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Author Topic: Bachmann Thomas & Friends Summer 2021 NMRA Predictions  (Read 3497 times)
Falcon the 2nd

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« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2021, 11:08:49 PM »

Both options mentioned by TrainFan are pretty good picks. Both have near-even appearance counts and both have pretty much no models of their basis on the market, so I can imagine either of them being fairly successful based on the latter alone.

If I personally had to pick one, it'd be Timothy mainly since he's generally had more merchandise appearances than Norman and he's been a more crucial character in his appearances. I've only seen Timothy in Tale of the Brave, but I did like him in it, so I'd be open to seeing an HO Scale model of him. I've hardly seen Norman in the modern Thomas media I've watched, so I'm not as sure about him.

My issue with Sidney is whether Bachmann is willing to take the time to perfect his face, primarily with how it's shaped - it's not a complete square/rectangle like Diesel and Paxton's are, and I'm not sure how difficult it would be for Bachmann to change the shape of it. I know for sure that fans outside the forum wouldn't want to buy Sidney if he had an inaccurately-shaped face.

I'll admit that Hiro is a bit of an ambitious suggestion. Taking his potential manufacturing and sales prices into consideration, I wouldn't anticipate him anytime soon.

Hopeful for Sir Handel

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« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2021, 04:01:44 PM »

So, Timothy or Norman would be ideal for the next new tooling in HO Scale in case Stepney can't happen. I feel Bachmann is going to save Porter for when they reintroduce Salty. Hiro would be too ambitious because of his size and cost.

Timothy could be more likely, since he's shown more personality than Norman, and he's had a few episodes dedicated to him. He would go great with Bill and Ben, especially if you have a Clay Pits set. He's a small engine with a simple design, but not too small. He would be the first oil burning steam engine in the Thomas line.

As for Norman, not only did he never have an episode dedicated to him, but he got very little merchandise. He could definitely use more merchandise. Like I said before, Norman would be very popular among modellers to turn him into Dennis, or his basis, as there are virtually no models of his basis out there. Not even Hornby or Bachmann UK made a model of Norman's basis, so he will be a very special addition to the HO Scale range. Diesel was popular among modellers. Norman would certainly be the same. People will buy Bachmann Norman models to turn him into Dennis, or his basis through modelling.

For the N Scale range, if Bachmann is still not ready to tackle the big engines like Gordon or Henry yet, another medium-sized engine is possible, like Edward or Emily. I feel Emily is most likely next. If Bachmann finally does announce N Scale Gordon and Henry (hopefully simultaneously), that will open up the possibility of another big engine; Spencer.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 04:07:00 PM by TrainFan97 » Logged

My wishlist for HO Scale: Stepney, BoCo, Sidney, Norman, Porter, and Timothy.
My wishlist for N Scale: Gordon, Henry, Edward, and Diesel.
plas man

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« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2021, 05:26:39 PM »

Bachmann please catalogue some HO/00 scale people from the Thomas series

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« Reply #48 on: February 15, 2021, 08:02:12 PM »

For the N Scale range, if Bachmann is still not ready to tackle the big engines like Gordon or Henry yet, another medium-sized engine is possible, like Edward or Emily. I feel Emily is most likely next. If Bachmann finally does announce N Scale Gordon and Henry (hopefully simultaneously), that will open up the possibility of another big engine; Spencer.

As much as I would like to see them tackle a fifth engine in N scale, I can see Bachmann taking a break from adding an engine next year and instead focus more on rolling stock since we are still waiting on James and now have Toby joining the range too.  Once they add more rolling stock, then I could see them add a new engine.  If they can afford the tooling and production cost, hopefully Gordon and Henry will be next.  If not, I'd be very happy with an N scale Edward.

Bachmann please catalogue some HO/00 scale people from the Thomas series

The Bach-man responded to this request on this thread here:,35707.msg263572.html#msg263572

Dear All.
Since we want younger fans to be able to have the
Thomas characters, the figures have to be large to
avoid being a choking hazard.
Happily they work great with Large Scale!
Have fun!
the Bach-man

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« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2021, 01:16:34 AM »

Well seeing as how my thoughts on Sir Handel and some new open wagons went really well with everyone I wanted to share my thoughts on N scale range suggestions for NMRA/2022.  My ideas are only going to consist of rolling stock and a Christmas set.  I’d really like to do a post on another engine, but given that James and now Toby are in production and we only have S.C. Ruffey on the way, I would rather expand on rolling stock ideas for now before jumping on the next engine suggestion.

Let’s start with the easiest first before moving onto the new tooling which is working with the toolings Bachmann has currently in their Thomas range.

