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Bachmann Class 20
 
Username
Paul Johnson.
 
Version
Bachmann Class 20 in BR all over green D8000 catalogue no 32-027

 
Appearance
Convincingly looks like the prototype, and overall length, maximum width and wheelbase dimensions are right. Paint, totems, numbers and data panels all good.
 
Detail
The detail is a mixed bag. The sliding cabside windows quickly fell in, and didn’t look as good as flush glazing would have done in any case, and the rather crude oval buffers fell off one after another; all easily repaired at least. The bogie frames had weirdly out of position plastic sandpipes, best cut off; and brightly coloured pick up wires were visible inside, had to be painted over. After some years of operation I noticed a drooping handrail, it had come adrift from the nose end and several handrail knobs had gone AWOL and were lost. Found one in the ballast so far... Bufferbeam parts go on easily, what can be fitted depends as ever on layout curves and the coupler that is to be used.
 
Performance
A very good  mechanism, extremely smooth running and silent, which very well portrays the heavyweight momentum of real railway vehicles. With pick up and drive on all wheels, and surprising weight considering the narrow body this will pull any load the real thing was seen with, over a realistic speed range. This is the way RTR locos should perform.

 
Maintenance
It came with grease everywhere on the moving parts, needed quite a clean up. However no harm done to the continuing excellent performance. The body comes off very easily on removal of two screws, easy location for a decoder in the nose end conveniently near the decoder socket, so a very straightforward install. A Lenz silver decoder was fitted, runs the model from a dead slow smooth crawl up to a realistic maximum speed.

 

Moved the NEM pockets on the bogie frames, so that they are more inboard. Had to file down the top of the pocket and the underside of the chassis block immediately behind the bufferbeams to provide vertical clearance. (That’s why Bach fitted them so far outboard of course, the awkwardly deep bufferbeam of this class .)
 
Comments

Later versions have fixed cabside window glazing and this looks better. Also versions with round buffers get bufferheads of much superior in appearance.


Overall ranking
10 For on track running performance – I have bought another later version of this model which has been trouble free in all respects
5 For the detail falling off syndrome
Review Hornby Bachmann 
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