Monday, 11 February 2013

Bachmann 2013 Thomas range - Overview

So I may as well give my two cents on Bachmann's 2013 Thomas announcements. Not going to set out to be bias but I'll be as honest as I can.

HO scale:

The revamped Christmas set does look nicer than the previous one. I was never a fan of the original as Emily's coach seemed a bit strange to me. One thing I do not get is why they could not have modelled the tree akin to "Thomas and the missing Christmas Tree" where the tree is lying on a flatbed very similar to the one Bachmann had in the range.*

* - I'll explain later.

The idea of a Thomas model with factory fitted sound is nice, but I do wonder if it will actually sell. Why cough up more dollars for one model when you can buy one essentially the same for less? Interesting gamble from Bachmann but I do hold doubts over it.

Arry and Bert. Not much more to be said other than this one was obvious. By producing the parts for Diesel, it was obvious we'd see a few more pumped out. I'm happy for these two, namely as I've wanted to have models of them for a while. Big question here is will they have CGI faces or model era faces?

(For those of you wanting Oliver, I personally don't think you'll be seeing him now. From now on I can see characters with more appearances being made, such as Rosie, Whiff etc)

Troublesome Truck four is one to look out for. With no image to work from, I shall merely leave it like that and pray it's one of the classic era trucks/faces.

Jeremy is... interesting. Unless he's going to come back in Season 17 I doubt he'll actually sell. I can't even recall him in the show bar one special and one episode. Why not manufacture a more prominent road vehicle? You have the likes of Bulgy, Trevor, Elizabeth  Caroline and now even Butch and Flynn in the series who are far more suitable. Individually, I cannot see this one selling.

Large scale:

Toby. Not the character I was expecting but a good one regardless. If Emily is anything to go by Toby should be a very nice model to have in the range. Yes there is no sign of Henrietta but you all do remember when Emily's coaches were introduced into the range during the summer with no previous announcement? ;)

The rolling stock is nice. Would have been nicer to get a box van or similar but I won't complain. These two should give more variety to the range.

Back to HO scale, I mentioned Bachmann did make a flatcar. This is one product that has been discontinued, alongside the salt wagon and Gordon's coaches. Don't panic over these. Many retailers will still stock them until they run out. Perhaps these items just didn't sell too well to begin with? It's not something to worry about given they have all been part of the range for a good few years now.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Braking it down

Having taken delivery of the entire Tomix range of Thomas The Tank Engine models, I have been planning a small micro layout to use them on. My main gripe with the range is how limited it is, with no more than 4 types of wagon. To rectify this, I have been drawing up some designs that will be used to make models for this layout.

Click image for full view!

As you can see, rough work yet but this will be a reality very soon!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Red Coaches - Brake Coach

Well, time to kick into 2013 with an update on my Red Coaches project, as seen here and here. The problem I had was that whilst the composites were easy enough to sort, the brake ends would require designing from scratch and as such were a pain in the backside. I decided to put them on the back burner until I sorted the problem out.

Eventually I got in contact with a guy who does 3D printing as a business, and managed to get a model knocked up. For now, the whole brake end will be a solid model with the windows merely painted in, but I hope to rework this at some point to have fully glazed windows like the coaches in the show. Trial print came through and certainly looks the part attached to the coach.

Still got to apply a coat of primer and eventually paint the model yet, but overall I'm quite pleased with how this little project is almost done with. The imminent release of Bachmann's Duck is also going to help, as I should have them completed by then giving him a smart rake of coaches.

For anyone interested, I do not intend to sell these parts on. I'm quite happy with having unique models that I can truly say are bespoke to my layout, and are as close as I can possibly get them to Ready to Run standards. It's going to be just my luck if Bachmann announce some for their 2013 range now!