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1  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2021 on: July 21, 2020, 01:19:03 PM
I think the season 4 Topham Circus rolling stock would be an excellent idea. The older fans will buy them because it's from a particularly beloved classic season, and newer fans will buy them because they have bright colorful decoration. Plus, who doesn't love circus trains?

This was also a bit of a small idea I thought of, but I think Bachmann would do well to make name boards available for its roster of Thomas characters. Really, the only product line I've seen that did the classic name boards in merchandise was the Departing Now line from Japan in the early 90's, so this could be a potential gold mine.

Considering some people buy the Bachmann models as collector items to display on shelves instead of operating them, what would make a better display than having all the characters with their matching name boards to answer to a casual visitor who each character is? I don't think they'd be too expensive to make in plastic, or would be priced high for a bag of maybe 8 or 10 each. Plus, in addition to having the names of all the existing characters in the line, they could even have a way to for collectors to customize the text on them for other characters if the buyer wants to.

The only real problem I see is them becoming a small hazard for younger children who put anything in their mouths without thinking, but considering the parents are usually the ones buying these inexpensive products (plus given the age restrictions on Bachmann Thomas items anyways) I don't think it's the biggest worry.
2  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2021 on: July 19, 2020, 11:08:27 PM
Short answers: Yes, I'd buy Stepney for sure, since there's no way I'd be able to purchase the Hornby version without selling an arm and a leg. Same with Sir Handel in 009.

If we're going to talk about repaints of other characters, the only ones I'd be interested in would be Railway Series blue painted Donald and Douglas. I am one of those who prefer the twins in the all black schemes, but I know that many Railway Series purists would love blue Donald and Douglas since pretty much in all the books after The Twin Engines Donald and Douglas are painted blue. That is almost 50 years in terms of the books where Donald and Douglas are blue, so it's not just a one off thing like busy-bee James. I know the books and the show are two different things, but it would be a nice variation nonetheless.

Though, I personally wouldn't mind a Scrap Oliver and Toad from Escape, or a red undercoat Henry from Henry Sees Red (which might be better received than a Tickled Pink James). Long shot, I know, but a fan can dream.

3  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann's 2020 Product Announcement on: July 19, 2020, 05:14:02 PM
Yes, I'm disappointed in the end result this year, but with everything else that's going on right now in the world, a somewhat underwhelming announcement is kind of low on the totem pole of things to worry about.

I'm still happy that black origins James is being made. He makes a good companion piece for the LBSC Thomas, and makes a lot more sense than the weird busy-bee James for this year.

I think I'm more disappointed not with the actual line, but how it was sort of hyped up a lot prior on social media. Yet at the same time, this seems to be a recurring pattern where the announcements after some really BIG new items (in last year's case Daisy and Peter Sam) are largely underwhelming. It was pretty much the same when Oliver and the first release of the Skarloey engines were announced, so it's not entirely surprising.

Yes, it is the 75th anniversary, and yes, even with the COVID situation going on, an announcement for a brand new product could still have been done and we would've accepted it would've taken a much longer time for that brand new product being produced.

Overall, given how much of a turbulent storm this year has been, it makes me more hopeful next year (in general) will be more of a pleasant surprise.
4  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends July 2020 NMRA Predictions on: June 26, 2020, 01:38:44 PM
It's been awhile since I crawled out of my dark burrow to discuss on this forum, but I might as well drop my thoughts on future announcements:

I pretty much agree with everyone who's asked for Stepney, so I think I'd be beating a dead horse here. All I'll say is there is clearly a demand for him, since the Hornby model is almost impossible to acquire, especially at a modest price. Ryan would be next, even though I already have a custom model of him, but I know a lot of people really love him (myself included) and would be a perfect companion piece for Daisy when she's released. Same thing with Sir Handel after how well received Peter Sam was.

And I'd be all in for Large Scale Edward.

