Today I placed an order for four Dapol wagon chassis. These are actually OO scale (1:76). At only five pounds each I feel they represent excellent value based on what I’ve read about them. The wheels have RP-25 compliant flanges and needlepoint axles. They also include NEM compliant hook-and-loop couplings. I plan on staying with KD and KD compatible couplings for my stock but it’s nice to have the option.
Normally I’m not a big fan of adapting the smaller scale sideframes in larger scale models as it’s very difficult to disguise their smaller size. HO scale trucks, for example, are simply too short in wheelbase when compared to their On30 counterparts in most examples. That said, over the weekend I was looking over my collection of drawings of British prototype narrow gauge and had out a Ratio chassis kit that I had on hand and I simply couldn’t believe how close this OO scale chassis was to the ones in the drawings. In particular I had a drawing of a Festiniog Railway quarryman’s coach. The Ratio 10ft. chassis matched exactely in wheelbase and ride height (axle to solebar). The Ratio chassis are not packaged with wheelsets but I notice that Bachmann’s narrow gauge wheels are the correct diameter. Reviewing OO scale freight car wheelset dimensions seems to indicate that a similar fortune can be had there too. I can barely contain my excitement.
I’ve place my order with Smallbrook Studios in England. This afternoon I had the pleasure of exchanging some great emails with it’s owner and am quite looking forward to dealing with him more in the future.
For now though I really need to start to get some projects off the workbench so I can have a go at some British outline rolling stock when these new chassis arrive next week. Smallbrook also sell a very nice line of O16.5 resin kits and based on my luck this early foray into 7mm narrow gauge I doubt it will be too long before I augment my railway’s fleet with some other items from their catalogue.