Update regarding Dapol ex LSWR B4 announcement

Further to the announcement by Dapol in their new 2014/15 catalogue that I posted last week that they are to produce the ex London and South Western (LSWR) B4 0-4-0 tank locomotive in 00 gauge I am now pleased, following discussion directly with Dapol,  to confirm some additional details.

Initially Dapol, as shown in their new catalogue, are proposing 5 variants:

  • ‘Normandy’ (Number 96) as preserved by the Bulleid Society on the Bluebell Railway
  • ‘Caen’ (Number 90) Southampton Docks brown livery with Drummond Chimney
  • Number 88 in Southern green [sic]
  • Number 30082 in BR black, early emblem
  • Number 30096 in BR black, late crest
To provide some backgroud to the B4 class, they were produced in 3 batches (all overall classed as B4) commencing in 1891 as follows:
B4 batch numbers 85 to 94
D6 batch, finished in 1892, numbers 81, 95 to 100, 102, 103, 76
K14 batch, built 1907, numbers 82-4, 746/7 (later renumbered 101, 147)
My kit built Adams B4 is seen on Fisherton Sarum. No. 100 kept its stovepipe chimney for quite some time.
My kit built Adams B4 is seen shunting on Fisherton Sarum. No. 100 kept its stovepipe chimney for quite some time.

Each batch had detail differences between them especially the last batch of 5 which had Drummond style boilers rather than Adams style, other detail differences included open / closed cab, cab roof profile (K14 batch) and buffers (appears to vary over lifetime).

Normandy in preservation has an open cabs whilst 88 and 90 both had closed cabs. 30096 before preservation in BR days had a closed cab that differs from 88 and 90 as it was modified from an open cab at the start of the war. Dapol  they have confirmed to me that they intend to produce the correct different cab variants.

30082 being part of the later K14 batch originally had a Drummond boiler with dome mounted safety valves and a Drummond style chimney rather than the Adams stove pipe. However 30082 was fitted with a spare Adams style boiler (but with a Drummond style chimney) in May 1951 so would be correct in BR early crest livery post this date as all the models being produced will have Adams type boilers.

I also queried with Dapol that number 88 will be in Southern Green livery, I am not aware that any members of the class wore Southern Green livery but were black (some with green lining up to 1936) with Maunsell style lettering up to 1938 and Bulleid sunshine style lettering after.
Following a review of the reference picture Dapol were using as the basis of this model we have agreed that it was in fact SR black with green lining as applied prior to 1936 (but without the ‘E’ prefix and therefore post 1931) and the model will be produced in this livery rather than incorrectly in green.

13 thoughts on “Update regarding Dapol ex LSWR B4 announcement

  1. It’s good to know that some manufacturers actually ask someone who knows the subject!

  2. Sound equipped with suitable keep-alive capacitors in the side tanks to make it all the way over Peco insulated frogs? They will really have to have very reliable contacts on the B4 or I can hear the RMWEB litany of complaints already.

    I don’t need one for working the Padstow Dock (no plural) but I will probably pre-order/buy one anyway once the CAD’s have been published.

    An inaccurate Southern green version might have attraction for junior set buyers

    1. Hi Ken

      If they run as well as the diminutive sentinel that they produced for Model Rail and the Kernow Well Tank then we should be ok.

  3. I have had problems with the Beattie Well Tanks loosing pickup over time in spite or wheel cleaning, track cleaning.. I own 3 and only one is really operational. Fortunately it is 3329 which works well for Padstow.


    1. Hi Ken

      I am sorry that you appear to have some issues with Well Tanks, mine have not suffered in such a way and so I have not had a need to pay much attention to the pick ups but will take a look at mine to see if I can offer any advice to you regarding yours.

    1. A number of the B4 class were transferred to Southampton Docks commencing in 1893 and were given names generally associated with ports on the Continent with which the LSWR had connections. They were painted in a dark green livery. Post 1923 the livery applied was dark chocolate with red lining.

  4. Hi Published information seems to agree that the red lined, Brown docks livery was only applied to 8 locos during the period 1933-8. Prior to that they remained in LSWR Holly green gradually losing the lining as they needed a lick of paint. Repaints after 1938 were black but it is not known which locos received black or when. Neither is it known for certain what colours were used for the names although gilt shaded black was probably the LSWR style. I am sure Dapol would be pleased to know if tere is anyone whos does.

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