Rolling stock wise, the only ones I'd consider being made that would be essential (aside from maybe stuff like the Slip Coaches and the ballast hoppers) that haven't are these two designs:

Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Long Trucks that you see carrying trees in Henry's Forest and pipes with a tarp over them in various S2 shots.


Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Fish Vans that you see in everything from A Close Shave to Fish.

5  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Special New Thomas & Friends Products Announcement on: July 12, 2019, 10:42:28 AM
I'm elated at these announcements.

Finally, after getting very much ignored since her return in Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure and season 20 onward, Daisy will at last have some new merchandise! I'm sure she'll be a sell out. Now all we need is Ryan to go with her...

Peter Sam, I sort of expected, but nonetheless is great to see. Coming behind Duncan and Rusty, he's my favorite of the Skarloey Railway, and if Skarloey and Rheneas are examples to follow, he'll be another winner.

The rolling stock I can give or take, but the return of the short flatbed design is welcome, much like the return of the bogied flatbed with logs earlier.
6  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Modifying Donald and Douglas' Nameplates on: February 28, 2019, 12:38:47 AM
Hey guys, I know I don't post here very often (since most of my passion is 3-Rail O gauge), but with most of that collection completed and need to cut back on spending on trains, HO Thomas sounds much less costly and just as interesting. So, expect more Thomas content from me once in awhile.

Anyways, I've had Bachmann's models of Donald and Douglas for awhile. They're still some of my favorite Thomas models Bachmann has produced along with Duck. As great as they are, there was something that didn't feel right. As much as I like season 6, the nameplates in the middle of the boilers just felt a tad unappealing, especially since the twins' return in season 20 with their plates returning to their smoke boxes since season 2 which looks much more aesthetically pleasing to me.

Now, what I'm doing is not for the faint of heart and requires a bit of care and patience. I was curious about how to remove the plates. Since they're pressed in, I used a wide X-Acto knife to gently but firmly pry the plates off. One went flying off, but fortunately they all stayed perfectly in tact.

Next, I filed down the openings where the plates originally sat. The filing didn't come out perfectly, but the boilers definitely look better than leaving as is. To fill the gaps, I used JB Weld (with the help of Scotch tape and a tooth pick) and let it sit for about 10 minutes for each fill. After they dried firmly and were flush, I used a Testors glossy black paint marker to match the color of the boilers. The color is pretty spot on match.

After the paint dried for overnight, then I got creative with the plates. At my local Michael's, I found some super strong Neodymium magnets that were small enough to fit inside of the boilers while also not getting in the way of the motor chassis (which isn't magnetic, as a plus). I found some very thin, scrap sheet metal that was thin enough to be cut with scissors, and flexible enough to be pressed and flattened with pliers. After flattening the cut strips, I super glued them to the back of the nameplates.

As much as I prefer the season 2 look, I also have a great fondness for season 3's aesthetic and the slight off center mounting of the plates. This is why I opted to use the magnets and metal plating. Depending on how I'm feeling, I might want to move them to the smokebox, or off center, or even off altogether to match their looks before they were part of the North Western. Surprisingly, it worked almost perfectly. The magnets hold onto the plates extremely tightly. I'll likely file the back of the plates a bit so they'll fit smoother over the boiler bands, but overall the project came out exquisitely.

I had a great deal of fun doing these custom modifications, and am eager to jump into other ideas in the near future!
7  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: July 11, 2018, 02:42:03 PM
Now that summer break has started I figured I would share my thoughts on what might happen next year in list form.  Seeing as how it's been a while since the 2018 announcements and I feel like the summer time in particular is a good time to get thoughts out.


Stepney - If we get an engine next year in HO, Stepney in my eyes is the best choice.  He may not be in full CGI yet, but with a number of recent additions tying in nicely with Stepney, including Rusty, Stepney feels like a very natural addition to the range.  Because he is a small tank engine with a color contrast I can also see Mattel being on board with this as well, and he would be a very popular seller as the Hornby model has proved both during its release and re-release.  He's honestly the only tank engine Bachmann could make that would sell really well too, moreso than Stanley, Charlie, and especially Nia.  See my post on Stepney.

