"Rails/Rapido" LNER Dynamometer car (Version 2, 1948 on).

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Keith M, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Took a trip over to Sheffield this morning to pick up my pre-ordered LNER Dynamometer car, the 'version 2', as used on the 1948 locomotive trials, and also by Bulleid for testing of his "Leader" experimental locomotive, the main reason for my shelling out £125 for this coach. I also took the opportunity to have a look at Rails rather impressive new showroom.....talk about a kid in a sweetie shop! Anyway, here's what comes over the counter.

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  2. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been following the progress of this product via Rails dedicated thread on a certain other forum noted for "Rivet counters" (and Boy! have they had a field day with this one, well over 6 pages of silly arguing over whether or not the coach was lined), so I was aware of when the coaches had arrived in Sheffield, and since Mrs M is out for the day at the BBC TV's "Countryfile Live" event, I decided a trip (or excuse) was needed to go and fetch my order. Despite the high cost, I feel it and the relatively short (6 months) wait was worth it, so I'll leave you to judge what you think. Here's the coach out of it's box, together with a small bag of bits, comprising dummy screw couplings, vac pipes and a pair of window grilles for the unfitted end windows, and what is termed a Rapido "Magic Wand"! I have to admit, this is rather a clever idea in my opinion, and worthy of further thought for others considering coach lighting. As this coach is lighting fitted, rather than either have it lit permanently, or a switch on the underside, Rapido have fitted a magnetic switch under the coach roof, so to switch lighting on or off when on powered tracks, you just wave the "Magic Wand" over the clerestory roof area, and that operates the lighting.....clever stuff! (At this price, it ought to be!)

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  3. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Underside detail is also quite impressive, though the "Fifth wheel" is not operable. NEM coupling pockets are fitted with small tension lock couplings, I've already substituted Kadee's (No 20's in this case), and there's a full parts list and a history of the coach itself supplied, although unfortunately, there's no information on how to remove the roof or body of the coach, as I'd rather like to fit a few white coated 'Boffin' figures inside to go with the impressive detail of the interior. I've already contacted "Rails" asking the question, rather than attempt it myself, as the usual obvious ways to get inside don't seem apparent, and the coaches cost is enough of a deterrent to dissuade me from rushing in!

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  4. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Now a couple of closer pics of the outside. I have to admit that the 'Teak' finish is really good (at least, to my eyes) and detail is superb, which it jolly well should be at the price.

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  5. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    .......and this is t'other end, at which I have yet to fix the two end window grilles, supplied loose in the bag. As can be seen, rivet detail (NO, I'm NOT counting them!!) is really clear, and some of the interior detailing can be seen. If and when I can get into the coach, I'll add pics of the interior detail as and when. A rather expensive purchase, but as I want this coach as part of a 'Test Train' to use with my Bulleid "Leader" loco (and possibly with "Merchant Navy and B of B/West Country loco's, as were tried in the 1948 locomotive trials), it's been a £125 "Bite the bullet" exercise for me. At least I don't need to look at fitting coach lighting!
    Keith.

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  6. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Stunning looker Keith.. er about that lining.. only joking :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  7. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Looks great in the photos Keith, but they don't do the model justice having seen the model at Doncaster? when you ordered it.

    Cheer's, Pete.
     
  8. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    As I couldn't see a way to remove the body from this Dynamometer car easily, and bearing in mind the £125 price tag, I decided it was safer to approach "Rails", so I duly emailed them and was told they would ask their 'Technical' bods and get back to me. A week later and no reply, so I sent a reminder email, but all to no avail, as disappointingly, I've heard nothing further from them. As I've been following the "Rails" Dynamometer car thread on RMWeb, I then came across someone who'd received their model only to find that one of the seats had come adrift and was rattling round inside the car. It seems that Rapido has appointed a UK repair agent, and he posted a reply on how to get the body off the chassis, just what I was looking for! It's actually quite simple (when you know how!) and the body has a series of clips down each side, requiring the body sides to be eased away from the chassis along it's length, easily done with a slim blade and several bits of thin 'Plasticard', and if done gently, the body pops off without any drama or damage. This allowed me to paint up and fix a number of white-coated 'technicians' and a couple of "Gaffers" supervising them, and refit the body without difficulty. As a result, I was finally able to create the "Test Train" for Bulleid's "Leader" Class locomotive, really the main reason why I bought the Dynamometer car in the first place, although I can also use it for other "Test Trains" behind my "Merchant Navy/West Country/Battle of Britain" loco's as was done in various loco exchanges and regional tests in the late 40's/early 50's. Although my modelling era is normally late 50's/end of steam, I reckon I can apply 'Rule 1' and backtrack to the early 50's with this one! Here's the obligatory pic.
    Keith. IMG_1293.JPG
     
  9. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: good review Keith thanks

    Ian vt
     
  10. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

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    Good review and excellent photo's Keith. Can we have a photo with the figures inside please?

    Cheers
    Ron
     
  11. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    No problem Ron, here's a few. You can see that there's a fair amount of internal detail in this shot of the interior with the body off. I just use bags of 100 "cheapo" Chinese made figures in the coaches as in 4mm scale and through less than optically perfect plastic windows (and taking into account the '3ft Rule') they're good enough. I repaint where needed as in the case of 'Technicians' in white coats. The figures tend to be nearer to HO scale than 00, but that's useful with seated passengers as otherwise it's often necessary to chop off the feet to get them to sit properly in the seats, and you mostly can't see the feet anyway.

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  12. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Another interior shot, this time from the other end. The springs you can see sticking up out of the 'cupboard' are the contacts for internal lighting. IMG_1295.JPG
     
  13. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    This is the internal view of the roof with LED's visible, the magnetic reed switch in the centre, and contacts which mate with the spring connections from the pickups. IMG_1296.JPG
     
  14. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Finally, a closer view of the coach exterior. Not easy with a phone camera taking this sort of shot, trying to show the internal figures, but it's the best I can do. I guess the question is "Is it worth the £125 price???" Depends how much you want one for a 'Diorama' I guess, but you can often find prices in the £80-£90 area a coach, for such things as the 'hard-to-find' Hornby "Brighton Belle" middle 3 coaches, so judge for yourselves.
    Keith.

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  15. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    excellent review Keith :thumbs:
     
  16. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    Stunning coach Keith, and in my opinion worth every penny. The figures really add to the model big :thumbup: from me.......can you imagine what an o gauge version would cost?? :facepalm:
    Kim
     
  17. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Worth the dosh I think :thumbs:
     

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