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The S100 Tank: the Bachmann and Rivarossi Models

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I am modelling in H0 scale at the moment and I have one of the Rivarossi models of the US Army S100 class 0-6-0 tank. This is locomotive number 1948, which worked in mainland Europe and is substantially similar to fifteen engines used in Britain and bought by the Southern Railway in 1946.

 

The magazine ‘Model Rail’ has commissioned Bachmann to produce a RTR model of the S100 for 00 gauge, and I have bought one of these to compare it with the Rivarossi model of the European engines. To be honest, I have done this to see for myself how close modern 00 RTR really is to current Continental models. I can also use it as a 3-D drawing to help turn my H0 model to UK specification, and perhaps use it in a small layout with forced perspective. At the end of the day, if I want to sell it and I can wait until new production sells out, I’ll probably get most of money back on eBay.

 

With the two engines in front of me, I want to write a review to try to see the real differences between the markets for H0 and 00 models of what is essentially the same locomotive. This blog post is my report.

 

Here are the two models, photographed to make them look as similar as I can:
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And here are two photographs to show the diffence in size created by the two scales:
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I shall say now,the S100 is one of the most ungainly engines I have ever seen. When it is modelled for 00 gauge, this ungainliness becomes rather exaggerated, almost to the point of absurdity and making me wonder if this a metre-gauge model in S scale. This is unfortunately the nature of the beast - and if I modelled in 00 then I’m sure I would be able to look though this discrepancy without any great worries. I want to ignore this from now on, and concentrate on the design and appearance of the two models.

 

Prototype
There are good photographs of prototype engines for comparison on the Southern E-Group website at http://www.semgonline.com/steam/usa_01.html and its linked pages.

 

General Appearance
The motor has got to go somewhere and Rivarossi have put it in the cab, with the drive to the rear axle. This means the model can have detail for the top of the firebox (essentially, the part you can see without peering inside) but the cab has a raised blanking panel as a false floor about 3mm below the windows, to hide the motor. The cab has no other interior detail, and the glazing panels for the rear windows are rather prominent. Outside, the gearbox fits inside the firebox, and the model has the correct daylight above the frames.
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Bachmann have put the motor inside the firebox and part of the boiler, with the drive to the middle axle. The cab is completely free and has the floor in the right place. The model has a complete representation of the back of the firebox, but there is no detail on the insides of the cab sides or cab rear, these are simply painted a pale cream colour, and the daylight above the frames is limited.

 

The Rivarossi model would look better without any rear glazing, and this is the approach taken by Bachmann. The Bachmann model has flush glazing in the front window frames and this is a big improvement on the square glazing panels fitted to the Rivarossi.

 

Staying near the cab, Rivarossi have modelled the bunker partly empty so the model can feature open coal rails with daylight between them. This looks really good, and the modeller can add some real coal if they like to top this up. Bachmann have modelled the bunker full, so the coal rails are a solid moulding with no daylight. If you want to model the bunker partly empty, you will have work to do. This looks like cost cutting by Bachmann, though we might argue it makes the model more robust.

 

As you study the two models more closely, you see some more discrepancies. Both models have finely-moulded bars on the rear windows, but Rivarossi have included representations of the hinges and fastenings. Moving forwards and downwards, the Rivarossi has an excellent representation of the firebox with full rivet detail, while the Bachmann has only bare chassis parts and no firebox at all. The models reproduce different versions of cab sides: the Rivarossi model has rivet detail (which is correct for some batches), and the Bachmann has no rivet detail at all (which is correct for the locomotive number 1968 represented). [Revised: 4 Sep 2016]

 

Major Dimensions
There is a general arrangement drawing of the engine in Wikipedia, and this drawing gives the major dimensions. I have converted these dimensions to millimetres, and then measured the models to see how close they are to scale.

 

Width over cab: 2,591 mm (8 ft 6 in on drawing)
Rivarossi measures 29.6 mm, Bachmann measures 33.9 mm

 

Length over buffer beams: 7,976 mm (26 ft 2 in on drawing)
Rivarossi measures 91.6 mm, Bachmann measures 104.7 mm

 

I used an old-fashioned mechanical vernier calliper and I ignore the last 0.1 mm or so - and all of these model dimensions are correct within 0.1 mm of their scale equivalents.

