Bachmann quality

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GWR_fan
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Bachmann quality

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:22 pm

As part of a drive to rid myself of surplus purchases not fitting my intended modelling timeframe, I took eight Bachmann locomotives from storage to list on that auction site. All were mint as new condition, mostly test run only, with three being split chassis models. When tested prior listing all eight performed perfectly even with being in storage for several years. No spluttering or hesitant running, just smooth running straight from go. Now I know if they had of been Hornby or Lima locomotives (even the later non-brass (plated) wheel releases) I know that some coaxing would be needed before they settled down to reliable running. Bachmann just seem to know how to do it the right way, even though I do have a soft spot for Hornby, the blue box people do it better.

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Mountain
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Mountain » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:59 pm

They are indeed nice models. Split chassis in general may need a little bit more attention, but to be honest, they are not normally the nightmares that some say they are. You do get the odd one or two that have given up the ghost, usually with split plastic axles and most of those that have done so are pretty old. I have to say that it isn't often they let you down. I've had Mainline split chassis locos wear their con rods right through way before the chassis gives up the ghost. (Its not dead yet... Though I do need to make some new rods for the little thing one of these days!)

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Bufferstop
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:16 pm

I have a split chassis 04 that 14yrs old and has just burnt out its motor, for which I have a spare. My first split chassis model was A Mainline Collet Goods about 10yrs old secondhand, apart from needing a little help getting current to the motor, (improvised wipers) got another 12yrs or so out of it. As long as you don't get the cracking plastic problems they aren't as bad as some people have made out.
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Bigmet
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Bigmet » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:06 am

My prize story about reliability of split chassis concerns a Bachmann J39. One winter it found itself under a waterfall probably for about a week while we had been abroad over Christmas, the roof covering having failed in a rather interesting (and happily easily repairable) way.

Sitting there on the wet track, I just gave it power and off it went.

Downside of the Mainline/Bachmann split chassis was the constructional technique. I operate a lot - that's my no 1 reason for having a layout - and wore through the very thin platings on which conduction depends very rapidly. Six years about the best life I got out of them, except the lightweight J72 which being a shunter didn't run much distance either. Because I 'used them up' so quickly I wasn't nearly so bothered by the plastics failures which also dog these models.

Paul-H
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Paul-H » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:39 am

I have always found Bachmann locos to be excellent runners and always look to be a quality product, I never get that feeling of quality with Hornby products, even if they are more accurate their plastic always looks to be a more interior quality than the plastic Bachmann use, even in the days when Hornby had their models made in the Bachmann factory, they were not in the same class.

There is only one model that I have found is better in the Hornby range and that's their Class 08. Mind you the Bachmann one still wins hands down for slow running, I can get it going so slow I reckon it takes an hour to travel 12 inches, can't get the newer Horby one to do that.

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Bigmet
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Bigmet » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:26 am

Until about ten years ago I would have agreed with that assessment. Since then, their all newly tooled introductions have been pretty much neck and neck. My feeling is that the parity point came in the year that the Bachmann 9F and Hornby Britannia were introduced. Both very good models all around, and you could 'trade' features all day long: the Brit having Hornby's refined five pole black can motor, the 9F's running enhanced with a flywheel, and so on.

Mike Parkes
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Mike Parkes » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:14 pm

Paul-H wrote:Ieven in the days when Hornby had their models made in the Bachmann factory, they were not in the same class.


Kader who make / own Bachmann have never made models for Hornby, Kader did acquire ownership of Sanda Kan in 2008 who did make models for Hornby until a few years ago but in a completely different factory.

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6C
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby 6C » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:08 pm

Depends on the period of the model.... earlier Bachmann 03's were no better than the Mainline predecesor.

