Im­prove Dapol’s 7mm Class 08

A fan of the late 1980s BR scene, GE­ORGE DENT won­dered if Dapol’s Class 08 could be mod­i­fied to bet­ter rep­re­sent one of Tins­ley’s celebrity shunters.

Model Rail (UK) - - Content -

Ge­orge Dent mod­i­fies Dapol’s Class 08 to bet­ter rep­re­sent one of Tins­ley’s celebrity shunters.

Dapol’s first foray into ‘O’ gauge diesels, the BR Class 08, turned out to be a won­der­ful model, of­fer­ing an af­ford­able route into larger scale mod­el­ling that has in­spired many to con­sider dab­bling in 7mm:1ft scale. While the over­all level of ac­cu­racy and re­al­ism is im­pres­sive, the choice of the ear­lier style body - with large bon­net door hinges - lim­its its ap­pli­ca­tion, es­pe­cially to mod­ellers of the late BR and pri­vati­sa­tion scenes. Dapol has yet to an­nounce plans for a re-tooled ‘08’, so I’d been pon­der­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of mod­i­fy­ing the ex­ist­ing bodyshell to rep­re­sent one of the longer-lived ‘Gronks’. Af­ter set­tling on a suitable pro­to­type, re­search re­vealed that the model would need a few de­tail tweaks in or­der to por­tray the real 08434. As well as cut­ting away the bon­net door hinges, one of the lou­vred equip­ment boxes must also be re­moved from the run­ning plate, mean­ing that the miss­ing door sec­tions would have to be filled in.


The con­ver­sion work didn’t prove overly chal­leng­ing, helped by the ease with which the model can be stripped down to its com­po­nent parts. A hand­ful of screws hold the main sec­tions to­gether, while smaller fit­tings and cab glaz­ing are re­tained with a strange gum-type ad­he­sive. While it of­fers a strong bond, the parts are read­ily pulled apart and the ‘gum’ sim­ply wiped away, leav­ing no residue. This was a real boon, so full marks to Dapol! As well as the door al­ter­ations, a few other mi­nor de­tail tweaks were nec­es­sary. Many Class 08s had the num­ber of head­lamps re­duced from four to two, while my par­tic­u­lar model also needed the ra­di­a­tor ac­cess lad­ders re­mov­ing. A set of wipers was also added to the cab win­dows, scratch­built from fine cop­per wire. There are other po­ten­tial de­tail up­grades for the more de­ter­mined mod­eller, not least the ad­di­tion of bon­net top lift­ing lugs. I’d toyed with the idea of adding these, but de­cided

not to, prob­a­bly for the same rea­son that Dapol left them off in the first place. Given that the bon­net top is de­signed to un­clip to al­low ac­cess to the in­te­rior, any fine de­tail ad­di­tions are at risk of dam­age. Thanks to some natty de­cals from Rail­tec, my ren­di­tion of 08434 de­picts the hum­ble ‘Gronk’ in the last years of its life, adorned with the un­of­fi­cial name ‘Mid­land’, cour­tesy of Tins­ley shed staff. With its shabby blue paint­work and weath­ered fin­ish, my Dapol ‘08’ now looks much more ap­pro­pri­ate for the 1980s-era lay­out that I’ve been dream­ing up…

The mod­i­fied bon­net doors and hinge de­tail have cre­ated a much more au­then­tic ren­di­tion of a late 1980s BR ‘Gronk’.


The bon­net and cab is then freed from the metal run­ning plate by re­mov­ing two fur­ther screws. The glue bond needs to be gen­tly bro­ken, peel­ing the bon­net away from the run­ning plate.

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