Forums General Reviews
  • Topic: Bachmann 1:20.3 U.T.L.X. Frameless Tank Car

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    • July 9, 2011 10:55 AM EDT
    • Fair disclosure...I have yet to find a Spectrum freight car I didn't like. This one is no exception.

      One minor problem first...

      My K-27 would slow noticeably in corners and I'd hear a "dragging" sound. For the life of me I could not identify the source. I removed one car at a time until I was left with the tanker, it was the source of the "drag". Took some fiddling but I found the brake shoe was occasionally dragging against the wheel flange. The tanker uses a Bendorf type truck with separate brake shoe assemblies. They pried off easily and a few passes with a T-bar fixed the issue. None of my other Bachmann stock had this issue though they are all equipped with arch bar side frames with outside mounted shoes.

      The detail is what I have come to expect from the Spectrum line. Trucks are die-cast metal. The wheels are also metal but of a much higher quality than I have come to expect from Bachmann. The wheel is still a cast affair, though a much finer casting. The back-side shows the same sprue holes though they are nearly flush with the wheel surface...I'd bet you could even use brush contacts without issue. The axle is also solid metal like the "old" Bachmann wheels, not a plastic tube as used on the 'Big Hauler' metal wheel sets. Very free rolling (once you trim the shoes!). The journal boxes have functional lift covers, though these fall off easily. Unlike my flat cars, the tanker did not come with spares. I have since glued mine down so as not to lose them.

      The finish is a nice satin sheen with crisp graphics. Oddly, the wood walk way is "distressed" and weathered but the rest of the car is in "mint" condition. The hatch is removable, remains attached with a chain. Unlike LGB tankers this one is clearly not meant to hold any liquids.

      Very nice car, very smooth runner with no "wobble". I will need to add a few more.

      Oh, I paid a "typical" street price of $119.00.
    • July 10, 2011 8:47 PM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
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      I agree with you.
      I have a few of the Bachmann frameless and framed.
      I also like their 2 bay hoppers and flats.
      I only have 1 Bach box car, which is ok, but I prefer the Accucrafts.
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