The DF11G's ushered in a new level of detailing to Bachmann China's locomotive runs. There are many separately added parts such as e.m.u. plugs, fine scale airhoses, foot steps and grab irons. The paint work is very even, apart from a small amount of fuzz on the blue paint behind the cab (in between that and the red line). The sample of the second production run I saw has a high gloss even the late Billy Mays would find exciting. There is a very high amount of lettering which is all perfectly readable, although visual aids may be needed! The bogies look very similar to the standard DF11 releases, asides from the seperately added footsteps, appear to be a little on the shallow side, but being black in color, this doesn't seem to be as noticable as the lighter colored DF11's. The rubber diaphragms at the ends don't quite touch each other with the supplied drawbar connected between the units, there is a gap of approximately 2mm.
Unfortunately these are lacking in the performance department over other locomotives. The powered unit is quite a bit lighter than many of the full body style locomotives from Bachmann China and the dummy locomotive is quite heavy! The powered unit has been geared for high speed, however I would have much rathered pay the difference to have a dual powered unit as my layout has quite a few gradients on it, and high speed gearing doesn't substitute for this. For shorter trains or on level layouts/trackwork, they run very nicely - smooth and quiet. I've had some issues with the cable which connects both cars together. It is a bit too long, and often catches on the drawbar, leading to derailments or a bit of a jump as it traverses through point work. The deep wheel flanges, an annoying Bachmann China trend also 'hop' through my Peco code 83 point work (Code 100 is no problem).
The main headlight color is a very odd green/orange color. Naturally, these look nothing like the headlights used on the real engines! There is plenty of room inside for a decoder, (or more weight for increased pulling power!) and there are some small holes drilled through the bottom of the fuel tanks, presumably for speakers.
I've not converted the couplers on this model yet, however it seems to be a very straight forward swap with Kadee #5/#58/#158's for close coupling, although for those with layouts with very tight curves, I would recommend using #56/#156 long shank couplers to prevent jack-knifing.
A very modern, imposing locomotive with excellent details, unfortunately marred by underperformance.