Having previously highlighted a few errors after viewing a photo of
Bachmann's "Nimbus", I have now had a chance to look over a model "in
the flesh". The shape of the bodyshell is superior to any Deltic model
in any scale that I've seen previously, although it still has some
slight shortcomings in one area as detailed below. The correct shape
and character are the first priority, since no amount of good detail
will salvage a poor bodyshell. Precise accuracy on overall length may
be of secondary importance, but for the record, Bachmann have this
correct at 278mm over buffers and 268mm over super-structure. I will
now work through the bodywork in detail:
1) The upper edge of the windscreen surround is a bit too rounded.
2) The left-hand (from driver's view-point) screen is slightly smaller
than the right-hand one (both ends). Both screens are slightly
3) The windscreen frames have been painted silver, a feature found on
a minority of class 55s, but as far as I can ascertain, not 55020.
4) The double-wipers look good and are correct, since this particular
loco never had the single wiper modification.
5) The cab-side windows' front lower corner is too sharp, otherwise
these look okay with silver frame painted on.
6) Engine room windows: I don't have the prototype's dimensions to
hand, but these look a little undersize. The silver frames are painted
onto the clear plastic, but if the 'glass' is removed, the holes on
the bodyside look about the right size. So it may the case that the
external and internal dimensions of the frame have got mixed up (maybe
on the windscreen too)?
7) Air-intake grilles and battery louvres (above nameplates) look
8) The air-horns depict long and short trumpets and are installed the
correct way round.
9) The taper of the bodysides and cab roof start at the correct point.
This is a common point of error on other models and on scale drawings.
10) The headcode box is basically correct, but let down by the two
white dots. These are not arranged symmetrically at either end of the
model I examined, and are both too far from the outer edge.
11) There is some very fine detail on the nose ends (some of it packed
separately for you to fit). Unfortunately, the tail-light mountings
are too narrow and lack detail. Lima's version is much better.
12) The sprung buffers seem to compromise appearance for function.
Some of them are at odd angles and the shanks are a bit spindly.
Non-functional buffers might have given a better appearance.
13) Bachmann have painted the fire-extinguisher rims (on the nose
sides) bright red. These were normally BR blue unless the loco was
receiving embellishments for a special occasion. Also, the
extinguisher fitting at no.1 end should be further back from the
14) A few of the bodyside details have been printed on as black
outlines. These include the worksplates (a little out of position) and
the flaps over the lifting points (4 along each side). They might have
been more effective with moulded hinges, but with the side edges
omitted since these are barely visible on the real locos. The
exhauster flap is also portrayed in this way, correctly at no.1 end
nose side. This was a detail added to Deltics in the mid '60s, so it
makes it easier for Bachmann to produce a loco in early 1960s guise
minus this flap.
15) There are no sanding filler flaps, although these were welded up
on class 55s in the mid to late '70s. 55020 had them welded up very
late in its career, so it is strictly speaking correct. Maybe Bachmann
intend to print this feature on for other Deltics? Lima did include
these flaps. The same reasoning applies to the boiler hatch which is
16) Moving to the roof sections, the radiator grilles lack the thin
stiffening pillars that should be in the centre of each one. You can
see these on the Lima model.
17) The general proportions of the roof sections, and detail layout,
looks very good with everything the correct way round. The one
compromise is with the fan units. The grille-frames are separate from
the main bodyshell and tend to protrude too high. I have doubts about
the value of depicting fans, but there is undoubted customer demand
for them (it's impossible to please everyone!).
18) The boiler roof section lacks the edging strip along each side,
but otherwise has excellent detail complete with the boiler outlets,
one of them blanked off.
19) No ETH box is featured on the nose-ends. Lima's Deltic had this,
albeit, a crude relief moulding.
20) Some add on hoses are provided for each buffer-beam: Vacuum,
steam-heat and train air-brake hoses.
21) The fuel tanks look very nice, and the fine detail of the mounting
brackets is very well executed. Some of the other fine detail is not
quite correct, but hardly noticeable. Even the largely obscure
water-tanks are included hidden between the fuel tanks down the centre
of the loco.
22) Cab interior mouldings are fitted (with a driver at one end), but
the sound-proof screens behind each seat do not go up to the roof or
to the bodyside as they should do. Or maybe they are just seat
backrests? The cab would look better with these interiors removed
since they don't match a Deltic's cab layout.
23) The BR double-arrow symbols are of the slightly larger type as
carried by a few Deltics, including 55020 at one time, although
Bachmann's appear to be too thick.
Bogies on modern diesel models usually tend to be inferior in
appearance to the bodies. I am not just referring to fine detail, but
also the basic shape of the frames and major components. I won't
attempt to list everything about Bachmann's rendering of the
cast-frame Deltic bogies, but will highlight a few points:
1) The profile of the bogie frame differs from the prototype. In fact,
they appear to have used the profile of the fabricated frame for this
which is not the same shape.
2) The towing bracket is missing (as is the case on many 37s with this
type of bogie) from the front corners of the frame. These front
corners extend a long way too far forwards.
3) The lifting brackets look very little like the real things.
4) The axlebox retainers for the central axles should be much thicker
(Lima got this detail right).
5) The brake guide brackets are missing (Lima's 37 had the equivalent
brackets on its fabricated frame bogies).
6) On the plus side, the brake rigging does look the right shape, and
helps with the overall look of the bogies.
I have some small photos uploaded if you wish to see the difference
between the real and model bogie frame profile and also the lifting
Unfortunately, the real bogie I've pictured also lacks the towing
bracket, but many archive photos of Deltics between 1965 to 1982 will
illustrate it (or recent photos of 55002). I suspect many modellers
will be satisfied with a model that captures the Deltic's shape and
character, while dedicated Deltic followers will be adding some
missing details. As for a conclusion, I'm sure each modeller will have
a different one depending on one's priorities. I'm just waiting for
convincing bogies to be produced, which would be enough to sway me to
accept a few errors and omissions.
18 years ago