Bachmann S4 - Any pics?

jamesdewarinireland Aug 13, 2013

  1. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    I honestly haven't touched or even considered a Bachmann product since I got burned on a pair of SP SD-40s back round 1996 or 1997 or so. Special ordered them through a local hobby shop, and got charged MSRP. I threw them in the garbage.

    I'd love for these locos to be quality, smooth running little switchers, but I want to read some reviews first.
     
  2. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Bachmann S4

    Well Spook, beat you to it, or the US post office did:cool:

    Mine came in today, ATSF Zebra stripes S4 #1528, and in summary, I think the B-mann nailed it!

    First of all, it looks and feels right, and the paint job is accurate and crisp. The flanges are good enough to run on my Code 40 secondary track without a problem and the DCC control slow speed seems good, although I've yet to do real testing. An interesting feature is when you turn on the headlights, they are both on as they should be on a switch engine that goes back and forth; one dims when in reverse. The lights are nice and bright and natural color.

    The engine feels a bit light, no doubt because of decoder space and the narrow hood; it weighs in at only 45 grams (1.6 oz), compared to the KATO NW2 at 50 grams (1.7oz.) I haven't yet tried to test the pulling power but suspect it will be unimpressive but hopefully adequate to move short cuts of cars on level track competently and at scale speeds. TBD.

    I don't have proto drawings but checked the dimensions against some erection diagrams and it's close to right on: 68" wide hood, 22' 3" (vs. 22 6") truck spacing, deck at about 5' 2", overall length right on ... not bad at all. The cab even has the prototypical overhang over the frame. The trucks, steps and louver and intake details look really good. The railings, at least on my all black model, look darn good...I wonder whether some of the other light color schemes suffer paint buildup or whether the railings just look bigger as an optical illusion.... Not the finest plastic railings but darn close; nothing to be ashamed of IMHO.

    The engine has two issues that I feel I need to deal with: the "boxing glove" monster coupler, which should be an easy fix, and the thick cab "glazing" with both edges exposed... to me that's the single most annoying feature of the otherwise close to perfect model as it looks like it's double glazed with 6" of space inbetween...got to work on that...

    Santa Fe guys may wish to replace the stack with a tall rectangular one, but I believe the one it comes with is as delivered. Overall I am very pleased with this model and may get another one (even though I have two Atlas S2's, undecs with sound, on order). Foe around $70 bucks with DCC, we've never had it so good...IMHO again.

    I will attempt to take and post some pics shortly.
    Feedback from others, especially on performance, would be welcome.
    Kind regards, Otto K.
     
  3. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    Mine was due today as well....sigh. I guess tomorrow will have to do. As for the railings, can you mic them?
     
  4. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

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    S4 pics

    IMG_0748.jpg IMG_0749.jpg IMG_0748.jpg IMG_0749.jpg IMG_0748.jpg IMG_0749.jpg Okay, a couple of pics...
     
  5. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    Looks good to me. I'm sure it would be easy enough to pop out the cab windows and replace them with Micro Scale Krystal Clear or something if they really bother you. I think the couplers might stand out so much because of the colour, if they were black they would likely blend in with the rest of the model and be not as noticable, even replacing them with McHenrys might be an improvement. I'm going to find it even harder waiting for mine now after seeing the photos. I ordered a pair, I figure it will be an easy job to renumber one using the black patches and numbers from the Micro Scale zebra stripe decal sheet.
     
  6. jrcar

    jrcar New Member

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    Thanks for the photos so far, I would certainly appreciate a photo and measurements of the mechanism, width of the body in particular!

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  7. Backshop

    Backshop TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmm ... so the HO S-4 has cut levers, but the N does not? Even though Bachmann's 44-tonner has them??
    Weird.
     
  8. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    It may be my eyes playing tricks on me, but I thought I saw them (hard to tell with the stripes)
     
  9. bumthum

    bumthum TrainBoard Member

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    I understand your concern but Bachmann has changed. I have a 44 tonner and an RS3 and both run like champs, detail is good and they are a great bargain. Those 1990s SDs (and pretty much everything else) can't even begin to approach Bachmann's higher-end offerings. Bachmann still makes some lower end models but those are at very different price points.
     
  10. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    I can see them too, hard to tell if they are separate or molded on though. The zebra stripes have the same effect as they do on a real zebra.
     
  11. Matt Bradley

    Matt Bradley TrainBoard Member

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    I'm a sucker for switchers so I think I'm going to bite on this one. Will order one next week. (Come on payday!) I do not have a DCC setup. Will I have any issue with this?
     
  12. Bendtracker1

    Bendtracker1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    You shouldn't have any problems running this on your DC layout. It has a Dual mode decoder that should detect if it's getting power from DC or DCC.
     
  13. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

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    The cut levers are molded in place. As are the Kato NW 2's by the way...
     
  14. Matt Bradley

    Matt Bradley TrainBoard Member

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    Great! Thank you! Who knows, maybe this'll get me into DCC...
     
  15. Jerry M. LaBoda

    Jerry M. LaBoda TrainBoard Supporter

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    Finally an accurate cab to use with the GHQ T6 shell!!! Too bad both the S4 and the T6 are out of my modeling era... B (
     
  16. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    oh this is soooo tough....it's not lark gray and scarlet
     
  17. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

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    S4 pics

    s4b.jpg s2f.jpg


    Couple more pics; the Bmann S4 is on the left, my old brass custom finished S2 on the right. I'd photograph them side by side, except I sold the S2 when Atlas announced theirs with DC...
    Otto K.
     
  18. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    Otto,
    a couple of questions...first, the Bachmann unit looks FANTASTIC!...I don't think the thick window fix will be difficult...soak them in future floor wax, then paint the edges black.
    Is the long hood on this one die-cast like the atlad unit, and is the stack provided as a seperate part?...I wonder how difficult it would be toremove this one and replace to an ATSF taller one with no flared base?
    I'm not going to purchase an Atlas unit until they factory paint in zebra stripe
    ~Bruce
     
  19. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    Finally got mine today. Still running it around in circles to break it in, but my initial impressions are very positive. Super smooth and whisper quiet (seriously, maybe one of the quietest engines I've ever ran). The thing is definitely geared for switching (or maybe it's just the CV settings). Super slow speed creep and a very low top-end speed. Pulling power is OK - about fifteen 40' freight cars on level track. I should have a full review on my website tomorrow.

    Cheers,
    -Mark
     
  20. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki TrainBoard Member

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    BachmannS4.jpg

    BachmannS4-1.jpg

    Just received today...

    I have to second what Mark said... Amazingly smooth. Stunning given the cost. Already I can proclaim it the best-running switcher I have. Far, far better than my Kato NW2. Better than the VO1000's I own (both new and old version) and my Lifelike SW8 and Walthers SW1200.
     

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