With the Graham Farish tankers being used in their previous tankers, I’m genuinely surprised that the milk tanker wasn’t considered for their first batch tankers (especially since the water tanker got thrown in first).  The milk tanker is arguably the most iconic tanker in the entire brand, it’s almost ridiculous how this has not been considered in N scale yet considering how it was introduced early on in the HO and large scale range.  Even the UK range got the milk tanker out early.  Again, the tooling is clearly available and I hope Bachmann can use this to make a milk tanker in N scale.

Another candidate I think would work would be the tar tanker.  Considering it has appeared in the CGI series with the classic seasons 1-5 decals, I think introducing the tar tank alongside the milk tanker would also be a good move.  It’s almost as iconic as the milk, fuel, and oil tanks and should also be thrown up for consideration.

Now for the next tooling wagon wise, the most obvious choice is the coal wagon with load (please, please, please don’t pick the Sodor Coal Co. wagon over this one).  S.C. Ruffey was a very obvious and welcome choice, and the coal wagon with load has always been popular in the HO and large scale ranges.  It would definitely be worth Bachmann’s time and effort to introduce one of these in N scale as well. 

As for Graham farish toolings Bachmann haven’t used yet, the most obvious would be a brake van. 

Just like the tankers, all this would require is removing some of the detail off of this tooling while painting it in the same colors as the large scale one. 

This tooling could also work for a spiteful brake van in addition to standard one, as that one has proven to be a popular recolor in large scale and especially HO, and it would be no different here too.

And finally time to talk about the one entirely new tooling I want to suggest to Bachmann for their N scale range... Henrietta.

Henrietta, again like the milk tanker has always been very popular and iconic to the brand.  In fact, she’s become more of an actual character in CGI since the 18th season with a new face and voice in the show.  She goes hand-in-hand with Toby as she seems to be popular in both HO US and UK ranges.  She’s still a popular request in large scale, which does make me a little nervous that we will be going down the same slippery slope again.  However, considering that tooling costs for N scale is a lot more minimal than large scale, I’d argue that Henrietta is more likely in the N scale range.  Best of all, after doing some research I want to propose that Henrietta’s tooling is viable for the range as it opens the door for other recolor possibilities. 

The most obvious one is Hannah, she’s been in CGI and would only require a new face, different paintwork and some additional lamp details.

However, there is one more recolor possibility out there I really want to touch on as an option for Henrietta which ties into my big suggestion for Bachmann... a Christmas set! 

The set would include Thomas with a Santa hat and a snowplow (hope we can see this sold separately too like in large scale!), a circle of track, an open wagon (troublesome truck tooling) with a Christmas tree/presents load, and a recolored Henrietta as a Christmas coach!  I took this idea as an inspiration from some of the Christmas LGB coaches as an inspiration for an additional Henrietta recolor seeing as how there is a slight resemblance.  I got into contact with Justin (theNighttrain3) and I asked him to make a photoshopped image of what a Christmas coach recolor of the Henrietta tooling could look like if Bachmann wants to look into this:

Just for variety here’s a second one:

Which do you prefer?

I’ll admit I was never too wild about the Emily’s coach recolor that was used in the past HO and large scale sets, but I feel that a design like Henrietta’s looks a lot nicer for a Christmas train set.  Again, it really shows just how much you can do with Henrietta’s tooling.

So my closing thoughts are this.  I think the tanker and wagon recolors and self-explanatory, but I do hope we can have brake vans and especially Henrietta join the range as it shows how much you can do with these toolings and why they are worth the investment.  These would also make up for the lack of rolling stock announcements as while there’s nothing wrong with introducing S.C. Ruffey in N scale, I feel Bachmann could have easily made room for more additions in the range.  I really hope all of these additions will be considered in the future, and maybe as time goes on I’ll talk about another engine and possibly some more rolling stock to go along with it too.

But what are your guy’s thoughts?  Would you buy any of these pieces of rolling stock?  Would you be open to buying Henrietta in addition to some of the recolor suggestions with her tooling?

This will be my last in-depth post in a while but I really wanted to get these N scale rolling stock suggestions and my narrow gauge post out there a lot sooner in hopes to have these being considered sooner in the future.  In the meantime, discuss.

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« Reply #50 on: February 23, 2021, 10:26:18 AM »

Great rolling stock suggestions, as always, Chaz! As someone who models in HO, I will most likely not purchase these. Even so, with the N scale line off to a strong start, I am certain that these pieces of rolling stock would be well received from fans young and old. The idea of a Christmas Carriage, using the Henrietta tooling, is particularly unique. Great work, once again!

