BR Standard classes are popular model prototypes, so much so that in the 2013 MREmag and RMweb Poll, the two most wished for classes of 00 scale steam locomotive were standard classes (the 2MT and 3MT 2-6-0’s). But even with that said, it was a surprise to many when Hornby announced it was going to produce a version of the 4MT 4-6-0 whilst Bachmann were re-tooling their ex-Mainline version. Although I have yet to review a Hornby version, most of the model railway press have come to the conclusion that it is better, in terms of detailing and performance. However, this has led to Bachmann’s 4MT 4-6-0 being sold at very low prices and it is for this reason that one has ended up in the locoyard fleet. Today we look at the model see if it cuts the mustard!
Class: BR Standard 4MT 4-6-0
Use: Mixed Traffic
75014 – Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway
75027 – Bluebell Railway
75029 – North Yorkshire Moors Railway
75069 – Severn Valley Railway
75078 – Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
75079 – Watercress/Mid-Hants Railway
Motor: 3 pole Loco-drive
DCC options: 8 pin dcc ready/fitted (click here for DCC fitting guide)
Detailing parts are plastic and not as refined as the competing Hornby model. But they are not terrible and certainly no worse than many other models out there. It has few cab details picked out but as it has an enclosed cab, this doesn’t make much of a difference for everyday running. It has an opening cab roof which is always a nice touch. Unlike the 5MT model, it does not have a speedo cable. Southern versions have double chimney’s and the larger BR1b tender. Considered a gimmick to many, it has an opening smokebox door (below), with no details behind the door.
The shape is good and conveys the no-nonsense look of the prototype very well. In some respect’s, the chunky pipework helps this somewhat! The single and double chimney’s have been criticised and this version’s is not perfect; it could do with being tapered a little better. The tender is nice, but the underframe lack’s relief.
It has an excellent finish; Bachmann have a fantastic rich rendition of BR Brunswick green and the lining is great too. There is a visible line created by the moulding along the top of the boiler and chimney, but it’s not too prominent.
The motor is quiet, smooth and easy to control. Like the Bachmann 5MT it lack’s pick-ups on it’s tender wheels, but these do not plague it with the same problems with stalling and the chassis is not nearly as sensitive either. It runs nicely and fairly reliably.
On tight 2nd radius curves 3-4 bogey carriages is a maximum before some slipping occurs, though it will pull 6 before it stops dead in it’s tracks. Although this is a big improvement on the 5MT it is still underpowered and not as capable as it should be.
Specification is reasonable with NEM pockets, sprung buffers, DCC socket/fitted versions but no DCC sound version yet. It has a body mounted 8 pin DCC decoder socket that is easy to access. Lamp irons, handrails and reasonable detailing with a lovely finish, but it is certainly not a cutting-edge model.
This is always a subjective area because it depends on how much you pay! However, the better Hornby version has forced dealers to make large discounts. The Hornby model also depreciates second-hand prices of the Bachmann model. Be patient and wait for a deal – you will find one. Look at paying £47-£57 for a mint secondhand model or £63-£73 new.
Overall Locoyardometer Score: 3.9
Bachmann’s 4MT is a 4 star model. It can be found cheaply and is finished well, particularly in green! It is smooth but not particularly strong and has reasonably good looks and details. In fact, if this model were to be summed up in a word, it would be “reasonable” – providing you do not spend too much on it!
Detailometer 4, Outlineometer 4, Finishometer 4.5, Motorometer 4.5, Powerometer 2, Specometer 4, Valueometer 4.5, Locoyardometer 3.9