My actual expectation for an HO engine though at this point is either no new engine in HO and instead just announcing rolling stock and possibly some resin buildings.   Or maybe getting engines with DCC and sound in HO too.

Troublesome Truck #6 - Hoping it's the single vent van (ice cream wagon) tooling with another classic facial expression.  Though I wouldn't mind if they went with a tanker either.  Just as long as it's not the one from Journey Beyond Sodor...

But if Bachmann wants to throw a curveball for a new troublesome truck...

Honestly if we got the Spiteful brake van of all things I really don't see what's stopping Bachmann from stopping them from doing a season 1 troublesome truck?  All Bachmann has to do is repaint a truck and make eyes and mouth decals for a face as opposed to making a faceplate.  It's cost effective, nostalgic, and guaranteed to be a strong seller.  

The Chinese Dragon - Personally, I think the the flat car itself would be a welcome addition back to the range but I would prefer that they change the load.  I feel like the Chinese Dragon in particular would work since it's a bright and colorful kid-friendly load that younger fans would like while older fans would appreciate the nostalgia behind it.  I could see both Bachmann and Mattel giving it the green flag.

I also think Bachmann needs to tone it down with the futile rolling stock recolors.  Even though they are suggestions from Mattel, no one is buying them and I feel like they only take up space if no one is buying them.  Quality not Quantity.

Plastic building:

Coal hopper - Just like how we got two new accurate water towers it would be nice if we got a new coal hopper for the very same reason.  It would be a very simple design too.  I can see them going for the design seen in the Adventure Begins onward, but if Bachmann wanted to go for a simple design, as well as one that people would buy more than one of, then the one used in seasons 2-3 would be a much wiser choice.

Resin buildings (if we get any):

Narrow gauge engine sheds - This would be the most ideal building choice for narrow gauge, especially to those who need them for their own layout.

Ffarquhar station - An iconic location in the series, especially since its return in the Adventure Begins.  Although, the CG design is more likely, I feel like the classic design would sell better and would be easier and cheaper for Bachmann to make.

The fuel depot - Such a simple and basic design and would go great for the diesel models Bachmann has made.  It would be a little abnormal, much like the black loch folly, but again it would be a really simple design to make.  Plus for those with industrial buildings on layouts already, these would make nice add-on additions to go with them (shown in the second image).  I could see it happening.

Mr. Jolly's Chocolate Factory - This is one I can easily see happening, thanks to our good friends at Mattel.  A kid-friendly location that was introduced in the classic series, seems like something they would do.

Narrow gauge:

Peter Sam - Unlike Duncan, or pretty much any other narrow gauge engine besides Sir Handel, I think Peter Sam has the most potential to be made next.  He also offers a nice color contrast and has one of the best designs both on the show and basis wise.  Hard to go wrong with him.  See my post on Peter Sam.

Brake vans (blue, red, and brown) - Brake vans are pretty much essential for the narrow gauge line and it's the only rolling stock in narrow gauge that has a real urgency regarding rolling stock demand.  Any other rolling stock choices for narrow gauge should be kept a lower priority.  See my post on narrow gauge brake vans.

Here's hoping 2019 is the year Bachmann can turn things around.

Pretty much all of these ideas are great, and ones I can easily get behind, Chaz. The Chinese Dragon and Ffarquhar station in particular.

I still have hope for Ryan being made into the line, considering the product line right now is moving more towards characters that are in the current series, but still are small enough to not be too expensive to engineer and produce. Since Ryan has appeared in a large amount of episodes in season 20/21, has a colorful, unique paint scheme, and has been well received by both new and old fans alike (unlike Rosie) since Lost Treasure, I say the new engine in the HO line should be him, and I'd be more than happy to purchase one of him.

As a fan of season 3, I wouldn't mind a recreation of the three-tier trestle bridge with concrete piers in the building lineup, if that's possible. I can't imagine it would be too expensive to make the bridges in plastic, unless it would just be easier to customize them yourself.