Dreaming of a Bachmann Stepney.

Fan of pre-privatization British Railways

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« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2021, 01:55:40 PM »

Henrietta is definitely a welcome addition with Toby coming out!! I don’t really buy the Christmas sets, but I agree with Terrance that using Henriettas mould as a Christmas coach is unique. Also, I think Hannah would do pretty good if it’s a limited run. The tar wagons are great for fans of both the cgi and model series.

I think the red 4 wheeled coaches would be a welcome addition for both Thomas and British railway modelers like myself. James is often associated with these coaches and all they need is a repaint to be on prototypical British railway sets. While I’m fine with waiting, I think Gordon is another good choice for Bachmann to make in n scale, if they’re willing to put in the effort. I’d rather him in proper scale and accurate look than have him out next year. He’s always been a central character like Thomas, Percy, and James so I bet he’s be really popular (though bias as he’s one of my three favorites). I dread them making those super thin cgi express coaches though. They were some of the worst cgi models IMO. I’m even thinking of modifying Dapol maunsell coaches to be like the model series accurate express coaches, though maybe I should wait first to see if they’d for one use the model series basis. Finally, I’d suggest Percys mail coaches since Percy is already out.

On a slightly separate topic, does anyone mod their n scale Thomas models to be more like the model series?
Falcon the 2nd

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« Reply #52 on: February 23, 2021, 03:41:08 PM »

Another great post with intriguing analysis! Smiley

The Milk Tanker and Brake Van have been two of my most hoped-for pieces of rolling stock for quite some time now, so I'm hoping for them to be confirmed for this year's NMRA. I'm also hoping that Bachmann is willing to let the standard Brake Van come first and be sold for a few years before introducing Spiteful Brake Van - I don't want them to immediately skip a regular version of it for this scale in favor of a recolor.

The Tar Tanker and Coal Wagons are also great options to go by. They're easy to make and they would be easy sellers, both likewise with the Milk Tanker.

Henrietta most certainly seems more likely in N Scale than Large, all things considered. I would love to see her sometime soon and released alongside Toby, at least if he were to release in 2022.

I'm personally not a fan of Hannah so I'd rather not see her, but I would still like to see Henrietta's basis reused as a unique coach for this scale's Christmas set. Both depicted concepts look good and I'd gladly buy a Christmas set if either option was used.

The Red Coaches suggested by GigaPK are also a good option. I can see these coming sooner to N Scale than Large likewise with Henrietta, though their basis are less complex in this case. Regardless, they're a good idea worth considering within the next few batches of announcements. They'd be cheaper and more appropriate to announce and produce at the moment than the Express Coaches, with James coming to the line and neither Gordon nor Henry confirmed yet.

The Mail Van may be a bit difficult to handle compared with other options, but I can see it happening sooner than the Express Coaches as well with Percy already released. It could easily be the first piece of N Scale rolling stock with bogie wheels.

It's safe to assume that most people have gotten tired of seeing the 'Sodor' wagon recolors within the past few years, so I hope that they can be simmered for a long time. Bachmann is better off making more iconic and regular pieces of rolling stock first (Express Coaches, Mail Van, etc)

I'm honestly surprised that Bachmann didn't have a Box/Ventilated Van in N Scale among the latest announcements. A Graham Farish tooling of it likely already exists, so I can see Bachmann recoloring it in blue and Great Western coats to start out.

So in summary:
Rolling Stock I'd Like For NMRA 2021
  • Milk Tanker
  • Tar Tanker
  • Coal Wagon
  • Brake Van
Rolling Stock I'd Like For 2022
  • Henrietta
  • Red Coaches
  • Blue Ventilated Van
  • Great Western Ventilated Van
  • Mail Van (maybe?)

There is not much that I am anticipating out of this year's NMRA, but I do hope that it can make up for the relatively low list of new N Scale rolling stock from the latest batch of announcements. Besides the Break Van, I'm anticipating a few easy and reasonable recolors to be announced this summer. We might get more unique pieces of rolling stock next year.

Hopeful for Sir Handel
Armada Starscream

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« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2021, 06:54:40 PM »

Suggestion for some upgrades to existing models, maybe Emily's model Tender could be updated with her new Number 12?

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« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2021, 11:17:09 PM »

I like the Henrietta red coach with the white snowflakes.

If I was into the N Scale line. I would purchase a few of the old tank wagons like TAR, MILK, FUEL and OIL.
If in the future I DO get into the line I'll be waiting for a brake van. No reason to purchase freight cars without a caboose.

