Heres a belated pictorial review of the stunning Bachmann Railway Children Train Pack released only last year in December, i wanted to do this last year but it slipped my mind as other things got in the way.
Warning: The opinions in this blog are solely that of my own and don't have an affect on Bachmann nor anyone else in the community
Usually the box tends to be the most uninteresting thing but in this case its something different for as the box has such beautiful artwork on it, upon seeing the artwork on the front you know what you are going to get with the pack, you have a drawing of the loco, coaches and the station as well as scenery on the front of the box not to mention the very artistic (of sorts) Railway Children style font on the box.
The inside of the box is also interesting as you get a big card insert on the inside of the box with images from the film on it however the insert is designed with holes in it so you can get out the stuff that is in the box.
The paperwork you get is the usual, you get the collectors club leaflet and the guarantee for the model.
You also get the instruction manual for the loco that you get with the train pack in this case you get a 5700 Pannier in the fictional GN&SR livery so of course the get the instructions for the said loco.
You also get a guide to model railways with the train pack, i am not going to bore you all by blabbering on about it so we will move on from here.
As this train pack is a limited edition you do get a certificate with the pack my train pack i have is numbered 1499 of how ever many of them were made.
The details you get are two brake pipes for the front and rear of the loco, you also get some corridor gangway doors for the coaches you get which is a first for me and they have the GN&SR lettering on them too. The gangways of the coaches are made of rubber so they are easy to put in, no glue is required!
THE STATION BUILDING:
Bachmann have taken this train pack to a new level because for them to include a building in this pack is the sort of thing you would expect with a train set not a train pack! For them to have included a model building of Oakworth station is something rather special indeed and it makes the pack more exclusive and special too.
Considering its a building the detail is on par with that of a Skaledale model from Hornby, the detail on this building is immense! Theres glazing in the windows, weathering on the bricks, guttering and a letterbox and station clock. Even right down to the doors with the door knobs on them the detail isn't low quality,then again you don't expect low quality with a pack costing as much as it does in shops.
Even right down or up in this case to the roof with the chimneys on the detail makes it look like as it it were the real station building (in miniature) the detail on the tiles is just superb and this building now sits pride of place on the station on the layout and looks the part too. Bachmann have out done themselves with this building. Considering i have heard people say Skaledale is better than Bachmann Scenecraft its almost as if Bachmann took a Skaldale building and put it in the pack, this is on par with the Skaledale range and as a matter of fact there is hardly any difference between detail from both Hornby and Bachmann. Seriously get one of these buildings and you will see what i mean, the detail is just excellent.
I therefor rate this building a solid 10/10
What would the train pack be without the coaches? you get a brake coach and a composite, i forget which type of coaches they are but they are beautiful coaches at that with the livery they wore as they did in the film.
Starting with the composite you can see the amount of effort Bachmann have put into these coaches, firstly the livery is spot on and theres nothing else more that can be said about the livery. Theres glazing in the windows and there is seats in them too.
The roof has separately put on handrails and the bumps on the top, thats basically it. The roof is painted light grey which looks nice and again is accurate as the coaches in the film have this colour grey on the roofs.
The gangway is surprisingly made out of rubber which is a nice touch, the buffers are metal but not sprung but then again i have no care in the world for sprung buffers so i will leave it at that.The detail on the ends of the coaches despite being basic still looks the part.
The couplings are screwed in place, i removed the one on the back of the brake coach and its simple to remove, just get a cross-head screwdriver and remove the screw and there you go, its easy as 123.
the bogies have nice detail being springs and axle boxes and rivets are present on the bogies too. The wheels are metal so you could add lighting in the coaches if you want, i will not do this but its there for some other modeler to do.
Then theres also the undercarriage detail, its what you usually get on most coaches, while it isn't as super detail like on Hornby's Teaks the detail is still there and it is just as good.
Just look at the lettering on the side of the coach, its bloody brilliant and yet so accurate and details like this all add to the model, the lining has also been done well too.
Even the door handles on the coaches are detailed! Look carefully and you will see them!
The brake coach has pretty much the same detail, inside interior with seats, glazing, accurate livery, correct font on lettering, door handles, rubber gangways, metal wheels, detail on the bogies and underframe detail. Only difference here of course is the guards compartment where the guard and the luggage would go.
One thing that has been pointed out is the Director's saloon as seen in the film is absent from this pack, that i find is understandable because they probably didn't have a suitable coach to use for the Director's saloon not to mention the price would have rocketed up should they include it in the pack and also not including it would keep costs down. Plus when you are getting the locomotive, two of the coaches and the station building i think we have got enough so furthermore its still a fantastic set (in my opinion) the fact this pack has no director's saloon doesn't let it down as you can easily get your own coach to spray up for this should you wish.
