So recently i have received two brand new models to my locomotive fleet these are an LMS Crab (the subject of today's review) and a Hornby LMS Fowler 4P Tank.
Bur before we get the review underway heres just a quick warning or two
Firstly: The opinions in this blog are solely that of my own
secondly: The overall rating i give is as the same as i give it in the videos i do on my YouTube channel.
Right onto the review!
Lets get the least most interesting things out the way first so lets start with the box. The box is the old Bachmann packaging which is a polystyrene tray with finger holes in the back to push it out (thats not a euphemism by the way) nowadays we have the plastic that i am personally not a fan of nor am i a fan of the finger hole polystryene packaging either as i prefer the split packaging that you used to get with Hornby before they swtiched to the plastic packaging.
You also get a card insert with the box too which is a piece of card with a photograph of the real locomotive on which in this case the loco on the photo is in the wrong livery! you also get some brief history on the back about the class of locomotive as well as a drawing too.
Now with every model you get you will get the usual paperwork which in this case is a guarantee and a collector club flyer for the Bachmann collectors club (i used to be in the club for 2 years but now i don't really sign up for it though perhaps i may do again one day) you also get the manual too showing where the detail goes and spare parts to order should you lose any i will put it into my folder of locomotive mannuals/instructions later.
THE DETAIL PACK:
You also get a detail pack like you do with most models you get. Here we have a weird peice of plastic shown on the far left hand side, footsteps to go under the running plate, brakepipes, chain link couplings though in this case its two instead of one, draincocks for the cylinders and some other detail bits that i have no idea on what they are. I will add some of these detail parts later on though these are optional as you can either add them if you want or just leave them off.
So now we come to what you are all most interested in which of course is the model itself. As you can see the model is partially wrapped in foam sheeting whilst sometimes you get models wrapped in horrible tissue paper like what Hornby used to do when they used the polystyrene packaging.
Now for the detail of the model. Well it is superb. Out of this world. The LMS Crab was a model that only recently went on my wishlist and im glad i got one. This example that i have is in the gourgeous LMS Maroon.
The model has seperately put on handrails and excellent link motion i mean just look at it. Its accurate to say the least. The model also has some rivets on the side of the cab and glazing too. And the cylinders are correctly angled like on the real lcomotive which was done in reality due to the restrictions of the loading gauge.
There are also rivets on the cab roof and a cab vent it doesn't open but then again it doesn't really have to open and i have yet to see Bachmann do that as that is Hornby's thing really. The whistle and safety valves are present (of course) and are made out of turned brass which is excellent.
You have the cab faceplate (which is like a bufferbeam) and you have the drawbar connector for the tender.
Lets move onto the cab. Well there is cab detail there but it isn't painted but atleast its there and atleast its not a firebox with no detail whatsoever. Some people might complain but to be fare you can paint this yourself and that is something i intend to do and if you can paint the cab detail it isn't really the end of the world.
You have a builders plate on both sides of the smokebox aswell as rivets and just look at the running plate. I don't think i've seen one that looks more unique than this one especially because you have the linning on it too. Speaking of the livery it is spot on! You have the accurate maroon shade and the linning aswell as the correct numbering too.
You have lampirons on the running plate and a coupling hook present. The coupling is a NEM one and can be removed. The bufferbeam has lining and some rivets and a hole for the brakepipe to fit in too. The buffers are also sprung too before i forget to mention it.
For the smokebox door it has a lampiron, a handrail and rivets around it and the running number on the front. Its accurate like on the real LMS Crab thats all there is to say really.
From this angle it is easy to see why they were nicknamed crabs. For those that don't know it was because it was said the cylinders and motion looked like crab pincers. Forgot to mention the wheels too as they are accurate and like on the real LMS Crabs they didn't have any linning on them.
Of course the chimney and dome are present too and on this side you can see how unique the handrails are. Theres on leading from the smokebox to the middle of the boiler where the dome is and there is another lower down from that one as you can see in the photo. Again this is accurate like on the real locomotive.
Usually you have to fit the brake rods under the locomotive yourself but in this case they are present and are factory fitted.
On this side of the locomotives boiler there is some pipework.
Now for the tender. Like on the loco the livery is spot on with the correct livery and linning and the LMS lettering is accurate too. You also get linning on the footsteps and the tender frame. It also has seperately fitted handrails.
There is one thing i must say about the tender and it raises a question.
On the one end of the box that gives you the information on what the model is it stated this model doesn't have a coal rail on the tender. However as you can clearly see in the photograph and in the one above it does have the coal rail. People have pointed out the instructions with DCC Decoders are misleading (somewhat) as when you get some locomotives it comes with a DCC jacket that recommends you add the jacket on the decoder but when buying a Decoder it says the jacket can make the Decoder overheat. If you thought that was misleading than this is on the same scale. Why say the model doesn't come with something when it does is somewhat strange indeed.
Another thing i'll point out is that the tender doesn't come with a removable coal load. Now this isn't a problem for me as such because i will be adding a real coal load but for those that don't they will be stuck with a locomotive running around their layout with an empty tender with no coal in it. Some of Hornby's methods of removable coal loads are not brilliant but atleast they put real coal loads in all the tenders that had them. This is only a minor thing though.
The faceplate of the tender has a chute where the coal is, storage cupboards and handles to transfer the water from the tender to the boiler.
The frame of the tender has springs and axle boxes present aswell as a few rivets. No need to cover the linning as i mentioned that earlier.
The rear of the tender has sprung buffers, a removable coupling though this one is a dove tail connector, lampirons and some plates (no not the ones you eat your dinner off) it also says how much water the tender can hold (it can't hold water though obviously). This is a Fowler tender so its a 3500 gallon one.
Underneath the tender there is a factory fitted brake rod just like on the loco and there is also an added water scoop which in reality would allow to pick up water from the throughs whilst it was on the move.
I will say this when connecting the tender it isn't as easy as i thought it would be as it was a bit hard to do but thats only a minor critic point and ignoring that, the misleading of the coal rail and the fact the tender doesn't have a coal load this model is a real beauty.
And lets not forget her running performance. She has a very smooth mechanism and she runs like a dream but you will have to watch the review video on my YouTube channel to see how she runs for yourselves!
So overall this is a superb model and it is highly recommended by me. I wasn't disappointed and neither will you!
Until next time..... where i look at the Hornby 4P Fowler Tank and show you in blog post style how to add a real coal load to a tender