Nigel Burkin takes a look at Bachmann’s latest OO-gauge model of the Freightliner Class 70, which incorporates new details to represent reliability modifications applied to the full-sized locomotive.
Introduced in late 2009 as part of a locomotive project by Freightliner called Project Genesis, the General Electric ‘PowerHaul’ Class 70 was a new development for British motive power at the time, and an attempt by General Motors to break the monopoly of General Motors Class 66s in the UK. Class 70s were a complete departure in design to other locomotives operating on Network Rail at the time, and remain unique to this day.
Its ugliness surpasses even that of the Class 66, yet there is something compelling about this 3700hp locomotive. Such designs, lacking any kind of aesthetics, seem to translate well into model form, and the Class 70 has gained that distinction by attracting a following all of its own by modellers and enthusiasts alike, particularly since their adoption by Colas Rail.
Its shape brings back memories of the Class 58s, with its narrow long body, while the wide radiator roof section is reminiscent of North American practice. However the somewhat lumpy central body section makes the Class 58 appear lean and sleek in comparison, and the cab design is far from the ordinary.
When the locomotives were introduced in 2009, Bachmann wasted no time in releasing a OO-gauge version with a special-edition model of No 70 001 PowerHaul being introduced in late 2010. Since then, Bachmann has released models of No 70 006, followed by No 70 003 alongside an N-gauge version.
Recent development of the Class 70 model has followed reliability modifications made to the full-sized locomotives, including the revised air intake system made apparent by new cabinets fitted to the narrow locomotive body. The seam on the cab side has also disappeared, together with some other minor changes to the grilles, and the model reappears as No 70 015 (31-590) dressed in Freightliner green and yellow, one of the small fleet of 19 Class 70s operated primarily on intermodal flows.
The model’s body shell is a complex sub-assembly featuring many different grille types and a great deal of moulded texture. The tooling is crisp, with side doors, catches and hinges all well represented. Some individual components make up both the central part of the body and the cab assemblies, including hand rails, stanchions, glazing, windscreen wipers and light fittings. The body is decorated with numerous grab rails, and etchings have been used to represent the cooling fan grilles in the roof.
For the full article, see the July edition of Modelling – available now!
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