"...but I don't go to the movies much. If you've seen one you've seen them all."
-Kathy Selden

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« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2021, 02:50:12 AM »

I really appreciated all the feedback on all my N scale rolling stock suggestions!  

I was never a fan of Hannah and I wouldn't buy a model of her, but I figured it would be worth the mention as a recolor possibility since it seems that whenever Bachmann announces any form of a new rolling stock tooling they always need to find a recolor option either during or after it gets announced, hence why I mentioned Hannah and the Henrietta Christmas coach recolors.  

I would definitely buy the red coaches if those came out in N scale too.  Don't know if they would jump on them right away though, but I wouldn't rule them out for the future either.  Same can be said for the vent vans or even a mail car.

I'd be very curious to see how they would tackle express coaches if they go ahead and announce Gordon next.  Graham Farish did announce some decent express coaches too, even if they're not the most accurate to the show, they'd still look decent enough if painted in the express colors.  I could see them going down that route for express coaches if they're able to pull off Gordon and Henry anytime soon.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 02:59:25 AM by Chaz » Logged

Fan of pre-privatization British Railways

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« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2021, 04:44:18 PM »

I think if they used new ends for those coaches without the corridor and a nice little repaint, those coaches would work splendidly!

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« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2021, 08:26:52 PM »

Although I have Toby, I've been holding off on getting Henrietta because I know that they're going to release with a face soon enough. Whoever gave her a face was smart, because it gave her far more character, even if it did start in a terrible episode. I've never really cared for Hannah, but I wouldn't buy a model of her. The Christmas coaches using Henrietta's moulding instead of Emily's coaches' is smart, and I would be slightly more inclined to buy a Christmas set if that was the case. However, ever since I was little, I've hated the idea of Christmas trains, because it results in many more unrealistic-looking locomotive and rolling stocks designs and liveries than there are without Christmas trains. Moving on, the only N scale rolling stock I would expect in the near future are the Spiteful Brake Van and Milk Tanker, as well as Gordon's express coaches if they make him too. I would expect Emily and Diesel to be the next two n engines. Emily is probably the most iconic non-RWS Thomas character out there, and Diesel's model could be reused for Paxton pretty soon. If they made Gordon, they could reuse his chassis for Henry and Spencer (removing the trailing wheels for Henry, of course) and Edward would likely follow Henry. Duck, Oliver, Donald, Douglas, Bill and Ben would sell pretty well IMO as all are fan favorites, but I doubt they will make Salty, Mavis, Arry or Bert, because all four are discontinued in HO, likely because they weren't good sellers. Daisy and Ryan may come, but probably not for a decade or so, once they've tackled the two sets of twins, GWR engines, Spencer, and of course, the rest of the Steam Team. The only classic series engines we are missing in HO are BoCo, Stepney, Harvey, Murdoch, Arthur and Fergus. All of these characters are about as likely to come as any other except Fergus, because his moulding would be very hard and expensive to design and produce, and I wouldn't buy him because I've hated him my entire life. Harvey is also not very likely because of his crane arm, but popular demand may bring the others. The most likely candidates for HO are Gator, Sidney, Stanley, Timothy and Whiff. All have appeared in the last 5 years or so, but haven't had many appearances in total. Gator is an interesting design, which would intrigue many buyers, and they would also have more space to work with the motor and eyes and things than with most other engines. Sidney is just a quick recolor of the Class 08, but they would need to design a newly-moulded face. Stanley is personally my favorite new series character, mostly due to nostalgia with the Great Discovery. I'm kinda disappointed that he only got one focus episode, and especially that it was during the monstrosity of season 12, but he has made cameos in just about every season since then. Timothy would be interesting, because, like Gator, he has an interesting design, but it would be pretty complicated, unlike Gator who's practically a slightly-streamlined box on wheels. I also like Whiff due to nostalgia purposes, but he hasn't had many recent appearances, and his last focus episode was in season 16 (Actually, that was one of the only episodes in the Miller era that I like, automatically making it one of my favorites). His design is fairly simple compared to others, and it would be interesting to see how they tackled the glasses. (Speaking of his glasses, why the heck does he need them? It's not like engines have to go through eye tests to see if they need glasses or something. Furthermore, they never even addressed in the series! That's his most defining characteristic!) Rolling stock options are simple. They can just rip a hopper off a hopper car, stick it on a flatbed, repaint it, slap a face on it, and call it Hector. Simple as that. Hector is also one of my favorite new series characters, which also has a little bit to do with nostalgia, because I was afraid of him when I was little. Anyway, they can also make Oil Tanker Troublesome Truck #7, except this time have it be based on one from Toad Stands By, and T. Truck 8 could be a ventilated van. I'm kinda surprised that they have made Jeremy but not Jack, Alfie, Oliver, Max & Monty, Bulgy, or Trevor. All of these characters would sell great in my opinion, and Jeremy is such a stupid character with a stupid design and stupid everything. The 5 characters I mentioned have all returned very recently and Bachmann models of them would sell well with the kids pretty well as long as their wheels roll, and the Pack's buckets and beds are posable. Well, that's it from me for now.

