With both Hornby (OO/HO) and Lionel (O) making models of the character, let's see how well Bachmann compares to both, and if it beats them as a model of a character.
Diesel comes fresh from Bachmann in the commonplace blister packaging, which is clearly designed to show off as much as the model without having to open it up. Whilst this is good for selling the model, storing it in said packaging can be a pain, but cutting it open carefully will leave you with the plastic inserts which the model will fit straight back in to.
Out of the box, the first thing many fans will notice about Diesel is his face. Rather than the classic model-based face, he comes with a modern CGI face which represents him as seen on the show in more recent years. Some may say this detracts from the model, yet I feel it's something that can be looked over. As with the rest of the range, the eyes do move left to right and back again.
Upon running the model, you'll realise how the weight of model, much more than earlier Bachmann models, helps with both haulage and adhesion. Given how much room is available in the body, it makes sense to pack as much weight as possible in. The chassis also features proper outside frames, which Hornby opted out of and Lionel moulded on, in order to be as accurate as possible to the prototype.
Separately molded parts on Diesel include the coupling hooks, buffers, ladders and face. All of the parts on my review example appear to be crisp and clear, with no sign of flash or damage. A rather nice feature is that Bachmann seem to be shrinking the size of the hook, seen on the bufferbeam, down to a more prototypical size when compared to the earlier items in the range. Not quite scale size, but better than before.
Overall, it's a nice model of either Diesel or a generic class 08/09 shunter. Featuring outside frames, moving eyes and detailed parts, it's clear to see that this model puts both Hornby and Lionel models to shame, which was to be expected. With the arrival of Diesel however, it's quite well thought out to guess that two of Sodor's twins, namely Ironworks shunters "'Arry" & "Bert", could be arriving soon.
So, do you buy Diesel? My advice is yes. It's a good all-around model and the flaws on said model can easily be overlooked.