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Bachmann Class 450 Desiro

TSOL of 31-041
(above) the TSOL and (below) TCOL of 31-041 450127, the lightly weathered version. Note the interiors. In none of the pictures in this review have the inter-car couplers nor inter-car wiring looms been fitted.
TCO of 31-041
It is difficult to see into the interior of a real Class 450 unless you are close up and it is correctly the same on the model, however I suggest you do look closely to notice that the seats in standard class are represented correctly red and those in first class are correctly blue.  Each of the four cars has a letter printed underneath so the correct formation of cars can be done A to D, however as the inter-car couplings are not handed the instructions clarify that the trailer cars need orienting with their lavatories on the same side and to the left.  Perhaps arrows printed underneath would have made this even clearer?
The roof of the lightly "weathered" version TSOL car

(above) The roof of the lightly "weathered" version TSOL car. Note the quite faded roof but glossy air-conditioning hatch, and in particular the well detailed empty pantograph well. The reviewer has seen plenty of Desiros with cleaner and glossier hatches than the roofs they are mounted on, but should the roof realistically be so evenly faded?

Finally to the weathered version.  I do not like factory weathered models as I find they are simplistic and a one size fits all solution, and I find this particular model perplexing.  On the plus side the light dusting with “track colour” on the bogies and underfloor equipment helps pick out the detail and I think this looks better than plain light grey on the clean version.  However, the roofs are represented as being evenly faded but not dirty, and with glossy air-clean con hatches.  I have looked at hundreds of photographs (taken from 2003 when first introduced until a few weeks ago) of real units and I have yet to see a real unit looking exactly like this model, in fact the overwhelming majority of pictures show roofs slightly darker.  Though there is a picture taken on 9th March 2009 at Hook of this very unit in Modern Locomotives Illustrated 178; the blue parts of the roof and blue air-con hatches are slightly faded on all four cars but this picture shows the “swooshes” at each end glossy, so it does not exactly match the model. 

Bachmann 31-041 450073 2 cars

In conclusion, Bachmann’s South West Trains Class 450 Desiro models are extremely good and a very welcome addition to the under-served selection of models of current-day units.  To find any criticism one has to look very closely indeed, which is a tribute to Bachmann’s design and manufacturing skills.  Not that at the time of writing one exists, but I look forward to a model of a Class 450 in South Western Railway colours, hopefully before SWR cease to exist.