Graham Farish Mark 1 BG (‘Full Brakes’)
Fine looking models of the BR Mk.1 BG ‘gangwayed’ brake coaches are amongst Graham Farish’s range of Mk.1 coaches which include the RMB miniature buffet car and First Open stock. The models follow on from the first of the new N gauge Mk.1 coach models developed by Bachmann and released during 2011. The models have detail and technical improvements over the Poole developed models including separate window openings instead of printed sides and greatly improved underframe detail.
The BGs are of the correct length at a scale 60ft over the gangways and the correct bogie centres. They are developed to the correct Mk.1 coach profile and features making them a very attractive looking model. Two models feature in this review: the BR crimson and cream model numbered M80565 and the BR maroon version numbered E80533.
Every vehicle of the new N gauge Mk.1 coach range has a new tooling for the body and underframe, even those to the same length over the body shell. The BGs are no different in that the body shells are to the correct scale length and moulded with individual window and door openings. The same level of detail is extended to the roof, with well-defined mouldings for ridge dome vents and periscopes. Each set of double doors has crisp moulding for hinges, handles and the adjacent guards door handrails.
Fine detailing of the BG models extends to the fitting of separately moulded gangways which have a high level of detail which is well defined. End footsteps at each end of the coach are supported with separately fitted wire hand rails including the short one on the roof. Buffers in the retracted position are also small standalone details and a number of parts are supplied with each model for the modeller to fit if desired.
Compared to the original Mk.1 coaches developed by the old Graham Farish company, the underframes on the new models of all types are superbly executed with a high level of separately applied detail for trussing, battery boxes and brake equipment. The two review models are fitted with vacuum cylinders and the correct footsteps adjacent to the guards doors. The overall effect is very fine and highly detailed, from the correctly positioned sole bar footsteps to the dynamo moulding.
The standard Graham Farish wheels are fitted to the model, turned in metal and with low profile flanges. The models run freely on Peco code 55 track without touching the chairs and without any visible sign of wobble. Very little side play of the wheels in the bogies was observed during running tests. Each bogie has a slot in the front spacer to accommodate the coupling arm. The BGs are fitted with self-centring close coupling cams enabling operation on tight curves but with relatively close coupling.
Apart from a couple of minor quibbles, including the coupling gap and lack of inline brake blocks, the BG models are a lovely representation of the full size coaches including dimensional accuracy and overall proportions. They look good, run well, are very popular and I hope Bachmann takes advantage of the wide scope of liveries and release more BGs in later liveries such as plain BR blue with parcels, newspaper and other markings.