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 under-size.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 convincing.
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 nose-end.
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 not included.
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 brackets: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.