 

Maximum height (to top of cab): 3,787 mm (12 ft 5 1/8 in on drawing)
Both models have safety valves which are taller than this but not shown on the drawing
Rivarossi measures 42.2 mm, about 1mm too low
Bachmann measures 48.2 mm, about 1 mm too low
I question the correctness of the drawing because it is unclear whether this dimension is to the top of the rails as I have measured

 

Valve Gear
Both models have working representations of the Walschaerts valve gear. The Rivarossi model has fluted parts with a dull finish, while the Bachmann model has plain pressings with a bright, plated finish. The representation by Rivarossi looks like a scale model, but Bachmann seem to have made everything oversize.
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When the Bachmann engine runs, the movement of the combination lever and the way it overlaps the crosshead looks wrong - the return crank is too long and the union link is too short. Then again, perhaps the Rivarossi is wrong! A clear photo of the valve gear on a prototype would help here, but the Bachmann cross head guide extends further to the rear (to be behind the front wheel), and in fact all of the motion has been offset about 2mm further to the rear. The Bachmann appearance is spoilt further by a piece of stamped metal immediately behind the cylinders - this would be better out of sight inside the cylinder mouldings.

 

On both models, the slot in the cross head guide is too wide, but again this is exaggerated on the Bachmann model and with 12% more space to play with in each dimension in the larger scale, the 00 model looks rather toy-like.

 

Looking at the width of the model across the cylinders, this is always going to be difficult in an H0 scale model of such a narrow prototype without resorting to P87 wheel sets. Rivarossi have put the cylinders about 1 mm too far outwards on each side to make room for the valve gear, and made the cylinders a little too thin as well.
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To quantify this error, the general arrangement drawing shows the distance between cylinder centres to be 6 ft 7.5 in, which is 2,019 mm. I measure the Rivarossi centres at 25.5 mm, which represents a scale of 1:79, about 10% too much. For comparison the Bachmann centres are at 27 mm, still slightly over scale but not noticeably so. Rivarossi probably made the cylinders too narrow to make space for the motion, but the discrepancy is only really obvious when you look at the model from underneath.

 

Brake Gear
Both models have finely detailed brake gear. The Rivarossi model includes the linkages under the chassis already fitted, while Bachmann supply the linkages as a moulding for the purchaser to fit. This will help the modeller wanting to convert to EM, but see ‘Possible Conversions’ later.

 

Both models have handbrake detail, and both models have placed this in line with the wheels. The Rivarossi model looks more convincing here, simply because the distance from the frames to the cab sides is nearer to the scale dimension, and the brake mechanism is nearer to the pipe work below the cab.

 

Compatibility
Both models use Code 110 wheels, which will be wide enough to assure smooth running over the crossings of Peco pointwork. Both models will be able to run through track built to 00-SF standards, but I will have to ease out the back to back dimensions on the Rivarossi model about 0.1 mm to let it do this.
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Both models have NEM coupler sockets. Rivarossi have put these in close-coupling mechanisms, while Bachmann have used their usual “fish tail” moulding. Both manufacturers have placed the sockets at the correct height, and Rivarossi have achieved the correct horizontal locations too, with the front of each socket in line with the front of its buffer beam. Bachmann have put the sockets outwards at both ends, perhaps as a compensation for the lack of a close-coupling mechanism. The Bachmann sockets on my model are letting the couplers droop and some shims or bending will be needed to clear magnetic uncouplers.

 

The buffers on the two models are of different designs. The Rivarossi buffers appear to be scale models of the correct buffers, the Bachmann buffer are something else and rather undersize in overall length and head diameter.

 

Both models have nicely-moulded pipe work detail below the cabs, and both sets of pipe work seem to be different to the photos I can find of S100 locomotives which ran in Britain and in Europe. So I can’t really write more about the pipe work, except it looks nice.

 

Lighting
The Rivarossi model has working Continental-style lights at each end, while the Bachmann model has very finely moulded lamp irons in the right places. It is difficult to draw a comparison here, though Bachmann could have put a sprue of lamps into the box.

 

Electrical Pickups
The Rivarossi model has plunger pickups concealed behind the wheel rims, while the Bachmann model has metal wipers visible below the chassis. One looks better, the other is easier to fix when it goes wrong.

