I'm looking for a replacement for my ageing Hornby tender-drive LNER Sir Nigel Gresley. Can anyone give me an opinion on the Bachmann 31-952 "Mallard", which is the heritage NRM edition with valances, double chimney, non-corridor tender and speed record plaque. I see from the net that it has a split-chassis loco drive. Since I am not contemplating a conversion to DCC, does this make any difference to its running qualities?
Bachmann's 2009 RPP is £96.85; Hattons is selling it for £68, with other sellers in a range from £73 to £100.
In Hornby, Hattons has R2339 Mallard, DCC ready, for £102 and R2688 Sir Nigel (anniversary edition) for £109. R2779 Falcon at £43 is the Railroad version, I believe with tender drive, similar to what I already have.
Basically, I'm asking is the Bachmann at £68 a good buy, or is the Hornby at 50% more a better buy in terms of quality and performance? Any other RTR suggestions?