Bachmann Deltic Review.

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
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
formatting link

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.
Ian Strange
Reply to
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"Ian" wrote
Hi Ian,
Would you mind if I reposted your findings to demod?
Reply to
John Turner
Feel free to repost my review at demod :)
Reply to
Interesting that your viewpoint is so different from Steve Jones!
Mind you I don't agree with his opinion on the class 44 nose either.
Keith Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Reply to
Keith Norgrove
"Ian" wrote
On its way - thanks! :-)
Reply to
John Turner
which is ?
Mike Parkes snipped-for-privacy@mphgate.removetoreply
Reply to
Mike Parkes
I think S.J. said something to the effect that the nose front was/is too flat as in...." into a wall look about it...". There is a reasonable nose-shot of 45014 "The Cheshire Regiment" at Birmingham in * *.....
Colin Meredith.
Reply to
Colin Meredith
To be honest, looking at the pictures of the nose of both the model and real 44/45s It looks like the only thing really wrong with it is the lack of seam around the top of the nose. Otherwise it looks good to me.
Mr Jones' comparison of Deltic noses is, I beliee, flawed. He compares two shots, side on of the model nose from slightly above, and side on of real nose from way below. With such different angles of course the two nose profiles fail to match up...
Reply to
I'm surprised that you can't see the difference between the prototype 55 and the Bachmann model.....from the windscreen forwards, the model 55 appears more angled in relation to the scale of the same angle of the prototype....
Perhaps Bachmann produced their model for out-door modellers so that the rain would roll-off in a forwards direction, whereas, on the prototype, the rain would roll-off in a sidewards direction ;-))
Reply to
Colin Meredith
[excellent object review snipped}
Great review, Ian.
Why is it that Model Rail (and others) are incapable of producing such an objective review of a model?
To say that this is the best model of a Deltic ever doesn't mean that one then has to cover up all the shortcomings! We would like to hear the good and he bad bits.
Reply to
"DJO" wrote
It's certainly not right - the cab roof slopes down too far and compresses the amount of space available for the cab front windows and the bonnet front.
If you superimpose a picture of the model and one of the prototype, it becomes much clearer where the anomalies are. Also, if you line up the bonnet fronts on both, then the cab door is in the wrong place.
Having said all of that I think this latest Bachmann *Peak* is light years ahead of previous offerings from Mainline, Replica and more recently Bachmann themselves. I would never have considered any of the previous models as a candidate to be on my layout, whereas the latest model of D1 has found a home there, and I shall almost certainly add a 45 when they are released - providing it looks better than the picture in Bachmann's 2003 catalogue.
Reply to
John Turner
I gave you the url so you could read it yourself, far to much to copy out. Keith Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Reply to
Keith Norgrove
The photo comparison on that website has serious shortcomings due to the very large perspective error on the photo of 55015. The photo is taken from too close a distance, from too low an angle, and alongside the front of the nose. This makes the top of the nose appear more horizontal. The doors on top of the nose, which don't extend quite back to the windscreen can add to the illusion if you have two photos from different perspectives.
The most reliable way to work from photos is to use those taken from a great distance, and use several taken from slightly different positions along the horizontal plane. I don't own the copyright of photos I've used for checking, but can confirm that the slope of the nose top appears to be accurate, or too close to call. Bachmann made use of some EE drawings to help them in this area.
Reply to
=>The most reliable way to work
.... is from plans, with calipers etc.
Comparing photos of prototype and model is a mug's game.
Wolf Kirchmeir ................................. If you didn't want to go to Chicago, why did you get on this train? (Garrison Keillor)
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
...and using plans without referring to the actual prototypes can be disastrous too, as quite often modifications are made during build that the plans don't often refer to...
Ian J.
Reply to
Ian J.
I don't normally comment on the more stupid posts on usenet, but this one is more incompetent than most and I suspect a hidden agenda. Bachmann employee? Or just somebody who now realises his verbose "review" rather embarassingly missed the models most obvious defects?
Utter rubbish. Are you too stupid to read what I've written? I *specifically* direct people to try it themselves and to select appropriate photos - read it again, idiot. You've decided to allege that I've put my photo comparison on my site, whilst in reality I've compared dozens of photos, although obviously for copyright reasons I can't steal them and put them online. I chose instead to explain the technique so folk can see for themselves. The benefit of this is it's useful with other recent products such as the woeful Class 44.
Not really, the two photos are actually taken from very similar angles as far as the top of the nose is concerned - other parts of the image are of no relevance. As I've said, I can only put an image online for which I own copyright, and that's the closest I've got, but even looking at the thumbnails any *unbiased* observer can see a huge discrepancy - not one that you can explain away with any amount of spin. And talking of spin, try rotating my less than perfect prototype image until the bonnet top matches the model - we're talking scary angles!
Utter rubbish again, I'm afraid. Whilst that certainly is *one* valid tool in your arsenal, it is but one of many. If a model is correct it must be correct at all distances and from all angles, not just one. I've taken over 100 shots of the model from all sorts of angles and distances, using a variety of different lenses. In every case the model is seriously wrong when compared with a similar protoype shot. The model photo on my site was the single sample chosen for the simple reason the viewpoint compared to the bonnet top is similar to the real photo - it's deliberately not aligned with the top of the bonnet but with the same 'horizon' (or whatever the word should be) on the curve of the bonnet. The model has compound errors in it's basic shape, not just one.