 

Possible Conversions (Wheels and Couplings)
Bachmann have made the connecting rods thicker at the big ends, consuming any free space created by the use of 00 gauge, and this will make conversion to EM difficult, unless you either file down the thickness of the parts or move everything outwards. A modeller contemplating a conversion to P4 will be thinking of a complete new chassis, to rectify the errors around the firebox as well as the over-scale motion.

 

A conversion to P87 would allow a modeller (at least, a very keen modeller) to bring the Rivarossi cylinders inwards, but the overall improvement to the appearance of the whole model would be relatively small.

 

Bachmann have managed to represent the frames with correct daylight behind the front buffer beam and this feature improves the look of the model here. Rivarossi have not bothered, putting a solid infill of plastic instead, but the benefits in H0 would be less because the NEM coupler socket here is so much closer to the buffer beam. The 00 modeller can remove the coupler socket altogether and fit a scale coupler with very little work, while the same conversion on the Rivarossi model would take much more work to achieve the same appearance.

 

Running and Performance
Out of the box, the Rivarossi model ran like a Swiss watch and it is a joy to see in operation, both on a rolling road and on the layout. The Bachmann model runs quite well, but needs more running in.

 

The Rivarossi model is nose-heavy, in spite of the rear mounting of the motor, and the Bachmann model is tail-heavy, in spite of the central mounting of the motor. These details do not seem to affect performance of either model.

 

My test load is a train of eight H0 bogie vehicles: three Fleischmann Bulleid coaches and five Roco ferry vans. This is all I can fit on a level part of my layout. Both engines can start and move this train without wheel slip.

 

The Rivarossi model is much lighter than the Bachmann model (148 g vs. 200 g) and has far less adhesion on a gradient. On a curving rising 1:20 gradient, the Rivarossi model can propel only one Bulleid coach, while the Bachmann model can manage two. I don’t have two comparable 00 coaches to try, but clearly the Bachmann can manage twice the physical load even though I cannot show whether it can manage twice the scale load.

 

Conclusions
I often read in the press and online about modern British RTR coming closer to Continental standards but there is no way I could say this particular Bachmann model comes anywhere near Continental standards, except to say it is more powerful. The model has been built to a keen price. This is not necessarily a bad thing and I hope everyone who buys the Bachmann model gets a lot of pleasure from it, but from a personal point of view I would feel I was getting better value for money if the model could have cost rather more (say, £180 not £125), and sorted out some of the shortcomings. For comparison, the Rivarossi model is listed at 220 Euros but currently discounted to around £120 including carriage from Germany.

 

Aside from detailing and price, if Bachmann had used finer components for the valve gear and some plain washers to pack out the horizontal gaps inherent in an 00 gauge model, a conversion to EM would be a lot easier.

 

If the customers in both H0 and 00 markets consider these models to be “good”, and my report here is seen to be reasonably objective, then the biggest difference between the UK and European markets has surely got to be that UK modellers buy on price, Continental modellers buy on product. I tend towards the product rather than the price, and as a British H0 modeller I will turn a blind eye to specific things which I cannot put right (like the cylinders sticking out a bit too much) when the rest of the model seems spot-on.

 

I hope this is useful, even if it is probably written from a different viewpoint to the usual UK model magazines. Thanks for reading.

 

I have not attempted to take either model to pieces, nor fit a decoder, and perhaps someone else can add this or other details I have missed.

 

- Richard.

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The biggest issue here is surely scale. It has been proven in the past (by Fleischmann, Rivarossi and Lima at least) that the British modeller will not buy 'HO' scale British outline models, however good they are. It is not a question of price but of size compatibility with the vast range of 'OO' models. Very few modellers are willing to mix the two scales, or to commit themselves to the limitations of working in 'HO' and modelling British outline. Having test run a Rivarossi model in the early days of our project, the Bachmann product out performs it in every way and to suggest that the model comes nowhere near continental standards is quite simply not true and more than a little unfair. More importantly it is at the top of 'British standards' alongside the models that it is intended to match. Indeed, I would question the idea that there is actually a 'continental standard' - Fleischmann? Rivarossi? Hornby-Acho? Mehanoteknika? I know the expression is widely used to imply 'top notch' but it's actually something of a misnomer. (CJL)

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I certainly agree with your point about 'buying on product' rather than on price, in that I would happily pay a bit more, if the quality of any given model was higher.

