ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
May 21, 2019, 07:32:06 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Check out the photo gallery link above or >click here< to see photos of recently announced products!
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  Thomas & Friends
| | |-+  Dear Bachmann: Brake Van!
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8 Print
Author Topic: Dear Bachmann: Brake Van!  (Read 50469 times)
Cheeky_ULP


View Profile
« on: May 03, 2009, 06:13:25 PM »

It's been brought to my attention that the original three engines in the Bachmann Thomas range have a large number of faults. This only includes Thomas, Percy, and James, the most bought, but also most criticized engines in the range. Now, it's time to get down to the facts and show why.

The basic introduction to this is, I love the Bachmann range, and all my newer engines like Edward, Henry, etc. have proved to have decent length lives so far, and run a lot smoother than my Bachmann Thomas, and the James I ran often at the club. It's rather disappointing to have these facts being the downfall of the range. Now how about we go and see what each problem is?

Thomas the Tank Engine
(image from unknown source)
The image above is from Thomas and Gordon, and shows a fine view of Thomas' small drive wheels with plenty of space between them, unlike James'.

(image from unknown shopping site)

Now here's the Bachmann Thomas. Lets point out the errors.
- Not a very smooth runner
- His stripes on his boiler mold out for some reason, rather than perfect lines around it.
- There's a lack of front coupler.
- Bit large drive wheels
- The space between his splasher and tank is absent.
- Thomas also has an unusual face, cheesy grin face that represents nothing in the show.


Now, how can Thomas be improved?
- First off, lets start with his paint job. Thomas oddly of all engines, has paint that wears the easiest. This should be addressed to, as well as his boiler stripe issue.
- A nice addition would giving Thomas an open cab. Not quite necessary, but just a good addition.
- Give Thomas better hauling power, and some weight!
- Front coupler; Tomix, removed part of his front, and put the coupler there. It's highly likely Bachmann would have to do the same here.
Photo reference (lost source):

- The space by his splasher; it could be adding a small bit of space, which I noticed none of the chassis actually occupies the area. Or, for a similar result, a Japanese Thomas modeler got a great result painting the space black (from Adult Thomas):

- Lastly, the face and chassis/wheel appearance. Thomas has some decent faces, but I think the best faces are those put below. They're not "Overly insane" happy, but really just the kind of face Thomas would have on a normal day, especially at a Model Train Convention! The top three images show faces, all from the episode "No Joke For James," while the drive wheels reference is from "Thomas Gets Bumped," and the general Thomas is from "Thomas and the Rumors."



Percy the Small Engine:
(image directly from "Thomas, Percy, and the Post Train")

Here we see Percy, tired from working the Mail Train. Looks like a really useful engine!

(image from Adult Thomas)

Now here's the Bachmann Percy, quick examination and he doesn't look very much like he does on television, now does he? Luckily, Bachmann Percy is the most stand able among the three engines. His chassis could use some more power though. Lets point out his errors.
- Like Thomas, has that boiler stripe problem
- Also like Thomas, he lacks a front coupler. This problem was corrected on the Bachmann Juniors retooling of Percy, but this is sold in the United Kingdom.
- For some odd reason, Percy is clearly marked with a manufacturing mark on the middle of his body on all of the produced models!
- Another face that has no real TV series counterpart.
- The side rods have an unusual addition of half a loop.
- Percy is a bit "out of gauge," as when running him by my platforms, his steps for his crew seem to stick out too much!


Now, how can Percy be improved?
- Give Percy more hauling power, and a lot of weight!
- Like Thomas, an open cab would be a nice addition, but not necessarily something we despise as modeler customers.
- Remove that odd loop on the chassis, to give a better appearance.
- Smoothing out and remove the manufacturing mark on his top.
- Give Percy a smaller cab step
- Percy could due with a face we all recognize. He always has a chipper, cute happy smile on his face, and lesser known for a big cheesy grin. Here's some examples from "Thomas, Percy, and the Post Train," "Thomas, Percy, and the Chinese Dragon," and "Woolly Bear."



James The Red Engine:
(thank you Chris of Sodor Island Forum for finding the image)

And lets bring out the worst for last, James. By far the second most popular engine in the entire series, the image above is a great reference for James.

