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Product Reviews => N Gauge Locos and Rolling Stock Reviews => Dapol Steam => Topic started by: Graham Walters on November 12, 2017, 10:23:19 PM

Title: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Graham Walters on November 12, 2017, 10:23:19 PM
I've put the question mark there because it has in my experience has to be asked.

As a retailer I try to test all the loco's I sell before they go on the shelf, if all is well they get the shop stamp in the warranty section.
In the last week I have to return two loco's both steam, one a Southern Schools Class, the other a GWR  Class 38XX.

In the case of the schools class the word 'Southern' on the tender was askew, and appeared to be smudged, and you have to wonder why the person doing the printing didn't notice it at the time.

The GWR was a little different, I'm not 100% sure what the issue was, not only did it make a horrible noise that sounded like gears grinding, ( I did check the drive shaft several times) but it was also very erratic.

Needless to say both were returned to the supplier.

Just wondering if anyone else has had issues with Dapol stock ?
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Karhedron on November 13, 2017, 10:48:30 AM
Judging trends from a small sample size is always a statistical minefield as one or two outliers can badly skew your results. I haven't heard of a more general increase in faults but anything is possible.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on November 27, 2017, 11:31:07 PM
Only two?

Small enough to be statistically insignificant.

Likewise my 100% failure rate of three wobbly Farish 4MT tanks sent back to Hattons.

As to smudges on the loco etc, the Chinese workers who assemble these things are paid a pittance.  What is remarkable isn't the proportion that are wrong, but the proportion they get RIGHT.

Les
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on April 09, 2018, 10:36:23 AM
I have only ever had one Dapol steamer year before last (Gladiateur). It was a disaster, wheels jamming, horrible noises from the tender drive. I donít like the through shaft arrangement, the tender did not seem to have enough weight to counteract the torque.,

I resolved to never buy Dapol steam again and have used Grafar ever since. However, I have certainly had my fair share of faulty Grafars as well, probably 50 % of them bought from Hattons have had problems out of the box and have been replaced. The only reason I have not re-tried Dapol is because of the tender drive method they have adopted.

I now need another LNER loco and due to the scarcity of these in the Grafar range I am considering a Dapol A4. Most of the reviews of that loco date from 2016, and the photo does not appear to show a tender shaft drive, so I think maybe this loco has now been redesigned with that drive and so may not be the same as (favourably) reviewed. The most recent reviews (probably of the tender drive version) are not good.

So can anyone give me a heads up on the Current A4?
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Webbo on April 09, 2018, 11:16:18 AM
Hi Bramshot

I have a recent model Dapol A4 with the tender shaft drive and it runs just fine and is a good puller. Mind you, that was try number 2 as the first one delivered had a tangled valve gear. The Dapol A4 is a beautiful model and is certainly worth having, but don't be shy on a return if things aren't 100%.

Webbo
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 09, 2018, 11:44:14 AM
I'm no great fan of Dapol locos be they steam or diesel, but once I'd sorted a small front pony truck problem with my A4 it is certainly the best of the 25 Dapol locos I have.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on April 09, 2018, 12:02:43 PM
Thanks guys.  I am currently supporting my local model shop by buying from them despite being £25 more expensive than big H, but at least he runs them before selling them, so I would hope to avoid tangled valve gear.  That was the prob with Gladiateur as well.
They certainly look the part in their boxes!
Time to take the plunge!
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: ntpntpntp on April 09, 2018, 12:47:46 PM
...I am considering a Dapol A4. Most of the reviews of that loco date from 2016, and the photo does not appear to show a tender shaft drive, so I think maybe this loco has now been redesigned with that drive and so may not be the same as (favourably) reviewed.

I'm not a UK outline modeller, but I didn't think Dapol made (m)any tender locos with the motor in the boiler?  All the ones I've seen since the Q1 (wasn't that the first tender loco they did?) have been shaft drive from the tender.

Shaft drive has been used perfectly successfully by other manufacturers.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on April 09, 2018, 01:57:04 PM
The Dapol online shop site still shows the B17 and Flying Scotsman locos without any mention of tender drive, while the new online catalogue shows them both as being tender drive, so I assume they are gradually introducing it to all their tendered locos, unless it was simply an omission on the old site. I notice that the old site does show the A4 with tender drive, so maybe it has always been that way.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: ntpntpntp on April 09, 2018, 06:12:09 PM
"tender drive" usually mean the wheels of the tender are geared and driven, and there's no drive at all to the loco wheels. 

As I mentioned earlier, all the Dapol tender locos I've seen have the motor in the tender but are shaft drive to the loco wheels.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: PLD on April 09, 2018, 06:13:08 PM
The Dapol online shop site still shows the B17 and Flying Scotsman locos without any mention of tender drive, while the new online catalogue shows them both as being tender drive, so I assume they are gradually introducing it to all their tendered locos, unless it was simply an omission on the old site. I notice that the old site does show the A4 with tender drive, so maybe it has always been that way.
All Dapol N gauge tender locos (with the exception of the most recent release - the SR Schools) are and always have been configured with the motor mounted in the tender driving the LOCO wheels via a Cardan shaft.

This is NOT tender drive, unlike the contemporary Farish models (e.g. Black 5, Jubilee, B1, A1, A2) which are Tender drive i.e. the tender wheels are driven and the loco freewheels pushed by the tender...

The Dapol arrangement is generally considered superior and is preferred by finescale and scratchbuilders. The 'locking wheels' you are concerned about are more a symptom associated with the (Farish style) true tender drive & push along loco...
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: ntpntpntp on April 09, 2018, 06:27:47 PM
All Dapol N gauge tender locos (with the exception of the most recent release - the SR Schools) are and always have been configured with the motor mounted in the tender driving the LOCO wheels via a Cardan shaft.
Are you sure about the Schools:  Dapol web site says:
Quote
The Dapol model of the Schools Class of locomotive features:
◦Finely moulded body and tender with many separately added fine details
◦DCC Ready
◦DCC fitted Models available with Gaugemaster DC23 decoder
◦Cast wheels with fine relief and appropriate colouring
Dapolís tender drive system that delivers power to the locomotive wheels


Interesting that even Dapol refer to it as "tender drive" which you and I both would argue it isn't.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: R Marshall on April 10, 2018, 09:24:13 PM
I'm no great fan of Dapol locos be they steam or diesel, but once I'd sorted a small front pony truck problem with my A4 it is certainly the best of the 25 Dapol locos I have.

Nobby,

If you've got an A4 with a pony truck you need to send it back - it should have a 4 wheel front bogie! (Only joking).

My A4 runs well and pulls well too (if a bit noisy, compared to all my Farish locos), but I wish I had the nerve to do something about the trailing Cartazzi truck, which wobbles like fury at any sort of speed. My Farish A1 and A2 have better representations of the trailing truck which behave better too.

But for looks it's great - got to have an A4.

Regards,

Roy
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: PLD on April 10, 2018, 09:31:27 PM
All Dapol N gauge tender locos (with the exception of the most recent release - the SR Schools) are and always have been configured with the motor mounted in the tender driving the LOCO wheels via a Cardan shaft.
Are you sure about the Schools:
Oops sorry yes Schools is still "old school" with the motor in the Tender isn't it...  :doh:  :-[ was thinking of the 'paused' WC/BOB which was to have the motor in the loco body...
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: stevewalker on April 10, 2018, 10:29:02 PM
My experience of Dapol steamers is:

A 9F - beautifully modelled, runs well. However:
1) I had to mess around with the pony truck to get it to stay on the track.
2) It is, by far, the worst loco I own for slipping, being unable to cope with more than 5 carriages or a short freight train on the flat. I shall have to investigate if it is possible to add some weight in the boiler.
3) The motor is quite a bit noisier than my plastic geared, Graham-Farish locos.

A Brittania  :censored: - again beautifully modelled, but a nightmare:
1) When first tested in November - incredibly noisy, jamming, twisting tender off the track. Sent to DCC Supplies, declared unrepairable. Finally replaced by Dapol in January and then only when chased.
2) Replacement just the same. Had to return it to Dapol. Chasing up finally got a replacement a month later.
3) Replacement was wrong loco (A4). Had to return it to Dapol. Chasing up finally got a replacement a month later.
4) Replacement was quite noisy, but I thought it might quieten with running in. Hadn't time to do so, so left it for a week. On starting again, motor shaft spun in plastic coupling, with no grip whatsoever. Applied a drop of Loctite to stop spinning. Left it until the next day. On start-up it ran 6' and locked up. Similar, but not completely locking, to symptoms of the previous ones.

 :'(

I haven't yet got up the enthusiasm to contact them and return it yet again.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: B757-236GT on April 12, 2018, 10:24:04 AM
The Brits were the worst, just go to collectors club day to see how many are returned. That said some can be sorted quite easily, sometimes half a turn of a screw either way makes a difference, tiny tweak of the valve gear too. I personally wouldn't buy a brit without seeing a test run however because its sadly the rule rather than the exception.

Richard
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bealman on April 12, 2018, 10:38:35 AM
Those Brits look great compared to the Minitrix versions from way back.

Shame they're getting bad press.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bob G on April 12, 2018, 01:39:28 PM
My latest purchases regrettably support the poor Dapol QA/QC procedures observed by others.

I have recently enjoyed buying secondhand Bachfar versions of original Farish models - the 61xx prairie tank (a design dating from 1977) and the 94xx pannier (a design originally dating from 1971), both with bullet proof chassis and nice paint finish on the Chinese production models. Also a nice secondhand but new design Bachfar 08 shunter. And a new Bachfar class 37 is also very smooth running.

The one Dapol bubble car I bought recently came with a pre-broken exhaust. They didn't even give me the chance to get it out the box!

Simple checks would really help, rather than leave the shop or the purchaser to find out.