 

Having said that, some things are easy enough to put right with a bit of 'modelling', others perhaps less so.

 

Other people will have different views on the subject, no doubt.

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The biggest issue here is surely scale. It has been proven in the past (by Fleischmann, Rivarossi and Lima at least) that the British modeller will not buy 'HO' scale British outline models, however good they are. It is not a question of price but of size compatibility with the vast range of 'OO' models. Very few modellers are willing to mix the two scales, or to commit themselves to the limitations of working in 'HO' and modelling British outline. Having test run a Rivarossi model in the early days of our project, the Bachmann product out performs it in every way and to suggest that the model comes nowhere near continental standards is quite simply not true and more than a little unfair. More importantly it is at the top of 'British standards' alongside the models that it is intended to match. Indeed, I would question the idea that there is actually a 'continental standard' - Fleischmann? Rivarossi? Hornby-Acho? Mehanoteknika? I know the expression is widely used to imply 'top notch' but it's actually something of a misnomer. (CJL)

I have ignored the subject of scale, because it is irrelevant for the purposes of my review. In Britain, most modellers choose 00 and in the rest of the World, most modellers choose H0. These are the handy sizes - big enough to make some models yourself, small enough to build some kind of a layout, popular enough to support RTR, extensive enough to encourage a cottage industry of supporting bits and pieces.

 

No British modeller in their right mind would buy an H0 model for their layout (*) unless they had already made a conscious decision to follow this scale, and similarly no H0 modeller would likely choose an 00 model. I am in a happy position in that my present layout, originally designed for 00 but with hand-built H0 pointwork, virtually no scenery (yet) and a determined effort to avoid “hard” fixed scale features, can be happy with either, though of course only one at a time (**). I am also, as a sort of subliminal side of the hobby, on the look-out for 16.5 mm gauge mechanisms which can find a home on an H0 layout.

 

We accept that Worldwide H0 has no equivalent of the British EM (beyond H0-SF) and the H0 RTR market has no buyers intending to alter the gauge of a model upon receipt, but in broad terms the people who buy H0 and 00 model trains are singing from the same hymn sheet in the hobby. They are living in the same macro economy and with the same manufacturing technologies.

 

And so, for these reasons, I have ignored scale in my review. In fact, I have tried very hard to show the two models to be peers, built to satisfy the same need. I think this is a reasonable approach - the war-time service of all of these engines was for only a few years, and engines continued in service, for many years afterwards, around the World.

 

We can assess performance in subjective ways as well as objective ways, but my idea of slow running may be different to someone else’s and will depend a great deal on the controller I choose to use. So I have described objective tests, and for these we can either do something numerical (like, drawbar pulling force) or try to pull a mobile load (a train) until something fails. My tests using H0 scale stock provide a consistent physical rolling resistance but are generous to the 00 engine because they contain less material (and less mass) than equivalent 00 stock. At a glance, the 00 engine potentially pulls twice the mass as the H0 model on a steep gradient, and the 00 engine clearly has more adhesion. I know this isn’t terribly conclusive in its own right, and if I had a rake of 00 Bullied coaches this would be better test, but 1:20 is jolly steep and it does at least let me find the limits of what is achievable in a small layout. I built my layout as a test track as well as model, and tests are only valid if you can find when something fails.

 

We can look for three principle characteristics in a model of the S100: its ungainly appearance, its shape including the daylight above the frames, and its valve gear. We know, the ungainly appearance is somewhat modified by the use of 00, so I haven’t tried to evaluate this for either model.

 

The Rivarossi model captures the daylight above the frames and includes a detailed representation of the firebox with rivet detail. Although both models have tackled the valve gear, the Rivarossi model seems to have got the basic dimension closer to the prototype and the working parts have a better appearance.

 

Looking at the detail features we would expect of any present-day model, the two products are closely matched, and both products have fine details in the right places. For the practical railway modeller, the Rivarossi has close-coupling mechanisms, and for those that like these things there are working lamps.

 

The conclusion has got to be, the design of the Bachmann product does not reach the standards of the Rivarossi one, except where the designers have deemed it worthwhile or economical to so do. This means, the Bachmann model was built to a price, while the Rivarossi model was built to a standard.