Or perhaps one of these bare bone sheds in plastic? They appear quite often and can be used in multiple areas and scenarios.
8  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2018 ANNOUNCEMENTS on: February 21, 2018, 12:21:08 PM
The border around Paxton's face should be the same green as the body and not the same light gray as the face, but other than that it looks pretty accurate.
9  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Season 21 on: October 03, 2017, 07:03:50 PM
I will agree that Rosie wasn't used to the best extent at all. At least they seemed to get rid of her creepy season 10 persona, so it's some step in the right direction. As for the episode, I do really like the moral, and James' crash was so brutal I love it. Feels very season 5. Also, that flashback to the Adventure Begins was hilarious.

I'll get into detail about the Christmas ones later this week, but other than the Big Freeze, I did enjoy them quite a bit. Not as much as last season's, but still overall nice. Some things I will bring up are that Terence made a great comeback in a really touching, dramatic episode, and Donald and Douglas prove to be as entertaining as ever. Although, I really hope we see the latter do something other than the bickering brothers trope the next time one or the other pops up. There's a lot to their characters that are just waiting to be exploited in this new era, and using them only once a season as the leads or secondary characters is kind of disappointing.

As for the season overall, I will admit it's not as consistent in quality compared to season 20 or even 18. Most feel a bit too cartoony, even for me, especially how forced and overused Sir Topham Hatt falling down has become.
10  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Season 21 on: September 29, 2017, 11:12:56 AM
Now that my tests for the week in college are over, I can talk about this week. Oh yeah, I did see Stuck in Gear and Runaway Engine. The former was fine, and Harvey was good, but it could have been toned down a bit. The latter was fantastic - not just to see the narrow gauge after so long, but the wonderful dynamic Stephen, Millie and Glynn now have.


As for this week, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The first two for me were the best. PA Problems feels like a modernized mashup of The Fogman and Saved from Scrap. Considering it's the 500th episode, I'm glad so much of the episode focused on Edward and his branch line - something both ignored for way too long. Also, glad to see Reg is more fleshed out - to me he's the lively abstract artist type, I dunno. Hasty Hannah was equally good, and I feel Toby had every right to be timid in this episode, plus the scene with Hannah being pulled by James was incredibly tense. I think she's a fine character that hopefully won't be a one-off. 9/10 for both.

The two Cranky episodes are definitely my least favorites this season. Both use plots and morals we've seen countless times before and none do anything particularly unique to set them apart. Also, these two episodes have a lot more cartoonish antics that feel a bit too excessive for me to be comfortable with. i.e. Cranky and Carly spinning around like tops. I feel Carly's okay, but nothing really to scream about over. Though, for the latter episode, I do like that little tribute to the late David Mitton with that reveal of Big Mickey, the crane from TUGS. 5/10 for both.

Last, Unscheduled Stops. I was surprised Andrew Brenner didn't write this episode, considering this episode feels like it was an idea taken away from Thomas Gets Bumped, which Brenner did write originally all those years ago. Nevertheless, Helen Farrell did a great job on this one. It's a much more grounded episode that feels very season 3 esque, which is my favorite season BTW. However, I do feel, much like many season 19 episodes, that the 'humor' with Sir Topham Hatt feels very forced and could've easily written out without changing the episode, and it feels more forced in here than ever. The biggest part of this episode was the ending - I was NOT expecting Bulgy to be the next returning Awdry character, and it was brilliant! I really hope they use him to his potential, and if this is the last of the returning characters this season, that is just fine with me. 8/10
11  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Season 21 on: September 20, 2017, 11:38:11 AM

Okay, Dowager Hatt's Busy Day:

Short story - this episode was absolutely gut busting. Taking a plot that ran itself into the ground during seasons 8-16, and made it fresh and hilarious with some excellent writing and direction. The episode, in fact, feels like it mocks EVERYTHING that happened during that era.

Character doesn't do well in charge. CHECK.

Engines being sent on ridiculous jobs. CHECK.