Bob
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: trkilliman on April 12, 2018, 02:32:36 PM
The question of Dapol quality has come up time and again. To air a grievance or dissapointment with a product/service is fair game IMO, whether it's a car, washing machine, hotel accomodation or a model train.
Some on here percieve comments as "Dapol bashing", but perhaps they have been quite lucky and have no reason to compain or gripe about their purchase/s?  Others have become exasperated with ongoing faults encountered with replacement locos. Some vow not to buy another Dapol loco as a result.

There have also been numerous complaints of Farish stuff, which makes me wonder if both brands are overley cost engineered?  A test/inspection before leaving the factory is a cost they are maybe not prepared to absorb.

I'm sure this discussion will go on and on, with little if anything changing. Just my view of course.


Complaints have been ongoing for some time now, yet it does not appear to be getting any better.

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: EtchedPixels on April 12, 2018, 02:41:09 PM
They don't really have much choice but to engineer to a rather low target price (especially for the low volumes). UK modellers are relatively speaking 'price sensitivie' (ie we're a bunch of tightwads). (Kato can do it for Japan in part because they sell such high volumes so the one off costs are split rather finer).

Union Mills solve it by sticking to a standard theme and limitations, the others try and push the limits and sometimes it's awesome sometimes it's not.

If you want a totally reliable tested before shipping UK model then CJM sell them. Expect to pay £500 for a model with a really heavy chassis, amazing control and reliability. Not everyone is going to pay that sort of price.

Alan
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 12, 2018, 03:22:06 PM

If you want a totally reliable tested before shipping UK model then CJM sell them. Expect to pay £500 for a model with a really heavy chassis, amazing control and reliability. Not everyone is going to pay that sort of price.


But they don't make anything I want. If they did, and I knew I'd have to pay £500, one loco per year would do me just fine. I have 25 Dapol locos and there's something wrong with all of them. Some have been replaced with something just as bad so, if I want one at all, I have to accept poor quality. All are noisy and Joel at Dapol reckons I've been unlucky. Yeah right. 25 times ::)
The BoB was going to be the last Dapol loco I'd buy and they've shelved that! :unimpressed:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: austinbob on April 12, 2018, 03:33:11 PM
They don't really have much choice but to engineer to a rather low target price (especially for the low volumes). UK modellers are relatively speaking 'price sensitivie' (ie we're a bunch of tightwads). (Kato can do it for Japan in part because they sell such high volumes so the one off costs are split rather finer).

Union Mills solve it by sticking to a standard theme and limitations, the others try and push the limits and sometimes it's awesome sometimes it's not.

If you want a totally reliable tested before shipping UK model then CJM sell them. Expect to pay £500 for a model with a really heavy chassis, amazing control and reliability. Not everyone is going to pay that sort of price.

Alan
Regardless of what price any consumer product is there is no excuse for shipping any product which is not fit for purpose. There is no point in producing a model at a low price if there is a high probability it won't work. UNLESS there is something in the purchase agreement which states just that ie. 'this product is produced to sell at a low price but there is no guarantee that it will work'.
 :veryangry:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: B757-236GT on April 12, 2018, 03:48:11 PM
I sell both Dapol and Farish products and i have to say with Dapol there seems to be a trend, with Farish its a more broader range of faults. For me Dapol gets it right most of the time but when they get it wrong they tend to get it badly wrong in terms of quality, the Brit is a good example, there are lots of them which are faulty however the 9F, Schools, Terrier, 14xx, Q1 38XX and Grange have all come and gone without any issue. I test each one of them and i always lube them before departure as despite it saying in big letters to do it many people don't, this way i know its been done and i always state that the item has already been lubed. The same with the diesels, there has been odd faulty Western but normally it tends to be lights failing or getting too hot and then melting but given how many were produced the failure rate is massively low.

To put it in to perspective Ive had more faulty Ford Transit vans in the last 2 years (so far the record is out of 8 hires 7 have broken down( i even owned one that spent more time with Ford than i had it). In comparison out of 122 Dapol locos Ive had there have been 6 failures which makes Dapol better than Ford. Just for reference for Farish Ive sold 146 and have had 7 back or failed before sale.

Richard
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: austinbob on April 12, 2018, 04:13:51 PM
Just as an exercise to satisfy my curiosity I've counted up my Dapol and Farish Locos bought new and counted the number of faulty locos from each manufacturer. A fault being something which prevented the loco running as it should. There were a number of other faults (such as broken or missing detail) which I have not counted as a fault

Faults were out of the box mostly but a few faults appeared after a short period of time, such as after running in.

Dapol
8 out of 25 failures (or 32%)

Farish
5 out of 31 failures (or 16%)

I accept that this is a small sample in the overall scheme of things but I think anyone would agree that this level of fault is not acceptable. No one would accept this level of faulty product for ANY other consumer goods. Time to stop the excuses methinks and for the problems to be sorted out, even if it means higher cost.

 :beers:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: stevewalker on April 12, 2018, 04:17:42 PM
My experience of just the Britannia, as mentioned before, is:

Irreparably faulty from new.
Replacement faulty.
Replacement wrong loco.
Replacement faulty.

So 3 out of 3 faulty and 4-1/2 months to get to this stage. This is despite them promising that the each of the replacements would be tested before dispatch.

I wish I'd hung onto the A4 that they wrongly sent - that might have worked and I could have sold it on and bought something else that worked!
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: thebrighton on April 12, 2018, 04:46:22 PM
I have hundreds of locos and don't recall ever having to return a Farish steamer. There's been the odd tweak and fixing the odd bit of detail that has come adrift but that's it.
Dapol on the other hand is very hit and miss. I've 6 M7's (many of which have sacrificed themselves to scratchbuilds) and despite their poor pulling ability they've all been faultless. I've 11 Terriers (some again sacrificed) and, again, have been faultless. Ones wheels became loose on the axles but that was my fault. My Schools although a DCC B grade is perfect as are 7/8 class 73's and 4 14xx's.
On the flip side it took 3 Q1's to get one that was just about acceptable, I gave up with Britannia's but still have one as I couldn't be bothered to return any more, ditto the 9F, 2 x B17's that lasted a matter of weeks before the valve gear disintegrated, I've a pile of junk 45xx's and 2 duff Ivatt 2-6-2's.
Bottom line is Dapol can supply a perfectly good loco but have also offered some complete dogs. I got the impression that they were continually trying to improve and every loco was approached with new ideas rather than building on what worked. As a result some models are fine and some are not.
It doesn't put me off buying Dapol but I wait now to see initial reports as it is quick to spot which models to avoid.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Portpatrick on April 12, 2018, 04:48:05 PM
Bob makes they key point.  One which is enshrined in UK consumer law - fitness for purpose.  And I would consider the meaning of that term is the expectation that after any prescribed running in , a loco will run well and with normal handling (how on earth you define that beats me) will not fall apart for a reasonable time .  What is a reasonable life?  Well I still run a 1976 Minitrix Brit a 1980? Farish Compound, and other late 80s/early90s Farish  .   But 2*B!s, 2*A2s and an A1 and 3 sets of valve gear have needed home repairs (30% failure rate). 

I agree the Dapol Brit is vastly superior to the Minitriix - and my first one is a fabulous runner.  Pity about the craze Dapol had at that time for silver wheels and those large cross head screws.  The one I bought for £60 at Aly Paly the other week looks far better.  I am unsure how the RH con rod got bent causing total lock up.  But I got it  sorted.  A little noisy but a nice runner.  I can live with that.  However I am averse to their prop shaft approach to tender locos and will generally avoid Dapol tender engines.  I would rather have true tender drive though am not sorry Farish have reverted to loco drive.  I am pleased to say never had any problems with recent diesels whether Farish or Dapol. 

It is probably true that we are more demanding on quality these days.  But that is a general trend and why not?  We the end customer should be supreme.  And I have no problem with the hard working chinese labourers benefiting from Western living standards if they  produce to Western increasing demands for quality.  Even if I cannot afford to buy so many. 
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 12, 2018, 04:51:12 PM
I guess we can kiss goodbye to the Bulleid light pacific now then. Not sure anyone from Dapol reads the forum but they won't like it up 'em (says Corporal Jones)
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Train Waiting on April 12, 2018, 05:00:03 PM
... I have 25 Dapol locos and there's something wrong with all of them. Some have been replaced with something just as bad so, if I want one at all, I have to accept poor quality. All are noisy and Joel at Dapol reckons I've been unlucky. Yeah right. 25 times ::)
The BoB was going to be the last Dapol loco I'd buy and they've shelved that! :unimpressed:

That is a worrying statistic.

I have bought four new Farish locomotives in the past year (three diesel and one steam).  Two diesel and one steam were returned to the retailer.  Replacements are all fine.

I have bought one Dapol diesel locomotive in the past year.  It has failed (lights out at one end) and is about to go to DCC Supplies.

Incidentally, one of the Farish diesel failures was lights as well.  I'm not desperately wanting lights to be fitted but, if they are, they ought to work.

However, I have been impressed with the rolling stock from both Farish and Dapol.

John
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Paul-H on April 12, 2018, 05:01:37 PM
Dont know if its just me and the bad luck that follows closely behind me as I am a fall into a barrel of roses and come out smelling of Sh*te type of guy, but of all the dapol N-Gauge Locos I have owned

Two, 0-6-0 Tanks both ran like dogs
One, 9F, kept losing its dog bone and the front bogie would never stay on
One, Class 33, Noisy as hell
One, Class 35 even noisier than hell
One, Class 52 this one is actually ok
One, Class 66 issues with one LED faulty out of the box

So out of Seven all but one has issues, don't think I will bother with any more, which is a shame as I fancy their class 68.

Paul
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Chris Morris on April 12, 2018, 05:37:41 PM
All of my N gauge locos whether Dapol of Farish work fine. None have been returned. I do carry out maintenance when required as you would expect with anything that has moving parts.

The more they run the better they run.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Portpatrick on April 12, 2018, 06:03:14 PM
All of my N gauge locos whether Dapol of Farish work fine. None have been returned. I do carry out maintenance when required as you would expect with anything that has moving parts.