(from unknown shopping site)

Now here's the Bachmann James. Looks like a decent enough model, eh? Not really. This model frustrated me to wits end, and was thus ULTIMATELY DESTROYED in attempt to fix and open it! I was not a happy camper that day.
- James has black wheels, but the model presents both his wheels, and tender and tender wheels with the color grey.
- James is often complained as the worst runner amongst the three engines, and I understand why!
- There is no front coupler on the bogie.
- The face is the usual grin, but shows major error.
- James' smoke box is not painted all the way down. This is right by his face, where a large blank space of red is.
- James' cab is ENTIRELY closed, and nearly impossible to access. All the other Bachmann engines have a cab that's open now, and you can easily put a little HO scale human in it for fun, but James has the hideous cab that hints further of being a toy, not a model.


Now, how can James be improved?
- Lets FIRST of all, paint all his grey wheels and tender into his splendid black shade.
- Next, very importantly, give him a much nicer open cab. I've taken it off before, and even now it'd be partially possible.
- Give him some more weight, and hauling power; he's a mix traffic engine, so I would highly hope he could pull Edwards loads (around 20 wagons) and a bit more.
- Add a front coupler to James' front bogie.
- Repaint the spot on the smoke box
- Fix up his face. Hornby gave him that humongous grin we all recognize him with. Sure it's a nice grin to look at for a moment, but after awhile, we gotta admit that it gets creepy! Below are images from "No Joke for James." All of them are the same face, and show James with a general smile on his face, and looks much more casual. I strongly recommend this face!




Dear The Bachmann, Bachmann Industries, or anyone:

I stood to say these overhauls and changes to the range would do the business good, and from what I've seen in the Large Scale range, the paying of attention to quality is paying off. I still stand my ground that the HO range could do some revisions to meet with the wonderful quality Bachmann is bringing out in the Thomas range these days. Most of the Thomas merchandise lines do revise their products every so often (Wooden Railway and Hornby being prime examples), so why not Bachmann too? Bachmanns already has confirmed the possibility with the Oil tanker (which I personally welcome the change).

So, I'm up setting up suggestions for yet another piece from the Bachmann Thomas range, I give you...


The Brake Van... Mk II

Here is a typical brake van used in the television series, Thomas and Friends. They're usually dark brown, or gray, it varies.


Now, here's the Bachmann Brake Van for the Thomas range. Its rather bland and unappealing. Basic errors include:
- Personal nitpick: The body is just one big piece, rather than having the cab be a separate piece.
- The entire brake van is just white with a black chassis, and doesn't resemble brake vans in the show in terms of color.


So, what can be done?
Well, lately, most if not all of the Bachmann Rolling Stock is just repaints from the Bachmann Branchlines (aka the UK) freight cars. So how about digging up one and use it for the Bachmann Thomas range. Lets look...

- This is a 20 Ton British Railways brake van in Bachmanns range. For Television Series fans, this is a good candidate for the Brake van. It has the recognizable design that we see in the TV series all the time, and simply has a more realistic appearance than the Bachmann Thomas brake van at the moment.


Now, lets spice it up a bit!

Now whose this old fellow? It's the Spiteful Brake Van. Hey, if the Bachmann range would put in the M wagon of all rolling stock, I can see this guy getting a chance. But am I saying make a model of this old rival of engines? Not quite. My idea is for the Spiteful vans face be added to the brake van revision; basically, small touch that would bring out a personality to the new brake van.

It would be the ideal rolling stock to go with Bachmann Donald and Douglas, wouldn't you think?


Speaking of rolling stock...
Troublesome Trucks

The Bachmann Troublesome Truck #1 and Troublesome Truck #2 have been in the range for a long time. While I generally don't find a problem with them, I personally find one flaw in them: Their faces aren't completely accurate. This is quite a shame when compared to Troublesome Truck #3, who has an amazingly accurate classic face.

Perhaps a face revision is in order? It wouldn't take much effort, as the truck body and chassis itself are fine. One thing is for sure though, whatever face is picked...

...Using the CGI face would ignite some interesting discussion (to say the least), considering the response gained from the new Bachmann Diesels face.  The model era faces do have more expressive faces though.

