Model Rail (UK)
Dapol 14t anchor‑mounted tank wagons
◆ GAUGE ‘O’ ◆ MODELS • Dapol 7F-063-004 Class B anchor-mounted tank, Gulf blue • 7F-062-005 Class A anchor-mounted tank, Regent silver ◆PRICE £54.34 each ◆ AVAILABILITY Dapol stockists ◆ Web www.dapol.co.uk
Twin-axle tank wagons changed little during the early decades of the 20th Century. However, a vast number of tank wagons were needed to carry aviation fuel during the Second World War, so the Government’s Petroleum Board and wagon builder Charles Roberts created an updated design, incorporating a simplified means of securing the tank barrel to the underframe.
The previous method of strapping a barrel within a substantial timber and steel frame was eschewed in favour of a simple anchor mounting. Consisting of a pair of fabricated steel saddles and central anchor plates, the arrangement allowed the chassis to flex over uneven track, thus reducing the risk of derailments.
Thousands of anchor-mounted tank wagons were constructed from 1944 onwards, for a wide variety of oil companies. Employing a familiar 17ft 6in chassis and 10ft wheelbase, as seen on pre-war designs, the tank wagons sported a variety of equipment and barrel sizes to suit the needs of particular traffics.
Examples continued in use on the main line into the 1970s, with some even lasting into the following decade. Furthermore, BR purchased numerous tanks from their owners, for use as Departmental fuel oil carriers and waste oil storage. Wagons were also redeployed on mobile weedkilling trains or within the BR Engineers’ fleet. Industrial users also purchased surplus wagons, for use in steel works, collieries and many other facilities, with examples continuing in use up to the 1990s.
Dapol released its first batch of 14t anchor-mounted tank wagons in early August, offered in both Class A and Class B format and with a colourful array of liveries to choose from. We have two models to review, sporting a range of detail differences, although they all share the same die-cast metal, open-framed chassis which is very impressive.
The weight of each wagon is
the first thing that one notices. Tipping the scales at 253g (Class B) and 291g (Class A), these are hefty models and, unsurprisingly, they run extremely well over points and crossings. The pinpoint axles run in brass bearings, thus keeping friction to a minimum.
As with Dapol’s previous 7mm scale freight releases, both axles are sprung and the three-hole wheels feature an extremely fine profile. The Morton brake gear looks great, with safety hoops and twin ‘V’ brackets on each side, while the open frames and anchor plates really capture the look of the real thing. Sprung metal buffers and working three-link couplings (with sprung drawhooks) complete the chassis package.
The tank barrels are discreetly screwed to the frames and a prototypically smaller barrel is installed on the Gulf Class B wagon (smaller barrels were employed for denser materials). Attention to detail extends to the bottom discharge pipework on the Class B tank, along with a valve on the top of the barrel. Indeed, there is a welcome
Both axles are sprung and the three-hole wheels feature an extremely fine profile
variety of filling equipment, ladders and walkway options across Dapol’s range of tank wagons, to suit the equipment carried by each prototype.
Quality of decoration is high, with the printed logos and instructions crisply printed and fully legible. Different makers’ plates are installed to suit each individual wagon and the Gulf blue tank even features late 1970s style overhead line warning symbols.
These are a great addition to Dapol’s expanding ‘O’ gauge range, portraying an interesting prototype to a high degree of fidelity. They’re keenly priced, run well and look fantastic. What more can we ask for? (GD)