The more they run the better they run.

Important we get balance by hearing from those who have not had issues. Which is why I added that I have not had trouble with diesels.  Be fair.  Running in and maintenance according to instructions is crucial.  I am meticulous on the first.  Though rather like modern cars, I do blanch at the complexity and delicacy of dismantling sometimes needed to oil what we are told to oil.  Sadly gone are the days where removal of one or two nice large 8BA screws gave you access to all you usually needed.  At one time I did my own car maintenance.  No way these days.  Similar problem. 

A certain amount Also depends on what we regard as tolerable especially in terms of wobble and noise.  I'll admit I will put up with a little of the first and I a not bothered by noise, esp ii a diesel, if running is still smooth and controllable.  And I have overlooked early failure of a diesel's lights. 
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Portpatrick on April 12, 2018, 06:14:27 PM



Being an authorised Dapol retailer shouldn't you be raising this with their distributor or directly with Dapol rather than airing it on a public forum. Not very professional!
[/quote]

As a retailer, yes he takes up the issue directly with his distributer/Dapol.  But his issues are illustrative of the problems faced by a retailer who is concerned that his customers receive quality products.  If we had bought the offending article from him we would take it back.  I see this forum as providing a place where all parties involved in the hobby can air their insights and issues from which we can hopefully all gain a better understanding of issues we each face.  To my mid a retailer is as fully justified in querying products which he feels do not meet standards as any of us.  Here is a retailer who is working for us.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Chris Morris on April 12, 2018, 06:24:49 PM
Surely the 38xx originally mentioned was made many years ago so can't be looked upon as recent production. Some of both Dapol and Farish stock will have been in store for a long time.

Wobble is not acceptable. I hear this is an issue on some batches of locos. Mine seem to get quieter with running.

The big problem for both Dapol and Farish is that British outline N gauge models are just too small in volume to give them much clout over the manufacturers. Its rather like in the automotive industry. BMW can force all sorts of things on most of their suppliers because the suppliers can't afford to put orders for more work from BMW at risk. When dealing with Bosch however, who are bigger and more powerful than BMW, the boot is on the other foot and BMW cannot really force anything onto Bosch. I know this because I have seen it happening. I have heard that all too often the Chinese factories making items for both Dapol and Farish (despite the family connection) do not follow instructions given to them by Dapol or Farish; they don't need to because the small British volumes means the business is not all that important to the factories and they know there aren't many other places for Dapol to send their business. Farish of course has no choice as to where it buys from.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: joe cassidy on April 12, 2018, 06:50:56 PM
I have the following Dapol locos:

M7
B17
A3
A4

All have worked perfectly from out of the box.

The M7 and the B17 have hit the deck and survived with only superficial injuries.

My only criticism of Dapol locos vs Farish is that the finish of the Dapol locos has been more toy-like than the Farish, except for the A4.

I have the valanced A4 "Empire of India" in garter blue livery with red wheels and it is my favourite loco.

I now challenge Farish to produce a streamlined Princess/Coronation to the same standard.

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bob G on April 12, 2018, 07:11:17 PM
If you look at the price for static models in other collecting arenas, like cars and planes, and then say "OK i have a beautifully detailed model of a **** class locomotive" and then by magic it works, then i treat that as a bonus. A lot of our models are static most of the time, after all. And a lot of our models are dominated by scenery which is static. Or we collect them and they sit in boxes or on display. I wonder if the running thing should be second place to the detail (and if you want running go for UM or other manufacturers who have robust mechanicals).

Bob
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: austinbob on April 12, 2018, 07:31:27 PM
Surely the 38xx originally mentioned was made many years ago so can't be looked upon as recent production. Some of both Dapol and Farish stock will have been in store for a long time.

Wobble is not acceptable. I hear this is an issue on some batches of locos. Mine seem to get quieter with running.

The big problem for both Dapol and Farish is that British outline N gauge models are just too small in volume to give them much clout over the manufacturers. Its rather like in the automotive industry. BMW can force all sorts of things on most of their suppliers because the suppliers can't afford to put orders for more work from BMW at risk. When dealing with Bosch however, who are bigger and more powerful than BMW, the boot is on the other foot and BMW cannot really force anything onto Bosch. I know this because I have seen it happening. I have heard that all too often the Chinese factories making items for both Dapol and Farish (despite the family connection) do not follow instructions given to them by Dapol or Farish; they don't need to because the small British volumes means the business is not all that important to the factories and they know there aren't many other places for Dapol to send their business. Farish of course has no choice as to where it buys from.
Chris, as a consumer I am not really interested why N gauge suppliers have the problems they do in providing product (mostly locos) which are not fit for purpose. I want a product which does what the Manufacturer says it does on the tin. Usually this means fairly ordinary things like
It runs forwards and backwards.
It does not run like a demented kangaroo.
For steamers, valve gear should not fall off the loco, quartering should be correct, wire connections between loco and tender should be intact.
Fitted lights should work as intended.
Bits should not break or fall off the models either during delivery transit or in carefully removing them from Boxes/packaging.
Locos should, as a minimum, continue to run as new for the warranty period as long as any SPECIFIED maintenance is undertake.
They should not get so hot as to affect performance over the normal ambient temperature range or that they may harm the consumer.
They should not be unduly noisy - I agree  noise level is difficult to specify.

In the same way, if I could afford to buy a BMW I would not be the slightest bit interested in who BMW get their components from, what problems they have with their suppliers, what pain they suffer with pricing or any of their manufacturing problems. They advertise and sell a product to a defined specification and price and that's what I would expect to receive.

So I really do think we should stop making excuses for poor quality. Fitness for purpose is what we want EVERY time.
 :beers:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on April 12, 2018, 07:56:30 PM
So if we keep sending these back when faulty out of the box, ie unfit for purpose, what happens to them?  Assuming the manufacturer eventually has to fix them and re-sell, it must surely cost them a fortune which might be incentive to Ďdo it once, do it rightí which used to be the mantra at my work, when I worked. Or maybe they just pass them back to China, but I doubt they would get any rebate. So I think they probably chuck them away, or into the spares bin, which means that we are paying for the reject rate one way or the other. So probably twice as much as we should be.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Caz on April 12, 2018, 08:00:30 PM
I must be the lucky one then, I'm very pleased with my Dapol locos, all are good runners except one of the 8 panniers I have which has , slight wobble.  The 4 Halls, a Grange, 28xx all behave exemplary and pull my 8 coach trains round Claywell with it's gradients with ease.  Also have 3 Class 22 diesels and these also run ok.

Can't say the same for a couple of the BachFar offerings, the new Castle won't pull the skin off of a rice pudding, 5 coaches max round Claywell (the old version has no problems), my rebuilt Merchant Navy (Holland Afrika Line) can just manage 8 coaches but has some wheel slip and runs very noisily even on the flat.  Oh, and just had to buy a new bogie tower for one of the BachFar current production Class 101's as it has the dreaded spilt gear syndrome.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on April 12, 2018, 08:04:03 PM
Oh yes @Caz (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=202), the problem is not limited to Dapol, BachFar certainly have their problems too!
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: thebrighton on April 12, 2018, 09:27:03 PM
So if we keep sending these back when faulty out of the box, ie unfit for purpose, what happens to them?  Assuming the manufacturer eventually has to fix them and re-sell, it must surely cost them a fortune which might be incentive to Ďdo it once, do it rightí which used to be the mantra at my work, when I worked. Or maybe they just pass them back to China, but I doubt they would get any rebate. So I think they probably chuck them away, or into the spares bin, which means that we are paying for the reject rate one way or the other. So probably twice as much as we should be.

With Dapol they get returned to DCC Supplies as the authorised repairer. Where the purchaser wants a replacement rather than a repair they sell them as seconds through their website graded from A to E. This does show how fickle some people can be though as I recently bought  a B grade Schools from them and apart from the bag of bits and box sleeve being missing it is perfect in both build and running quality.
No idea why it was returned although I do remember buying a returned Farish loco from the now sadly closed Hobbybox of Uckfield. The purchaser had returned it due to a 1cm hairline scratch on the rear of the box!
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 12, 2018, 09:35:28 PM
Did anyone else, like me, sign up to Dapol Digest (their own forum) in the hope we'd get faster, up to date news and be able to talk to Dapol about faults, praise them where applicable, suggest potential future releases etc.............only to find they just couldn't really be bothered themselves with it.
I have been on it today for the first time in about 6 months and there is just nothing of interest happened in that period. Seems like it's not just the product where standards are slipping :hmmm:
I do like their rolling stock, though, especially as their coaches are about 65-70% of the cost of Farish ones!!!
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Train Waiting on April 12, 2018, 09:50:57 PM
... I do like their rolling stock, though, especially as their coaches are about 65-70% of the cost of Farish ones!!!

I agree completely, Mick.  It runs well, too.  And there are some jolly nice liveries for us pre-nationalisation types (BR liveries are available as well - I prefer crimson and cream). 
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bob Tidbury on April 12, 2018, 09:51:31 PM
I recently sold some of my stock so that I could afford to buy a Dapol. Chiltern livery Class 68 and its a supurb loco.it looks and runs really good .
The only Dapol loco Ive had real problems with was an early Q1 this ran one and a half laps of my layout while running in then stopped ,the only way it would move was if I followed it round pushing down.on the drive shaft.
I took it back to the supplier who had run out of stock so I exchanged it for a Farish Warship I took that home and started running it in ,as I looked closely I noticed that the front axle wasnt turning all the time I turned the loco upside down and sure enough one axle was just spinning round ,that went back and was soon sorted out the same week .
THE point is, there are  bound to be some rejects in all makes because they are hand assembled by someone who probably isnt paid a lot for their work  plus we ALL have had a bad day at work for whatever reason .
The only way you can stop things like this happening is to buy from small companies that have complete control over their product such as Union Mills Models  where you dont get the detail from the bigger boys but every loco is tested and run in before you get it ,or someone like Revolution where you get the detail and the product is designed and tested by people who are modelers themselves and made by a Firm like Rapido who again have complete control over the manufacture in their own factories  and are passionate about trains and even then  theve have had a few problems as noted on here by a couple of members .
So lets all be grateful for what we get and be a little bit more tolerant if or when things do go wrong let the supplier know and hope they take notice and sort out the problem .
Bob Tidbury
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: NeMo on April 12, 2018, 09:57:25 PM
Did anyone else, like me, sign up to Dapol Digest (their own forum) in the hope we'd get faster, up to date news and be able to talk to Dapol about faults, praise them where applicable, suggest potential future releases etc.............only to find they just couldn't really be bothered themselves with it.

