Review of Bachmann N Scale Ore Car

gdmichaels Jan 12, 2018

  1. gdmichaels

    gdmichaels TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    This n scale ore car is one of Bachmann's new high-quality releases. It hit the shelves in January of 2018 in five different paint schemes, two for the Pennsy and one each for the UP, CP and the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range. This is a pretty nice car though it likely could have been a bit better, especially at the above $30 price point. It is clearly an attempt at a true 3rd generation car, but for reasons I will discuss, leaves a little to be desired.

    So what do I like? Metal Wheels! Body-Mount couplers! Nice heft. These should run well as long as those clunky EZ Mate II couplers hold on to whatever you are coupling them to. Not always a given since the E-Z Mates are a little larger than Accumates or MTL's. The printing looks good. The color is nice and these models are built to take a pounding. Bachmann clearly has some younger modelers in mind when they designed these as nothing can break off except perhaps the brake wheel, which is the one detail part that isn't molded in to the model. The brake wheel is nicely done to scale and appears somewhat delicate compared to most of the construction of this model.

    However, for $33, a modeler will typically expect more. For example, the thickness of the walls of the hopper are not to scale. They are too thick. This makes the model durable but also makes it look more like a toy. This is also true with the ladders and stirrups. On the plus side, these stirrups are not going to brake off easily. Next, the printing could be better. The edge of the Multi-Mark "Pac-Man" is noticeably blurry. We usually expect better of the modern pad-printing process. Yes, these are some pretty deep ribs on the side of the car, and you would expect some blur there, but the blur you see is on the flat parts of the car. Lastly, the only detail part is the brake wheel, which although done nicely to scale, is kind of lonely floating on a sea of molded detail.

    With the modern metal wheels and couplers, these are a notch above their Atlas predecessor, and if your retailer is selling both for the same price, you will be getting a better model for your money with this new Bachmann model. Is it setting a new standard in N Scale production or even matching the best from the competition? No.
     
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the informative review. The $33 Ea price tag is even more alarming if a modeler wanted to assemble a unit train of these.
     
  3. gdmichaels

    gdmichaels TrainBoard Member

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    Hardcoaler: Glad you found the review useful and thanks for the positive feedback.
     
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  4. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Could get two or three HOs for that. I guess it's the price you pay to play in a small space. :unsure:
     
  5. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    At half the price I might consider buying a few. Good thing the WP and it’s subsidiaries didn’t have any.
     
  6. wombat457

    wombat457 TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a comparison ... I bought 20 (yes 20) ore cars from a guy in Western Australia who produces them from a 3D printer. For the 20 cars with shipping the entire bill came to less than $100. Granted they didn't come with trucks but even buying them each car ended up costing me $7.75 Australian.

    $100 for 20 ore cars OR $100 for 3 of Bachmanns?
     
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  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    An interesting way to compare them.

    Even though this car is well ahead of much earlier attempts from that company, it is still light years behind cars of such actual quality and value (price) today.
     
  8. wombat457

    wombat457 TrainBoard Member

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    Personally, I have always thought that Bachmann stuff was over priced compared to that of other companies such as Micro Trains for example. Always had the impression that Bachmann believed if they have highish prices, that will lead the customer to equate that to quality.

    By the same token, and I am not just saying this because Joe is a member here, but I think you get value for money with Micro Train products along with good service if needed.

    At the end of the day, I'd rather pay more for a Micro Train, or other manufacturers item, than a little less (perhaps, maybe) for the Bachmann equivalent.
     
  9. SP 9811

    SP 9811 TrainBoard Member

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    When I started in N, Bachmann was always the "toy N scale" brand, along with others. They were cheap looking, they were just cheap. Now I will say that they did make some models with unique road names, or private names. And I do run those cars. But my point is, that the quality of their products has gone up, but to no where near a price of $33!!!!. Because all us N scalers that have been in the scale along time, associate the name "Bachmann", with toy. And seeing a car like that one, just makes me shake my head at the price they want for it.
     
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  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree. This is essentially what I stated in my last post.
     
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