Bachmann GWR 49xx Hall Class Review

Class: GWR 49XX Hall Class

Use: Mixed Traffic

Region: Western

Era: 1928-1965

Preserved examples:

4920     Dumbleton Hall –  South Devon Railway
4930     Hagley Hall – Severn Valley Railway
4936     Kinlet Hall – Tyseley Locomotive Works
4942     Maindy Hall (to be regressed to Saint Class 2999 Lady of Legend) – Didcot Railway Centre
4953     Pitchford Hall – Epping Ongar Railway
4965     Rood Ashton Hall – Tyseley Locomotive Works
4979     Wootton Hall – Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
5900     Hinderton Hall – Didcot Railway Centre
5952     Cogan Hall (donor for 6880 Betton Grange) – Llangollen Railway
5967     Bickmarsh Hall – Northampton & Lamport Railway
5972     Olton Hall (Used for the Hogwarts Express Harry Potter films) – Carnforth

Manufacturer: Bachmann

Model Reviewed: Bachmann 32-003 Great Western Railway 4936 Kinlet Hall (click here for prototype info)

Motor: 3 pole Loco-drive

Power: Heavyweight

DCC options: 8 pin dcc ready/fitted – click here for DCC fitting guide

Locoyard Review

Detailing:

5/5

Excellent detailing with plenty of rivets, lamp irons, handrails and details are mainly separately fitted items rather than moulded.  The cab is very good (below) if not quite up to Hornby’s and more modern model standards.

Outline/Looks:

5/5

As with the detailing, the model looks fantastic, with the Hall class’ slightly leaner (when compared to a Castle or King class) appearance very well captured.  The tender (below) is excellent too.

Finish/Decoration:

4/5

This is the Bachmann Hall’s Achilles Heel, that said it isn’t all bad news from a decoration point of view.  Bachmann’s GWR green has real depth which is some way ahead of Hornby’s GWR colours.  The lining, although well applied is too thick and although this is more noticeable on the GWR liveried versions, the BR versions are not perfect either.

Running Qualities:

4.5/5

Fairly quiet and smooth, the model is a good runner.  Pick-ups are reasonable but the model would benefit from extra pick-up’s on the tender wheels.  I found the motor on this example needed a little more time than most for running-in, so if at first you are a little disappointed; give it some time and it will shine!

Relative Power:

5/5

The model is very strong and will have no trouble hauling very long trains.  Just like the prototype, it exceeds expectations!

Specification:

4.5/5

NEM coupling’s and plenty of separately fitted details including a decent cab.  DCC ready/fitted options but no DCC sound version yet.  There isn’t much space for a decoder (click here for a DCC fitting guide)

Value:

4.5/5

For such a high spec, excellent looking and performing model the retail price considering it is a medium to large locomotive.  It tends to hold its value well and secondhand prices are generally on the high side.  That said, bargains can be found; but make sure you are getting a modern-tooling version before you buy.

Overall Locoyardometer Score: 4.6

Apart from the thick lining, lack of tender pick-up’s and limited space for a DCC decoder; this model can only be commended highly.  It is well-detailed, looks perfect and is powerful.  A 5 star model through and through!

Detailometer 5, Outlineometer 5, Finishometer 4.0, Motorometer 4.5, Powerometer 5, Specometer 4.5, Valueometer 4.5, Locoyardometer 4.6

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