Two years ago I suggested the following when the Digest was announced...

It'll be interesting to see how this forum develops. I think it can go two ways:
  • It becomes the best place for Dapol and the modelling community to discuss things. Dapol can listen to feedback, share updates on items in development, promote new items upon release, and get ideas for new products.
  • Most of the contributions from modellers are complaints, and Dapol invest very little themselves beyond copying-and-pasting press releases, so the whole thing becomes a bit of a embarrassment.

So I guess you'd be more included towards Option 2 being the way things actually turned out? Share really, but I'm not totally surprised. They are a small company, and they are doing a lot of things at once, and to be honest, if they're so limited they have to choose between product development and social media, I'm glad they're focusing on the first!

Cheers, NeMo
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: simong on April 12, 2018, 09:59:40 PM
My experience is that the Dapol engines I have bought have had no issues but I have had issues with two Farish locos and have bought a similar number from each over the last two years.  Also think the Dapol class 26,27,56 and 58 are cracking models.  Having Dapol around has also put pressure on Bachmann to work hard to be the best so that is another bonus.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 12, 2018, 10:14:53 PM
Did anyone else, like me, sign up to Dapol Digest (their own forum) in the hope we'd get faster, up to date news and be able to talk to Dapol about faults, praise them where applicable, suggest potential future releases etc.............only to find they just couldn't really be bothered themselves with it.

Two years ago I suggested the following when the Digest was announced...

It'll be interesting to see how this forum develops. I think it can go two ways:
  • It becomes the best place for Dapol and the modelling community to discuss things. Dapol can listen to feedback, share updates on items in development, promote new items upon release, and get ideas for new products.
  • Most of the contributions from modellers are complaints, and Dapol invest very little themselves beyond copying-and-pasting press releases, so the whole thing becomes a bit of a embarrassment.

So I guess you'd be more included towards Option 2 being the way things actually turned out?

I signed up imagining Option 1 would be wonderful but instead I ended up with Option 2. I put up a vid of my noisy class 33 and a similarly noisy replacement and that's when Joel told me I was unlucky.
I really think they don't care any more, and that's the shame.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: leachsprite4 on April 13, 2018, 07:55:06 AM
As a note on the dapol digest, why join when all can be seen without being a member, unless you want the dapol club section for which you have to be a dapol club member.

The digest has gone the way anticipated as latest news is not released there. Simply compare the threads for the BoB, b-set and maunsell coaches with the product update pages and compare those with what is actually happening.

Many a person has said you know a dapol release date when you've got the model in your hand.


As for quality of models I ceased buying dapol locos when the BoB got paused. In due course the money I had went to farish on 4 n classes. I have since been given some dapol locos as presents all of which are fine but the matt finish just does not look right.

This said the finish on the maunsell coaches in lined green looks very smart and the crimson b set coaches looks much improved.

The best dapol loco visually is the class 68 I just can't justify the price of one for my layout.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bob Tidbury on April 13, 2018, 10:19:46 AM
I actually sold some stock to buy my Chiltern 68 and it is a realy great loco.it is so smooth and very quiet ,its way out of the era for my layout but it was a must have as my son and daughter both work for Chiltern ,at the moment it is pulling my Wrexham and Shropshire  set of coaches untill Dapol bring out the Chiltern mainline set .I am a real rule one man and you would be very surprised at the things I run on my layout ,But thats the point of this hobby to chill.out and relax and enjoy the fantastic models on.offer now.
I actually think the quality is going up now at last , but we will see what happens in the future .
Bob Tidbury.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Karhedron on April 13, 2018, 01:13:41 PM
I also suggested the B-Sets in BR Crimson livery on their Digest and they responded saying they were interested. Now I am not going to claim they produced them just because I asked for them but there is at least some evidence that they listen to suggestions on there.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: thebrighton on April 13, 2018, 02:04:37 PM


THE point is, there are  bound to be some rejects in all makes because they are hand assembled by someone who probably isnt paid a lot for their work  plus we ALL have had a bad day at work for whatever reason .
The only way you can stop things like this happening is to buy from small companies that have complete control over their product such as Union Mills Models  where you dont get the detail from the bigger boys but every loco is tested and run in before you get it ,or someone like Revolution where you get the detail and the product is designed and tested by people who are modelers themselves and made by a Firm like Rapido who again have complete control over the manufacture in their own factories  and are passionate about trains and even then  theve have had a few problems as noted on here by a couple of members .
So lets all be grateful for what we get and be a little bit more tolerant if or when things do go wrong let the supplier know and hope they take notice and sort out the problem .
I'm sorry Bob but have to disagree with you here. So what if they aren't paid well or are having a bad day etc, and any supplier should have some semblance of control over production as at the end of the day it is their reputation at stake. I buy many products that are probably assembled in the same factories but 99.9% of the time do what they are supposed to do. Why should we just be grateful? When handing over £100+ for a model I believe you should have some expectation that it will perform as advertised. In my experience Farish manage, Dapol don't. What incentive do they have to get it right if they know we are just grateful that they've even bothered? As for taking notice experience and the multiple threads here and elsewhere show that they don't take notice and sort the problems.
Next time I buy a new car and it's handed over along with a bag of bits that have fallen off during shipping and it breaks down as I'm leaving the forecourt am I supposed to just be grateful or just slightly annoyed that it wasn't fit for purpose.
As has been mentioned Dapol's coaching stock is excellent but some of their loco models fall far short of fit for purpose.
The day the buying public just settle for gratefulness rather than a quality product will be a dark day.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: austinbob on April 13, 2018, 02:21:21 PM
I think that's right. The Manufacturers' problems are not my, the customer's, concern. It's their job to provide a product which meets the specified requirements at the published price. If it doesn't do that the product is not fit for purpose.
This thread is starting to go round in circles now so I'm gonna call it a day ad move on. Hooray I hear you all say.  :claphappy:
 :beers:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bob Tidbury on April 13, 2018, 04:02:13 PM
I.have suggested that Dapol make a rake of coaches in Chiltern Maineline livery to go with their fantantastic Chiltern 68 apparently there is only one rake running in that livery that doesnt have the new type doors Joel said they could therefore do some BUT one coach would have to be a compromise as it wouldnt be worth doing the tooling just for that one coach , The problem is would there be enough customers willing  to buy a rake .I am definately not  a coach expert but Im sure someone on here will soon give me the answer whether its possible or not for them to do and if there would be enough interest ,after all whats the point of doing the loco if it hasnt got the coaches to go with it .
The other alternative would be if Anthony Sutton could do a repaint or Electro graphics to do some vynal sides .
Bob Tidbury
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: thebrighton on April 14, 2018, 11:54:28 AM
Spoke to soon. I'm using a Farish 3MT tank chassis for a project. It hasn't run for a couple of years and had only been run in previously but the gear on the driver has split. The Farish achilies heel strikes or maybe Dapol sabotage ;)
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: ten0G on April 15, 2018, 08:57:57 AM
I also suggested the B-Sets in BR Crimson livery on their Digest and they responded saying they were interested. Now I am not going to claim they produced them just because I asked for them but there is at least some evidence that they listen to suggestions on there.

But should these not have "GUARD" on them, as the the photo on a well-known retailers site seems to show nothing, and this is confirmed by Hailstone. 

I have just received mine, they look great, the colour is almost identical to the set I re-sprayed but there is no Guard mark on the guard doors

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Graham Walters on April 18, 2018, 10:04:03 PM
So if we keep sending these back when faulty out of the box, ie unfit for purpose, what happens to them?  Assuming the manufacturer eventually has to fix them and re-sell, it must surely cost them a fortune which might be incentive to Ďdo it once, do it rightí which used to be the mantra at my work, when I worked. Or maybe they just pass them back to China, but I doubt they would get any rebate. So I think they probably chuck them away, or into the spares bin, which means that we are paying for the reject rate one way or the other. So probably twice as much as we should be.

The issue here is with quality control (or lack of it) in China, if we do not send these loco's back for repair/replacement how are the manufacturers to know the  failure rate ? As a retailer I want my customers to get a product that runs right, first time. I have no qualms in replacing anything that is faulty be it a loco or a coach. Plus it always goes back to the supplier., it's then their problem.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on April 19, 2018, 12:21:01 AM
Agreed Graham, my point is that someone has to pay for the rework and my guess is that it is taken into account in the selling price, so not only do we the customer get more bad product than we should, we are also paying for it.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: longbow on April 19, 2018, 02:33:29 AM
The incremental cost of adding extra units to a small production run to cover faulty product is quite small. So quite possibly it's cheaper for Dapol to replace and bin its returns rather than to thoroughly inspect every unit. And I very much doubt it's economical to rework any but the simplest faults.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on April 19, 2018, 12:04:58 PM
Failures cost money, no matter how you deal with them. Sure some means of dealing with them recoup some money but this may not entirely cover their costs in setting it up.  There is clearly enough work involved with ordinary servicing and warranty work to make it worthwhile for DCC Supplies to take on. My point was that the increased cost should be a spur to Dapol to improve the quality. However , increased QA also costs money, so it is a question of which solution is the most cost effective. Another incalculable point is the invisible cost of dissatisfied customers.
This isnít just about Dapol, by the way. I think the whole UK model rail industry needs to pull its socks up, at least with N, I have no experience of the current quality of OO and others.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on April 19, 2018, 12:36:37 PM
I think we need to step back and look at the situation and the timeline.