Balloons on flatcars. CHECK.

Of course, the episode shows what would really happen if things like this went about in the Thomas universe. The funniest moments for me was Percy pulling the Express and Phillip getting forgotten in the mines. I really enjoyed the use of characters used, especially Emily. The role suited her perfectly. Also nice seeing Donald & Douglas used again for background fodder. So far, season 21 has been practically flawless.
12  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Thomas & Friends in 2018 on: September 03, 2017, 11:08:47 PM
I for one would snap up a Ryan on the spot. He's currently my favorite ARC/Jam Filled era character that's we've gotten (not counting Rex, Bert & Mike being RWS based) in these past few years. From a modeler's standpoint, he has an excellent, highly detailed prototype, and a handsome paint scheme that stands out. I have quite a few friends who love Ryan, too, and would love an official, mass produced model of him as well.

While I dislike Phillip, Bachmann does see an easy model to make. An easy to make model that customers don't want is more likely to be made than a complicated one that customers do want at this point, at least in the HO and Large Scale lines. I mean, hey, we did get Rosie... But hey, maybe we'll get Samson instead or...

Hey, maybe even Bradford! Just put mold his face on an existing model Bachmann has made and repaint it, much like with Toad. I personally wouldn't mind getting a Bradford.  Undecided

On a side note, I don't know how many will be asking for Wooden Railway items now since next year the line completely changes to THOMAS WOOD.
13  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Thomas & Friends in 2018 on: August 26, 2017, 09:00:11 PM
Plus, if Duke did get made (not that I'm expecting to anytime soon), a modeler could modify and repaint himas Bertrum. Y'know, that one-off character from season 5 who never spoke. Tongue
14  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Journey Beyond Sodor thread on: August 09, 2017, 10:54:26 AM
Gotta love how all these complaints don't affect the special's overall quality at all.  Roll Eyes
Visuals are very much a part of the quality of a movie.
That I can understand, but it's not the absolute most important part.

I mean, the Great Race had better visuals, but a lousily executed story with too much filler and wasted potential.

Journey Beyond Sodor has a far better focused story with great characters, albeit with somewhat uncanny animation.

I agree that Lost Treasure is, in my opinion, still the overall best feature, but this is better than the Great Race by a landslide.
15  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: HO favorites on: August 09, 2017, 10:48:02 AM
Of the Bachmann Thomas models I own, Edward is my favourite. Whilst I am more of a fan of Thomas (especially in the earlier seasons) as a character, Edward's model is quite possibly one of the best in Bachmann's range, capturing the TV Series appearance of Edward at its time of release almost perfectly. The Edward model is also deceptively powerful for its size and weight, so I congratulate Bachmann for their efforts on Edward. I must also say that Bachmann's Salty model is (in my opinion) rather underrated. I mean, yes his cab does appear a little overscaled, and his wheels look possibly a touch too small...and the lack of weathering paired with the glossy finish does look a little odd to me, but none of that can change the fact that Bachmann's model of Salty is still a very good performer, and still does very much look the part (once you get past some of the design quirks of it).

I agree. Edward's definitely the nicest looking of the classic 7 steam members, right down to the black painted brake pipes and perfect classic era face. He's also the smoothest and quietest runner of the lot I have, and yes can pull a bit more than I would've expected.

Salty also is very good. I think the heavy weight on him gives him a feel of quality, and he also runs quite nicely. I do feel that the shade over his head though should've been plain black and not have that awkward striping on.

Overall though, Donald and Douglas are my favorites. They're the strongest pullers of the lot I have, and when double heading can pull impressive consists. The die cast motor frames also give them a lot of weight and quality. I think I'm one of those who doesn't care that they're based on their season 6 onward appearances, as I remember them quite well in the Twin Trouble episode. Though Duck would be a close second. Bachmann really nailed his look, despite the black buffer sockets, and he has a slight waddle to his operation. Whether that was intentional or not is a mystery... But he still is a very good runner and pulls much better than either Thomas or Percy.
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