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In-Box Review
Deltic Diesel
English Electric Deltic Diesel
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

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Dapol's re-issue of the English Electric Deltic Diesel locomotive kit is a survivor of a range of 34 railway rolling stock models produced by Rosebud Kitmaster from 1959-1962. Short-lived, but critically acclaimed, Rosebud Kitmaster kits of predominately British and European prototypes were, and still are, esteemed by countless model railroaders. This Kitmaster Deltic was, in its day, an outstanding model, as were all the Kitmasters.

The Deltic
For almost two decades the "Deltic", as the British Rail Class 55 locomotive was known, captured the imagination and pride of Great Britain's rail fans. Named for the Napier Deltic engine, an opposed-piston valveless, supercharged uniflow scavenged, two-stroke diesel engine of which a Class 55 had two, BR's Deltics are still revered as examples of Britain's railway power prowess. With 3,300 hp howling at full throttle, an English railfan (trainspotter or anorak) friend once told me that the only other thing in the UK as captivating to watch and hear was the English Electric Lightning jet interceptor in afterburner.
    The British Rail Class 55 is a class of diesel locomotive built in 1961 and 1962 by English Electric. They were designed for the high-speed express passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London King's Cross and Edinburgh. They gained the name "Deltic" from the prototype locomotive, British Railways DP1 DELTIC (the running number DP1 was never carried), which in turn was named after its Napier Deltic power units. Twenty-two locomotives were built, which dominated express passenger services on the East Coast Main Line (ECML), particularly London – Leeds and London – Edinburgh services, until 1978 when InterCity 125 'High Speed Trains' were introduced. 1978–81 saw them gradually relegated to semi-fast or newspaper–parcel–sleeper services along the ECML (destinations including Cambridge, Cleethorpes, Harrogate, Hull, Scarborough and Aberdeen) plus occasional forays 'offline' – York - Liverpool Lime Street semi-fast and Edinburgh - Carlisle via Newcastle stoppers. The fleet was withdrawn from service between January 1980 and December 1981. Three locomotives were retained for a few days, until 2 January 1982, to work the farewell special, all being withdrawn immediately on arrival back at York. Six locomotives entered preservation during 1982 and 1983, one by the National Railway Museum, two by the Deltic Preservation Society, two by the Deltic 9000 Fund and one privately owned. Two cabs were also privately purchased.*

The Kit
This review is of a Dapol re-issue. Kitmaster molded the model very well. Dapol's molding is good, too. Molding is sharp. I did not find any sink marks. There is a little flash and some mold seams, but I didn't find any visible ejection marks.

The gray plastic has no texture. There are 64 parts to the kit. Kitmaster included clear parts for the windows but Dapol does not include them. I recall reading that when Dapol recovered the molds in France, the window tooling was damaged or absent.

Kitmaster put a lot of detail into this model in that each end had a cab. Each cab has two seats, an instrument panel, control stands, and a bulkhead with electrical cabinets.

Otherwise, detail is all molded on. The obvious grilles, louvers and vents are not open but have deep, defined indents. Likewise, the hand grabs are molded - sharply - along the doors. Yes, all detail is molded.

Unfortunately, that includes the headlights. This sorry characteristic also includes the trim striping, a'la old style raised molded insignia. At least "Deltic" is not molded on.

Instructions, Painting,and Decals
Dapol includes a well illustrated exploded-view line art assembly guide.

Decals are simple: "DELTIC" surrounded by a thin border for each side. Printing is sharp but the carrier film yellowed.

Dapol includes a brief painting guide for this Deltic. The kit livery is for the prototype with its unique light blue, yellow and gray colors. While the prototype Deltic did run revenue passenger trains in those colors, other Deltics wore the greens and blues of British Railways.

Kitmaster's Deltic was a very popular model. Dapol's re-issue is, too.

The model is still well molded. The cab interiors are very nice. External detail is molded on but it looks good. Except for the stripes and headlamps. That is a problem if one wants to model a different Deltic. The decals are sub-standard and yellowed early.

Modelers who want a good looking Deltic without paying for the running electric trains should enjoy having this model. Recommended.

Please remember to tell vendors and retailers that you saw this model here - on RailRoad Modeling.

Thanks to KITMASTER MODEL RAILWAYS for permission to use their original box art!

* Wikipedia. British Rail Class 55. [Web.] 11 December 2016, at 17:36.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Sharp molding. Good detail.
Lows: Thick parts and some molding flaws.
Verdict: Modelers who want a good looking Deltic without paying for the running electric trains should enjoy having this model.
  Scale: OO Gauge
  Mfg. ID: C009
  Suggested Retail: $13.70, £11.03
  Related Link: Kitmaster Model Trains
  PUBLISHED: Dec 16, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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