You can't explain the profile error away no matter what perspective-based argument you use - the error is just too large. Your upper limit for any perspective error on that vertical line through the photo would be the slight angle of distortion introduced either at the bottom of the loco or the top of the nose grilles. Even if you factor in this maximum error it doesn't wipe out the error in the model's nose. Or have you discovered a new optical theory where the lens selectively distorts the top of the nose far more than the top of the grilles underneath and the bottom of the loco body far below? Perhaps they'll name it after you.
Works for you but not for me, eh? And rather conveniently can't quote your sources either...
Bullshit! It's out by a country mile and completely alters the character of the model.
Now how do you know that, I wonder? A vested interest here, perhaps?
Before putting my findings online the matter had been checked by an awful lot of people who seem to know an awful lot more about Deltics than you do. There was a phenomenal amount of discussion about the subject with a variety of knowledgable folk (including quite a few well-known 'names' within the hobby) all of whom quoted their sources. Strangely, you do not.
The Bachmann Deltic has a very badly modelled nose - this is already a well known fact and you're coming to the party too late to alter that, no matter how much you squirm. There are too many published works out there, too many photos, too many people that know what a Deltic looks like, I'm afraid. So come on, what are your sources? I'll give you a head start, if you like, and stick with my admittedly inadequate image
formatting link
or even the similar
formatting link
- you can pick any half a dozen published images of your chosing. Put up or shut up.
Finally, although it's bad form to quote yourself, the line "Sit back and watch people trying to convince you it's correct, secure in the knowledge that they're talking complete and utter b*ll*cks..." was put there for a specific reason.....
-- Regards,
Steve Jones, Shropshire, England
Reply to
Steve Jones
Is it me, or did that reply seem a touch laced with vitriol? I am all for differing opinions, and these are much more likely to take place where "appearance" rather than measurement is concerned, but the tone of this attack on someone who had merely provided his opinion on a model seemed out of proportion. I am neither a Deltic expert, or even a fan, so cant comment either way. However, what I can plainly see is that this model is so much better than any previous attempts, I am sure it will please a great many modellers. There are of course others who will still see the shortcomings, and the best way to rectify these is by a constructive feedback to manufacturers. Vicious attacks on those who disagree (whether Bachman employees or not) will not be helpful in acheiving that.
Reply to
John Ruddy
Further to my earlier comments regarding the slope of the nose top, I agree that there is a very slight error. The reason why it is more noticeable by eye than by measurement is that there is also a very slight error in the rake of the windscreen (not quite steep enough) which compounds the error (also the front edge of the side window should be a lot steeper). I'm impressed with the observational skills of the folks here!
It is further complicated by the large internal radius where the top of the nose meets the screen surround. This tends to foreshorten the nose top, which might be the source of the error. I had also wondered about the V-angle of the screen which, if too sharp, would also shorten the nose along its centre. I don't have enough data to check this for certain.
Some reliable scale drawings to work from would make life much easier for reviewers and modellers alike!
Reply to
=>> =>> =>> =>The most reliable way to work =>> =>> .... is from plans, with calipers etc. =>> =>> Comparing photos of prototype and model is a mug's game. =>> =>> => =>....and using plans without referring to the actual prototypes can be =>disastrous too, as quite often modifications are made during build that the =>plans don't often refer to... => =>Ian J.
Agreed. I originally added: "But photos are essential for confirming as-built details, and differences between engines.", but cut it.
That being said, I'm neither a detail hound nor a rivet counter. A convincing overall impression of trains + buildings + scenery attracts me most, even when (as in the John Allen school of layout design) the reality portrayed is an out-and-out fantasy. Model railways are an art form - the creation of an illusion. Protoypical exactitude is merely one style among many.
Wolf Kirchmeir ................................. If you didn't want to go to Chicago, why did you get on this train? (Garrison Keillor)
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
I always enjoy well reasoned discussion within this fun hobby of ours! Mr. Jones appears to be somewhat stimulated over my personal review, which was aimed at assisting other modellers and stimulating objective debate (that just might encourage the manufacturers to provide improved models).
As for showing photos to compare, I thought it better to offer none rather than any that do not give a valid comparison. My comments upon the photo on Mr. Jones' site were valid (I didn't "allege" anything), and any photographic research to analyse shape and proportions has its problems. Using the top of the side-grille as a reference can also be mis-leading because of the side taper of the body. If your view-point is not about level with the top of the grille, then the angle between this and top of the nose is affected. This is known is perspective, although I like the idea of naming it after me ("Strange Perspective" has a nice ring to it!).
My reference to the best way to work from photos concerned minimising perspective errors as a starting point both for building models and for analysing them (assuming that no reliable drawings are available).
I don't agree that the errors are of a high magnitude. I would agree that they are not acceptable, however.
Many well-known people in Deltic circles already know me and my reputation, but I don't go around saying that any other person's knowledge is inferior - especially without any knowledge of that person. Your provocative suggestions about my motives for my review simply comfirm that you know nothing about myself, and are a far more serious matter than analysis of a model loco. For the record, I have no connections with Bachmann (which is obvious if one reads my whole review), no vested interests, and no hidden agenda (evidence, Mr. Jones?!). If Mr. Jones was a dedicated Deltic follower, then he would probably know about me. He might also like to comment upon the rest of the model in addition to the body shape?
As for quoting sources, I did not know that I was on trial? I've provided readers with my views which they can take or leave, or investigate. Being abusive about anyone who disagrees is no way to resolve any debate (and there are rules about conduct here).
I anticipate more abusive comments from Mr. Jones, but this will not become a slanging match, because I know how to behave in a civil manner, as do most people here.
BTW, my other post about the nose/windscreen/side-window was sent before Mr. Jones' message was viewed.
Ian Strange
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