There have been almost two months of teasers that this model would be reviewed soon – so here it is – the S&DJR Bachmann 7F 2-8-0!
Class: SD&JR 7F 2-8-0 class
Use: Heavy Coal and Goods
Region: Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway
Era: 1914 – 1964
Blog post entries –
Reviewed Model: Bachmann 20-2012 S&DJR 88 (click here for more info)
Motor: 3 pole loco-drive
DCC options: 21 pin DCC Ready – socket in tender – click here for DCC fitting guide
This is a beautiful highly detailed model. The cab is bristling with detail (see above), including a wooden floor and is only very slightly upstaged by the Hornby T9 and Bachmann C class. Rivets, lamp irons, smokebox door dart, handrails, coupling hooks and factory-fitted brake rigging are some of the many details, but my personal favourite feature is the Walschaerts valve gear that is a delight to watch! Tender’s specific to prototype’s have been produced as appropriate. The half- minus point is (as with the C class) due to the blank plate between the frames. It’s not a major fault but noticeable none-the-less. Another minor omission is that the cab roof does not open.
This is a brilliant representation of a prototype that has so much character! The high mounted large cylinders, beautiful motion and Belpaire Firebox all help the model look as it should. Well done Bachmann!
Most examples of this model are produced in unlined BR black and they have been done very well! This reviewed version is a limited edition S&DJR lined Prussian blue and has beautiful fine lining and printing – a version that has definitely been worth the wait. The model has been marked down due to the visible line along the top of the boiler from the moulding seam and a shiny, metal coal load on the tender.
The motor is smooth and easy to control. The chassis copes well with most track and is not particularly sensitive. The lack of electric pick-ups on the tender does not adversely affect the model’s performance, which is superb. Unlike Bachmann’s BR Standard 9F class the motor is a little noisy, though still a little more quiet than Bachmann’s ex-WD 8F Austerity 2-8-0 class.
I’ve yet to give the model a task that it has not coped with, handling a five coach train around Locoyard’s small and tight 2nd radius oval with no problem.
It is ready for the digital age with a 21 pin DCC socket. There are no DCC sound or DCC fitted versions yet. It has excellent detailing, NEM sockets and a modern, smooth motor.
This is not a cheap model. As of January 2013, you may be able to get a BR black version for a little under £100, but don’t hold your breath! It is a big, well performing model of a distinctive prototype that many never expected to see as a Ready-To-Run scale model; especially considering the relatively limited area of operation. Considering this and the quality of the model, the price tag is fair.
Overall Locoyardometer Score: 4.6
This model receives a well deserved 5 star model rating. It looks great, is well finished and runs well. Unfortunately a large well-detailed model of a prototype with a relatively narrow area of operation means a three figure price tag, but all things considered this is not a bad price. The flat area between the locomotive frames, moulding seam across the top of the boiler and growling motor are the only minor criticisms – overall this is an excellent model.
Detailometer 4.5, Outlineometer 5, Finishometer 4.5, Motorometer 4.5, Powerometer 5, Specometer 4.5, Valueometer 4, Locoyardometer 4.6