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  • [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    A review of Fleischmann's Bavarian GtL 4/4

    Please note that this review is my own personal opinion.

    Author: John Oxlade, Salfords, Surrey, United Kingdom (email: )


    The model is (has been) available in 5 versions:

    PrototypeVersionCat. #
    DRG 98 811Normal 2-rail DC4098 (illustrated below)These are standard production models, and have the closed-style cab.
    DRG 98 805FMZ version6 4098
    DB 98 812Normal 2-rail DC4099
    DB 98 801FMZ version6 4099
    K.Bay.Sts.B. 2560Normal 2-rail DC4819This was a limited edition only available for 1 year (1992?), and has an open sided cab.
    I also believe it was available in an FMZ version

    Brief information on the prototype

    98 817, the last GtL 4/4 built, though interestingly still fitted with Bavarian style headlights.

    • A short wheelbase Dh2t, the loco was purpose built for use on Bavarian branchlines, and was one of the last Bavarian steam engines in service with the DB.
    • K.Bay.Sts.B. number 2551, was the first built, by Krauss in München in 1911.
    • 100 locomotives later, Krauss delivered the last GtL 4/4 in 1924, although the DRG had a further 17 delivered in 1927 which were later rebuilt to 1'Dh2t between 1934-37.
    • There were a few slight changes over the years, i.e. oval as opposed to round cab windows, and slightly different safety valves and cylinder chests on later locos, but they are all essentially the same.
    • Two are preserved, including 98 812, the basis for the model.

    Appearance of the model

    • Overall, the model's appearance is excellent, and is one of the better ready-to-run models on the market.
    • Compared to photographs of the original, the model 'looks right'.
    • The finish of the model is excellent.
    • It has working close couplers with NEM pockets at both ends.
    • The wheels are blackened and reasonably fine, and run OK on code 75 track.
    • A slightly modified 'standard' Fleischmann motor fills the cab completely.
      This is not a major problem except on the K.Bay.Sts.B. version where there are some 'fake' plastic curtains which obstruct the view through the open cab sides. The only way to get around this problem is to re-motor the loco. sb modellbau make a suitable replacement, but it's not an easy job because of the design of the chassis.

    Accuracy

    • Converting the prototype measurements to 1:87 (HO scale), there is a slight discrepancy in the overall wheelbase (1.5mm too long), but otherwise, it is a very accurate scale model. Details obtained from a review in eisenbahn Modellbahn magazin, December 1990

    Running properties

    • I'd say that the model is one of the best running of the 50+ locomotives I own.
    • That's not to say that it wouldn't benefit from a new motor (like the Faulhaber kit available from sb - see above).

    Overall impressions

    • Good value for money. They're about £100 each, and the K.Bay.Sts.B. version is sometimes still available, especially in Germany.
    • Compares very well with photographs of the prototype. Put another way, it looks right.
    • Don't take the observations/criticisms above too much to heart, the Fleischmann GtL 4/4 is a very good model.
    • If you have a model of a Bavarian branchline, you shouldn't be without one, or more. What the heck, I've got 5 of them.

    [ last updated 31st Dec 2003 ]