Personal wishlist:
Locomotives: Stepney, Murdoch and Stanley
Rolling stock: Oil Tanker and Red Express coaches rerelease, Spencer's brake coach and the breakdown train
Buildings: Dryaw, Wellsworth, Ffarquhar, Tidmouth and Vicarstown stations, as well as the watermill

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« Reply #58 on: March 02, 2021, 02:11:12 AM »

Mavis is not discontinued, she is still present in the 2021 catalog.  If anyone's going to be dropped anytime soon my bet is on Rosie (at least in her lavender livery).

Otherwise those are definitely some interesting points on future engines for the N scale range.  The more I think about it, the more I'm really leaning towards Gordon and Henry being picked as their next engines now that the express coach tooling is out there and the market for them is clearly open if the Tomix Henry and various custom Gordon models are anything to go off of.  That being said, I can't imagine they would be announced until, at the earliest, 2023 after they release James and Toby and expand their rolling stock options with hopefully some of the suggestions I shared earlier.
Falcon the 2nd

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« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2021, 01:12:53 PM »

That rumor of Mavis being discontinued has honestly gotten annoying. There really isn't much evidence that she is a 'poor seller' and she's managed to stick around for the longest time between catalogs, which may indicate that sales are at least decent enough for her to be maintained. If she were introduced in either Large or N Scale, I imagine her sales would also be good, especially for the factor of a new engine in either line.

I'm still not 100% sure about introducing Diesel or Emily so soon. Giving both the Large and N Scale lines similar lists of items would alienate the average consumer, and one line would undermine the other based on its price points. One of the advantages of N Scale is that certain ideas can be made that were previously deemed impossible or too expensive for Large Scale. That being said, I hope that there can be enough introductions of engines (and rolling stock) that aren't already in Large Scale before at least Diesel is introduced. I'd be open for Emily since she's part of the Steam Team, but I'd also want her to come a little later.

Characters like Mavis, Edward, Gordon or Henry being introduced within the next few years would help the N Scale line stand out, as the former two haven't been made in Large Scale yet and the latter two are highly unlikely for the same scale. Others like Duck, Oliver or Bill & Ben would also be good options, but I imagine they'd come later and it's better to complete the original Steam Team first.

Relevance aside, Mavis would be one of the easier choices to make after Toby if a new engine is absolutely needed in 2022. She'd be generally less expensive to make in N Scale than Large, and Toby's chassis can be reused to save money. It's hard to say whether she would happen that soon, but the factor of an engine as potentially easy to produce as her is still something to think about. Hoping that they'll base her body off the original Model Series design that they used for HO Scale instead of the GCI one with its tacky headlamp.

Edward is somewhat similar in shape to the currently in-production James and is a smaller engine than Gordon, Henry and Emily, so I can see him being made based on the factor of lower costs despite what he’s been through in the show recently. Likewise, he’d be much cheaper to produce in N Scale than Large.

I feel moderately convinced Gordon and Henry could come next along with the Express Coaches. They'd be much welcomed in the event they are introduced, but depending on how much longer the pandemic is still active, the one thing that can possibly prevent them from being made are potentially hefty costs that may be challenges to overcome. Part of me imagines that Bachmann would want to err on the side of caution and introduce the Express Coaches first while holding off on Gordon and Henry for about a year.

To reiterate myself, I'm personally hoping for a regular Brake Van to be made first. It wouldn't be much fun to go through the hassle of importing one overseas as a result of it being skipped immediately for Spiteful Brake Van. And again, I don't want N Scale offerings to just repeat what is already present in Large Scale.

It's generally very difficult to determine what direction the N Scale line may go in for the future. - there wasn't much rolling stock in the latest batch of announcements and the pandemic is still complicating manufacturing processes. I'm guessing that Bachmann may mainly focus on expanding their rolling stock for a certain period of time before introducing a new engine. If they just had to make someone new, I'd recommend Edward or Mavis since both are only in HO Scale right now (and have been good sellers in that line), and their manufacturing costs may be less severe. Pretty much any engine can come next, but I hope that Bachmann can provide at least one that isn’t already in Large Scale.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 01:14:29 PM by Falcon the 2nd » Logged

Hopeful for Sir Handel
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