BACH­MANN WEATH­ERED WAG­ONS

Model Rail (UK) - - Model News - (MH)

Fac­tory-ap­plied weather­ing is very much in vogue at the mo­ment and we’ve re­ceived a bumper crop of weath­ered wag­ons from Bach­mann: ex-pri­vate owner eight-plank open No. P63984 and ‘Covhop’ No. B886096, both in the Branch­line ‘OO’ and Gra­ham Far­ish ‘N’ gauge ranges. In ad­di­tion to those is ‘OO’ gauge 21-ton grain hopper No. B885659 in late BR baux­ite. First up is the ‘Covhop’, which is highly re­garded in both Branch­line and Far­ish ranges. Both our ‘OO’ and ‘N’ gauge sam­ples carry BR freight grey. The qual­ity of weather­ing in both scales is con­sis­tent and the air­brushed dirt/grime ef­fect, which ap­pears heav­ier to­wards the model’s chas­sis, is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive. The ran­domly ap­plied rust ef­fect isn’t nearly as con­vinc­ing. How­ever, I can sym­pa­thise with Bach­mann be­cause rust re­ally does re­quire re­lief to look ef­fec­tive, and that would cer­tainly war­rant a price rise. My big­gest reser­va­tion is that the rust colour ap­pears to be flat - per­haps a lit­tle tonal va­ri­ety would have en­hanced its ap­pear­ance. It’s also a shame that the tops of each wagon aren’t more weath­ered, with some ar­eas ap­pear­ing vir­tu­ally pristine. The 21-ton grain hopper is an­other fine Bach­mann model and the rusty BR baux­ite liv­ery we re­ceived presents the same beau­ti­fully re­alised dirt ef­fect as the ‘Covhops’. And, al­though the ef­fec­tive­ness of the rust patches is still ham­pered for the same rea­sons, the over­all darker liv­ery seems to suit the look much bet­ter, mak­ing this my pre­ferred choice. Fi­nally, we have both eight-plank opens. Bach­mann has at­tempted to de­pict lay­ers of peel­ing paint on wood, but on the ‘OO’ wagon, once again, flat colours cre­ate no sense of re­lief. The ‘N’ gauge ver­sion fairs much bet­ter - de­spite shar­ing the ex­act same colour scheme. Here, the stripped paint de­tails are too small to de­tect any sense of re­lief and ac­tu­ally work rather ef­fec­tively. It might seem that this re­view is rel­a­tively neg­a­tive, but that’s an un­fair as­sess­ment. As I men­tioned ear­lier, the main prob­lem is the lack of re­lief, which is some­thing you’re only likely to see on a be­spoke, hand-weath­ered model - at a much higher price. The fact is, few fac­tory weather­ing jobs can beat a skilled mod­eller with un­lim­ited re­sources and time. But, if you lack weather­ing en­thu­si­asm or know-how, then these mod­els are go­ing to look far su­pe­rior on a lay­out than their pristine coun­ter­parts. And for the price, I’d say that’s a fair deal in­deed.

Im­pres­sive dust ef­fect, ex­cel­lent for mod­ellers who can’t/don’t weather. Lack of re­lief, flat colours.

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