 

I would hate to try to define something by what it is not, but the Bachmann S100 is a fine 00 model. There are better 00 models, and plenty of worse ones, but it is a fine model nonetheless. Unfortunately (and I think this is the rub), 00 modellers often want to pay less then H0 modellers, and accept compromises to fit their budget. And this is why the differences I have shown in my report exist - for better or worse.

 

- Richard.

 

Footnotes

(*) There is a rather large Jouef ferry van surprisingly close to a different prototype when  viewed in 00 gauge.

(**) This is quite a challenge, but essentially the trains are the actors on a fairly empty stage. The layout looks good with 00 at the front and H0 on the back too.

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I certainly agree with your point about 'buying on product' rather than on price, in that I would happily pay a bit more, if the quality of any given model was higher.

 

Having said that, some things are easy enough to put right with a bit of 'modelling', others perhaps less so.

 

Other people will have different views on the subject, no doubt.

The way I see it, it's easy to tone down the look of shiny plated valve gear, but nothing will make the parts fluted. The compromise is easy enough to accept in its own right, and the buyer gets good value for money, but if I had £400 to spend on S100s, I'd prefer two Rivarossi engines to three Bachaman ones. This is just me - in my review (this blog post) I've tried to keep my views out of my writing - as you say other people would have different views.

 

I can hardly complain about the view count on my blog post though!

 

- Richard.

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The biggest issue here is surely scale. It has been proven in the past (by Fleischmann, Rivarossi and Lima at least) that the British modeller will not buy 'HO' scale British outline models, however good they are. It is not a question of price but of size compatibility with the vast range of 'OO' models. Very few modellers are willing to mix the two scales, or to commit themselves to the limitations of working in 'HO' and modelling British outline. Having test run a Rivarossi model in the early days of our project, the Bachmann product out performs it in every way and to suggest that the model comes nowhere near continental standards is quite simply not true and more than a little unfair. More importantly it is at the top of 'British standards' alongside the models that it is intended to match. Indeed, I would question the idea that there is actually a 'continental standard' - Fleischmann? Rivarossi? Hornby-Acho? Mehanoteknika? I know the expression is widely used to imply 'top notch' but it's actually something of a misnomer. (CJL)

Let me try a second time.

 

We should not confuse standards with the ability of a product to meet our needs. Fulgurex made an S100 too, and it although I haven't seen one I expect it meets higher standards than either the Rivarossi or Bachmann products. I would never claim it is "better", no more than I think the Rivarossi model is better than the Bachmann one (or, indeed, the Bachmann one is "worse".

 

The Bachmann model has features not included in the Rivarossi model, including daylight behind the front buffer beam and a far better representation of the depth inside the cab. The Rivarossi model includes features not included by Bachmann, including a representation of the firebox and close-coupling mechanisms, and to my mind the entire Rivarossi chassis has been made to higher standards. The model cost at least 50% more (at least when newly-released) so it's good to see a return in the extra cost.

 

My Bachmann model does not outperform my Rivarossi model in any way except hauling capacity. It may need more running-in or maybe something re-shimmimg or easing out somewhere. The trouble is, it's difficult to take this further without implying Bachmann use their customers to do their quality control for them, which won't help anyone.

 

I sold my Dapol 00 Western on eBay and used the money to buy a Mehano class 77 and at a glance, the Mehano chassis is in a different league to the Dapol one. It is better-engineered, it includes compensation, and I am very glad I did my swap.

 

I am not knocking the Bachmann model, or any 00 models for that matter. Surely, we can accept that 00 modellers expect to pay less for their models, and there is no reason to try to defend this?

 

- Richard.

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As an incidental, this is a very useful comparison for the 'why' of UK OO rather than HO for commercial RTR. Even on a short wheelbase and small diameter wheel model with no splashers it has been necessary in the HO model to increase the scale from 3.5mm/ft to near 4mm/ft over the cylinders, and the HO model looks 'squat' compared to prototype in head on view as a result. (This effect gets yet worse for longer wheelbase types with wheels inside splashers.) The extra foot in overall width of most European prototype; 10' instead of the UK's 9', makes all the difference to the practicality of HO for continental subjects.

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... Having test run a Rivarossi model in the early days of our project, the Bachmann product out performs it in every way and to suggest that the model comes nowhere near continental standards is quite simply not true and more than a little unfair. More importantly it is at the top of 'British standards' alongside the models that it is intended to match ...

