Page 1 of 1

NRM Review - Bachmann 166 DMU Thames Trains (31-026)

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:27 pm
by rmg1919
Inspired by Metrocamel's review of a DMU...

Bachmann Class 166 3-Car DMU - Thames Trains


Model Number: 31-026
Running Number: 166 209
Other Liveries: 31-027 (First Great Western Link)
Model Photos:
* Hatton's Website
* My Layout Thread
Real Train with Running Number:
* Nick's Railway Pictures
* Justin Buckley's Photos

Price Range: £69-£77 inc VAT

A brilliant model of the Class 166 that can be found up and down the First Great Western Link franchise from Paddington to Reading and Oxford and beyond. Also comes in the older Thames Trains livery.

Firstly, the detail is very good. There are all the warning stickers you'd expect, and the exhausts and detail beneath the coach is pretty good. The two end cars feature directional lights (yellow/red) with the power being picked up off the nearest set of wheels.

The centre car is the power car, is much heavier than the two 'dummy' cars. There are no traction tyres, but the car has no problem with getting going, and the noise made by the motor is (in my humble opinion) quite similar to that made by a real 166.

The set can be upgraded to DCC, but with 3 cars the use of function-only decoders (or some form of cable interlink) would be necessary in order to retain the directional light functionality. As the 3 cars form something of a permanent set it doesn't seem unreasonable to consider joining the cars rather than going to the expense of function-only decoders. Though this would obviously involve some modifications to the body shells.

The livery is very good too - the only thing missing is some dirt and grime on the roof from the exhausts. With such a white roof, it takes quite a bit of bottle to smear some grime on -- so am waiting until I have built up the courage.

Handling is very good - with no real problems, though superelevated sections do pose a potential problem for the 166, with the centre car being so much heavier than the others the risk of derailment does seem higher - based on my experiments.

Speed is good too - not sure if it's too scale, but doesn't seem ridiculous like some. Plus (based on DC) seems as comfortable at slow speed as at full speed.

Overall, a great DMU - with plenty of detail, and a good presence. The lighter livery (plenty of white) makes a nice contrast to the darker coloured stock currently available. The only 'issues' are the yellow directional LEDs and the slight inconvenience that will be a DCC conversion.

Good Points
* Good detail
* Directional lights
* Good power

Bad Points
* 'Yellow' directional lights could be better (i.e. whiter)
* No DCC socket and hassle given 2 end cars

Overall Recommendation
Highly Recommended - an absolute must for those modelling a 166 era and geography. In fact, will hopefully get myself the FGWL livery one too...

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:48 am
by BrotherWolf
Great review, looks as though you toook a lot of time and effort over that.

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:43 am
by m.levin
nice review.

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:49 am
by Class 60
Really good review 8)

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:31 pm
by Metrocamel
Really good review! I like to read in depth reviews of products as they're always interesting. Do you plan to write any more?

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:36 pm
by rmg1919
Might do a couple more when I get the chance:

1. Heljan 57 FGW
2. Hornby Virgin HST

Thankfully the 166 didn't take too long - as there doesn't seem much wrong with it!!!