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Bachmann LSWR Type 4 Signal Box Review


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Review and positive notes

I recently received the Bachmann Scenecraft
LSWR Type 4 Signal Box, product Code 44-087Z

The model isn't new dating 2009, my particular model is ex display and apart from attending pretty much every major model railway show it's in good shape with just the chimney detached.
The model itself represents the Signal Box at Wadebrigde, it features a detachable nameplate, removable roof and authentic detail.
It has etched windows and a basic coloured interior. The interior features a wood effect floor and walls painted a SR yellowy orangey creamy colour, window frames are SR green.

On the exterior of the model the roof slates are neatly moulded, coloured in a grey slate colour and lightly weathered to bring up the detail and joints between slates. The roof features a gutter around the edge with the typical 'U' shape and the iron work is represented. underneath this facia boarding is present, mines particularly straight although I've read some are worse than others.

The main body 'walls' of the model is typical random stone work with arches above the windows on the front. The the window sills, surrounds and frames are neatly modelled. to the left side there is the porch and balcony with a stairs, the stairs on mine are reasonably well cast along with the hand rails and other woodwork. to the top of the steps the balcony has a similar wood effect to the interior floor. The porch is fully detailed all the way around with a wood planking present and the upstairs door modelled nicely.
The balcony also features supports and stone lintels are on the wall to hold these. Bellow the balcony is the locking room door which again is reasonably well modelled with door frames etc.

To the rear of the model is just plain stonework and the down pipe to one side, part of this is moulded to the rear of the roof to help centre the roof.
To the right wall of the model there is the upstairs side window which is part of the front, however there is a smaller window towards the back (I assume on the prototype this was above the desk to allow some light in)

The front is particularly interesting, the bottom features holes for the point rodding, there are the two locking room windows just above this. A nameplate is present on mine with the iconic name 'Wadebridge'. I presume this is normally supplied separate in the box, mine appears to be attached with blue tac.... fair enough haha
And of course the front windows are above, overall the model captures the character of the prototype nicely however a little basic.
The chimney is moulded towards the rear of the roof with the typical 'T' shape pattern for a stove.

Negative notes and my comments

As nice as the model appears and I have little to say with a negative tone about it. It has the minor flaws here and there which I feel are worth noting.
The stonework is a little small (but nicely moulded) and is a little too toyish grey a shade for my taste and doesn't capture the North Cornwall stone in my opinion.

As with many of these ready made buildings on the market, they're slightly too 'clean' in my opinion. The paint detail in some places is slightly off, only ever so slightly though. There is some excess glue around the windows also.

The down pipes and gutters are moulded as part of the building and do seem slightly 'moulded' looking in places. The steps on my model are okay but like most resin castings they don't give that ultra sharp fine detail, on the model they're slightly thick and have some flash. this is probably due to them being moulded very small and in close proximity to other parts.

The walls on the model are very thick, another trait of resin mouldings, and the upstairs door... well isn't really a door on the inside, it's a wall!
Around the windows it's like a wall as well (on the prototype this would have been built from timber) and give very thick sills. This has an advantage in a way for the bottom of the sill because signal boxes had large sills, but it has the disadvantage of looking like a thick wall inside and not really look like a timber frame as per the prototype.

Add or Improve for the modeller

The model could benefit from a interior and light to show it up as it's very dark inside with the roof on. I suspect a Wills white metal kit interior would be the best fit and have most of the parts more typical of a SR style box. (the Springside interior being purely GWR and wouldn't really fit the model)

A signalman leaning on the balcony (my personal choice) wouldn't go a miss or perhaps another position, pulling a lever or walking up to the box.

The upstairs door could be improved slightly by painting the 'Wall' behind green to make it seem like a door, this would be a quick fix. Alternatively the whole door could be cut out with a sharp saw and replaced with a better door and frame, this would have the advantage of looking more realistic, inset into the main wall and you could even have it in the open position. The disadvantage is the level of work involved and getting in there with a saw could be tricky.

The model overall could use some more colour to the stone more grey brown shades to represent the North Cornwall stone more accurately. Alternatively the stone work could be replaced or reworked with various fillers etc to make the stones larger. Then later painted.

The Box will at least the basic will need some 'weathering' with more colours used and slight 2mm of track dust to the base (this would be done at the same time as the track)

Once in place on the layout if you want to go the extra mile and enjoy enhancing with the extreme details you can add point rodding, signalling cables and so on.

Of course you could also change the nameplate to suit your location or layout name.


Very nice model with potential for detailing and adding your own personal touches. And a very fair price (bargain in my case)



Hope you enjoyed that small detailed review and my opinions.

Comments and feedback are welcome
Cheers, Reece

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