In Conclusion, these are minor detail updates and rolling stock revisions that have been a curious thought of mine for awhile. These touches however, could very likely spark new interest in these products. I hope these suggestions are considered. Over and out.


Next time.. I'll go West!

I made this topic as a suggestion to Bachmann. Sure this is a lot of talk for such small changes, but talking with a lot of modelers I know has brought up these as rather annoying concerns, and disadvantages even with the competition with Hornby (a lot of people are willing to have items shipped from the US to the UK, and from the UK to the US nowadays with the increase of on line shopping). I think it's also time for them to receive their updates after nearly 10 years into the range.

I understand most plans go through HiT Entertainment first, and I hope they like these plans as much as I do, as will other members who will post in this topic.

All Images, Thomas and Friends, etc. are copyright (c) to HiT Entertainment, and respective photo shooters of the home models.
I own none of the images used, in which they are simply used for references.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 01:23:47 PM by Sparks » Logged
ThomasFan247


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 06:38:54 PM »

3 thumbs up!
Logged
jettrainfan

View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 08:05:28 PM »

Agree all the way! Grin some parts like the half circle on Percy being changed might save bachmann money! less parts = less building cost. Plus its what we want! Shocked So really doing things like that makes everyone happy Cheesy! Thanks for sharing Sparks! Cheesy
Logged

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZL7jR1cRb4             

This is how i got my name and i hope that you guys like it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jettrainfan?feature=mhw4
youtube account
The Chaz Storm
Guest
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 09:07:50 PM »

Sparks I love the enthusiasm and how much time you have made into making this thread possible.  The suggestions you have put on the three engines and the pointers you gave are very clear and understanding.  You have earned my respect on that one. Wink 

However regarding Thomas, there is one thing you have forgotten which I can understand why you forgot it since it was the same mistake Bachmann and Tomix both made and was not used in Season 4 onwards.  (Only in Season 1-3) and that was on the back of Thomas there are red stripes that form a square. 

That's just a suggestion I have but other then that I'm really happy with where this thread could possibly go in the future. Smiley


Logged
Cheeky_ULP


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 09:21:11 PM »

Hah!

Been so long since I've actually taken note to the back of Thomas, I forgot that smaller detail! Tongue

And cheers, I don't think I'll have much more to say about this thread, less it be detailed reasoning for future releases.

However, should I bother with Annie and Clarabel? Wink
Logged
The Chaz Storm
Guest
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 09:49:03 PM »

Well Annie and Clarabel I don't see having a change anytime soon since I don't see too many people complaining about them.  It's worth a shot though. Smiley 

However I did think of an idea regarding this right after I made this post, and I really hope you don't mind me thinking of this suggestion but would you be interested in making a nitpicks video regarding these three models (And Annie and Clarabel if you wish)?  Why I am asking is I think that the more people who see these errors the more discussion we will have and more importantly maybe a higher chance of newer editions of the three models being done. Wink 
Logged
Cheeky_ULP


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 09:59:59 PM »

It all depends on how I do it. I could narrate it, or put text over it, making all this information and critique into a video would require a lot of work.

And me buying a new camera. Tongue
Logged
The Chaz Storm
Guest
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 10:03:15 PM »

True it was just a suggestion I had, no worries. Tongue 

But yeah, I hope that all is well and like I said before newer editions of the three main engines would look really awesome for the range and I hope Bachmann thinks about our suggestions and thoughts because it really would make a difference for a lot us modelers out there. 
Logged
James The Red Engine
Guest
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 10:20:16 PM »

One thing I would like to point out with Percy is that he doesn't have a back gray hook.  All the others have them, but he doesn't.  I took one off of my old Gordon that I made into Henry MK1 and stuck on the back of Percy. Tongue
Logged
ThomasFan247


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2009, 05:55:05 PM »

It's been brought to my attention that the original three engines in the Bachmann Thomas range have a large number of faults. This only includes Thomas, Percy, and James, the most bought, but also most criticized engines in the range. Now, it's time to get down to the facts and show why.

