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Bachmann LNER B1
 
 
Username

Tom Davidson

 

Version

1189 ‘Sir William Gray’ LNER Green 31-711

 

Appearance

Bachmann has rendered the clean lines of Edward Thompson’s design very well, even though the tooling dates back to the early 1990s. The paint finish is more Darlington than Doncaster apple green, and the simple numbering is rendered nicely.

 

Detail

The model comes ready fitted with both couplings, and I haven’t fitted any additional detail. In contrast to the Hornby L1 and Clan, the finely moulded detail such as the smokebox door handle and handrail feels quite sturdy and well made – I suppose what you gain in accuracy you lose in durability.

 

Performance

As supplied, the loco didn’t run smoothly at all, with jerky movements when accelerating and moving at a consistent speed. However, once I’d cleaned all the lubricant out of the axles, it ran very smoothly at all speeds. Seems to prefer non-feedback controllers for some reason, but a realistic start and stop can be achieved even with a cheap Hornby controller.

 

Maintenance

Make sure you clean most if not all of the lubricant out of the axles, and also check that the screws holding the base plate aren’t over-tightened. Screw them in just enough to hold the plate securely and no further, as this can cause binding in the chassis. Also, be careful when using a wire brush to clean the wheels, as you can easily take off the white lining.

 

Comments

Other than the lack of DCC socket, and the need for some maintenance straight after buying the model, I love the Bachmann B1. It runs smoothly at all speeds and looks so good that I wouldn’t part with it.

 

Overall ranking

8/10
 
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Username
Paul Johnson.
 
Version
Bachmann B1  in BR black late crest weathered  no 61180  catalogue no 31-716

 
Appearance
So this is the now knocking 30 year old body tooling originally for Replica, and long in the Bachmann range with a split chassis; but now fitted with an all new DCC ready wiper pick up loco chassis. Topsides, if you have seen the the Bachmann or Replica B1, you already know all about it (see earlier review of the split chassis version on this site by Tom Davidson) it looks like a B1, is correctly dimensioned. Compared to the earlier models the new chassis offers finer driven wheels, better rods and slide bars: looks more like the prototype, and the chassis is not as deep so there is correctly more daylight underneath. It’s all gain over the previous models. The tender is unchanged and is in modified form with the rear coal plate brought forward. It is not difficult to modify to the earlier position, the ‘guide line’ over the water scoop dome shows where it went (these were cut away with a gas torch when modified, and a more or less neat line left behind as evidence of the modification).
 
Detail
Reasonably well detailed even by best current standards. When this model came out it was the most accurate and best detailed RTR plastic bodied steam model ever offered in OO; and that pedigree start is still apparent. The glazing rather deeply recessed and a few other compromises tell you this isn’t the latest standard of tooling.  The moulded coal is perhaps the least realistic aspect, replace with some of the real stuff...
 
Performance
Just what I always hope for, smooth and quiet in both directions, and would gallop up to rather more than a scale maximum speed. At first it lacked traction but this is improving as it accrues running hours, something I have seen with a few Bachmann models. But I don’t think it is ever going to reach the tractive performance needed for a class 5 steam loco, as  it is a little on the light side; the older Bachmann model weighed much more, the interior nearly filled with metal.

 
Maintenance
It came neatly greased on the moving parts, and will get more grease as required. The construction has been advanced over the earlier Bachmann steamers, the axles run in brass bearings, and the motor mount is screw assembled. Good stuff, improving in a better and more expensive constructional direction without a big price increase.

 

A  Lenz silver was hard wired after removal of the socket and its mounting; as I wanted the space for more weight. Good as the running was on DC, it is superb on DCC. Probably going to end up nearly a 100g heavier to get the traction I want. As it stands, 8 coaches or 35 wagons are about the limit on level track before slipping sets in.
 
Comments

Usefully a good chunk of change cheaper than the all-new Hornby model, which does however offer different build variants and some quite superb detail. I can see myself having examples of both models.


Overall ranking
10. I am going to buy more, mostly to power ‘worked on’ older Bachmann and Replica bodies whose split chassis wore out.
 

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