Dapol and other manufacturers build in batches.  If there is a QA problem with the batch its there forever.  In assessing whether improvements are being made we should only judge new built models/batches actually built in the last 12 months.  Whilst not perfect I think Dapol on this basis is improving, but there is still some way to go.  This is also reflected by the significant drop in availability of reworked returns.  So if you have a Dapol model that is not satisfactory you must ask yourself when was it built (not sold).

Farish did a similar exercise to reduce faulty models a few years ago and the consequence is we can no longer buy their cheap reworked models at shows.  I know that I have bought a large number of models this way that I would never have afforded full price.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Graham Walters on April 19, 2018, 12:46:13 PM
Agreed Graham, my point is that someone has to pay for the rework and my guess is that it is taken into account in the selling price, so not only do we the customer get more bad product than we should, we are also paying for it.

I don't believe that is true. Dapol price there models (with an expected failure rate, as do other manufacturers). If Dapol thought they could reduce the RRP (and make more money) by adding a higher level of QA then I'm sure they would. It is not in Dapols interest to have higher RRP as they will shift less stock as a lot of modellers budgets are restricted.

The returned items are either sold through DCC Supplies (or by Dapol at there open days) as graded seconds OR are used as spares. https://www.dccsupplies.com/cl-325/dapol-outlet.htm (https://www.dccsupplies.com/cl-325/dapol-outlet.htm)

I think this may be true for a number of the smaller manufacturers not just Dapol, to be fair in my experience so far the quality coming out of China seems to be dropping, I think QC is taking a back seat to production, I'm not just talking loco's but decoders and other accessories too.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 19, 2018, 02:27:59 PM
If standards are improving (and I'm not sure they are) then you would expect lead times to come down by the repairers e.g. BR Lines and DCC Supplies. From the comments made on this forum that does not appear to be the case :hmmm:
I look forward to adverts from BR Lines and DCC Supplies like "Got any locos needing a repair? Contact us now for instant action" :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on April 19, 2018, 02:44:34 PM
If standards are improving (and I'm not sure they are) then you would expect lead times to come down by the repairers e.g. BR Lines and DCC Supplies. From the comments made on this forum that does not appear to be the case :hmmm:
I look forward to adverts from BR Lines and DCC Supplies like "Got any locos needing a repair? Contact us now for instant action" :D

My impression is itís the older ones they are struggling with but time will tell.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 19, 2018, 03:32:23 PM
D'you mean me? How very rude ;D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on April 19, 2018, 03:53:39 PM
I could't possibly comment  :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Graham Walters on April 19, 2018, 04:12:51 PM
I could't possibly comment  :D

Oh please do, we all have popcorn ready !!  :smiley-laughing:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on April 19, 2018, 04:18:02 PM
I could't possibly comment  :D

Oh please do, we all have popcorn ready !!  :smiley-laughing:

 :beers:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Caz on April 19, 2018, 08:44:48 PM

I look forward to adverts from BR Lines and DCC Supplies like "Got any locos needing a repair? Contact us now for instant action" :D

I recently contacted Bob at BRlines re a DMU bogie and he said he wasn't accepting any more repairs until June.   :'(
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 19, 2018, 09:10:19 PM

I look forward to adverts from BR Lines and DCC Supplies like "Got any locos needing a repair? Contact us now for instant action" :D

I recently contacted Bob at BRlines re a DMU bogie and he said he wasn't accepting any more repairs until June.   :'(

That's not bad actually, Caz. I recommended BR lines to a chap about 3 weeks ago and he was told the wait would be 13 weeks! :o
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: austinbob on April 19, 2018, 09:27:01 PM
If it's 13 weeks to get a dodgy brand new loco repaired then that's appalling. I'd rather have a refund and buy something that's gonna work. Appalling,,,,  :veryangry:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 19, 2018, 09:31:33 PM
The item concerned was not a new model but whether that has any bearing on it I don't know.
I seem to recall BR Lines don't do Dapol repairs. If so, we're veering off the topic :sorrysign:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: NinOz on April 20, 2018, 01:47:37 AM
...........  If so, we're veering off the topic.  ..........
"Veering off the topic" ???  Well, I suppose there has to be a first time.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Dr Al on April 21, 2018, 09:56:32 AM

I look forward to adverts from BR Lines and DCC Supplies like "Got any locos needing a repair? Contact us now for instant action" :D


I recently contacted Bob at BRlines re a DMU bogie and he said he wasn't accepting any more repairs until June.   :'(


That's not bad actually, Caz. I recommended BR lines to a chap about 3 weeks ago and he was told the wait would be 13 weeks! :o


I can do repairs on both if folk need quicker - I just repaired @Newportnobby (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264)'s Dapol 9F.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: longbow on April 21, 2018, 10:01:08 AM
Alan - you have a PM
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on April 28, 2018, 11:33:43 PM
I don't actually think Dapol's standards are dropping- or Farish's for that matter.

I have a large (and I mean well into three figures) fleet of UK outline steamers, and about 40 diesels at present.  To that add in the fifty or so Continental locos I'm beginning to get above the "statistically insignificant" proportion of output.  I have very few problem children in amongst that lot - an A4 which defies all attempts to get its bogie to track properly turning right (it turns left without an issue) and an A1 that prefers the company of BR Lines to mine (just back after its 4th repair), together with high mileage wear and tear items.

In general-
I've found Fleischmann, Piko, Arnold and Minitrix to be just as poor when it comes to their rate of poor runners/decoration discrepancies as the UK manufacturers.

I also run OO and have a 100% poor QC rate with Heljan- bits dropping off randomly- a punter at a show commenting that a the diesel in front of him has just shed its buffer beam is an interesting conversation starter....  Likewise some of the QC threads under Hornby, Bachmann etc on RMWeb make interesting reading.

When a Chinese assembler has a bad period it tends to affect a number of locos close together- my three poor Farish 4MTTs returned to Hattons were probably assembled by the same worker within 30 mins- and not that well assembled.  My tip here is if you send something back get the replacement tested and you may actually have more luck changing shops for a replacement.

Both Dapol and Bachmann work very hard to design errors out of their products- Dapol get more stick partly because they are somewhat more upfront in admitting problems than Farish. 

On repairs- DCC Supplies are a lot faster than BR Lines, but also a little more expensive.  if a loco out of warranty develops a problem I can't fix easily that loco goes off for an overhaul as part of its repair.  My locos work hard for their keep- each loco on Hawthorn Dene covers a mile each day the layout is on show- and there are 22 of the fleet doing that daily mile.  At Ally Pally only one loco of any make failed completely over the two days of the show- a Union Mills J27's motor packed up.

Les
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Dickydcc on May 07, 2018, 08:05:51 PM
Not sure if this is anything to go by but there  is nothing for sale in the DCC supplies Dapol outlet section at the moment. Could standards be improving?
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bob Tidbury on May 07, 2018, 09:00:13 PM
D C C didnt have many  rejects on their stand over the weekend at Thornbury show either  .
What does that signify ,Andy had been too busy to check and grade  them or there arent so many now.
Bob Tidbury
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: thebrighton on May 07, 2018, 09:44:33 PM
There was around 25 on their website yesterday as I was having a look at what they had.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on May 07, 2018, 09:59:58 PM
Fiona's away the mice are at play  :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Paul-H on May 07, 2018, 10:06:44 PM
Dont know if its just me and the bad luck that follows closely behind me as I am a fall into a barrel of roses and come out smelling of Sh*te type of guy, but of all the dapol N-Gauge Locos I have owned

Two, 0-6-0 Tanks both ran like dogs
One, 9F, kept losing its dog bone and the front bogie would never stay on
One, Class 33, Noisy as hell
One, Class 35 even noisier than hell
One, Class 52 this one is actually ok
One, Class 66 issues with one LED faulty out of the box

So out of Seven all but one has issues, don't think I will bother with any more, which is a shame as I fancy their class 68.

Paul

Just as an update to the above, I have been tempted by a few more dapols, results below

Class 68 arrived safe and sound and is a faultless runner

Class 22 arrived safe and sound and its a faultless runner

Class 27 arrived safe and sound and is a faultless runner

Class 66 to replace the one with faulty light arrived safe and sound and is a faultless runner

So it looks like my Dapol luck is improving, hope it holds out for the Class 50

Also an update on the Class 35, the noise turned out to be one of the gears not clipped in place properly during assembly and now it's been fitted correctly it too is now nice and quiet.

The 33 is now a lot quieter after a very long run in session.

Paul
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on May 07, 2018, 10:12:22 PM
The class 35 does not surprise me.  I have fixed a lot of Dapol models and its almost always an assembly fault. 

Having said that there was a lot of three class 68 units on sale as faulty on eBay last night, and one had a melted hole in its roof  :o
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Intercity on May 08, 2018, 12:28:20 AM
I have had nothing but good luck on my new purchase Dapol products, however my secondhand purchases have been mixed, some I bought knowing they had issues, it also is unfair to hold Dapol to any standard for these models, there is no way to know if it was the factory or a ham fisted previous owner that caused the issues (not running a model in, not oiling the models properly etc etc).

My class 86 fleet is still growing and I have one with a completely fried PCB, it seems on these they fail more than other locos, but again not all purchases have been new items.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Dr Al on May 08, 2018, 12:31:48 AM
There was around 25 on their website yesterday as I was having a look at what they had.

