Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

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snakeman4968
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Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby snakeman4968 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:14 am

Hi All,

Apologies if this has come up before, but i'm a bit new to this railway modelling stuff and a have only had experience a long time ago of Hornby and Lima.

Can somebody tell me if Dapol, Airfix and Mainline are all actually the same company, or do they just make very similar products?

Basically, i bought a job lot of model railway items a while back and i have a steam engine by Dapol in it's original 'Dapol' Box. On the underside of the engine there is a manufacturers mark that looks very much like the old circular 'Airfix Logo.

As for the other details, the engine is called 'Royal Scot' and has a running number 46100

Whilst taking a look on that well known auction site for something similar, so that i could offer a fair starting price as steam is not my era, i noticed that Dapol, Airfix and Mainline all have the same model, with the same running number (46100) and felt this was far too much of a coincidence.

Of course, i haven't ruled out the fact that i may have been given the wrong box for the particular model i have, but on the end of the box it says 'D27 Royal Scot BR Green 900160'...which all seems to tally with the model i have.

Sorry to go on, but thought i'd give as much detail,as poss. in one post.

Please advise,
Thanks,
Dave

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K9-70
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby K9-70 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:45 am

snakeman4968 wrote:Hi All,

Apologies if this has come up before, but i'm a bit new to this railway modelling stuff and a have only had experience a long time ago of Hornby and Lima.

Can somebody tell me if Dapol, Airfix and Mainline are all actually the same company, or do they just make very similar products?

Please advise,
Thanks,
Dave


No, not the same company.
In short,
Airfix went out of business in the early 80's
Some, if not all the Airfix GMR range was bought by Mainline, who released some of the models.
Mainline also went out of business in the mid 80's and some of the moulds used to make the models passed to Dapol and Replica.
Dapol released the models, but didn't always remove the previous brand name.
One example is the Airfix/Dapol Class 31.
The Airfix Class 31 has a brown chassis and bogies, while the Dapol version is black, but still carries the Airfix brand name.

K9-70
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby Bigmet » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:02 am

Probably someone like Pat Hammond has described how the tools 'moved around' but here's some further pertinent information.

When Mainline was set up by Palitoy to produce OO for the UK market, they contracted the manufacture with Kader then in Hong Kong, (who are the parent company of Bachmann) now all in the PRC following the handing back of HK.

Airfix Great Model Railways ('GMR') also started producing OO, and their production base was also in Hong Kong, I believe with the Sanda Kan company.

A smaller operation 'Replica' (still trading) also contracted with Kader for manufacture of a B1 locomotive.

Now follow carefully: Airfix GMR withdraw from the market, at least some of the tooling goes to Mainline. Then Mainline withdraw from the market, some of their tooling remains with Kader, and is used as the basis of the Bachmann Branchline start up; (they also use the Replica tooling to make their own version of the B1, and some Trix tooling from the 1960s) the Airfix origin tooling goes to Dapol who develop some more OO models using a Chinese contractor, and then later some of this tooling is moved on to Hornby, who are busy relocating their production with Sanda Kan in PRC. Also Hornby buy up the remains of the bankrupt Lima company, and move the tooling to Sanda Kan, and resume production of much of it.

In short there is a ton of second hand 'out there', much of it from the same body tooling as current Bachmann, Hornby and Dapol product, with the possibility of several different brand names on it. Personal opinion: although the body toolings are mostly at least good, and some are excellent, the mechanisms and running gear have improved in leaps and bounds over the last ten years. Most of the current Bachmann, Hornby, Dapol, Heljan, are in a much superior category for running reliability over the earlier gear: for most of which there is no source of new spares, only salvage by breaking older models. This matters because some of them were made using plastics with relatively short life for essential chassis components .

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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby Mike Parkes » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:19 pm

Dapol did challenge Kader as they believed they had the rights to the ex Palitoy Mainline toolings. When they lost their argument they produced copies of a number of the Mainline wagons such as the the 10ft wheelbase tank wagon which will explain why what looks like the same basic model can be found in Mainline, Replica, Dapol, Bachmann and Hornby boxes.

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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby Mike Parkes » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:23 pm

Just to clarify Bignets comments Replica came on the scene after Palitoy/Mainline ceased trading and as well as the B1 they also commissioned the Modifed Hall (both would have come out in the Mainline range) as having a number of ex Mainline models made for them. This arrangement ceased when Kader entered the UK market itself as "Bachmann Branchline"

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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby stuartp » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:11 pm

snakeman4968 wrote:As for the other details, the engine is called 'Royal Scot' and has a running number 46100

Whilst taking a look on that well known auction site for something similar, so that i could offer a fair starting price as steam is not my era, i noticed that Dapol, Airfix and Mainline all have the same model, with the same running number (46100) and felt this was far too much of a coincidence.


