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In depth idiot
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... list price for the 2 BR models available is £229.95 which is steep but may actually be worth it.
Think you will like the new model as and when you buy one. Very sweet and quiet runner straight out of the box, so properly RTR. The weight at 330g, (just over 11oz) balanced at the centre of the coupled wheelbase promises well for traction, not far short of the first split chassied version which for all the terrible racket they often made, would pull a proper size train..

An aspect I really like for testing purposes, the loco runs independently, no need for the tender, despite the plug in connector. That's going to go the moment the loco has passed acceptance testing, bags of room for a proper rigid drawbar to reduce the combined loco and tender wheelbase by 3mm, which is scale..

Quite a lot more to do on this model, rear cab windows to go, slightly modify the smoke box door so the annular rivets aren't set too far back, remove the speaker and install extra weight as possible, fiddle around inside the Cartazzi frames, if the flanged wheelset requires it for 30" radius curves. Very worthwhile as the overall appearance is right, the correctly shaped boiler does make a difference.
 

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In depth idiot
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My 2010 versions are going to be the filthy specimens up from York and beyond, they have been fiddled with for extra traction and with the DCC system voltage turned up will make scale for 90mph. The new ones will be shiny KX pets.
 

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In depth idiot
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Is the new one going to be able to haul those 21 coaches or whatever it was in that famous photo?
Don't know about a 'famous photo' but a V2 is known to have worked a 26 coach train during WWII, thought to be the longest passenger train ever worked by UK steam. (It won't be the heaviest load hauled by one of the class, it's the power the large grate and high superheater ratio could produce to enable such a train to be worked to the passenger schedule that was the measure of this design's success.)

The model may prove a little too light for this feat, but I can already see where the extra weight is going to go inside, and made up to 450g on the coupled wheels will have no trouble at all. (There's weight to come out of the tender, so it doesn't need as much weight in the loco as I have in my LNER design pacifics, what with the heavier four axle tender imposing significantly more drag than the three axle types.)
 

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In depth idiot
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So, notes on necessary doings with the new toy.

Removing the loco body. Good instructions on first uncoupling the tender, and the body retaining screw locations, (five of them!) and the warning of the wire connections between body and mechanism for the firebox light; but there it ends, and the body wouldn't come away freely from the mechanism, my example was a tight fit. Prising the front end apart was the winning method, thin blade between cylinder top and footplate until there was a 4mm gap at which point it was possible to move the mechanism forward very slightly so that the rearward PCB wasn't snagging on the footplate moulding under the cab, then the flexible Cartazzi frame mouldings could be eased outwards, and the mechanism was free of the body, apart from the connecting wires aleady mentioned.

Also while about this the rear truck flanged wheelset was installed, getting the bearing blocks into the slide locations a slight test of dexterity. Bachmann say it needs 24" radius with the flanged wheelset installed, but I suspect that is conservative and slightly less is possible, especially if the cylinder drain pipes aren't installed. Credit where due, properly thought out for fitting the flanged wheel set, arches to clear both tyre and flange; Hornby should only take note.

Decoder in (Zimo 638) and reverse the procedure to reassemble, I lightly scraped inside where I believe the binding at the front between mechanism and body was occurring; effectiveness of this action can be assessed when it is next taken apart for alternative tender coupling arrangement, weighting and cosmetic modifications, after the acceptance test running has been completed in a day or two (it's running beautifully)...

Not touched the tender yet. I can see that removing the plug in connector is going to be simple enough, all screw assembled, though it may yet get the simpler 'chop', depends on my mood on the day! Plenty of room in both loco and tender to install mountings to take the metal drawbar I will substitute.

Finally, documentation says it has a five pole motor, and I suspect by appearance it is a coreless type. Advice for DC 'use a smoothed supply, don't use an electronic track cleaner'.
 

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In depth idiot
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Tender. Three underside screws to release the tender body, four(!) screws securing a cast weight which won't be necessary for a simple drawbar so has been removed. (Real coal will increase the tender weight to about 75g, more than adequate.) Couple of small screws to release the connector, and it fed out through the hole in the tender underside. Haven't removed the loco half of the swinging connector, as the mechanism is still accruing running time, so yet to finalise the replacement drawbar arrangement, but loco and tender look so much better as an ensemble with the combined wheelbase set to scale at 225mm. Pretty confident this will sail around the 30" minimum radius of the layout's 'big engine' lines, as the gap between the dragbox faces is the same as on the pacifics.
 

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In depth idiot
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Back to the loco, it proved much easier than I thought it would be, to remove the loco half of the coupler. The footplate moulding clips to the lower cab side, and is easily released. It then bent sufficiently to allow access to the two small screws under the cab which secure the coupler unit. No going back now, lost the spring and one of the screws... (Coupler plug parts salvaged for redeployment on a DMU.)

All good news on mechanism performance, smooth and quiet from a creep into motion up to scale for about 110mph, so not a sluggard like the previous version. Easily and realistically started 20 Bachmann mk1s on level track and would run this up to 90mph..And with the flanged rear wheelset fitted, it will negotiate a R3 curve (I borrowed): though note that the cylinder cock drain pipes were not fitted, those might constrain the pony truck slightly and move the minimum radius closer to Bachmann's suggested 24".

Now to increase the loco weight, it only needs a little more for a guaranteed restart with the whole train on the gradients, and to make and fit the new drawbar for stable and scale spacing. And the cosmetic work of rear cab window removal and modifying the smokebox door and fitting the supplied details.

Overall I am pleased with it, sure I will buy another.
 

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In depth idiot
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... not sure about the tender loco coupling seems a bit of fiddling to disguise 4 wires ...
plastic coal...
it has a 5 pole motor ...
My take on these bulky clip together doodads is that they are a fashion item, currently in vogue. I expect they will be deleted on new introductions as the price containment issue increases.

The plastic coal is a loose insert, and when removed happily reveals that the full bunker coal space is modelled, a welcome return to previous best practise; hurrah! Add your own real black diamonds.

In the service booblet packed with the model the text states five pole, and what follows is that for DC operation a controller with a smoothed output should be used, and electronic track cleaners should not be employed. This and the motor appearance suggest to me that it is a coreless motor. I wonder if Bachmann omitted 'coreless' in the interests of not causing panic or 'knee-jerk' condemnation? It runs beautifully with ample torque.
 
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