Dapol's No. 92220 Evening Star steam locomotive kit is a survivor of a range of 34 railway models produced under the brand name Rosebud Kitmaster
. Short-lived, but critically acclaimed, Rosebud Kitmaster kits of predominately British and European prototypes were, and still are, esteemed by countless model railroaders. The Kitmaster Class 92000 was, in its day, an outstanding model as were all the Kitmasters.
Rosebud Kitmaster was the brand name of a range of plastic assembly kits manufactured in the UK by Rosebud Dolls Ltd. Introduced from May 1959, the range rapidly expanded to include 34 models of railway locomotives and coaches in OO, HO and TT scales. The assets of Rosebud Kitmaster were sold to Airfix Products Ltd. in 1962. Nine locomotives were later reissued under the Airfix brand. In the early 1980s Airfix sold off its model railroad line to Dapol Ltd., a Welsh model railway manufacturer. The company is named after the couple who founded it, DAvid and POLly. They now specialize in N scale, ready-to-run, models of British prototypes. The models are world class, made in the UK and give the Chinese a good run on both price and quality. In 2004 Dapol were awarded the 'UK Small Business of the Year' award, and in 2007 were awarded the Model Rail (magazine) 'N-gauge Manufacturer of the Year' award. As well as developing their own range of N gauge and 00 gauge models, the company produced products using the molds and designs from Airfix and others.
British Railways’ magnificent 9F Class 92000 2-10-0 steam locomotive, one of the ultimate expressions of steam locomotive technology, is summarized by a British steam authority:“I can remember the 9Fs. They had dreadfully short lives. Ironic, as they were also vastly better than even designer Robin Riddles could have hoped for. Here was a heavy freight dragger that could haul a passenger train at speed if required. The key to their success was an irony. Their boiler was closely based on one designed, personally, by Oliver Bulleid for use in his Southern Railway (UK) Pacifics. Bulleid detested everything that Riddles did and said so publicly. He wanted to build the fastest and most powerful machines irrespective of reliability. Riddles was employed to design machines that were reliable above all else.
The 9Fs boiler was almost a clone of Bulleids design sans thermic syphons and with 10 sq ft less grate area. It says a lot for Riddles that he always admitted that he'd based his design on Bulleids.
Two hundred fifty were built in ten batches, tailored for specific regions, from 1954 to 1960, numbered 92000-92250; the last British standard gauge steam locomotive built was 9F No. 92220 ‘Evening Star.’ While these engines were highly regarded by railroaders, the last 9F was withdrawn from service in August 1968.
Nine 9F locomotives survive to this day, with 92220 at the National Railway Museum, and eight others were preserved. A 92000's vital statistics are:
Wheel Arrangement 2-10-0 (Whyte notation) or UIC classification of 1E
Gauge 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm)
Driver size 5 ft (1.5 m)
Length 66 ft 2 in ( m)
Locomotive weight 139 tons 4 cwt (141.48 tonnes)
Fuel capacity 7 tons (7.11 tonnes) coal
Water capacity 5,000 imp. gal (22,700 liters) (with BR 1G tender)
Boiler pressure 250 PSI
Cylinder size 20 in × 28 in (505mm × 710mm)
Tractive effort 39,667 lbs
Packaged in a plastic bag closed with a combination ‘box top’ - instruction sheet. You will find eighty-eight firm gray styrene pieces and a decal sheet. Dapol's No. 92220 Evening Star is an imposing railroad engine. It can be incorporated into one's model railroad (electric powering kits can be found), a diorama or built as a stand-alone piece. England's railways sported a host of alluring liveries, and though 9F freight locomotives were given plain British Railways Freight Black without adornment, No. 92220 Evening Star was turned out in British Railways Brunswick Green livery, which was usually reserved for prestigious express passenger locomotives.
Molding quality of the thick parts is crisp with little flash. Some of the smaller parts are not quite so sharp. Unfortunately, exterior details, such as grab and step railings along the boiler and tank, and appliance piping, is molded on. This is not appreciated but it is common even on today’s new host of high priced modern model locomotives! Praiseworthy is that the lining patterns, i.e., decorative pin striping accents, are not molded on in the fashion of so many older kits. Disappointingly, ejector marks mar several pieces, as do some sink holes, and many are visible once the unit is assembled.
Aside from the boiler cab backhead, no details grace the visible interior of the cab. No crew members are provided.
The decal selection offers four choices and are fairly sharp. The British Railways emblem is printed with metallic inks. The carrier film is thick.
The valve gear and driving wheels are not designed to work. They can be made to if you either sacrifice accuracy, or engage in serious reworking.
As was (and still is to an extent) the fashion of the day, the scale is labeled HO ( 1/87, 3.5 millimeters to the foot ) & OO ( 1/76, 4 millimeters to the foot ). While slightly smaller than 1/72, these kits can be mixed with that scale.
For a model four decades old (catalog release date August 1960), this kit holds up well. The hand railings and piping will take an effort to remove if you choose to. Many mold marks will need to be removed. Still, this kit can build into a good-looking model with great display potential, with or without the molded detail.