Of course I bought an APT-E from Rapido.You can't be as obsessed with the train as I am without wanting one. When attending the 3D scanning at Shildon, I trotted off to put my order in as fast as I could.
Last week a beautifully presented package arrived and I opened it up eagerly. I wasn't disappointed.
Mind you, it wasn't until last Thursday I managed to take the thing out and put it on some track. I don't own a suitable layout...
Assembly is fiddly. There is a knack to plugging the coaches into each other. Mostly it involves tilting one coach down by something close to 30 degrees (not the 10 degrees in the instructions) when inserting the plugs into the sockets. Once you get the hang of it, things become a lot easier but the first go is a little scary.
The big problem is that nose overhangs on curves. This meant when I tried it on the club OO layout "Duxbury" I needed to use the inner circuit to avoid bashing into the tunnel mouths. Sadly, on the inner circuit there were a couple of line side cabinets and a tunnel mouth that caught the side of the coaches so the train was restricted to the fiddle yard for fear of scratching the paint after a single trip to the station platform.
Never mind, it looks great and on the straight, runs perfectly from the box.
Sat beside the Hornby APT-P, you can see the different 30 years makes in model railway design. Mind you, the -P would go around all the curves!
My early order did win me one prize. I have certificate number 3 of 2000. I know who has number 2 and we assume the NRM have kept number 1. If they have, and they kept the full-fat sound version, mine is the very first DCC-Ready example. That probably makes it worth beeeelllions of pounds on eBay. Something I have no intention of finding out. This one isn't for sale!