Suggestions for the Thomas Resin Building Range

Started by TerencetheTractor525, March 24, 2018, 12:43:49 AM

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At last, here is my final in-depth post on what I think that Bachmann should really consider for the 2019 announcements: resin buildings. I was originally going to put this in the existing 2019 predictions thread, but after seeing that this topic needs much more attention, I decided to post it in a separate thread.

I'll start with stating a brief history on the resin buildings in the Thomas range. Back in January 2014, Bachmann announced that they were going to be starting a range of resin buildings for the Thomas range. Many fans were ecstatic because it was something that was completely out of the norm and added a new dimension off charm to the range. The 2014 line-up was impressive as it consisted of four highly detailed buildings that each had a unique look and function. Two of the four buildings (Signal Box and Black Loch Folly) were even based off buildings from the model series, which made fans even more excited. Then, in 2015 Bachmann surprised fans again with four other buildings that were, once again, extremely detailed and presented a special look. However, ever since 2015, Bachmann has not announced any new buildings for the Thomas line, which left many fans underwhelmed as there are still many other extraordinary buildings that could glorify the range of resin buildings even more.

So, what are some of the ideas that fans have thought about?

Narrow Gauge Double Engine Shed:

There is absolutely no doubt that the best option for a new resin building would be a narrow gauge engine shed. For years, fans have stated that they would like to see a narrow gauge engine shed so that the narrow gauge locomotives such as Skarloey and Rheneas could be properly stored. Specifically, many fans have stated that they would like to see the stone version from seasons 4-5 (as shown in the pic); however, I believe that any narrow gauge engine shed would be completely acceptable, and be a hot seller in the long run. I would honestly go as far as stating that it would be rather silly if Bachmann pushed this one to the side.

Neptune Refreshments:

Neptune Refreshments is my personal favorite. I know that it is along the lines of wishful thinking. However, considering that Bachmann announced the blue narrow gauge carriages from the model series this year, even after the amount of doubts that many of us had, Neptune Refreshments may be a feasible option. It is an iconic and charming building that played a major role a fan-favorite episode of all time: Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady. It is also a town building, which is unlike any of the other buildings that are currently in the range.

The Ruined Castle:

The Ruined Castle is another significant landmark from the Skarloey Railway that I think has a relatively good chance in getting made. I know that some people have stated that they would prefer to see the season 4 version as shown above.

However, I believe that the season 7 version may be the more practical option since it would go wonderfully with the Black Loch Folly. I would personally not mind either version though.

Stone Watermill:

A watermill would certainly add some contrast to the resin building range in terms of functionality. The narrow gauge one would especially be a great option since it is a smaller watermill that would not be too expensive to make. And ultimately, it is a structure that all avid Thomas fans will remember.

Signal Box Gantry:

The Signal Box Gantry is another iconic building that has been seen numerous times throughout the Thomas television series. It would look great with the Bachmann Knapford Station, and I certainly agree with others who have stated that the four track version is the one that Bachmann should go for.

Shunting Yard Shed:

When considering the amount of locomotives there are in the Bachmann Thomas range, there can never be too many engine sheds. The great thing about this engine shed is that it could store two engines, and it would look wonderful next to the existing engine shed that was announced in 2015. Moreover, it was seen in many locations on Sodor such as Knapford Station, and the Quarry.

Retaining Walls:

The retaining walls may be a little bit of a peculiar idea to some people. However, I could see these having a good shot because they have been seen constantly throughout the Thomas television series. From Tidmouth Yard, to the mainline, to stations, to dockyards these walls have been present. It would be interesting to see Bachmann tackle these.

Ffarquhar Station:

Ffarquhar Station is one of the most recognizable stations on Sodor, and would surely be a good option for Bachmann to make, considering that many people have requested it. The fact that it was showcased in the original Thomas opening from Seasons 1-7, and that it returned to the CGI Series certainly explains it popularity. However, the station is very similar in size and functionality to Maithwaite Station. Consequently, this one issue leads me to the final resin building suggestion that I would like to mention..

Callan Station:

Many of you are probably very surprised that I listed this one. Yet, when thinking about it, if Bachmann wanted to make another standard gauge station that was unlike Knapford and Maithwaite, then Callan Station would be the way to go. Starting with the station building, its short (in terms of length), but tall (in terms of height) design makes it very different from the rest of the stations. It's also a station with a footbridge, which neither Knapford Station or Maithwaite Station had. Plus, the footbridge is red, which would add more color diversity, and it supplies a clearance for four tracks. Additionally, I could see Bachmann making the station in the way that Hornby has made their Great Waterton Station, which would be to market the station building, platforms, and footbridge separately. On top of that, let's remember that many of Bachmann's bestsellers such as Duck, Oliver, Toad, and S.C. Ruffey have experienced some of their most memorable moments at Callan Station such as in "Toad Stands By", and that there are railway series modellers who may purchase the station building, since the Callan station building of the television series is what the Arlesburgh station building was in the railway series. Surely, Callan Station would be a stretch for Bachmann, even more than Neptune Refreshments. Nevertheless, it is one of a kind, and would be another way to sincerely "wow" fans.