The basic introduction to this is, I love the Bachmann range, and all my newer engines like Edward, Henry, etc. have proved to have decent length lives so far, and run a lot smoother than my Bachmann Thomas, and the James I ran often at the club. It's rather disappointing to have these facts being the downfall of the range. Now how about we go and see what each problem is?

Thomas the Tank Engine
(image from unknown source)
The image above is from Thomas and Gordon, and shows a fine view of Thomas' small drive wheels with plenty of space between them, unlike James'.

(image from unknown shopping site)

Now here's the Bachmann Thomas. Lets point out the errors.
- Not a very smooth runner
- His stripes on his boiler mold out for some reason, rather than perfect lines around it.
- There's a lack of front coupler.
- Bit large drive wheels
- The space between his splasher and tank is absent.
- Thomas also has an unusual face, cheesy grin face that represents nothing in the show.


Now, how can Thomas be improved?
- First off, lets start with his paint job. Thomas oddly of all engines, has paint that wears the easiest. This should be addressed to, as well as his boiler stripe issue.
- A nice addition would giving Thomas an open cab. Not quite necessary, but just a good addition.
- Give Thomas better hauling power, and some weight!
- Front coupler; Tomix, removed part of his front, and put the coupler there. It's highly likely Bachmann would have to do the same here.
Photo reference (lost source):

- The space by his splasher; it could be adding a small bit of space, which I noticed none of the chassis actually occupies the area. Or, for a similar result, a Japanese Thomas modeler got a great result painting the space black (from Adult Thomas):

- Lastly, the face and chassis/wheel appearance. Thomas has some decent faces, but I think the best faces are those put below. They're not "Overly insane" happy, but really just the kind of face Thomas would have on a normal day, especially at a Model Train Convention! The top three images show faces, all from the episode "No Joke For James," while the drive wheels reference is from "Thomas Gets Bumped," and the general Thomas is from "Thomas and the Rumors."



Percy the Small Engine:
(image directly from "Thomas, Percy, and the Post Train")

Here we see Percy, tired from working the Mail Train. Looks like a really useful engine!

(image from Adult Thomas)

Now here's the Bachmann Percy, quick examination and he doesn't look very much like he does on television, now does he? Luckily, Bachmann Percy is the most stand able among the three engines. His chassis could use some more power though. Lets point out his errors.
- Like Thomas, has that boiler stripe problem
- Also like Thomas, he lacks a front coupler. This problem was corrected on the Bachmann Juniors retooling of Percy, but this is sold in the United Kingdom.
- For some odd reason, Percy is clearly marked with a manufacturing mark on the middle of his body on all of the produced models!
- Another face that has no real TV series counterpart.
- The side rods have an unusual addition of half a loop.
- Percy is a bit "out of gauge," as when running him by my platforms, his steps for his crew seem to stick out too much!


Now, how can Percy be improved?
- Give Percy more hauling power, and a lot of weight!
- Like Thomas, an open cab would be a nice addition, but not necessarily something we despise as modeler customers.
- Remove that odd loop on the chassis, to give a better appearance.
- Smoothing out and remove the manufacturing mark on his top.
- Give Percy a smaller cab step
- Percy could due with a face we all recognize. He always has a chipper, cute happy smile on his face, and lesser known for a big cheesy grin. Here's some examples from "Thomas, Percy, and the Post Train," "Thomas, Percy, and the Chinese Dragon," and "Woolly Bear."



James The Red Engine:
(thank you Chris of Sodor Island Forum for finding the image)

And lets bring out the worst for last, James. By far the second most popular engine in the entire series, the image above is a great reference for James.

(from unknown shopping site)

Now here's the Bachmann James. Looks like a decent enough model, eh? Not really. This model frustrated me to wits end, and was thus ULTIMATELY DESTROYED in attempt to fix and open it! I was not a happy camper that day.
- James has black wheels, but the model presents both his wheels, and tender and tender wheels with the color grey.
- James is often complained as the worst runner amongst the three engines, and I understand why!
- There is no front coupler on the bogie.
- The face is the usual grin, but shows major error.
- James' smoke box is not painted all the way down. This is right by his face, where a large blank space of red is.
- James' cab is ENTIRELY closed, and nearly impossible to access. All the other Bachmann engines have a cab that's open now, and you can easily put a little HO scale human in it for fun, but James has the hideous cab that hints further of being a toy, not a model.


