Sunday, 9 August 2015

2-364 Replacement Dapol Fruit D Chassis Quick Build


Last week my shop 2 order from the 2mm Association arrived through the post. Amongst other things I ordered there were 2 of the newly released etched chassis kits designed by Chris Higgs to replace the moulded N Gauge chassis on the GWR Dapol Fruit D wagon. So armed with a (relatively) free weekend and a desire to have a change from the usual layout stuff, I decided to build them up.

The chassis kits themselves are pretty much the standard design that the association usually stocks, it doesn't have any 'alternative' parts included sp the build is quite straightforward if you have build any etched chassis previously. I really should have taken a picture of the etch before I started but didn't, there is a 'diagram' of it in the files area on the 2mmSA Yahoo group for those who are interested though. The design folds and fits together really well but there are a few pointers I will go into later on. Here are some pictures of the finished thing next to the original for comparison...

Now, here are some points I would like to raise regarding this kit..

  • The instructions are woefully poor so you are pretty much on your own when it comes to building it, I used some prototype pictures to check the position and orientation of bits.
  • I had trouble lining up the axleboxes as they didnt seem to locate on the top hat bearings. I have had this before and it makes the job of fitting them much harder.
  • I hate folding up the brake levers, I have always hated folding up brake levers as they never turn out how they should. There must be a simpler way of doing them?
Other than the points above I also used another one of my little etches for the vacuum cylinder.
It was created to be used with the association 2-347 vacuum cylinders and I feel it creates a far more realistic looking GWR cylinder, it wouldn't take much to add something similar to a kit like this.

Overall its a really nice kit and it improves the appearance of the Dapol wagon body quite a bit. The chassis fits onto the moulded body well using the existing screws and increases the weight from 8g to 10g. I am pleased with how they turned out, especially as I managed to get them both done in a weekend!

Julia :o)

P.S. Quick build? It is for me!


  1. Well done - and now to add to my Shop 2 order which is currently being populated.... Because I need more Not Started bits and pieces!

    1. It was a similar reason why I built mine pretty much when they came through the post Kevin. Its so easy to get easily distracted by the 'latest kit' but I treated these as a welcome break from the other bits and bobs I have been working on. If you do order some of these then you will have to promise me you will build them when they arrive.

      J :oP

    2. I can promise that - along with the LMS Chivers chassis replacements, the 11 Catfish, LMS CCT etc etc!!!!!! So many kits, so little time!

      I'll make sure I bring stuff with me to the UK next year in case there is an Expo/Super meet or something I can get to.

    3. You really have to stop buying stuff, Kevin!

      You should see my gloat box though, Basically everything I ever made but did not sell. More of a gloat chest.

    4. Its a weird one for sure. I dont doubt every single modeller out there does the same and buys lots of kits and things which just end up sat in a box and never built. I am just as guilty as anyone else. Some bits are 'buy now as its the only chance you will get' sort of thing so thats understandable but for most of it you can buy it at any time. So why do we feel the need to 'stock up' ourselves? Maybe there should be something like a 2mmSA kit exchange where members could post kits for sale or swap?

  2. In my defence regarding the axleboxes, if the hole was big enough to fit over the bearings then there would not be anything left around the edges. With LMS-style axleboxes they are big enough to cope.

    What we really need are stepped bearings, like they have in 4mm scale. Any chance??

    There is a cutout on the etch to help you bend the brake lever. But yes they are a pain. I bend the bit that represents the holder over a knife blade to get it a tight as possible. But yes, they are a pain compared to 4mm scale versions.

    1. Hi Chris.
      With regards to the axlebox cover bits I think it would be worth looking at how Stephen Harris has designed them where they are attached to the sideframes and fold up into place, that way you dont have to worry about lining them up as they are held in position ready for soldering. Its just a thought.
      Im intreagued about the bearings, would you be able to send me a drawing of what you are thinking about please?
      Thank you too about the tip for the brake levers. To be honest at the moment I just fold the vertical bit flat against each other. I always seem to have an issue with the little tag at the bottom too, it never seems long enough to reach the W Iron.


    2. I'll dig out my drawing of the current bearing and send you how I think a stepped one could be done. They'll probably cost a bit more to make though.

    3. I've sent you the drawing. Hopefully to the right email account.

      The way Stephen Harris does them works well, but only if there is a single choice of axlebox type. Which admittedly is true here. With my latest Lowmac I have changed to having the axleboxes and springs as a separate foldup etch.

    4. Thanks Chris, I got the drawing OK. I will pass it onto a few people to get thier views but it doesnt look that complicated to manufacture.

      That makes sense about the axleboxes although do you think that if there are multiple types of axlebox then they could be attached at different points to the W Iron and the user can then simply break off the part that isnt required maybe? Its just a thought. I am a strong believer in making things like this as simple to construct as possible.