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Bachmann LNER J72

Paul Johnson.
Bachmann J72  in BR black early crest no 68737  catalogue no 31-055A

Pretty convincing although the deep split chassis does make the frame bottom edge come down too low, which results in a rather solid looking loco, whereas there should be a lot of air underneath and daylight through the wheel spokes. Paint, totems and numbers neatly applied. Measures up well against overall dimensions on drawings. Couplers are screwed on, no NEM coupler pockets.
Not as detailed as more recently tooled items but what is provided is good and well attached: when this model was introduced by Mainline in the 1970s it was one of the best detailed RTR steam models available. Items that are missing like lamp irons are easy to add.

Needed a little running to become a smooth performer at low speeds, nice and quiet from the start. The weight helps the all wheel pick up, very reliable indeed. It covers the speed range from slow to rather more than a normal maximum speed  for the type; traction is excellent, with careful handling it can often be persuaded to haul past 20 coaches or 80 wagons. That’s a lot more than the prototype would typically be asked to move.

It came with adequate grease on the moving parts, and will get more grease as required. The model interior is filled with metal up to the level of the cabside cutouts, no DCC socket. A  Lenz silver was hard wired in after cutting away some metal from the chassis halves to make space, during the process of isolating the motor terminals from the chassis halves to make it suitable to receive a decoder.


Fun as a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ when it comes to traction, as it will pull an improbably large train for its small size.

Overall ranking
7. Good model, took three points off as it is not as crisp and well detailed as similar more recently tooled models like Hornby’s M7 or Bachmann’s Fowler 3FT, the over deep split chassis detracts from appearance and leads to a requirement for significant alteration  to fit a decoder.

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