There is nothing today - it's all either out of stock, or nothing showing.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on May 08, 2018, 03:14:38 PM
I bought 3 Grade B A4s and found loads of electrical problems with them. Reported all to DCC supplies, next day all locos had gone from the website. Coincidence?
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on May 15, 2018, 03:10:43 PM
Oh dear. I took delivery yesterday of 10 x Dapol 20T weathered mineral wagons and 4 (so 40%) couldn't even roll off a railer onto the track. On inspection the wheels on those 4 weren't seated in their axle boxes properly. Even when I wiggled them into the sockets they would not roll more than 3-4" when given a push. At least now I know they won't derail on points which was my concern. :unimpressed:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Paul-H on May 15, 2018, 10:46:04 PM
Well my 68 has just completed its run in cycle and its already lost 2 handrails, and no sign of them on the test track, which is a simple oval of unballasted track, so that's £15 for replacements.

Paul
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Rabbitaway on May 16, 2018, 06:04:04 PM
Paul

DCC Supplies sent my a replacement set of 68 handrails free of charge, they said they were aware of the issue of handrails falling off and the factory had been made aware

I did call Fiona on the issue first

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on May 16, 2018, 06:11:28 PM
ASA word of warning/advice.  I bought a very reasonably priced class 68 on ebay.  No complaints but on very close examination I could see the tell tail signs of cyanoacrylate fumes where a handrail had been re attached.  Now this is easily fixed with the blunt end of a wet cocktail stick, however, the best glue to make such a repair is a strong pva or similar glue.  I personally use the cockpit adhesive, the one you can also create windows with.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Rabbitaway on May 16, 2018, 06:35:26 PM
I had to fit the most difficult handrail, the L shaped one below the windscreen.

The only way I found to hold it was a thin tube with a little blue tack pushed up one end. As this handrail is fitted on an angle and close to easily damaged detail it is very difficult to fit. Did the job in a large plastic box in case it pinged away. I used normal super glue. The silver paint on the handrail did partly rub off but an easy fix with paint and a small brush.

My 68 was also one of the bargains on eBay and i think the handrail either fell on the floor as I opened the box or was not there at all. I did explain this to DCC Supplies and they still sent me the pack for free. The seller also refunded me £10.

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on July 16, 2018, 01:43:42 PM
Just to put things in context re value for money.

I've just sent back a faulty Continental loco.

What was its cost new?   £357.

In value-for-money terms UK modellers do remarkably well.

Les
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Rabbitaway on September 08, 2018, 10:24:22 PM
At TINGS today and picked up a couple of bargain steam locos from the Dapol stand but the lack of Dapol quality control struck again

A4 for £80, run less than 10 times around my layout and lost a value gear rivet also noted that one of the thin wires between the tender and loco had broken, ok before running the loco. So this will have to go back, just a pain and hassle.

38xx for £60, small handrail under one of the cab windows hanging off but I carefully removed and refitted. Not worth the hassle to send back

Before anybody asks I do know how the handle delicate steam locos correctly

Although these locos were good price they were being sold as perfect condition

My last three Farish steam locos have been faultless

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on September 08, 2018, 10:29:41 PM
I bought a "Noisy"45xx for £30.  It took me seconds to stop the valve gear rubbing as it had been pressed in by big fingers and it now runs perfectly.  Very pleased. :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Paul-H on September 08, 2018, 10:40:30 PM
I picked up a pannier from DCCSupplies stand, listed as grade 2 wobbly runner.for £45

Got it home fitted a decoder and it's running flawlessly with no sign of any wobble and it's in mint condition

Result for a change
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Rabbitaway on September 08, 2018, 11:01:31 PM
I didn't think to look at DCC Supplies for graded locos, saying that as Dapol locos have a high fault rate out of the box it is useful to have the ability to return them considering they are not a lot more on the Dapol stand. Noting new Pannier's were £55 on the Dapol stand

Shame about the A4 as it was a smooth runner until it lost it's value gear and wire

The 38xx so far seems a good runner
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bramshot on September 08, 2018, 11:18:15 PM
Looking at DCC Supplies site today, I couldnít see any Graded locos for sale at all. Have they stopped doing them?
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: longbow on September 08, 2018, 11:21:40 PM
Their Dapol outlet site does have fallow periods from time to time but no doubt more offers will be along soon.

Despite the DCCS "no warranty" stipulation, you are legally entitled to return outlet locos if they have faults other than those described. Obviously you won't have much of a case trying to return a "spares only" Grade 4, but they accepted my return of a Schools with a detached con rod as this clearly did not meet the Grade 2 description of a "decent runner". My Grade 2 Britannia has no obvious faults.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on September 08, 2018, 11:22:05 PM
Looking at DCC Supplies site today, I couldnít see any Graded locos for sale at all. Have they stopped doing them?

They had about 50 on their stand today.  They usually de-list them when they are at the show to stop them double selling them.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: ntpntpntp on September 09, 2018, 01:51:10 AM
Got it home fitted a decoder and it's running floorlesly with no sign of any wobble and it's in mint condition
What, suspended in mid-air?   :D  :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Paul-H on September 09, 2018, 06:17:09 AM
ntpntpntp, I am Dysexic think yourself lucky you can read anything I write

It's also not very clever to mock the disabled, does it make you feel big in your tiny irelevent life or something :(
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: ntpntpntp on September 09, 2018, 10:46:31 AM
ntpntpntp, I am Dysexic think yourself lucky you can read anything I write

It's also not very clever to mock the disabled, does it make you feel big in your tiny irelevent life or something :(

Nobody's mocking you, just having a little giggle at the image it conjures up.  No need to get so defensive.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on September 30, 2018, 10:57:23 PM
The Dapol NQPs on sale yesterday at their Club Open Day had a huge number of Schools with mangled valve gear- many of which looked as if they had been mishandled.

One of my local model shops has had Farish locos returned as faulty that had obviously been picked up by the valve gear bending same.

I bought two pannier tanks that were labelled as "runs in wrong direction".  When I got them home each had had the cab removed and each had the decoder blanking plug fitted the wrong way up.  Turning it the right way up cured that problem.  One of them now runs beautifully, the other is lumpy but getting smoother after a good oiling and 30 minutes running in behind a Union Mills loco to keep it from stalling.

I'm not always convinced that every shop return is the fault of the loco.

Les
 
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on September 30, 2018, 11:04:15 PM
The Dapol NQPs on sale yesterday at their Club Open Day had a huge number of Schools with mangled valve gear- many of which looked as if they had been mishandled.

One of my local model shops has had Farish locos returned as faulty that had obviously been picked up by the valve gear bending same.

I bought two pannier tanks that were labelled as "runs in wrong direction".  When I got them home each had had the cab removed and each had the decoder blanking plug fitted the wrong way up.  Turning it the right way up cured that problem.  One of them now runs beautifully, the other is lumpy but getting smoother after a good oiling and 30 minutes running in behind a Union Mills loco to keep it from stalling.

I'm not always convinced that every shop return is the fault of the loco.

Les
 

I think you are almost certainly correct.  The trade off of scale to fragility in modern models highlights the number of people with five thumbs on each hand.

(this has shades of the old joke about being too stupid to own a computer  :D)
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: PLD on September 30, 2018, 11:11:36 PM
I'm not always convinced that every shop return is the fault of the loco.
Been convinced that is the case for a long time...

If forum reports are a good indicator, 20% of modellers have 80% of the 'faulty' locos. Either they are extremely unlucky, or the targets of a co-ordinated conspiracy among manufacturers and retailers or... ... ...
 ;)
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on September 30, 2018, 11:18:58 PM
I'm not always convinced that every shop return is the fault of the loco.
Been convinced that is the case for a long time...

If forum reports are a good indicator, 20% of modellers have 80% of the 'faulty' locos. Either they are extremely unlucky, or the targets of a co-ordinated conspiracy among manufacturers and retailers or... ... ...
 ;)

As long as they sell them cheap on eBay, its their loss  :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Fardap on October 01, 2018, 02:19:33 PM
After the bad mannered scrum at the NQP stand, by all accounts almost came to physical blows, I spent the time in the then quite shop and got some bargains, Silver Fox being the loveliest looking one along with a selection of Teaks.

Once the hububb died down at the NQP stand I got a Flying Scotsman wartime black for £30 - tender wires broken and a Britannia Western Star weatherd £30 - tender wires broken. There were a fair few labelled with that 'fault' seems odd they didn't replace them, although there was a good selection of refurbs in the shop as well so guess they do do some.


Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on October 01, 2018, 02:37:13 PM
After the bad mannered scrum at the NQP stand, by all accounts almost came to physical blows, I spent the time in the then quite shop and got some bargains, Silver Fox being the loveliest looking one along with a selection of Teaks.

Once the hububb died down at the NQP stand I got a Flying Scotsman wartime black for £30 - tender wires broken and a Britannia Western Star weatherd £30 - tender wires broken. There were a fair few labelled with that 'fault' seems odd they didn't replace them, although there was a good selection of refurbs in the shop as well so guess they do do some.

sounds worse than the January sales
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on October 01, 2018, 08:05:20 PM
After the bad mannered scrum at the NQP stand, by all accounts almost came to physical blows, I spent the time in the then quite shop and got some bargains, Silver Fox being the loveliest looking one along with a selection of Teaks.

Once the hububb died down at the NQP stand I got a Flying Scotsman wartime black for £30 - tender wires broken and a Britannia Western Star weatherd £30 - tender wires broken. There were a fair few labelled with that 'fault' seems odd they didn't replace them, although there was a good selection of refurbs in the shop as well so guess they do do some.

I stayed at the far end until scrum started on the N-gauge NQPs, then picked over the remaining OO-gauge NQPs.  I was quite tempted by a chocolate and cream Bubblecar but decided against as the Heljan railbus on No Place only just fits the platform.  A bogie railcar is too big for the layout.

I then went round to a very quiet shop (which had been heaving right up to the NQPs opening up) and came back to look at the N-gauge NQPs as everyone headed off to queue for the food.  There were plenty of items left but I have enough spares for the time being.


Les
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on October 01, 2018, 09:24:36 PM

sounds worse than the January sales

Which, of course, are starting now
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: joe cassidy on November 18, 2018, 02:39:42 PM
Just finished replacing a broken loco to tender wire on my valanced A4.