Overall, the resin building range certainly needs more attention, as it added a new dimension of charm to the Bachmann Thomas range by making it look much more like a model train range than a toy range. After all, the quality of these buildings is genuinely remarkable.

Now, here are some questions for fans:

Would you buy any of these resin buildings? If so, which ones?
Do you have any other ideas for the resin building range? If so, what?

I look forward to seeing what you guys have to share :).
Dreaming of a Bachmann Stepney.


I definitely think that Bachmann should really look into adding more additions to their resin building lineup.  Especially when there is clearly a demand for them and the quality of these products is arguably some of Bachmann's best work besides their narrow gauge products.  If they announced new resin buildings this year, it would in no doubt give Bachmann a much more positive response to the announcements instead of mixed/negative views from this year's lineup. 

Personally, if it came down to it, I would love to see some additions that appeared exclusively on the narrow gauge railway like the sheds or even the castle since I don't have a OO9 layout setup at home yet, and having more buildings to work with would be preferable.  The ones I think personally that should take priority are Ffarquhar station, and if they use the model era design of Ffarquhar like in the case of Glennock for the Trackside station, I think the sales would undoubtedly be strong.

Any other ones I'd like to see personally would be Toby's shed, since it's such a small and simple design for Bachmann to work with, as well as the carriage shed which would look ideal in yards on layouts.  Plus if Bachmann were to ever pull off Daisy, it would work on their behalf as it would be a nice callback to her season 2 episodes. 
Modeler of HO/OO, OO9 and N scale.  Hoping for N scale Henry, Edward and Duck.


These are all very interesting choices. One thing I was wanting to bring up in the future was the importance of whether buildings need to be resin or plastic. Resin buildings do look much better and much more accurate, but they are also more expensive to make and sell. I think if the smaller accessories like the water tower were made of plastic, it would be fine, but I feel like bigger buildings like stations, sheds, and warehouses come out looking better visually when they're made with resin.

It's a shame that it seems Bachmann has narrowed down on resin buildings, but I would still like to see a few more made. It makes me wonder if the initial resin buildings didn't sell well, hence the lack of a third round.

We definitely could use a narrow gauge shed. I'd agree that any narrow gauge shed would be acceptable, but my personal preference would be the ones from Season 4:

I'll echo the ruined castle as well. Those are a classic icon of Thomas imagery, and representation in the range would be highly welcome. While there are many ruined castles you can buy from any store, the Thomas ones always had a unique design that resonated with my mind.

Retaining Wall:
I like the idea of a retaining wall; I think if they wanted to go for something that has a distinctly "Thomas" design, they should make the retaining walls seen throughout the early seasons:

The show practically already designed the product here! You can see where it cuts off after 4 arches. Customers could thus be allowed to decide how many segments they want their wall to extend by buying more segments as they wish. I also always liked how this particular wall segment had a roof-like piece to it, making it even taller, and adding to that uniquely Thomas "look." (most likely to hide parts of the sets back then).

Ffarquhuar Station also seems like a no-brainer. It's the most iconic station in the show next to Knapford, having been on the introduction seen on nearly every VHS and many DVDs.

I'm more surprised you didn't mention Dryaw Station instead of Callan Station; Dryaw would have a higher chance, since it has appeared in CGI in many episodes lately. Bachmann also already made the Nissen shed, as well as Harold who would go nicely next to Dryaw. This would also give Bachmann a chance to make a footbridge and additional platforms, in a similar vein that Hornby did their own Dryaw. The Round water tower is also at the back of Dryaw, so it'd be yet another item already in the Thomas range that could tie it all together.

The Signal Gantry:
I've made many posts before about the Signal Gantry, and I'd agree it belongs in the range as well. I wrote about it in greater detail in a previous post:

Quote from: Sparks on October 21, 2017, 02:35:13 AM
I would like to see the Signal Gantry Junction personally:

In CGI, it has a four track and a three track variation. The difference is how many arches/poles it has:

Both versions appear in various scenes up to Season 21. Personally, I prefer the four track variation, where it only has two passage ways (as per the model picture), as it has been around in that form since the Classic Series. The 3 passage way version was introduced in Season 17.