I don't know which came first - Airfix or Mainline Scot, or the Mainline Jubilee. However, although they picked the same prototype there is no common tooling between the two Scots. Airfix has a fully round (or conical) boiler, their apalling tender drive unit, and a slightly 'squashed' looking tender. It's either too wide or turns in too much at the top, I forget which. The Mainline Scot has a much better tender, loco drive, and the chassis forms the bottom part of the boiler. The Jubilee shares its chassis and tender, whichever came first they only needed to tool the loco body to do the other.

There are some ex-Dublo/Wrenn items in the Dapol range too, the gunpowder van, banana van and grain hopper, and a couple of others I forget.
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/

snakeman4968
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby snakeman4968 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:15 pm

Hi All,

Blimey!! thanks for the replies, it's somewhat clearer now.

I think i'll just sell mine as a 'Dapo'l as per the box it's in, i guess those in the know will realise exactly what it is and whether or not they want it.

The most annoying thing for me is that the model i have, from a cosmetic point of view, is 'as new, near mint' condition, possibly never even used.......but sadly it doesn't run.

Nevermind, i'm sure someone will want it for spares, or maybe even as an ornament.

Thanks again,
Dave

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stuartp
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby stuartp » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:18 pm

Just to confuse matters, after all this moulding tool horse trading had gone on, Hornby bought out what as left of Airfix. If you think this is complicated you should try tracing the parentage of some model aircraft kits !
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/

Mike Parkes
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby Mike Parkes » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:57 pm

Re the Royal Scot - Dapol whilst acquiring the Airfix tools also bought up the unsold stock from the Airfix warehouse, they then also bought up the unsold stock in the Palitoy (Mainline) Warehouse. In both cases they eventually repackaged a number of the models as their own. As for the Airfix Scot it was in production for a short period in the late 1970s and, whilst people today may be opposed to its tender drive, at the time it was highly rated - one loco IIRC set a record for the number of coaches hauled. Both Mainline and Airfix released their Rebuilt Scots around the same time so duplication is nothing new - similarly Lima and Hornby went head to head with Kings and Westerns and Lima and Mainline with Warships. The Mainline Scot is loco driven, the Airfix one tender driven. The one referred to would be Airfix 54121 possibly repackaged as Dapol D27 or simply sold in its Airfix box as Dapol D27.

snakeman4968
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby snakeman4968 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:20 pm

Hi,

Yes you are right, mine is a Dapol D27 'Royal Scot' and it is tender drive model...or at least it would be if it ran.
Makes all the right noises but just won't go sadly.

Thanks again for all the info on this one.

Dave

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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby D605Eagle » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:50 pm

snakeman4968 wrote:Hi,

Yes you are right, mine is a Dapol D27 'Royal Scot' and it is tender drive model...or at least it would be if it ran.
Makes all the right noises but just won't go sadly.

Thanks again for all the info on this one.

Dave

That will be split gears. Very common airfix afliction.

snakeman4968
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby snakeman4968 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:12 pm

D605Eagle wrote:That will be split gears. Very common airfix afliction.


Yeah, i thought it had to be a gear/drive problem but i don't have the neccesary know how or experience to fix it.

To be honest it looks as if the model has never been run, just bought and stored for years...either that or somebody has messed with it, badly, in the past.

Originally it did absolutely nothing, so I took the tender apart and found a wire detached from one side of the capacitor which i've since resoldered. Whilst there i also added a bit of 3-in-1 oil to the shafts and the whole thing felt quite free in one direction, but a bit rachety in the other (I didn't notice any broken cogs/teeth, but i wouldn't have thought to look for splits etc).

Finally i put it on the track and it just made a buzzing/whirring noise but refused to run in either direction. It was at this point i decided i am going to sell it, with an honest description i hasten to add, as a spares or repairs.

Also thought about just mounting it on a piece of track and keeping it as an ornament, because it really is near mint from a cosmetic point of view. Sadly steam is not my era...but if it was a late 70's early 80's diesel engine i'd certainly keep it for show :-)
I'm sure somebody will want it.

Thanks,
Dave

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poliss
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby poliss » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:22 pm

3-in-One oil is not good for models. Be best to clean it off before selling it.

snakeman4968
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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby snakeman4968 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:24 pm

poliss wrote:3-in-One oil is not good for models. Be best to clean it off before selling it.


Oops...that said, it seems to have sorted out all my other stuff to be fair...what should i be using for lubrication then?

In short, when i was first looking into this sort of thing a few weeks back I read a Hornby service sheet that said something on the line of 'for lubrication use a light machine oil such as 3-in-1'

Cant you just tell i'm new to all this !!!

Dave

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Re: Dapol / Airfix / Mainline - Same Company ?

Postby D605Eagle » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:06 pm

3 in 1 does terrible things to plastic. Use sewing machine oil, you can buy it cheap off ebay. Also an excelent lube is RC helicopter grease. Its very very slippy indeed and designed for plastic gear trains. However it has very high insulating properties so don't use on axles that pick up power (Bachmann split chassis per example)


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