I had 2 early Bachy 4MT 4-6-0s - one chassis failed with the bowed-out wheel insert issue - the other is still running (20 years later) on the original chassis. Both were stored in exactly the same conditions.... :roll:

I agree - not much to choose between the better models of each these days
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Bigmet
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Bigmet » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:33 pm

Bachmann would have done well to promptly 'axe' all the split chassis product they launched with (from 1991?) once they had the first two or three years worth of the 'Blue Riband' range on sale. The split chassis mechanisms did them few favours; especially the routine availability of those mechanisms as separate spares, which led to an expectation of complete mechanisms being made generally available as spares for the Blue Riband range too. That stick was regularly used to beat Bachmann with.

Yet no other RTR OO manufacturer is expected to sell complete mechanisms as spares, not Hornby, not Heljan, not Dapol, [insert manufacturer name here].

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6C
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby 6C » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:46 am

Being an old skinflint - back in the 90's (and now!) - saw a golden opportunity to replace my already failing Mainline chassis - and felt it was something of a false-dawn.

As a lover of the body detail and realism of the Mainline range - it looked like a win/win - body detail of Mainline and a better chassis.
I took it worst than most as at the time had 20 year old hoary old mechanisms that worked perfectly with routine and spare parts (carbon brushes etc.) and still do after another 20 plus years :!: so expected similar.

Firm fan of Bachmann now - have nearly the full set of their BR Standards and love them - and have plan to use their new chassis where possible...
Pete

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D605Eagle
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:36 am

I must be lucky because in about 50 odd split chassis powered bachmann locos, I've only had one that defeated me repairing it, and that was bought second hand. Bigmet's problems with them have never really been an issue for me as I don't use my locos with anywhere near the intensiveness he does.

b308
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby b308 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:58 am

The main problem with the N gauge Bachmann stuff we use in narrow gauge modelling was the so-called "muff disease", well known for those who bought white box Dock Tank and Consolidation locos, now a thing of the past with their new chassis...

Bigmet
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Bigmet » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:58 am

6C wrote:Firm fan of Bachmann now - have nearly the full set of their BR Standards and love them - and have plan to use their new chassis where possible...

I have deployed any number of the current design of Bachmann mechanisms into older bodies - all of scratch and kit built and both modified and standard RTR - both for myself and a few friends. They are my choice for this due to simple and easily modified construction, and to date with I would guess at least 30 such mechanism transplants performed, nary a problem, even when the mechanism ends up inside a heavy chunk of old whitemetal body. (I have also used the Hornby Brush 2 mechanism to power the more accurate earlier bodies from Airfix and Lima and the old Triang EM2, and am embarked on making a powered Gresley full brake on the basis of the Heljan class 128 DMU.)

It's proved something of a 'rain dance' doing this. Within about ten years of the conversion, a RTR model appears. Currently potentially approaching the scrap line for replacement by new RTR models are my HornBach class 21 and the WillsBach N7. Goodness knows when Bachmann will deliver the V2 and J39, enabling my 'all Bachmann' conversions to retire: V2s on heavily modded BR std 5 mechanism, J39 on J11 mechanism. However they work well so there's no real rush.

Mike Parkes
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby Mike Parkes » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:10 pm

I've long thought a lot of the split chassis problems are attributable to poor maintenance particularly by second-hand sellers. The only split chassis failures I have had are on locos I have lent out and I do wonder if the contents of a can of WD40 or something similar came in close contact with them. Think I may have a old Bachmann 03 tucked away, along with a couple of Ivatts, but otherwise I have disposed of them all simply due to the better running performance of newer chassis, especially on a branch layout with slow speeds. I thought the 03 ran well and then acquired a new one which simply was in a different league. Now have three of the new ones, two for when the branch is in its mid 60s mode, and the other for its c1960 mode, along with the chassis of another, when wheels modified, fitted to a modified 04 body.

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BrightonMan
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Re: Bachmann quality

Postby BrightonMan » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:18 am

I had a Bachmann Lord Nelson split chassis model for many years and it was one of my best runners, never had a problem with it despite lots of use.


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