This might be a 2 minute job for the young person who assembled the loco in China but it took me (over 60, glasses-wearing, arthritic hands) at least an hour.

Thankily the floor in my railway living room is lino, not carpet eating monster, so every time I sent the tiny screws into orbit I was able to find them again.

So much for my relaxing Sunday afternoon - I should've accepted my son's invitation to go to the pub to watch England play Croatia.

I will definitely never buy another Dapol loco (unless they do an unrebuilt LMS Royal Scot, or a streamlined Duchess/Coronation Class).

Your angrily,



Joe
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: class37025 on November 18, 2018, 03:40:14 PM
from previous experience of Dapol locos, didn't think they had standards to drop.

wagons / coaches not too bad, but have steered well clear of locos / DMUs for a long time.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on November 18, 2018, 04:10:08 PM
I'm just glad so many people cannot get along with their Dapol locos, especially if they sell them cheap on eBay. 

I buy them fix them and don't have any problems, and i have change in my pocket  :D

I have long believed that Dapol locos need owners of a of a more careful disposition as they will not tolerate any rough handling.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Bob Tidbury on November 18, 2018, 05:05:03 PM
I have only had ONE very bad loco from Dapol , but unfortunately I canít afford to buy any cheap ones ,even if I did I couldnít fix them , but now I know four people who can,  Snowwolflair, Hailstone ,Only me and Anthony Ainsley -Sutton all four are excellent Modellers ,and have helped me in the past .
And Iím very grateful to all four ,I used to fix a lot of peoples old style Farish locos for many years  on a very small corner of the B H E stand ,never charged for my time just spares as needed .But now allthough I can still see to do things my fingers are just not nimble enough ,so  itís nice to have such good friends who can help me.
Bob Tidbury
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: joe cassidy on November 18, 2018, 06:12:18 PM
I buy them fix them and don't have any problems, and i have change in my pocket  :D

If you're ever short of work there's a job waiting for you in China :)

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on November 18, 2018, 06:38:41 PM
I buy them fix them and don't have any problems, and i have change in my pocket  :D

If you're ever short of work there's a job waiting for you in China :)

Best regards,


Joe

Been there, done that :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: joe cassidy on November 18, 2018, 09:00:48 PM
My Dapol woes continue.

Flushed with success after mending my A4 I decided to give my BRAND NEW HANDLED WITH KID GLOVES Schools class loco a spin.

The bogie fell off, or rather sprang off, as there is a spring between the bogie and the chassis to keep the bogie on the  track.

The tiny retaining screw has gone AWOL.

I have already confessed on the Dapol Schools thread to loosening this screw so that the loco can go round curves, as per the advice given by other victims of the Dapol curse, so I have to assume responsability.

Our "relaxing" hobby can sometimes be frustrating  :(

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on November 18, 2018, 09:04:52 PM
When you find the screw dab some acrylic paint on the thread. It acts like a weak glue allowing adjustment then holds it when you are happy with the adjustment.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: joe cassidy on November 18, 2018, 09:11:41 PM
Thanks for the tip.

Will try to find the screw in the cold light of day.

Hope that I don't have a screw-eating lino monster chez moi?

Does the weak glue trick also work when trying to locate tiny screws in tiny holes, either between the screw and the hole, or to temporarily attach the screw to the screwdriver ?

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on November 18, 2018, 09:14:33 PM
Thanks for the tip.

Will try to find the screw in the cold light of day.

Hope that I don't have a screw-eating lino monster chez moi?

Does the weak glue trick also work when trying to locate tiny screws in tiny holes, either between the screw and the hole, or to temporarily attach the screw to the screwdriver ?

Best regards,


Joe

Tacky wax  :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: joe cassidy on November 18, 2018, 09:18:52 PM
Thanks SWL.

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on November 18, 2018, 10:12:00 PM
Just finished replacing a broken loco to tender wire on my valanced A4.

This might be a 2 minute job for the young person who assembled the loco in China but it took me (over 60, glasses-wearing, arthritic hands) at least an hour.

Thankily the floor in my railway living room is lino, not carpet eating monster, so every time I sent the tiny screws into orbit I was able to find them again.

So much for my relaxing Sunday afternoon - I should've accepted my son's invitation to go to the pub to watch England play Croatia.

I will definitely never buy another Dapol loco (unless they do an unrebuilt LMS Royal Scot, or a streamlined Duchess/Coronation Class).

Your angrily,



Joe

Basic rules for tender wires-

1. use the smallest cross-head screwdriver you have.
2.  Magnetise it strongly first - this allows you to keep the screw attached to the end of it.
3.  If that fails lick the end of the screwdriver for even more holding.
4.  If that fails then dab the end in superglue- this will guarantee that the screw remains attached to the screwdriver until you pull the screwdriver away after tightening.
5.  Work on a tray and have a magnet ready.

Before starting the loco should be held securely upside down with no chance of it moving sideways, and the ability to rotate it horizontally through 180 degrees to get the best angle.  Use cocktail sticks to push the copper loops to just above the screw points.

Having had to a batch after someone dropped one of my stock boxes taking out ten locos in one go I'm getting the hang of them.  I am 66 with arthritis, repetitive strain injury and mild dyspraxia and I can do tender wires....
Les

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: joe cassidy on November 18, 2018, 10:37:03 PM
Thanks Les.

I suspect that you are a retired school teacher but I believe you could've been a surgeon !

Best regards,


Joe
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: trkilliman on November 19, 2018, 09:37:26 AM
Les, thank you for your post about the Dapol tender wires.

I have a Britannia that I bought from new (grey wheels) that has barely done 10 minutes running. A wire snapped and I have been windy about putting on the replacement. Your account will certainly help...thank you.

I would not describe myself as heavy handed, but Dapol steam do seem to be very delicate. I would not want to go back to the belts and braces old G.F. or the Hornby-Dublo locos of my childhood. However the tender wire connections and that horrid Kardon shaft do not make for easy handling of them.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Dr Al on November 19, 2018, 10:27:34 AM
Dapol wires fail almost exclusively at the join between one loop and the wire. One way to minimise this is to ensure that these joins point inwards (not forward or back), and the wire curves gently around under the drawbar to the other loop (also pointing inwards) - this minimises repetitive bending of them at the weak point, which ultimately causes fatigue.

Doing this will reduce likelihood of future failure, and I tend to adjust this on all, even those non-failed. I've seen few actually fail in service doing this, but many locos have come to me with the wires already failed.

Failed wires can be re-soldered once removed - I always to this so there is a supply ready for future acquisitions or repairs.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on November 19, 2018, 01:44:04 PM
Dapol wires fail almost exclusively at the join between one loop and the wire. One way to minimise this is to ensure that these joins point inwards (not forward or back), and the wire curves gently around under the drawbar to the other loop (also pointing inwards) - this minimises repetitive bending of them at the weak point, which ultimately causes fatigue.

Doing this will reduce likelihood of future failure, and I tend to adjust this on all, even those non-failed. I've seen few actually fail in service doing this, but many locos have come to me with the wires already failed.

Failed wires can be re-soldered once removed - I always to this so there is a supply ready for future acquisitions or repairs.

Cheers,
Alan

I  would certainly agree with this.  Most of my failures have been as a result of shock- generally a dropped or bashed stockbox.  In the box where ten locos had wires broken there was another one (an A3) with a broken drawbar that had its wires intact.  I also had one Union Mills drawbar, two Dapol drawbars and two Farsh drawbars broken when that box was dropped.  I was not best pleased with the guy who dropped it through trying to carry too much in one go to save an extra trip from the car into the exhibition hall.  My regular operators all know better.

My soldering isn't up to reattaching wire loops.  I bought a job lot of wires from DCC Supplies.

Les (taking a break from readying the layout for Warley).

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Dr Al on November 19, 2018, 01:55:09 PM
I was not best pleased with the guy who dropped it through trying to carry too much in one go to save an extra trip from the car into the exhibition hall.  My regular operators all know better.

People do seem to be very rough and careless with their models - always amazes me the carefree attitudes to such expensive investments - no wonder so many of them have trouble with running!

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Rabbitaway on November 19, 2018, 09:16:59 PM
I have had a few problems with broken wires on Dapol locos but I notice that the latest batch of A4s have the wires routed differently. Not crossing around the drawbar fixing but looped vertically between the loco and tender. The A4 I bought at TINGS broke a wire after a few circuits of my layout and then through its valve gear, so was sent back for a replacement. The replacement had a broken wire out of the box so I sorted it with the spare in the box. I have only run it for a limited time so not sure how it will last particularly as the wires are on vertically as factory fitted.

I have a significant number of locos from both Dapol and Farish and find that Farish locos are more likely to be runners out of the box but have replaced a good number of split gears after a period of time. The problem I have had with Dapol is failure of lights and noisy and hot motors

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Paul-H on November 19, 2018, 09:50:47 PM
I keep saying no more, never again will I buy another Dapol, then just one more comes along and again more problems, will I ever learn.

New Class 121 with the headcode LED's too dim to illuminate the headcode, but only when going forward, in reverse they are fine.

Again I am saying never again, but then the class 50 is so close now, will I be able to resist.

Paul
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on November 21, 2018, 10:37:02 PM
I was not best pleased with the guy who dropped it through trying to carry too much in one go to save an extra trip from the car into the exhibition hall.  My regular operators all know better.

People do seem to be very rough and careless with their models - always amazes me the carefree attitudes to such expensive investments - no wonder so many of them have trouble with running!

Cheers,
Alan


Interestingly talking both with Andy and Joel at Dapol and with Dennis Lovett at Bachmann there was total agreement on why valve gear is prone to damage.  BOTH blame people picking locos up by the valve gear.    I even noticed one retailer opening a brand new loco (a Farish A2) pick it out by the valve gear then wonder why the valve gear fell apart on the test track. Oddly enough I bought my first A2 elsewhere....

