23 June 2023
Re-visited, upgraded, and delivered for 2mm:1ft scale – but what improvements does it hold? Andy York explains…
Dapol has revisited its N gauge M7 model, first released in 2006, to improve aspects. The body moulding is still largely the same, because it was quite accurate, with improvements to the dome and whistle detail and coal load, which is now removable.
The most significant improvements are to the chassis and wheels with additional weight giving good balance and improved performance, better electrical pick-up and, most of all, a shift from the solid wheelsets to an open-backed wheel which dramatically improves appearance.
Our review model in lined Southern Railway livery caused us to consult sources to check on the yellow lining because white lining edged in black where appropriate was the most common livery. There are some references to yellow lining having been used around 1923/4 but with a lack of colour reference images it’s inconclusive if this was applied to this specific locomotive.
As supplied, the review sample sat rather high at the back end and this affected haulage capabilities. The issue is caused by the pick-up contacts from the trailing bogie that brush on plates inside the rear of the chassis. The solution is to splay the contacts a little further and it’s a fairly easy fix if anyone has an affected model. Dapol has acknowledged this issue on its website with instructions for improvement.
Dapol went to substantial lengths to consider decoder fitting, but with minimal space and choices available in a small locomotive, and not wishing to impinge on the delightfully-detailed cab interior, a pragmatic solution had to be implemented. Wiring from the circuitry is taken to the coal bunker where, once the coal load is lifted out with a scalpel blade, there is a blanking plate which the wires can be de-soldered from and hard-wired to a small decoder.
Read Andy York's full review on this new arrival for the August 2023 issue of BRM. Subscribe today, so you don't miss out!