I think overall... A narrow gauge shed, a ruined castle, Ffarquhaur or Dryaw, and a signal gantry ties in to a nice 4-6 or so products to focus on for a future year. That's where I'll stop for now, until I get more ideas.


Thanks for the responses guys.

Chaz, I definitely concur with the idea of narrow gauge exclusive buildings. Perhaps a narrow gauge water tower would be an another option. I also like the additional standard gauge shed ideas that you came up with. The carriage shed sounds especially intriguing. Are you referring to the one from Elsbridge Station?

Sparks, you certainly brought up an important point regarding resin v. plastic. Of course, I would prefer resin whenever possible, but I wouldn't mind plastic. Specifically, I actually wouldn't mind a plastic signal box gantry, considering the overall look of it.

I've thought about the overall popularity of the resin buildings too. It's sad to see that this branch of the Thomas range is not as popular as the other branches, given the amount of people who have not shared any thoughts on the resin buildings on the forum in the past. Nevertheless, it's a branch of the range that needs more attention, which is exactly why I started this thread.

Regarding stations, I did think about Dryaw Station at first. However, what got me to mention Callan over Dryaw were a few visual factors. The first thing is that the footbridge to Dryaw Station has a relatively common look, as it is a green footbridge that provides the clearance for two tracks. Many footbridges out in the market already have this look and function. On the other hand, Callan's footbridge is red and provides the clearance for four tracks, making it one of a kind. The other reason why I chose Callan is due to its size. It's not too small or too big, which means that any train could stop at the station. Even though it was not seen in the CGI Series (yet), the Thomas Wikia supplies plenty of pics that could come in handy if Bachmann wanted to make it. After all, I know that the people of Bachmann want to go for something different, which is why they created the Roadside USA Resin Buildings; and, Callan Station would do just that.

Thanks again for the responses guys. I really appreciate how you two are always on the ball with me. I sincerely hope that other people will contribute to this thread as well.
Dreaming of a Bachmann Stepney.


The downside with the track width for Callans footbridge is the same issue that will plague if and how they design the Signal Gantry: Bachmann tends to make track width based accessories (see: Tidmouth Sheds and Knapford Station) with EZ Track in mind, rather than normal OO gauge track. I personally feel this has led to the products to look not as accurate as they could be, but from a marketing sense, it's understandable why they make the buildings being sold in America be catered to the EZ track system being sold by Bachmann in the same market.


That's definitely true. If the track system really is a problem to the point where making a footbridge that supplies the clearance for four tracks is not possible, I would be okay with that. It certainly seems that Ffarquhar and Dryaw would be more practical options anyway, and I honestly would not mind seeing either one in the range. It would interesting to see which era Bachmann would base their Dryaw Station off, since the look of the station has changed throughout the television series.

As for the signal box gantry, hopefully Bachmann would be able to present it as a gantry that is meant to go right in front of Knapford Station that would showcase two tracks leading out of Knapford Station and underneath the gantry (utilizing one track in between two poles), however, still keeping just enough space in between the poles for two tracks (considering that the Knapford platform is wider than the poles), which would allow the clearance for a total a four tracks, as shown in the television series.
Dreaming of a Bachmann Stepney.


I imagine Dryaw would be based off the CGI render, as that would be the most clear reference material Mattel could provide to Bachmann. General rule of thumb is "If it has a CGI render, Bachmann (and any toy company making any Thomas product) will use it as a reference." (Skarloey and Rheneas are kind of odd cases, in that regard, where their CGI design and real-life counterpart are so close that using the real-life locomotives for reference didn't matter to Mattel)


I would agree with you there. However, the Signal Box, Corrugated Hut, and Trackside Station (Glennock Station), were all buildings that appeared in the CGI Series, yet Bachmann based them off the model series.
Dreaming of a Bachmann Stepney.


I thought about that, and the reason for that might be because those products were released in Summer 2015, which is a very short gap after they appeared in CGI, which was Fall 2014. It's possible they were already being designed by the time the CGI versions were created for the show.

The signal box Bachmann made, interestingly, has never appeared in CGI at all.

For Maithwaite and Brendam Warehouse (as they were both made long after their CGI versions were created), it's hard for me to tell, but I don't have as keen of an eye for the building props.


That probably explains it! Hopefully, the same fate will happen with Stepney  ;).


If Bachmann does make Dryaw Station, it would be intriguing to see it in CGI form. With the corrugated hut added into the picuture, Dryaw Station would look very much like the season 3 version considering that the Dryaw station building from the CGI series looks like the one from season 3 as well.
Dreaming of a Bachmann Stepney.

Griffin (TheBlueSnowplow)

I have some pretty extreme beliefs when it comes to the Bachmann Thomas and Friends range, and the resin buildings are no exception. That being said, let's dive in.