On close inspection, the quartering on my model was different on every axle, no two axles the same. The model ran as well as it did because there is a great deal of free play in the side rods. Yesterday evening I dropped out the wheelsets, set the quartering, and reassembled.

 

I found the quartering to be extremely easy to adjust - possibly too easy. One wheel in the vise and the other wheel turned between thumb and forefinger, no need for the rubber glove I usually use. Some people might want to add a drop of Loctite or similar. I use a torch shining upwards through the spokes to seek where everything is.

 

The model runs a whole lot better, good. Power output doesn't seem changed (still propelling 2 coaches at 1:20) but the slow running is hugely better and I'm much happier.

 

- Richard.

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As an incidental, this is a very useful comparison for the 'why' of UK OO rather than HO for commercial RTR. Even on a short wheelbase and small diameter wheel model with no splashers it has been necessary in the HO model to increase the scale from 3.5mm/ft to near 4mm/ft over the cylinders, and the HO model looks 'squat' compared to prototype in head on view as a result. (This effect gets yet worse for longer wheelbase types with wheels inside splashers.) The extra foot in overall width of most European prototype; 10' instead of the UK's 9', makes all the difference to the practicality of HO for continental subjects.

It's not quite as bad as it looks in my photo. Looking at advertising photographs, the REE model appears to have the cylinders set a little outboard too. The Rivarossi engine doesn't look terribly squat in operation (no more so than the Bachmann one looks metre gauge), but at the end of the day there must be compromise somewhere for anything other than P4/P87.

 

I'm glad I omitted track from my photos.

 

- Richard.

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The way I see it, it's easy to tone down the look of shiny plated valve gear, but nothing will make the parts fluted. The compromise is easy enough to accept in its own right, and the buyer gets good value for money, but if I had £400 to spend on S100s, I'd prefer two Rivarossi engines to three Bachaman ones. This is just me - in my review (this blog post) I've tried to keep my views out of my writing - as you say other people would have different views.

 

I can hardly complain about the view count on my blog post though!

 

- Richard.

 

if I had £400 to spend on S100s, I'd prefer two Rivarossi engines to three Bachaman ones. This is just me - in my review (this blog post) I've tried to keep my views out of my writing - as you say other people would have different views.

 

I understand this, if you are happy to exchange HO versions for OO versions of the same prototype. Of course, most people are not likely to be in that situation, but I take the point about the build quality of the continental version.

 

That said, I actually ran my own USA tank last night (Bachman), and it ran smoothly and quietly straight out of the box. Notwithstanding manufacturers advice to run new locos in (which I always do, anyway, and always for quite a lot longer than the recommended period), the good running 'straight out of the box' is always a good sign, especially with Bachman steam locos.

 

In the past, I've had some good, indifferent and poor runners from Bachman, some of which have improved with running in, but others did not. After a while, I get a 'feel' for which locos will improve with running in, and which will not.

 

I am absolutely delighted with the quality and finish of my Bachman/Model Rail USA tank, and think that it can hold it's own against any recent 4mm scale R-T-R production. I compared the running to my two recent Bachman 64XX panniers, both of which were slightly hesitant, one more so than the other, also 'straight out of the box'.

 

I had a Bachman BR Standard Class 3 2-6-2T a few years ago that ran so awfully, even when I tried to investigate and dismantled the chassis, that I gave up, and built a replacement etched brass chassis kit for it (which I had to modify from a 76XXX chassis kit, as there is no readily-available 82XXX kit available).

 

All in all, we UK modellers could, perhaps, have been asked to pay more for these USA tanks, in order to get an even higher quality product, as you have stated in your blog. I, for one, would normally be prepared to do this, if it guaranteed silky smooth running, for example, and perhaps other features.

 

I do think, however, that viewed in the context of the British RTR market (which, as you say, seems to be more 'price-orientated' than 'build quality-orientated'), this Bachman/Model Rail production is extremely good value for money.

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you pick up on bachmanns lack of cabside rivets however miss out that the rivarossi model has less rivet detail on the bufferbeams, I don't think either are a mistake, I would imagine this is both manufacturers picking up on detail differences between different locomotive builders such as porter, Vulcan, davenport etc so I feel its unfair to criticise Bachmann on this point

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you pick up on bachmanns lack of cabside rivets however miss out that the rivarossi model has less rivet detail on the bufferbeams, I don't think either are a mistake, I would imagine this is both manufacturers picking up on detail differences between different locomotive builders ...

