The home of Hornby, Bachmann and Heljan user reviews
Bachmann LNER A4

Paul Johnson.
Bachmann A4 no 2512 ‘Silver Fox’ in original three tone grey for the Silver Jubilee, catalogue number 31-952A (Split chassis model)

Well, it couldn’t be anything else but an A4, and in this livery it is just stunning. This Bachmann model is dated, with a split chassis construction and body mouldings originating with Trix in the 1960s. But did I mention the stunning livery? That makes up for an awful lot. Good points include the wheels and motion, the boss and spoke pattern correctly rendered, which really shows when they are painted light grey. The shape of the streamline shroud isn’t quite right, the bottom of the chassis is low  so there’s less light through the wheel spokes than there should be, the hanging off the back trailing truck has an inaccurate air gap above it. The tender isn’t truly accurate either as it should have the raked coach end profile. The couplers are the older medium size tension lock design, no NEM pockets for easy exchange to another coupler type. What you see though above all is that unbelievable livery, quite stunning.
There’s a running silver fox on the boiler side, in bright metal, as are the boiler bands and numerals and lettering. Most of the detail is attached, just cylinder drain pipes to attach if I remember rightly. It looks - stunning.
Pretty good from the box.  Quickly became a smooth runner, has ample speed and traction to model the real thing’s performance. These locos were used to produce the most sensational steam worked express performance ever seen in the UK and the model will belt along at an appropriate scale speed.  On the front of a Silver Jubilee set, all shrouded and streamlined it looks – stunning.

It came with adequate grease on the moving parts, and has been cleaned and regreased as required. Regular cleaning out of the main axle bearings to remove the black mess, and replacement with a smear of fresh grease is the secret to keeping any Bachmann or Mainline split chassis type’s electrical pick up working efficiently. The moment the running deteriorates in any way, that’s where to look. They are pretty maintenance heavy as a result; with constant use they needed this work every six months. A  Lenz silver was hard wired in, delivered the usual excellent control. This is one of the easier split chassis locos to convert to DCC, as there is space inside; a decoder will go inside the boiler backhead without difficulty. A high peak current decoder is a necessity, this motor type used on the split chassis models can momentarily draw very high current, five to ten times the normal 150mA. Not sure why this is, just something to be aware of, it needs a 1.5  to 2A peak current decoder specification to avoid an unexpected decoder failure.


I have improved the model in various ways, not difficult to do. Wired the bogie for pick up on the same pattern as the trailing truck so the loco picks up on all 12 wheels. Added dummy outside frames under the cab, and stripped the trailing truck of its cosmetic components and replaced with inside bearings so it runs inside all concealed. Added real coal on the tender, removed and rolaced the glazing after adjustment so it flush fitted, that sort of thing. Worth doing these things when it starts off so stunning.



Still stunning.

Overall ranking
8. Does have some dated features, but then again it looks – stunning.

Review Hornby Bachmann 
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