I should also mention that when i took out the brake coach i discovered that it had a missing buffer, only fortunate that i should have one in the spares box for me to glue onto it but we expect this pack to be in tip top condition for the price. I will for that mark the coaches down, yes all buffers are intact now but still...
I rate the coaches 6/10
Its safe to say Bachmann have got the locomotive spot on in this train pack, its a 5700 Pannier Tank which was one of the locomotive's used in the movie unlike the Tri-ang train pack that used a Jinty which was a loco not featured in the film and given they had the tooling for a Pannier back then i question why they didn't use the latter as opposed the a loco that was no where in sight in the movie.
Firstly their are rivets on the bufferbeam just like on the real locomotive and there is a coupling hook present too, you can see the holes where the front brake pipe fits in to. The buffers are indeed sprung but i have no care for sprung buffers, the couplings can easily be removed and they use the dove tail connector. I later removed the front coupling on the model, some may want to leave it on since its a tank engine and it can go backwards without issues but in the film this loco doesn't pull its train backwards, that is just me though.
There are also rivets underneath the smokebox door and the running board is painted grey just like it is in the film.
The smokebox door darts/handles and smokebox door bands are painted silver, originally Bachmann had them unpainted on the prototype model but i am glad they later went back and corrected this as just like in the film the loco has its smokebox door darts and smokebox door bands painted silver.
There are some small handrails on top of the tanks, washout plugs, water filler caps and pipework which is all present like on the real thing, the safety valve and window trims are painted gold and the dome looks nice too and of course painted the same colour as the loco. The chimney is accurate too, you could fit a smoke generator in it if you want but i am not wanting to do this.
On the cab roof there are rivets, a small handrail and a cab roof vent. The cab roof vent doesn't open but that said it doesn't really need too, besides it is there so i will leave it at that.
There are also rivets on the footsteps too! The toolbox is painted and has yellow lining, there is also lining on the wheel splashers and there is also pipework, it isn't painted gold and is grey but in the film the loco in this livery had grey pipework or at least i don't recall it being gold anyway.
There is also a brake rod present too before i forget and i am glad it is pre fitted already as it can be a pain to fit them especially on Hornby Bulleid Pacifics!
The lettering on the sides of the tanks are absolutely spot on as they are in the film! There is a small handrail on the sides of both tanks and there is lining present around the tanks too again just like the livery on the loco in the film. The logo in the middle of the lettering is present too and crisply printed. Before i forget the wheels are also painted too.
Onto the cab! There are handrails and rivets on the sides of the cab too and on the footsteps. There is also a cab door with lining on and there is also lining round the cab too. There are also some steps on the sides of the bunker which allow the crew to climb up onto the top of the bunker to reach the coal, there are featured on the real loco which is accurate.
The back of the cab is painted black, just to confirm i have looked at pictures of the real thing and can safely say that it is indeed black, there are guard irons present and fitted on the rear windows like on the real locomotive and there are rivets ont he bunker complete with handrails, lamp irons and hooks to hang fire irons on.
I also should mention the rear buffers are also sprung, there of course is another coupling on the rear and another coupling hook and rivets on the rear bufferbeam.
There is of course also a coal load in the bunker alas it is not removable but you can carefully cover it up with a real coal load using finely crushed lumps of coal, all isn't lost.
At this point i should talk about the cab interior. It isn't painted although the lever you can see is painted which might seem odd but i later went back and painted the cab myself anyway. All you have to do is take the body off, its simple. The detail on the other side of the loco is the same so i will not bother talking about it as i will just be repeating myself.
Before i forget i will mention the livery. It is stunning but it is also spot on to that of the real 5700 that appeared in the film, the colour is correct and accurate, the lining is present as well as the lettering. It is basically what is known as the fictional GN&SR livery as this company didn't exist in reality but it suits the model well just like the real thing which the livery also suits it. I don't believe in fictitious or inauthentic liveries that don't suit a locomotive, just look at this loco and 48624 preserved on the GCR as examples. The liveries suit them really well.
There are also handrails running round the side of the tanks and around the smokebox too which are separately .
Before anyone points out there is two things that Bachmann's 5700 Pannier's lack and that is the reversing lever and lamp irons on the running board, however these are only minor quibbles and the Bachmann 5700s are still stunning models regardless even if it may be odd that Bachmann put the lamp irons on the back of the bunker and not on the running board but these can always be added yourself should you so wish, these however don't detract too much from the model itself though.
Final Thoughts: So overall this train pack is truly stunning, yes i know there is no saloon coach with the pack but can you imagine how expensive this pack would be should they have included it? Besides you get the locomotive two coaches and a station building, at least this pack is better than that Tri-ang bought out all those years ago and without the saloon coach it will still capture the imagination and allow it to flow from that of the film when this little Pannier Tank runs around the layout pulling its two coaches. Not many train packs do that!
Link to YouTube video i did on this train pack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xI7Jg1ijVw