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For a diesel or electric loco , I'd expect centre mounted motor with both bogies driven, and a minimum of 8 wheel pickup. 5 pole motor please. With a DMU (we have almost no RTR EMUs) I would willing to live with a decent motor bogie ie one bogie driven - so long as running is good. The loco should be DCC Ready, and should be capable of running at a very slow crawl without stalling, and at dead slow speed across pointwork without stalling . It should be capable of hauling a prototypical load up a moderate gradient without difficulty , and capable of a reasonable top speed (there are one or two models which top out at a scale 75mph when the real thing can do 90mph but this isn't really a problem. Nor are models of 125mph capable units which are capable of a scale 125mph...). Speed should be variable within a reasonable range (no locos which either stall or take off , except within a band of 3 speed steps out of 128)

The model should have RP25 wheels, with a consistant back to back at or extremely close to the NMRA figure

The model should be accurate to within 0.5mm in all principal dimensions . Detail should be moulded, and seethrough grills will be present with visible detail beyond. Rotating fans are a bit of a gimmick I can take or leave. So are opening cab doors. Handrails should be wire (so they don't break) and not moulded on. NEM 362 pockets should be present (at the correct height , bachmann!), though I suppose the NEM 363 sockets on the internal ends of the Turbostar are ok. Detail should be appropriate for the loco depicted, at the period depicted. Curves and profiles shall be close to spot on or spot on (and distant 3/4 views with a telephoto lens at odd angles will not be taken as definitive evidence of a problem!). There will be a little bag of detail bits - disc headcodes , that sort of thing. A high quality model may be produced in slightly different versions reflecting detail differences (eg short & long-framed M7, Urie and Eastleigh Arthurs)

Lights - hmmm. British steam engines didn't have lights (well actually they had a couple of paraffin hand lamps on a metal spike which were lit after dark). First generation diesels and electrics had a couple of 60 watt bulbs somewhere behind a grubby piece of glass and a canvas blind which were barelyt visible in daylight. You didn't get high intensity lights on British stock until about 1990 . I don't go with the light fetish - most lights look way to brilliant for my preferred period. The Bachmann 108 has working interior lights . You can't see them in daylight. This is entirely correct and authentic.....
No light leakage

Livery shall be well printed , without bleed. There will be no self coloured plastic. All colours shall be accurate, logos/lettering correct and of exactly the right size/font, in the correct places . And the correct number thereof

Stock failing one of these points shall be deemed decent quality but with an irritating flaw (unless it's something big like 4 wheel pick up , serious demensional error etc)

Stock missing many of them will be deemed mediocre

Bachmann have a good name for the mechanics of their diesels (they have never done an electric) but their steam has a more variable reputation mechanically and in terms of quality control. Detail and profile errors seem to be more noticeable (and more vitriolically criticised) on the diesels. They have a couple of DMUs that aren't DCC Ready because of lights and some old split axle kettles which aren't either

Hornby's post 1999 stuff is normally good, but this is only a part of their range. The pre 1999 stuff generally doesn't match some or many of these benchmarks, and in recent times there have been occasional problems with getting shades exactly right in some liveries, though the printing itself is very good
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