Recently Dapol took their 1st steps into the market of ready to run '0' gauge locomotives with the release of the Al/A1X Terrier, in this review we take a closer look at Al Terrier no: 57 "Thames" in LB&SCR improved engine green livery (item number: 7S-010-004).
As with all products by Dapol the box is instantly recognisable by it's distinctive blue & silver appearance. The front of the box also features a 'blueprint' style silver line drawing of
the Terrier. The model is held securely in place by what has become known by many railway modellers as the 'block of ice' style packing which in turn is surrounded on all sides by soft foam sheeting. Also enclosed are the maintenance & DCC installation instruction sheet, Dapol's 2-year warranty form and a speaker housing for DCC sound installation.
When it comes to the detail we've come expect nothing less from Dapol as they've proven time and time again in the past. Everything about this model, from the copper cap on the chimney
to the brass etched number plates on the sides of the coal bunker is a sight to behold, whether the model is running round on a layout or simply being held and admired in your hands. However there is one area where the detail leaves much to be desired and it's inside the cab. Although many of the fittings are present on the back head (regulator, water gauges, injector steam feeds etc...) they have been left unpainted as have the steam pressure and vacuum gauges which are represented as just blank white discs. In addition the coal bunker hatch is completely absent from the rear cab wall, in real life this would be a problem for the fireman.
Moving on to the livery we hit another bump in the road in that the shade of colour is considered by some who model the LB&SCR (London, Brighton & South Coast Railway) to be too light,
claiming it to be a bright ochre yellow rather than a mid orange/brown mix. As far as the lettering and lining are concerned both are sharply and clearly reproduced and as far as I can see are flawless in their appearance.
The Terrier incorporates a flickering fire glow which is achieved by a small light fitted inside the firehole, although I think this is a great little gimmick which adds to the realism of the model I don't believe that it's suited to DC operation as the reduced power going through the track will cause the light to grow dim or go out all together. To get the full effect go to DCC where you have the benefit of continuous current and the added option of DCC sound to enhance the realism even further.
The motor assembly, which is positioned directly above and behind the centre drive axle, makes for very smooth and quiet running in normal operation. as far as strength goes, the model benefits from a machined metal running board, this combined with the weight of the motor assembly ensures that the model is capable of recreating what the real Terriers would have done when they were in their prime.
Since Dapol announced they were producing ready to run locomotives in '0' gauge modellers and collectors everywhere have waited in anticipation for their release and now that the Terriers have arrived on the scene it's time to answer the question: was it worth the wait? Now obviously I can't answer for every person who has purchased a Terrier but for myself personally the answer to the question 'was it worth the wait?' would have to be... yes it was. Leaving aside the crudely detailed cab fittings and the slightly off colour 'improved engine green' livery (which most experienced modellers could rectify if they so wished) the external detail fittings, the smooth running performance and the overall appearance of the model is more than enough to make it, in my opinion, yet another jewel in Dapol's crown. The only thing I have left to say is roll on 2016 and the release of the class 08 diesel shunters.
With this I give an overall score of 9/10.
Written by Richard Grigg.