Today saw Bachmann release their Winter announcements for their Branchline, Farish and EFE Rail brands. Since they moved to this quarterly announcement model at the start of this year, I have dubbed it the 'Quarterly disappointment lists' and unfortunately for me at least, this latest announcement does nothing to change that.
So, as a modern image OO gauge modeller, I'm in to Diesel and Electrics locomotives. So what is there for me in these releases? Not much as it happens...
Class 57 Diesel: 2x versions of the Class 57 model will be released shortly with both a standard version and a sound fitted option available too.
- The first loco is DRS 57009 in the original DRS Compass livery. Now DRS stuff has generally sold quite well over the last few years, however the choice of this livery is somewhat strange to me. DRS now have a new livery what is often referred to as 'Flash Blue/Green'. This has been applied to 3x 57/0's (57002/3 and 57010) and most of the 57/3's that are still in service with DRS. It is just my opinion of course, but I would have felt this to have been a far better choice. Bachmann released 57011 a few years back (Product Code 32-754) and I recall it being available heavily discounted after release.
- The second is a WCRC Class 57/3 in the form of 57313. This is a far better choice in my opinion and should do quite well. Some posters online have pointed out that it has been modelled with the Dellner coupler still attached, but I wouldn't let this detract from what is otherwise likely to be a nice looking model. Of course, 57313 no longer carries this livery having been painted in to the 'Northern Belle' scheme in 2019.
- The most concerning point I'd raise regarding the Class 57 is the RRP which at £204.95 (before discount) is eye wateringly high. Just my opinion of course but I'm not sure I can justify paying that when I can get better models in the form of the Dapol Class 68 or Bachmann Class 90 for considerably cheaper.
- Weathered options include 58011 in the original Railfreight 'Red Stripe' livery and 58039 in EWS.
- Pristine offerings include 58018 "High Marnham Power Station" BR Railfreight Coal Sector livery and 58021 'Hither Green Depot' in the attractive Mainline Freight 'Aircraft Blue' livery.
- Class 90 - a model with so much potential. Near enough 18 months since it's first release (after 5 years of development/production) other than a collectors club version announced since, no new liveries have been announced. I would have thought that a Virgin Trains, EWS or DB and maybe even the new Freightliner/G+W orange livery would have been good choices and tapped in to an expanded market for AC electric models.
- Class 47 - under threat from a newly tooled Heljan model on the horizon, there is still opportunity in the Bachmann model. Perhaps some of the more contemporary liveries' the class have carried (I see a reluctance to move beyond BR Blue/Green and sectorization.
- Class 08 - The Bachmann model is inferior to the Hornby offering but still offers a lot of value for money. Most 08's these days are hired in by companies, so I've been surprised not to see a RSS Railway Support services 'Gronk' produced for sure. You also have RMS locotec and HNRC who fall in to this category.
- Modern DMU/EMU's - I haven't seen a run of the Virgin Voyager for a number of years, certainly not since the Cross-country version they produced. These models are particulary popular with the train set market and also those who focus on passener operations as well as/instead of freight. The Class 350 EMU was released back in 2011, and hasn't had any new schemes released since. A couple of options include First Transpennine Express and the later Transpennine Express Blue/Grey livery as well as the newer (rather ghastly) London Northwestern Railway livery.