Bachmann 32-983NRM EVENING STAR / GBRF Class 66 – 66779
Bachmann’s range of the class 66 Co-Co diesel continues to grow, covering many of the various liveries & class 66 variants. With now over 41 models released, it’s a must have model for any one modelling today’s UK railways. The focus of this article is newly released (Feb 2018) limited edition model of GBRf 66 779 ‘Evening Star’ cat number 32-983NRM from Locomotion Models ( The Model Shop of the NRM – National Railway Museum ). This is part of the museums ongoing National Collection in Miniature series of models. This limited edition model run is restricted to 504 models in a high gloss paint finish., exclusive to the NRM museum. However, Bachmann have also released the same model in a standard non paint gloss finish available as a standard model release run. See your local model shop or Bachmann stockist for the standard release.
As many of you know GBRf 66779 is the last built class member of the Class 66 locomotive class. In honour of this fact GBRf have painted 66779 in the BR steam livery similar to that of the last BR steam loco ‘Evening Star’. As well giving 66779 the same name to mark the last of the class 66’s to enter service in Britain.
The NRM release comes with a limited edition certificate & standard Bachmann packaging but with NRM outer sleeve featuring the National Collection in Miniature logo. The usual warranty paper work, instruction sheet & extra parts bag (for fitting by the modeller ) also included. With this being a limited edition it also comes with brass etched name plates, depot plates, & bell with mounting bracket. These again for fitting by the modeller. We’ll now go over some of the other model features.
Bachmann have made some changes to the class 66 model over the years. One of these is changing the power pick ups from four wheel to all six wheel. Others include addition of working interior cab lighting, day / night mode head-lighting (via a switch on the underside of the loco), or rear light turn off switch (for when hauling a consist).
Bachmann have produced the class 66 model in DCC Ready ( for use on analogue layouts / DCC decoder to be fitted by the modeller), DCC Fitted (Factory fitted DCC decoder), DCC Sound (Factory fitted DCC sound decoder & speaker). The earlier Bachmann class 66 models came with a 8 pin DCC decoder socket, the later releases now come with a 21 pin DCC socket. In the near future will be expected to have Bachmann’s Next 18 DCC decoder socket fitted. If fitting DCC Sound to the model, the PCB board is labelled up for the speaker so just a case of soldering the wires of your speaker to PCB board & plugging the decoder in. There is space at one end of the loco for a speaker & Bachmann have included sound release vents so. The sound release vents can be seen in in this photo below.
The model in this article is a 21 pin DCC ready model, & has a switch on the underside of the loco for switching out the rear lights (See photo below). It also has working interior cab lighting as well as directional head & tail lights. For any one new to DCC the lights are operated by pressing function button F0, the interior cab lights are operated by pressing function button F1. On analogue control both the cab lights & head / tail lights are on with no separate control of the cab interior lighting.
The model has features like etched grilles, sprung buffers, NEM pocket couplers with small type removable tension lock couplers, separate plug in lower front end plates for fitting on one or both ends. If fitting these plates will mean the tension lock couplings can’t be used.
The model also has three link couplings ( fitted on one end of this model ), bufferbeam pipes for fitting by the modeller (though we’ve yet to still fit the pipes on our model here). Separate fitted handrails, windscreen wipers, & lamp brackets are also included. The roof also features separate fitted exhaust & silencer, etched roof ventcabs feature a detailed interior & a driver figure is fitted in one of the cabs. The bogies & under chassis are well detailed with these having a gloss paint finish, the wheelsets are fine scale profile type with all six axles being driven. The chassis is heavy die-cast which helps give excellent traction, so no traction tyres here unlike the Lima class 66 models of old!!
Bachmann have done a fine job on the printed details / logo’s, the fine small printed details like the loco data panel can be read under a magnifier glass.