First off, I think it's really strange that no new resin buildings have been announced since 2015. They are obviously extremely high detail and quality, and I own (and still make use of!) several of them even though I don't collect Bachmann Thomas anymore. I think it would be really interesting to find the statistics on how well they sold. Anyone know where I could find that?

Sadly, my guess is that the resin line was a bust, and that's why we haven't seen a continuation of the range. When you think about it, a product like the narrow gauge line was so successful because it filled a need that both Thomas fans and 009 modellers had and one that couldn't easily be replicated (No, the Bandai Skarloey engines with N scale chassis don't count); the resin buildings don't accomplish this same objective. There are plenty of other buildings and structures that Bachmann Thomas users can use from all other ranges including Trackmaster, Take n Play, etc. for their Thomas layouts. I mean, if you were modelling Ffarquhar Station, would you really pay a premium for a resin model when you can get a cheap TOMY alternative off eBay that serves an almost identical same purpose? Your answer might be "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks Yes I Would!" but a casual buyer probably wouldn't agree. Another factor I speculate had to do with the (assumed) low sales and therefore stunted growth of the resin line is the aspect that it took Bachmann so long to start the line in the first place. Bachmann Thomas modellers and fans attempting to replicate the Island of Sodor have had to find alternatives for structures since the beginning of the range, and beacuse of this the number of people who would buy a resin structure over another, cheaper alternative continues to diminish with each year that Bachmann fails to grow the range.

However, obviously the current buildings are still in stock and selling, so perhaps there is another factor at play. If you know what that could be, I'd be glad to hear. It's a very curious situation to me. We all know that, with the exception of perhaps Tidmouth Sheds and obviously the resin range, Bachmann hasn't had a particularly good track record with producing quality Thomas and Friends locations (Knapford Station, we're all looking at you, buddy.)

With all that being said, here are my wishes for what I'd like to see in the line. I'm going to post in-depth thoughts later, but for now here is just the list itself.

1. Tidmouth Halt

I think the biggest factor this one has going for it is the color diversity and size. Plus, it could be advertised as being an accessory to the lighthouse that came out a few years ago. A cute little station that would be a welcomed addition.

2. Sodor Shipping Company

To me, this one is a no-brainer. Following the Brendam warehouse, this seems such a logical choice for anyone attempting to build a Brendam Docks set, and the only thing that could be a deterrent for Bachmann would be the size. Other than that, though, it seems like an awesome. Added to the fact that there's really nothing like it on the market right now.

3. Middle Station

See: Trackside Station. Another simple narrow gauge location that could double as a background station. Not much to say about this one except it seems fairly simple and cheap to produce and would be welcomed by many.

4. Sodor Manor

(building in the background, on the right)

I compare this to the Corrugated Hut, in the vein that it is super generic and could really be put anywhere. Plus, the fact that it would be so generic means it might be attractive to 00 modellers looking for scale buildings. I also think it doubled as the house in Oliver's Find, but don't quote me on that.

5. Dieselworks Shed

(on the left)

Similar to the Sodor Shipping Co. building, the size might be a deterrent, but the influx of diesel engines being produced by Bachmann makes this one seem like a likely choice, if not the sheds specifically then maybe a Dieselworks Oil Derrek? I don't know what they might choose for sure, but I feel like the probability of getting a resin building labeled with the Dieselworks logo is highly probable.
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I would get a Dryaw station if Bachmann made one. A reason for Harold being back in his original location, talking to Percy.

I would buy several buildings for the narrow gauge railroad. If they were appropriate in size and shape.
"...but I don't go to the movies much. If you've seen one you've seen them all."
-Kathy Selden


I think I have one building for you all.

Bluff's Cove

If we got a a station on Duck's Branch Line I think of this

Just like Maithwaite, it didn't have an official location for a while. Maithwaite was around since S5 and Bluff's Cove made its debut in S9. However, it wasn't until 2014 that they were given their grounded areas. Maithwaite was confrimed to be on Thomas' Branch Line, while Bluff's Cove is on Duck's Branch Line.

While it is much simpler compared to many other stations on Duck's Branch Line, I think this would the most logical.

There's Arlesbrugh West, but that's a different story.



It would be simple and efficient to make, but I'm unsure if it would be popular. It's not a location I've heard many people rooting for.


To be fair, every resin building that has been introduced so far has been pretty random and has never really had a huge demand before their announcement, so I wouldn't rule out Bluff's cove entirely.  Even the second wave of resin buildings didn't follow any requests after the resin line was announced.  Even some of the buildings were exclusive to the model era so there's easily a variety they could go for too.
Modeler of HO/OO, OO9 and N scale.  Hoping for N scale Henry, Edward and Duck.