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First announced in January 2009, the first version, in BR Blue, was delivered to the Modelling Secretary on the 20th May 2011. We published a "first impressions" review on that day, but now that we have had the model in our hands for almost a month it is right we give a more considered view.
Not that we would ever recommend that anyone goes through life looking for faults and problems, but those that know their EPBs well have not found anything wrong about this model in terms of dimensional and detail accuracy. In fact, the consensus is that this is a stunning and superb model. There is a significant issue on this first version that the car numbers have been transposed - see later - but Bachmann have a plan to deal with this. Otherwise this model is liberally dripping with fine detail. Of particular note are the cab ends, roofs, underframes and car inner ends. The paintwork and graphics are extremely well done indeed. The pictures below begin to tell the story, but having this model in front of you really brings home the incredibly high standard that mass produced ready to run models has achieved.
Each car comes packed in what is now the "normal" Bachmann box enclosed in an outer box so that both cars are visible through the windows. 31-375 represents unit 5764 in BR blue. This was a Slade Green allocated unit, so can happily be run alongside Bachmann's late green and blue & grey 4Cep units. Once their MLV is available, excepting a 2Hap/Sap/4Cap, that will sew up Kent electrification from the late 1950s to 1990s (4DD excepted)!
The one obvious fundamental error on this first release, as referred to above, is that whilst the car numbers are correct they are applied the wrong cars as they have the DMBSO as S77563 and the DTS S65378. Motor cars should be in the S6nnnn series and trailers S7nnnn. Otherwise nothing stands out as erroneous and as Bachmann had access to the EPB Preservation Group's 2EPB at Shepherdswell, we'd hope everything is as spot-on as scaling down will allow.
The DMBSO contains the motor bogie. As with their 4Cep models there is a sturdy can motor in the body driving the bogie under the cab. This permits driving cab detail. The majority of the motor is hidden in the brake van but it also protrudes as far as the second passenger door, i.e. takes up the first three rows of seats. The DMBSO interior is correctly divided into two open saloons. The luggage racks are not represented. The DTS correctly has an open saloon behind the cab and five compartments, again luggage racks are not represented. No smoking accommodation is as per Appendix to Carriage Working Notice diagrams of the period. The headcode panel on the DMSO has a double white blank, on the DTS there is a double red. Alternative headcodes are not supplied and the installed headcodes cannot be readily changed. The cab front of the DMSO displays an inverted black triangle - note contrary to popular belief this does **not** signify "brake van this end" but correctly means "no brake van other end" (i.e. units with brake vans at each end did not display the inverted triangle).
As with their 4Cep model this unit only requires one DCC decoder and the same sort of conducting drawbar is supplied (with one spare). Putting together only two cars is much easier than four! A 21 pin DCC socket is installed and the DMBSO body needs removing to install a decoder. The instructions are commendably comprehensive about how to remove the bodies, but you do not need to read between the lines to realise care needs taking to avoid damaging fine detail, particularly the footboards along the side. The headcode boxes and car interiors are illuminated. Using DCC these can be switched separately. As befits the drive, this model is a smooth runner.
Blue liveried versions of Class 416 EPB (31-375)
It has come to light that the numbers on the Blue EPB model (31-375) have been incorrectly numbered with the running numbers transposed between the two vehicles. Bachmann Europe Plc is arranging for replacement bodies to be produced by the factory so that they can be changed over by those who wish to do so. Please note that these will take some weeks to produce and ship to us. In the meantime please retain your dealer receipt (or proof of purchase) so that replacement bodies can be obtained from us free of charge. We regret that we cannot provide these without proof of purchase.
The error was made here in the UK and not as hinted by our factory in China. Despite a rigorous checking procedure that is in place for all our artwork this one slipped the net and we can only apologise.
Customers should note that no other Class 416 2EPB models are so affected. The running numbers are the correct ones for each vehicle type on the green (31-376) and blue/grey (31-377) versions. Likewise commissioned models are not affected either.
Graham Hubbard, Managing Director of Bachmann Europe Plc said today "we can only apologise for this error which was purely human. We appreciate the disappointment but we have reacted quickly to put replacements in hand following all the emails and comments we have received since it was discovered on Thursday. Whilst we have rigorous checking arrangements in place these will now be reviewed".
Public Relations Manager
Bachmann Europe plc
23rd May 2011
Well done and thanks to Bachmann for responding so quickly! Note, Bachmann would prefer not to be contacted about this until they publicise they have the alternative bodies available to issue. This could well be into the autumn.
Lord & Butler's limited edition late green with small yellow warning panels version (31-376Z) became available in greater numbers than Bachmann's standard early green version 31-376.
The latter model is of unit 5759, the 2EPB preserved by our friends, the EPB Preservation Group, at Shepherdswell. This model is of 5759 in its original, i.e. pre high intensity headlight incarnation, not as currently preserved. Whilst Bachmann EPB models are characterised by a very high quality paint application and graphics, unfortunately this model is somewhat let down by fuzzy edges to the small yellow warning panels which can still be seen from a normal viewing distance, plus the inverted triangle is slightly off-centre. Given it is specifically the small yellow warning panels that make this version a premium priced limited edition this is most unfortunate. Otherwise it is to the same high quality as the all blue version. This model displays headcode 2 (numeral on the left hand blind, right hand blind is a black blank) on the DMSO and has a double red blank on the DTSO. 5759 was at times a Wimbledon based unit and headcode 2 at the time of this unit's introduction was for Wimbledon - West Croydon and Victoria - London Bridge via the South London Line. Pictorial evidence of 5759 working Wimbledon - West Croydon on its first day in service can be found on the SEmG website.