Yep.

The photo of 1968 dumped shows a cab side with no rivets. I don't have a photo of 1948, the cabside rivet detail is typical of some locos but may not be correct for this particular example.

 

In my review (this original blog post) I have tried to point out the major differences between the two models, without recourse to specific individual prototypes. Fundamentally, all the locos had a firebox(!) which Rivarossi have modelled and Bachmann have not. The rivets, along with the lamp brackets, regulator handle and other little things are surely relatively minor. Nevertheless, I've reworked this paragraph, I think it is better now - blue text in the blog post.

 

- Richard. 

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Hi Richard,

A lovely review, thanks! It does show how awful the "narrow gauge" look of 00 really is.

I thought you might like to see some comparison photos that I have attempted with my REE Models S100 - can't get exactly the same angles as you though, sorry.

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Side on, front and rear shots.

 

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Hard to see at normal angles but lots of space under the boiler area.

 

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Valve gear, firebox details and under cab pipework.

 

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Front buffer beam, cylinders and wheels.

 

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All the brake gear.

 

Major Dimensions.

Width over cab: 2,591 mm (8 ft 6 in on drawing)
Ree: 29.8mm, Rivarossi: 29.6mm

 

Length over buffer beams: 7,976 mm (26 ft 2 in on drawing)
REE: 91.4mm Rivarossi measures 91.6 mm

 

Maximum height (to top of cab): 3,787 mm (12 ft 5 1/8 in on drawing)

REE: 43.3mm
Rivarossi measures 42.2 mm, about 1mm too low

 

Cylinder Centres,

REE: 25.85mm, Rivarossi centres at 25.5 mm. I calculated this by measuring the overall width 32.7mm and subtracting the thickness of one cylinder, 6.85mm.

 

Actual weight.

166 Grams for the REE.

 

This is a model fitted with a Zimo digital decoder and sound - it runs and sounds like a dream. I haven't tested it's haulage abilities lately but last time, it was perfectly adequate. I'm sure you can spot all the additional details like separate wire handrails, etched brass number plates, "Mechanician" (driver, complete with goggles), completely open cab area with detailed backhead, working lamps but can you see the working linkage to the oil pump? Above R/H cylinder, it is quite amazing to see this working.

My model was secondhand but I would have gladly paid the original asking price for this kind of quality. Sorry but the Rivarossi model does not come close! Just saying, not scoring points!

Cheers,

John.

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The REE rendition of the S100 really does look fabulous. Thanks for all of the details and the photographs.

 

- Richard.

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The biggest issue here is surely scale. It has been proven in the past (by Fleischmann, Rivarossi and Lima at least) that the British modeller will not buy 'HO' scale British outline models, however good they are. It is not a question of price but of size compatibility with the vast range of 'OO' models. Very few modellers are willing to mix the two scales, or to commit themselves to the limitations of working in 'HO' and modelling British outline. Having test run a Rivarossi model in the early days of our project, the Bachmann product out performs it in every way and to suggest that the model comes nowhere near continental standards is quite simply not true and more than a little unfair. More importantly it is at the top of 'British standards' alongside the models that it is intended to match. Indeed, I would question the idea that there is actually a 'continental standard' - Fleischmann? Rivarossi? Hornby-Acho? Mehanoteknika? I know the expression is widely used to imply 'top notch' but it's actually something of a misnomer. (CJL)

I have now done drawbar tests on both of these S100 models, and the MR/Bachmann model manages about 30% more pulling force at the drawbar: 26 g instead of 20 g. Bearing in mind that 00 stock weighs about 50% more than H0 stock, it seems difficult to claim that the MR/Bachmann model outperforms the Rivarossi here. To my mind, the Rivarossi model is better built, has better coupler mountings, and has better detail.

 

My review here has nothing at all to do with scale, indeed I have endeavoured to minimise the differences of scale throughout it. My review does show how middle-of-the road British and Continental manufacturers go about making a model of the same prototype. No-one would expect to compare Bachmann with current REE or Roco products on a like-for-like basis, and I think a comparison of Bachmann and Rivarossi is a reasonable thing to do.

 

I'm keeping both my models for the time being.

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