Something exciting happened today in the world of N Gauge modelling. Revealed to the world was a new brand owned by Bachmann and distributing models from other Factories. EFE Rail’s aim is to re-introduce previously-released models by third-parties and distribute them through its retail channels to a wider audience.
From the initial tranche of announcements today it was very clear of their origins. The vast majority if not all of the N Gauge announcements were originally from the DJM Models stable.
As well as rerelease of the successful Mermaid wagon model, albeit at an increased RRP of £33.95 each. N Gauge modellers can look forward to the release of the Class 17 Clayton.
This model was in the DJM plans for a long while, and got as far as engineering prototypes. However at the time there was criticism of the EP as it contained what were felt to be fundamental glaring errors.
These errors appear to have been rectified where possible and the model is already finished and in the UK.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the announcement was this statement. The Clayton is already in the UK and will be available to buy before the end of the month.
The Clayton is being released at a commendably modest price point compared to recent model releases. The RRP of the model is just £119.95. This means with the standard discounts available on most new models you should be able to pick one up for around £100.
Coming in an initial choice of 11 liveries, mainly BR Blue or Green variants, these models do not really fit within the scope of a modern image layout. However… as you’ve seen from the image above, one choice is the Ribble Cement industrial livery.
For me this makes a rule one purchase much more ‘logical’ and something I shall be engaging in. I’m not sure why but I’ve always had a soft spot for centre cab locos. Class 14 ‘teddy bears’ and SNCF 63 and 66xxx series amongst others, and now the Clayton.
More about EFE Rail
Bachmann has stated it’s aim to support traditional model and hobby shops, launching the EFE Rail for its approved stockists to gain access to products they otherwise might not have been able to stock.
The initial range announced today has products which have all been produced in collaboration with third parties. These include both Kernow Model Rail Centre and Heljan.
Communications Manager for Bachmann, Richard Proudman, commented “Branchline and Graham Farish items are designed by Bachmann Europe from the wheels up. Manufactured in our own factory to the award winning standards that our consumers have enjoyed for many years. The whole R&D, production, after-sales process is in-house. EFE Rail products are purchased from various suppliers purely as a distribution line, from proven, well established manufacturers.”
For this reason, Bachmann has created the brand name to differentiate it from its main Graham Farish N gauge and Branchline OO gauge ranges. This isn’t new, however – companies such as Woodland Scenics and Proses have been distributed through Bachmann Europe for a number of years. As were Heljan items for many years, particularly its buildings.
Proudman continued, “Bachmann Europe Plc has a long tradition of distributing quality products from around the world. It has always been an avid supporter of local bricks and mortar Hobby shops. We are delighted to make more models, available to more local model stores under the EFE Rail Brand. These are predominantly items that have not been available to the wider market, and the custodians of these fine models having selected Bachmann Europe Plc to market them through an established hobby store network.”