Model Encyclopedia - Bachmann China 1:87 DF7G Class Co-Co Diesel
The DF7G is a successful diesel electric shunter/industrial locomotive spread out over most of China. They have been manufactured in Beijing and Sifang locomotive works since 2003 and well over 300 units have been turned out. With some minor exceptions, Beijing 27 locomotives are painted red and gold and Sifang locomotives in an attractive red and silver. There are some slight external variations between the two factory's products.
The DF7G's ushered in the first dedicated shunting locomotive for Chinese model railways. Bachmann released 10 road numbers for this model, the same deal applied for the SS9G's released in 2007. While the choice of road numbers is welcome, it is an interesting point to note that both of these models took a very long time to sell out, and can still be readily found on the market. Only one livery was produced - the common sand/red scheme. One would think over ten variants, they could have found the time to paint the other one!
The cab details are really very nice, as are the roof details. The airhorn design is getting a little dated. The bogie details are really nice on this model, using separate colored pieces for the various components. The sand pipes bend inward towards the wheels which is a nice improvement over previous BC models, where I found said pipes will catch on certain points on the layout. The handrails are made of a pretty awful plastic that will bend out of shape very easily and not spring back into place and they are very bland - no rivet or joint details. I also found that the engine rides a nearly 2mm's higher than it should. The gold/red color scheme is very nicely done (if a little glossy, which seems to be the trend at the moment). The paint is even, with no fuzz between the lines and the lettering is superb.
These are not the heaviest locomotives as a lot of weight is lost from the hood design. It is possible to squeeze in a few grams of lead, but may not be worth doing, and given the duties these locomotives perform prototypically, isn't really the kind of engine one would flog up hill with a long rake of loaded wagons behind it. My unit performed quite poorly at first, but I put this down to quality control rather above anything else. After some modifications, it runs very nicely. Wheel pick up is excellent and it is very quiet.
The lighting is directional, and Bachmann have employed these very poor blue LEDs which are seriously underpowered and just the wrong color all together. Installing a decoder isn't too much of a hassle, but be very gentle when disassembling the model; There is a clip at both ends of the shell to hold it to the chassis - if you break one of these off, your DF7 just isn't going to look right again! As per standard Bachmann practice, the DF7G's have an 8 pin socket to accept any NMRA 8 pin decoder.
The DF7G's will accept Kadee #58 (scale) or #158 (scale w/whisker), or #56/156 for long shanks.
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