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So far Bachmann have done quite well with their first generation DMUs. OK the mould lines on the 108 cab were not ideal and the oversize metal chassis block is a poor design decision but they fill a much needed gap in the RTR market place. Not so their latest offering offering as the 101 is already available and given its Lima origins isn’t bad at all. Of all their DMUs the 101 is the the one that Bachmann could least afford to drop the ball on but sadly it seems they have. Given that this is the first DMU thats a victim of the new price structure it’s a bit of a double clanger!
I feel I must take some responsibility for some of the online fuss as I may have been the first to point out that the bottom of the main windows and the door windows all line up on the model when they shouldn’t. One online commentator went to great lengths to draw lines on photos of the model and the prototype that show the error very nicely (although in a bizarre piece of manufacturer brown nosing he then try’s to convince us that the model is right)!
On its own the window error isnt much but it’s one of those relative errors that just screams out at you. Lima themselves seemed to have a good understanding of this and while literally everything on thier earlier 117 is wrong it all works together so it looks ok. Correct one thing and suddenly it looks worse than when you started!
A few years ago the obvious thing to do would be to combine the strong points of both models to produce something accurate. Lima body on the bachmann chassis and while that’s fine for something like a class 25 where your outlay can be less than £50 do we really want to be forking out close to 3 times that for a DMU?
So given that fixing the bachmann 101 is going to be quite difficult, the easy route this time is just to fix the Lima under frame. People have remarked for years that it’s bad because it’s just a box with surface detail but lets think about this for a second. What is depicted is about right it’s just that the holes are filled in (you can see where this is going can’t you?)
Option 1 the quick fix
Ok this is a total bodge but all I did was weather the chassis and repaint the ‘holes’ in matt black. It was only ever meant to be a temporary fix but it’s stayed like this for a good few years now. I have also replaced the undernourished Lima bogies with spares from the Hornby 110.
Option 220140707-194641.jpg
It’s not actually much more effort to just drill out the holes and tidy them up with a scalpel or circular saw in a mini drill. I’ve re-added the tanks from bits of plasticard. With hindsight I was never going to replace my Lima 101s anyway but if I were to buy another I’d definitely be looking at buying a cheap second hand Lima model than feeling the need to have the latest thing.

7 Responses

  1. Vivian Hughes

    Hi Jim.

    I agree the Bachmann 101 is a bit of a disappointment – in terms of the class’ longevity, numerous liveries and widespread use on BR it should be the very one they needed to get “spot on”. Sales potential should have been good over a number of years with different liveries.

    I always liked the Lima side mouldings but the lack of a DTCL was annoying as most 101’s ran as two car power/trailers.

    Having said that, I have ordered a Bachmann 101 in blue/grey as I think the all-important front end looks much better. There was always something wrong about the Lima front windows – too long and rounded despite painting the insides matt dark grey and flush glazing.

    But now your photos have made me think again about persevering with my Lima ones!

    Best regards,


    07/07/2014 at 10:05 pm

  2. Westie7

    Well whaddya know Lima 101’s on eBay have disappeared fast.

    09/07/2014 at 5:29 pm

  3. Eddie Knorn

    Hope that all is well with you. Noting your comments on the Lima 101 DMU vs Bachmann 101 DMU conundrum, especially the relative position of side windows and droplights, what is your view on the cab front of the Lima / Hornby version? Having measured a real 101 I reckon that the Lima windscreen apertures are too tall. The windscreens are not quite of Class 108 proportions, but are heading that way…
    Currently I am dabbling with a Hornby model of a DMSL car to become part of a mixed formation and think I have solved the problem by etching some frames in the correct size.

    15/09/2014 at 4:35 pm

  4. jim s-w

    Hi Eddie

    I’m good thanks, and yourself? I admit the windscreens have never stuck me as too far off but having said that if you are planning to make your new frames available I’d be interested in 3 sets.



    15/09/2014 at 7:19 pm

  5. Eddie Knorn


    Contact me direct to e-mail and I will sort something out for you.


    22/09/2014 at 2:24 pm

  6. sub39h

    Hi Jim,

    Inspired by your efforts I invested in a slightly knackered 101 from Rails eBay shop to play around with.

    I was wondering – what did you use to cut out the boxes on the underframe please? And in another post you’ve put an etch on the front to improve the windshield size. Where did you get this from please?


    07/06/2015 at 6:55 am

  7. jim s-w

    Hi. I use a drill to make a chain of holes then tidy it up with a scalpel. The window frames were kindly donated to me but I do plan to etch my own at some point.

    16/06/2015 at 8:50 am

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