offered by Dapol. All of the initial releases are finished with HAA TOPS codes printed in place. This dates the models in the original BR freight brown to the mid-1970s onwards. Railfreight red paintwork appeared from 1979 on the final builds with the yellow of the Railfreight Coal sub-sector debuting from late 1987 onwards. The final livery choice is more obscure, this being the blue framing given to a number of EWS-owned examples operating from Ayrshire in 2007.
The shape of the hopper body is deceptively complex but Dapol has done a very good job of capturing it. The HAAs had an unpainted stainless steel ‘tub’. Dapol has opted to recreate this using a pale grey colour rather than metallic silver. This is probably the best option because metallic shades don’t always look convincing in model form. The rest of the paintwork and printing is all to a high standard with legible builder’s plates and data panels as are expected in this scale.
There are nice touches across the model, from excellently rendered and sprung Oleo buffers to the correct mix of disc and clasp braked wheels and their associated brake gear. The handbrake levers are appropriately shaped in metal while the bufferbeams have a pre-installed air pipe and a choice of a lamp bracket or dummy tail light. The omission of the door seams on the inside of the hopper body and lack of an air cylinder and distributor on the underframe were noticed. Other smaller details have been left off the chassis, but their absence is less noticeable. The more detail-conscientious modeller could add these from aftermarket castings should they wish. If you're after more advice about modelling or need more information about how to get started in the hobby, check out our techniques section here.
Overall, Dapol’s HAA looks the part and a suitably-sized rake will make an impressive sight behind all manner of diesel. The sub £55 recommended price also offers very good value for a RTR O gauge wagon of this quality.