After updating the review of Bachmann’s N class, I took a look at the model reviewing poll conducted in July. The poll lead to both the N class review taking place and also the review of the Hornby A4 class and since then a review of Hornby’s unrebuilt West country pacific has also been completed. I noted that one person requested that I review Bachmann’s BR standard 5MT – not much of a reason to complete a review you might think. But it occurred to me that everyone else who took the time to vote for a model review got what they asked for… so why shouldn’t they?! So here it is, at long last for the person who asked for a Bachmann 5MT review – here it is! To see how this compares to other models, click here for Loco Model Reviews Page.
Class: BR Standard 5MT
Use: Mixed Traffic
73050 (named “City of Peterborough” in preservation) – Nene Valley Railway
73082 – Camelot – Bluebell Railway
73096 – Mid Hants Railway
73129 – Midland Railway – Butterley (fitted with Caprotti valve gear)
73156 – Great Central Railway
Motor: 3 pole Loco-drive
DCC options: 8 pin dcc ready/fitted
Pretty much everything is there, though the detailing parts are plastic and not quite as good as more modern models. No cab details are picked out but then again it has an enclosed cab so it doesn’t make much of a difference! Getting the picture below was a struggle! It has a nice speedo cable. It can also be found attached to a multitude of tender types, just like the prototype did.
Easily the best thing about this model is that it looks right. It has the poise of the prototype and the smokebox front looks great.
Very nice finish, Bachmann got the hang of lined black some time ago it seems! The most recent release in BR Green (32-508) looks fantastic. Only downside is the visible line created by the moulding along the top of the boiler.
The motor is both quiet and smooth, so why the low score? Well, this is mainly due to there being no pick-up’s on the tender wheels leading to the loco being prone to stalling. The chassis is sensitive and doesn’t like badly laid track.
Incredibly underpowered and not at all as good as something with a 5MT power classification should be. On tight 2nd radius curves, 3 bogey carriages is a maximum before slipping occurs.
Pretty good spec for its age with NEM pockets, sprung buffers, DCC socket/fitted versions but no DCC sound version yet. Dismantling the chassis to fit a decoder requires more patience than soldering a decoder to some models, in my opinion! Click here for a guide.
The locomotive is expensive new considering it is an older model that isn’t a great performer. Be wary of broken speedo cables on second-hand models; they often get broken if the previous owner dismantled the chassis without being careful. Second-hand prices can be low, but these models often hold their value remarkably well.
Overall Locoyardometer Score: 3.6
Bachmann’s 5MT just manages a 4 star rating. It looks good and is nicely finished, but it under-performs and costs a bit too much.
Detailometer 4, Outlineometer 5, Finishometer 4.5, Motorometer 3.5, Powerometer 1, Specometer 4, Valueometer 3, Locoyardometer 3.6