Similarly it helps preserve the drawbar on BOTH Dapol and Farish to pick tender locos up by loco AND tender simultaneously - it can be done with one hand, even by me.  Lifting by one or the other pops Dapol drive shafts and twists Farish loco to tender connectors so eventually they either break off or just bend away from contact/ Again the fault is laid at the loco rather than at the user.

Manufacturers standards aren't necessarily dropping, but there are plenty of hamfisted people about.  I am sure I'm not the only one who has ex-eBay "spares or repair" locos in front line service.  Look Hawthorn Dene up (stand C31 at Warley this weekend).  There will probably be some running.


Les
 

Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on November 21, 2018, 10:52:32 PM
Further to what Les says, I have seen some pretty appalling handling and treatment of locos at various shows. The attitude seems to be that given to a pool car i.e. it's not mine so I don't have to look after it. I really can't believe they'd treat their own stock like it so it's perhaps been paid for by the club (which really means all the members of that club who contribute via their subscriptions)
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: grumbeast on November 21, 2018, 11:41:52 PM
I think sometimes we forget that these are incredible tiny bits of delicate engineering, especially when we have complex valve gear.  To be honest I've never had a problem with Dapol / Farish / BachFar or the numerous other manufacturers valve gear, but then thats probably because my pocket money is precious and I handle them like eggshells!  While there are always going to be some issues, I think the quest for ever more accurate, ever more scale-appropriate delicacy means this is a problem we'll have to put up with for the the foreseeable future
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on November 21, 2018, 11:48:42 PM
Further to what Les says, I have seen some pretty appalling handling and treatment of locos at various shows. The attitude seems to be that given to a pool car i.e. it's not mine so I don't have to look after it. I really can't believe they'd treat their own stock like it so it's perhaps been paid for by the club (which really means all the members of that club who contribute via their subscriptions)

You mean casting pearls before swine :D
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: silly moo on November 22, 2018, 05:59:27 AM
Apart from appalling handling, Iíve seen some pretty dodgy track work too. Some locos especially diesels can tolerate this but steam locos are more susceptible to badly laid track.

Manufacturers are at a disadvantage as far as returns are concerned as they have no way of really knowing under what conditions their products have been used.

I must have the luck of the devil as Iíve only really had minor issues with my Dapol steam locos. Fingers crossed.

 :NGaugersRule:
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Newportnobby on November 22, 2018, 09:48:48 AM
Further to what Les says, I have seen some pretty appalling handling and treatment of locos at various shows. The attitude seems to be that given to a pool car i.e. it's not mine so I don't have to look after it. I really can't believe they'd treat their own stock like it so it's perhaps been paid for by the club (which really means all the members of that club who contribute via their subscriptions)

You mean casting pearls before swine :D

Sorry, but that makes no sense to me :no: (Must be a pearl before a swine :dunce:)

How many of us have seen a loco being pushed back and forth on track because it has stopped for some reason? How many have seen a HoG (Hand of God) pressing down on a loco to see if that miraculously make it run? All I'd say is if you're going to do these things then don't do them in full view of the public. Personally I don't give a damn how they treat their stock. All I know it's vastly different to how I treat mine.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Les1952 on November 26, 2018, 08:21:18 PM
Appropriate even though the loco is OO...

I've just come away from Warley with yet another DJModels Austerity.  This an NQP shop return.  What is wrong with it?  Handrail above opening smokebox door is broken off.  Looking at the spray weathering the handrail was definitely in place when the weathering was done.

Inside the smokebox the circuit board has been pulled out and pushed back inexpertly.  Loco runs fine-

deduction- the purchaser has pulled off the smokebox door too violently and snapped off the handrail above it, then sent the loco back as defective.

Back to Dapol N.  I purchased two panniers from the NQP returns this year.  Both stated as "runs backwards".  Both ran backwards, one badly the other  not well but now fine after a long running-in.  However BOTH had had the cabs removed and the blanking plates were upside down.  Turning a 6-pin blanking plate upside down causes the loco to run backwards on analogue.   In other words BOTH had been fiddled with by the purchasers and returned as faulty.

Makes you think.
Les
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: stevewalker on November 26, 2018, 10:35:43 PM
My Britannia has never worked right despite two replacements (plus a third when they sent an A4 instead!). Meanwhile my 9F which ran flawlessly, but with very poor adhesion, has been parked up on one side of the shed, while I have worked on the other (U-shaped board). Last night, when I finally connected the new track to the old (I'd broken the circuit some months before) and tried running things, the 9f promptly moved and inch and locked up, reversing it repeated the exercise :(
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Dr Al on November 27, 2018, 01:16:55 AM
Back to Dapol N.  I purchased two panniers from the NQP returns this year.  Both stated as "runs backwards".  Both ran backwards, one badly the other  not well but now fine after a long running-in.  However BOTH had had the cabs removed and the blanking plates were upside down.  Turning a 6-pin blanking plate upside down causes the loco to run backwards on analogue.   In other words BOTH had been fiddled with by the purchasers and returned as faulty.

Makes you think.

It does.

It makes me think that it's far more likely the reason for the DCC blanks being up wrong way is that the original purchasers had fitted them with their own DCC chips, found running just didn't cut it, and therefore rescued their chips by removing them and unwittingly (or uncaring since they were returning) then put the blanks back in awry. This seems far more potentially credible, and as such, jumping to the conclusion that it was the 'idiot user' to absolve Dapol may be inaccurate.

There is no doubt that some purchasers will return things that have basically been destroyed by them - overoiling is a good one, and I've seen a few that the flailing soldering iron has attacked. The way folk treat models, it's hardly surprising, I continue to remain amazed, shocked, and many other things, at quite how careless, carefree, and rough folk can be with items that are not cheap!

But equally, poor QC, assembly, and even assessment of models when they have been returned seems to still predominate. Only recently I got a cheap Schools with a "bad wobble" - the reason turned out to be a tyre slightly unseated in its tread - 10 seconds to seat it properly, model works perfectly. Had Dapol looked at this properly and spotted that they could probably have resold it for 30 quid more. Alas, instead, it will become the front end of my second D49.

Equally, there are tails of woe, like a recent A3 Scotsman, with a completely wonky front end, warped downward footplate, lifting the front drivers up via the front bogie. That took complete body disassembly to find horrid factory assembly with the smokebox saddle moulding glued on with excess glue at an angle. All had to be stripped off, cleaned up re-seated, removed and more material removed before it sat squarely as intended. Slap dash factory throwing together is the only explanation.

I guess what I get at here is that everyone can throw out a "it was the idiot user" (and there seem a good number, that's for sure) only for others to throw out an "it was the idiot in the factory/at Dapol" counterexample. Both exist, and will continue to do so. Good design can, however, go a long way to minimise both.

As an aside, I also wonder what Dapol do with the DCC decoders in the DCC fitted returns - none that I've bought have had them installed (and have had the DCC fitted packaging markings scrubbed out), but all have had a DCC blank put back in. If Dapol are removing them to use in other locos then that's extremely dubious, and probably illegal. I can't think what other reason they could be, unless they've been selling on a load of nearly new decoders someplace.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: trkilliman on November 27, 2018, 07:59:05 AM
A very balanced assessment/opinion Dr Al. You make some good points.

Not very long after Dapol took over the Manor from Ixion I remember hearing the Manor was costing under £20 to produce in China. I mentioned it on here but IIRC nobody commented, possibly thinking I was deluded in some way.

Items are cost-engineered across a wide range of goods. I was told a story, by a trade insider, about a large tool retailer. They will go to a manufacturer with a specification for a power tool, saying we will order "X" thousand pieces and we will pay you "X" for each one. The manufacturer if interested sets about designing it within this price frame building in their manufacturers profit.
I know that carpentry hand tools such as planes and chisels started to be cost engineered around the late 1960s/early 70s. These days a Plane straight out of the box can require a few hours of fettling. Plate glass with wet and dry to flatten the sole, which is usually left with grind marks and sharp edges. The exception is if you pay upwards of say £100 (my Stanley no.4 plane as an apprentice cost £3-7/6d,and was useable from the box)

Getting back to our model trains, could cost engineering be playing a part in so many duds from the box/or a short life span? Could some of the failures be down to sloppy assembly in the factory? Are they being produced so cheaply that there are high production targets to be met by the operatives? Perhaps being produced to a set low cost, if this is the case, results in so many NQP ones becoming available...and it's uneconomical to even look at the problem in the U.K?  This may explain why NQP items sometimes have a "fault" that takes a few minutes to rectify. It does make me wonder...
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: bigmac on November 27, 2018, 11:00:18 AM
Appropriate even though the loco is OO...

I've just come away from Warley with yet another DJModels Austerity.  This an NQP shop return.  What is wrong with it?  Handrail above opening smokebox door is broken off.  Looking at the spray weathering the handrail was definitely in place when the weathering was done.



Inside the smokebox the circuit board has been pulled out and pushed back inexpertly.  Loco runs fine-

deduction- the purchaser has pulled off the smokebox door too violently and snapped off the handrail above it, then sent the loco back as defective.

Back to Dapol N.  I purchased two panniers from the NQP returns this year.  Both stated as "runs backwards".  Both ran backwards, one badly the other  not well but now fine after a long running-in.  However BOTH had had the cabs removed and the blanking plates were upside down.  Turning a 6-pin blanking plate upside down causes the loco to run backwards on analogue.   In other words BOTH had been fiddled with by the purchasers and returned as faulty.

Makes you think.
Les





i recently won a pannier on ebay--stated to have glue marks on the cab sides.  it ran backwards.  helpful advice on facebook was to check the blanking plug--it was upside down. the glue marks were where someone had tried to glue back those fine handrails--both were sticking out.  all sorted now. nice runner.
Title: Re: Dapol Standards dropping?
Post by: Snowwolflair on November 27, 2018, 12:47:52 PM
There is a similar problem in the online fashion world.  Women (possibly some men!) buy a dress and wear it for one night.  They then unpick a seam and return it as unfit for sale and get a refund.