Bachmann GWR City Class Review – A Tale of Two Cities, Part 2

Steadily over the past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing locomotives in my collection, with the general aim of providing a free resource for 00 scale steam modellers.  Seeing as it is 100 days until Christmas (a scary thought!), hopefully these reviews are becoming available at just the right time!   Following from the Review of  LMS Coronation Class “City of Birmingham” comes a review of Bachmann’s GWR City Class 3440 City of Truro; completing the Tale of Two Cities!  To see how this compares to other models, click here for Loco Model Reviews Page.

Class: GWR City Class 3700

Use: Express Passenger

Region: Western

Era: 1902 – 1931 (City of Truro has been preserved since so can be justified in a Rail Tour capacity post 1931)

Preserved examples:

3440 / 3717 City of Truro – National Railway Museum

Manufacturer: Bachmann

Model Reviewed: Bachmann 31-725NRM Great Western Railway 3440 City of Truro (click here for more info)

Motor: 3 pole Loco-drive

Power: Heavyweight

DCC options: 21 pin dcc ready

Locoyard Review

Detailing:

5/5

The cab (above) is fantastic and almost good as Hornby’s T9.  Rivets. lamp irons, handrails and appropriate copper and brass are all present and correct. The model has an opening smokebox door (below), which can make posed shots in a loco yard look good!  The model is fragile, so handle with care.

Outline/Looks: 4.5/5

Bachmann and the National Railway Museum made many steam enthusiasts dreams come true when they first released this model.  The outside framed locomotive looks fantastic and is very impressive.  It has come into criticism for it’s over-size smokebox door (below).  Presumably this was modelled like this to allow for it to open, which in my opinion is a real shame.  The front bogey has an unsightly NEM tension lock coupling, but this bogey can be replaced by a spare bogey; which comes packed in the box if you wish to be rid of it.

Finish/Decoration:

4.5/5

As usual, Bachmann have created a wonderful deep dark GWR green and the Indian red frames are also fantastic.  Some have criticised the lining for being too wide – in reality it is perfect and multi-coloured, as per the prototype.  My model has a small but nevertheless present moulding split on the top of the boiler.  The coal load (below) is both shiny and fixed.  The coal load is also shaped a little like something you wouldn’t want to tread on!

Running Qualities:

5/5

Smooth, quiet with excellent pick-ups.  It is reliable and stays on the track – a fantastic 4-4-0!  Hornby should take note!

Relative Power:

4.5/5

A powerful 3 pole motor provides very good traction.  It isn’t quite as powerful as the Hornby schools class and relatively speaking is not quite up to the prototype.  But it is still good enough and handles 4-5 bogey carriages around tight 2nd radius curves without any difficulty.

Specification:

4.5/5

21 pin DCC ready sprung buffers, NEM couplings, opening smokebox door, excellent cab details – ticks most boxes.  No DCC sound/fitted options have been produced yet.  Fitting a DCC chip is fairly simple and the chip goes in the tender.  Be careful when fitting a chip though; the model is very easy to damage.

Value:

3.5/5

Not cheap!  City of Truro can only be purchased through the National Railway Museum shop (for £150), however Bachmann has also recently released “City of Bath” and “City of London” through mainstream retailers.  However, don’t expect to get any change from £105 and DCC users will also need to buy a 21 pin chip.

Overall Locoyardometer Score: 4.5

This is a brilliant model.  It is expertly detailed, the finish is fantastic and most importantly for modellers; it runs very well.  The motor is smooth, quiet and powerful and the chassis is reliable.  There are a couple of niggles; the over-size smokebox door and the shiny coal in the tender; but the biggest minus is the price.  The model nevertheless deserves it’s Locoyardometer 5 star rating!

Detailometer 5, Outlineometer 4.5, Finishometer 4.5, Motorometer 5, Powerometer 4.5, Specometer 4.5, Valueometer 3.5, Locoyardometer 4.5

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