Now, how can James be improved?
- Lets FIRST of all, paint all his grey wheels and tender into his splendid black shade.
- Next, very importantly, give him a much nicer open cab. I've taken it off before, and even now it'd be partially possible.
- Give him some more weight, and hauling power; he's a mix traffic engine, so I would highly hope he could pull Edwards loads (around 20 wagons) and a bit more.
- Add a front coupler to James' front bogie.
- Repaint the spot on the smoke box
- Fix up his face. Hornby gave him that humongous grin we all recognize him with. Sure it's a nice grin to look at for a moment, but after awhile, we gotta admit that it gets creepy! Below are images from "No Joke for James." All of them are the same face, and show James with a general smile on his face, and looks much more casual. I strongly recommend this face!


I made this topic as a suggestion to Bachmann. Sure this is a lot of talk for such small changes, but talking with a lot of modelers I know has brought up these as rather annoying concerns, and disadvantages even with the competition with Hornby (a lot of people are willing to have items shipped from the US to the UK, and from the UK to the US nowadays with the increase of on line shopping). I think it's also time for them to receive their updates after nearly 10 years into the range.

I understand most plans go through HiT Entertainment first, and I hope they like these plans as much as I do, as will other members who will post in this topic.

All Images, Thomas and Friends, etc. are copyright (c) to HiT Entertainment, and respective photo shooters of the home models.
I own none of the images used, in which they are simply used for references.
One detail I'd like to mention for all of them is (and this counts for Gordon, Henry, and Toby as well) that the British couplers should be black, not gray. Also for Annie and Clarabel I'd like to see a black running board, red buffer beams, and black British couplers.  Wink
Logged
Cheeky_ULP


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2009, 06:22:36 PM »

I didn't really count those, as many members have proved that repainting them is about a 5 minute job. Same with the hand rails; not much of a point making them actual rails, since these are for kids to hold easy (but we like our better detail too!). Tongue
Most mistakes I mentioned are large errors, and would require a lot of time on our part.

Annie and Clarabel, you said just what was needed to be said, but since that's all there really is to say, I didn't bother. Good noting though.  Wink
Logged
Santa Fe buff

N&W


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2009, 08:15:52 PM »

Way to stick it to the Bach-Man! Seriously though, Bachmann should consider some of these updates and modifications thus adding detail and more realism to the television series it models. Sure, all these are great suggestions, and any one done would be a big step to achieving more realism... I'm not stating anything for sure or anything, but let's the Bach-man tell us his input... Good or bad.

You make good suggestions, Sparks.

Oh, ThomasFan247,
I like your new picture for your studio thing. It looks a bit more "at home" with the Thomas model and the forums general theme of light/regular blue.

Joshua
Logged

- Joshua Bauer
SmokeyNSteamer

View Profile
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2009, 03:39:02 PM »

And BTW, the "odd loop" (as you call it) on Percy's chassis is actually called the "crosshead guide yoke."  But yes, the TV series Percy has an inside yoke while the Bachmann model has an outside yoke.
Logged
goldwing

I am this guy, and That guy.


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2009, 04:22:08 PM »

Hay, long time no post.

Well wanted to point out about one thing for the james, thomas, and percy moldels. One thing (for all actaully) is that the eyes paint scratches off easly, thus having an odd thomas moldel, why my broken percy has now one painted eye and one made w/ a sharpy. I say the should put a plastic coating over it to prevent that. Another thing was that front couplers are a great idea seeing that even little kids want to pull the trains backwards, the all would need a front coupler. But also they should work on the troublesome trucks. For one they are black int the series, but bachmanns are a plastic gray, and then the wheels are too big, and not show acurate, pluse the wheels have some kind of "steps" in the sides. And even Tobys face isn't TV accurate. I just hope they don't go for the CGI immage faces instead, that wouldn't be good Sad. Aw well lets just wait and see what will happen.
Logged

Ok, so I return after 3 years, and guess what, I have no railways. FAIL
razgriz233


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2009, 10:00:08 PM »

i agree, i think its time to fix the models
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!